USRE971E - Improvement in grain and grass harvesters - Google Patents

Improvement in grain and grass harvesters Download PDF


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United States
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Cyrenus Wheeler
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Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 12,367, dated February 6, 1555; Reissue No. 971. dated June 5, 1860.
Y To all whom it. may concern:
4Jr., ot' Poplar Ridge, in the county of Cayuga andState of New York,`have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Grain and Grass Harvesters and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the constructionand operation of the same, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, making'a part of this specification, in which- Figure l represents in perspective so much of the machine as will show its general arrangement when adjusted for mowing. Fig. 2 represents a vertical longitudinal section through the main frame, and showing by red lines the positions which the elevating devices assume when the rear of the frame and the cutters are raised up for passingobst-rnctions or for cutting at a higher elevation above the ground. Figs. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 represent details ofthe machine, which will be hereinafter specially referred to.
Similar letters of reference, where they occur in the several tigures, denote like parts of the machine in all the drawings. I
My invention relates to that class of machines known as combined machines-that is to say, harvesting-machines capable of cutting grass or grain either, and that can be changed from one to the other purpose conveniently. I'Vhen cutting grass the machine should follow as closely as possible the undulations of the ground; but when cutting grain it should carry its cutting apparatus above the surface of the ground.y To make a machine equally adaptable to both these purposes requires that it should have two properties that would seem inconsistent with each other in one 1nachine-viz.,the property of adapting itself to the surface of the ground over which it ispassing while cutting grass, in which case the several parts of the machine must have motionsindependent of each other, and, secondly, the property of being elevated above the ground and held comparatively rigid in suoli elevated position when cutting grain, but in bpth conditions to be under the control of the driver or conductor, who from his seat can elevate or :depress such Vportions of the machine as may require it for passing obstructions or for cutting at a greater or less height above the surface of the ground. In changing such a machine to convert it from a grain-cutting to a grass-cutting machine, or
vice versa, some of its part-s must .also be changed; and my invention relates to some of these parts, also, as will be hereinafter set forth, as they perform certain functions important in their particularr relations and conditions. Sucharethegeneralpurposesandobjects of my invention. Their specialities will be more fully set forth hereinafter, as well as the several mechanical devices which I have contrived for turning the machine short around at the end ofthe swath, for strengthening the finger-bar when cutting grain and making it lighter when cuttinggrass, and for a trackclearer.
My invention consists. in so combining a finger-bar with the main frame of a harvestingmachine, and with levers or their equivalent raising or lowing devices extending to within reaching distance ofthe driver or conductorin his seat, as that said driver or conductor from his seat may raise up either end' ofthe linger or cutter bar independently of the other end, or both ends at once, at pleasure, and my invention further consists in the use of a platform-bar, which, when the table or platform is used, is bolted to the finger-bar, thus giving strength to the linger-bar when the additional weight ofthe platform is added to it, and when, as in cutting grain, it is subjected to greater strain and removing the platform and Y its bar when the machine is converted into a mower, in which case the linger-bar maybe much lighter, and yet suiciently strong for its special work as a mower; and my invention furtherA consists in combining with the platform or table a caster-wheel so hung that Awhen the machine is being turned around said easter-wheel will elevate the platform and also the outer end ofthe nger-bar, and thus prevent them from striking against any projection or being wrenched, strained, or broken, and in connection with the platform caster-wheel, the caster-wheel in the rear end of the main frame when they bear the relative positions they do to the finger-beam and main wheels,
-. as represented; and my invention further consists in a track-clearer that is-caused to revolve by gearing, and so located that in backing the machine or in turning it around there will be no danger of breaking or otherwise injuringpsaid, track-clearer.v
To enable others skilled in the art to make and use my invention, I will proceed to describe the same with reference to the drawings.
