USRE286E - Improvement in mowing-machines and harvesters - Google Patents

Improvement in mowing-machines and harvesters Download PDF


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United States
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John H. Manny
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Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 8,385, dated September 23, 1851; Reissue No.A 286. dated v January 2, 1855.
To all whom it may concern.-
Be it known that I, JOHN H. MANNY, of Rockford, in the county of Winnebago and State of Illinois, (formerly of Waddams Grove, in the county of Stephenson and State aforesaid,) have invented certain new and useful Im,
provements in Reaping and Mowiu g Machines, of which the followingis a full, clear, and exact description, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, which forms part of this specification, and in which the ligure represen ts a view in perspective of my machine complete.
Reaping-machines may be divided into numerous classes, according to certain peculiarities in theirconstruction and mode of operation.
Forthe purpose of giving a clearer idea of the nature and object of the improvement which is the subject of this patent it will be sufficient to divide them into two classes only-one, in which the cutter is placed on the front end of the machine, directly before the horses which travel in the swat-h being cut, and the other, in which the cutter projects from one side of that part of the mach-ine to which the horses are harnessed and cuts one swath while the horses are traveling in a parallel path in the adjacent swath. The principal advantages which the first class of machines possess is the fair and even manner in which they support the cutter in a position parallel to the general surface of the ground, and the ease andconvenience with which the gearing can he connected with and operate the cutting mechanism. The objections to this class of machines are their great length, which renders it difficult to turn them, and the great distance of the driver of the horses behind the cutter, which renders his osition unfavorable for seeing when it is not working properly and when it is approaching stones or other obstructions. rlhese with other disadvantages have so far overbalanced the advantages of this form of' machine that it has almost everywhere been abandoned. The advantages ofthe other class ot' machines are that, the horses being in front, the driver occupies a position opposite to or in advance of the cutter, where he can witness its operations and have a better opportunity to regulate it and shun obstructions. Machines of this class are also shorter than the other, and therefore turn more easily. The disadvantages attending this form of machine are comparatively few, and arise mainly from the necessity of drawing it by one corner. The most important of these is the tendency which the outer end of the fingenbarand cutter have to droop, which causes the grass to be cnt closer to the ground at one side of the swath than at the other, one side, being cut too low and the other too high. Various attempts have heretofore been made to cure this defect, but with little success, for when this difliculty has been nearly or quite removed it has only been by constructing a ponderous frame immediately in the rear of the cutter, which, besides augmenting the cost, weight, and draft of the machine, greatly impedes the proper discharge of the grain or grass after it is cut. As such a supporting-frame is so objectionable, it has been very generally abandoned, and as a substitute the finger-bar has been enlarged so much and secured so firmly to the frame of the carriage as to be self-supporting. When, however, this .bar has been thus enlarged to the dimensions of a beam of a foot or more in width it has been found that the weight and draft of the machine have been greatly increased, and grass is liable to lodge upon the bar and clog and load the machine, instead of falling over, as it did while the bar was narrow,
and cut the grass at unequal heights on the two sides of the swath.
The foregoing and other' defects l have remedied by my improvements, which enable me to construct a machine with a cutter projecting from one side, and without a heavy fingerbar or cumbrous frame-work to maintain the two ends of the cutter at equal distances from the ground. The improvement which produces this highly important result consists in hanging the outer end of the finger-bar which supports the cutter upon one end of a lever whose fulcrum is the axle of the carriage or a wheel, a runner placed beneath it, or other equivalent support, while the inner end of the lever is held down by the frame, so as to raise the outer end and hold up the outer extremity of the cutter-bar and cutter. By the vertical support which the lever gives to the cutter-bar kthe outer extremity of the cutter is always maintained at the same height as the `inner end, and all tendency which it has to sag is eectually counteracted. This lever may also 2 l ese be so arranged as to givehorizontal support to the finger-bar as a brace by Aallowing it to extend diagonally, as shown in the drawing, so as to form one side of a triangle, of which the inner bar is another, and the frame which supports the gearing and driving-wheel is a third.
The machine represented in the accompanying drawing, to which my improvements are rail, A', the bar U, which supports the cutter and the fingers, projects at right angles, and its outer extremity isheld up bythe end of the lever extending across to the rear end of the gear-frame and resting between itsextremities upon an axle, D, on which the supportingwheelsE E turn. From this arrangement it will be seen that the outer end of the ngerhar is supported onthe outer end of the lever B. This end of the lever, with the weight of the bar supported thereon, is counterbalanced and held up by the weight of the frame to which its inner end is attached. As the gearframe, as well as .the lever, are both rigid and turn upon the axle as their common fulcrum, it follows thatwhen, by the raising of thefront end of Vthe gear-frame, the inner end of the fin ger-bar and cutter is raised the rear end of the gear-frame and the rear end of the lever B will be depressed proportionately, and will raise in a corresponding degree the outer end of the finger-bar, so as to maintainv it at the same elevation under all circumstances as the inner end, so far as rigidity in the frame canl accomplish that object.
