WHAT NEXT?


| September/October 1971


How They Cut Grass Without the Use of Horses and Do it More Quickly.

On Wednesday morning of this week D. W. Geist of Blue Ball started to cut a five acre field of grass with a mower and a team of horses. After opening the field, P. E. Shirk, proprietor of the Machine Works at Blue Ball, kindly offered to cut the rest of the field in order that he might give a demonstration of his traction grass mower. Mr. Geist accepted the offer and put his team away. In a few minutes Mr. Shirk was seen with his machine making the rounds in less time and doing the work very nicely. He continued until the entire field was cut with the engine in the hands of Samuel Martin, one of his employees.

Quite a number of farmers and others saw it work and were highly pleased. Among them was the well known farm implement dealer A. B. Groff, of this boro, who pronounced it a success. This machine is a simple affair and is the result of Mr. Shirk's ingenuity. It consists of a New Holland three horse power gasoline engine mounted on a truck with an ordinary cutting bar attached to the right hand side and is operated by one man. It was quickly gotten up by Mr. Shirk who now sees several improvements. He expects to make and by next season it will be no surprise to see these machines in general operation. The cutting attachment can be easily taken off and the engine used for any other farm purpose, such as to pull a tedder, saw wood, etc. With the few changes Mr. Shirk expects to make it look as if the horse will soon be excused from mowing grass.

On this job of cutting about four acres, twenty-seven cents worth of gasoline was used. This was the only expense with the exception of the wages of the operator.



We thank the New Holland Division at New Holland, Pennsylvania 17557, for their permission to reprint this picture and write-up that recently appeared in one of their periodicals. (1910 reprint from the New Holland Clarion.)

This 1910 Shirk 'traction gear' tractor was powered by a New Holland engine. It featured a 'live' PTO drive to the mioVnounted- mower years before tractors were equipped with PTO shafts.














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