A represents the main frame of a harvestingmachine,supported upon two wheels, B B, one of which may bethe driving-Wheel and the other simply a supporting-Wheel. The tongue C of the machine/is fastened to a roller, D, which is so connected to the main frame as to freely rock or roll in its supports when the front end of the main frame rises or falls, as it will do when the Wheels that carry and support it are passing over gulleys or dead furrows or other inequalities in the ground. The main frame is suspended or supported by the axle E of the two wheels B, so that it shall droop at its rear, and yet be free to rock on said axle, or rise and fall at its rear and front. To- Ward the rear of the' main frame there is an arch or brace piece, F, extending across from side piece to side piece of said main frame, and rigidly attached thereto, so as to be a perinanent part of the main frame; and in rear of this permanent arch-piece F there is another arch or brace piece, G, which is hinged or pivoted to the sides of themain frame, so that it can move freely onits pivoted connections when it is desirable t0 have it do so. A screw-bolt, a, with double nuts b b passes through the t\vo arch or brace pieces F and G, by meansof which a certain extent of motion may be given or allowed to the hinged brace-piece G, or by lWhich it may be made rigid, as exigcncies l may require.
The finger-barH is connected to the arch or brace piece G through a hinge-joint, c, upon which it may rise and fall freely, or be raised or lowered by the driver or conductor; but as this hinged connection of the linger-bar and main frame forms the subject-matter of other patents granted yto me, 1 do not propose to fully describe them here, nor any further than is necessary to illustrate the operation of this machine.
To the heel of the finger-bar H is affixed an upright, I, to the top of which a cord or chain, d, is attached, said cord or chain passing around a pulley, e, set on top of the arch or brace piece G, and thence extending eithcr to the lever J or connected with a rod which is attached to said lever and effects the same general purpose. The lever J is pivoted at f to a post or upright, K, for convenience, and extends up in close proximity to the drivers or couductors seat or stand L, so that the occupant of that seat may readily grasp it (the lever) and by bearing upon it raise up the outer end of the finger-bar H. Another lever, M, extends from the seat L rearward, and has for itsfulcra the'shank g of the caster-wheel N, which is placed underneath the arch or brace piece F, and the rear of this lever M is connected by straps or links h to the hinged arch or brace piece G. By pressing down the point of the lever M the rear end of the main frame is raised up, the caster-Wheel N, resting upon the ground, being the fulcra,its shank g freely moving in avhole made in the piece F, but prevented from cramping or twisting by an additional guide-piece, i. rlhus by means ot the levers J and M the outer vend alone of the finger-bar may be raised up, or its heel may be raised up and its outer end remain on the ground, or the entire linger-bar and rear of the frame may be raisedA up or let down, at pleasure. Either end, therefore, of the linger-bar I may be raised Without raising its other end, or both ends may be raised up together bythe driver or conductor from his seat. The uprightK is furnished with suitable holes, so that by means of pins placed therein the levers J M may be held to any fixed position desired. When the leversJM are lett free, then the parts to which they are connected-wiz., the finger-beam and the arch-piece G-are unrestrained by them and move independent of their action; but, when necessary, the levers can he used and released for a temporary lifting, or may be held fast when apermanent elevation is had,though the outside endof the finger-beam can valways rise and fall at any time independently ofthe main frame. The red lines in Fig. 2 show the Vpositions of the several parts ot' the machine when the levers are put into the positions they are shown in in said figure. i
Motion is communicated from the main drivewheel to the cutter-barj through the gearing o, pinion lc, shaft l, bevel-gear m, and bevelpinion n, which is on one end of the crankshaft o, the other end of said crank-shaft being furnished With a crank-wheel, p, in which, as'seen in Figa, there are a series of holes, l 2 3, at different distances from the center of said wheel, and into either of Which the crankpin may be put as a longer or shorter stroke of the cutter-bar may be desired. To this crank-Wheel one end of the pitman g is attached, the other end of said pitman being connected to the cutter-barj.