The front bar, G, of the frame sustains the cutting apparatus. This consists of a series of stationary fingers, a, a, which project forward,
' and as the machine is advanced enter' the standing grain, and of a reciprocating sickleblade, b. The latter is serrated, as represented in the drawing, and its edges are sickled. The sickle is connected at one extremity by means of a rod, c, with the wrist of a crank,'d, which is secured to the front extremity of a shaft, e. This shaft extends backward toward the axle l), and carries at its hinder extremity a beveled pinion, whose teeth engage with thoseof a corresponding beveled wheel, F, secured to one of the running wheels E, so that the latter becomes the drivin g-wheel of the machine, and
in running over the ground causes the crankshaft to revolve and impart a reciprocating movement to the sickle-blade.
ATo facilitate the operation of the cutting apparatus, a reel, G, is employed to press the grass or grain toward the cutters and turn it lover the bar upon the ground or a'platform, as the case may be. The shaft of this reel turns upon bearings inthe frame of the machine. 1t is fitted with a belt-pulley, H, which is encircled by a belt leading from a corresponding pulley, l, on the axle D, so that as the latter turns with the wheel E .the reel is caused to revolve.
When the machine is arranged for cutting grain and is in operation the grain cut falls upon a platform, K, behind the cutting apparatus and is raked oft' at the side of the machine by a person who stands upon the frame behind the platform.
In order to leave the side of the platform at which the grain is discharged perfectly free for the action of the raker, the beltf, by which motion is conveyed to the reel-shaft, is deflect- ,ed from its direct course between the driving and leading pulleys l and H by passing it under guide-pulleys which are pivoted to the frame of the machine beneath the front edge ofthe raking-platform.
The leading carriage, to which the team is harnessed, consists of a pair of wheels, M, an axle, N, a stand, L, for the driver, a tongue, hounds, Sto., to harness the horses to, and a standard for aiding in maintaining the cutter at the proper height. This leading carriage is connected with the rear or 'cutter carriage by means of a draft-bar, which is connected to the leading carriage by a king-bolt in the same manner that a perch is usually connected to the front axle of a wagon. This permits the axle-tree and draft-bar to turn freely. The hinder extremity of the draft-bar, which in this example is forked, is connected by a horizontal bolt, g, with the finger-bar ou the hinder carriage, so that this carriage can tip upon the axle I) of its running-wheels without affecting the front axle-tree, N, to which the tongue O is secured. In order to control this tipping of the hinder carriage, and consequently to regulate the distance of its front rail and the cutting apparatus theretoattached from the ground, a
strong bar or ar1n,P, projects from the frame of the hinder carriage over the frame of the front j one and moves up and down by the side of a standard, Q, erected upon the front part of the driving-platform on the forward carriage. The bar P may be held against the standard Q by a rectangular staple, which embraces the standard. This standard is perforated with a series of holes, t, to which a pin, h, is fitted, that can be shifted from one hole to another. The projecting bar P is rigidly connected with the front part of the hinder-carriage frame, and hence when itis raised this portion of the carriage is correspondingly raised and the cutting apparatus is lifted from the ground. It is then prevented from lowering down again by passing the pin h through the standard in the hole immediately beneath the bar P. This pin, although it prevents the bar P, and consequently the front of the hinder carriage, from sinking too low, does not prevent it from rising when 'the surface of the ground, the position of ob- -the height of the cutter byraising or lowering the finger-bar strikes any unobserved protu' berance on the ground, and hence, while this arrangement affords a convenient means of regulating` the distance of the cutting apparatus from the ground, it diminishes the risk of the breakage from collision with an unnoticed protuberance onthe surface of the ground.
When this machine is used for cutting grain the driver stands upon the platform L of the front carriage, where he can drive the horses, observe the height of the grain, the nature of structions, and can at the same time regulate the bar P, and with it the cuttin as circumstances may require.
The raker stands upon the frame of the hinder carriage behind the raking-platform K, where he can readily rake lol' the grain falling thereon and dischargeit at the side ofthe machine most distant from the standing grain. When the machine is used for mowing grass or other substances which do not require to be bound into sheaves the platform is removed and the cut grass falls directlyover the lingerbar and cutter upon the surface of the ground behind it,'and is left in the track or wake of the machine. As the cut grass falling at that side of the machine nearer the standing grass g apparatus,
would be in the way of the team and wheels when making a succeeding cut, and would also be injured by being trampled, I secure an adjustable hinged guard-plate, R, to the inner side of the oblique lever B. When the rakingplatform K is in use this guardplate is turned up, as is represented in Fig. 1; but when the platform is removed this guard-plate is depressed, and then turns the cut grass falling at that end of the cutting apparatus away from the standing grass, thus leaving a clear space for the wheels to run on and the team to walk in while making a succeeding cut.
What I claim asmy iuvention,and desire to secure by Letters Patent. is-
The combination of the bar that supports the cutter with a diagonal lever held down at its inner end, substantially as described, andv resting upon the axle of the carriage as a'fulcrum, or upon some other equivalent support that will perform the function of a fulcrum,
whereby the outer end of the cutter-bar is held up, substantially as herein set forth.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name.
' JOHN H. MANNY. Witnesses:



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