When the machine is to be used for cuttingl grain a platform or table, P, is' used for the cut grain to fall upon; and as greater strength is required in the finger-bar when the machine is arranged for cutting grain, both on account of the additional Weight put upon it and the greater difficulty in cutting grain than in cutting grass, I arrange as follows: I connect the platform or table by means of under supports, i', to a platform-bar, Q, which, by mea-ns of the screw-bolts s s, is firmly united to the finger-beam H, said bolts passing through holes tt in the linger-beam. Thus, for the additional Weight and duty that the iinger-bar must Withstand, I place an additional strengthening-bar to aid it. When again the machine is to be used for cutting grass, and there islessstrain on the finger-bar, the platform and platform-bar a-re removed together, leaving the finger-bar light and more easily handled and better adapted to accommodate itself to vthe surface of' the ground over which it passes, yet strong enough to resist any ordinary strain that may4 come upon it in performing this special duty.
It will be perceived that the finger-bar is at the rear end of the main frame, and when the platform or table P is connected to said finger-v bar by the platform-bar Q, the platform itself will project its entire length in rear of the main frame, or nearly so, so that the gaveling-space is in rear of the main frame, and the rakers seat It is located as shown, so that the raker may sweep the platform of the cut material and deliver it in a compact gavel in rear of the main frame. A machine so put together might be supposed to be too long to admit of a short turn at the end of the swaths; but such is not. the case. This machine can be turned short around and without any backing, the main drive-wheel serving as a pivot around which the whole machine may turn. The supporting-wheel,turningbackward, prevents any crampiugor undue strain upon the main frame.
To allow the platform which' is at the extreme end of' the main frame to come around 'easily without straining, it requires some additional aid. I effect it as follows: The casterwheel S, which supports the platform or table, is inclined, as shown at` Figs. 3, 6, 7, so that when the machine is d rawn forward said wheel will allow the platform to come close to the ground, but not to drag heavily over it. When, however, the machine is'to be turned around and the platform must move in the arc of a circle the center of which would be at the point where the main drive-wheel rests upon the ground, it is then important that some arranges itself in the line in which the mainl frame is to move around, and thus the platform and rear end of the main frame become,
- as it were, a sort of' turn-table that will freelyT move around its center. When the machine is turned around andthe team starts ahead the caster-wheels again assume their former positions, the one S allowing the platform to come down close to the ground. I thus make the shortest possible turn at the end of the swath and with ease to the machine and the team. The shank c of the caster-wheel S may have upon it a series ofwasher's, w, for allowadjusted upon said shank, as may be found necessary.,V
-The track-clearer l make as follows: Of course it is used only when moving, and when the platform P is not used. T is a stock or frame, hinged at .r to the rear outside end of the finger-beam H. It is furnished with a lelver or handle, U, by which it can be raised up when necessary to do so. In this stock T is set a wheel, y, that runsupon the ground, and is turned upon its bearings in so doing. Upon the shaftor journal of this wheel y there is arranged, as shown in Fig. 5, a bevel-pinion, a, that takes into and turns a bevel-pinion, 4, on a vertical shaft, 5. On this vertical shaft 5 is placed a hub, V, having set into it a series of curved teeth or arms, 6. Now, as this hub revolves through the ground-Wheel 'y and grassaway from the standing grass, and thus form a clear track for the machine on its next round.
I know that a revolving track-clearerhas its own friction upon the ground, and when track-clearer had first to be lifted up and held up until the machine was turned around,"this operation being quite troublesome. My trackclearer is so arranged that it is revolved freely, `but is not endangered in backing or turning; neither need it be raised or held up when so turning around or backing the machine; besides, it relieves the driver or conductor of' any care or attentionwhile he is backing or turning around.
It is obvious that the extent of the raising of either end or of both endsof' the finger-bar may be discretionary with the operator, or such as will effect the special purpose for which the raising need to be done. So, too, with reofthe main frame or of' the finger-bar shall be on the ground, for this can be regulatedvin'a measure by the caster-wheel N. Y
It is also obvious that modifications of the machine may he made without departing from the principles which characterize the invention.
strengthening said finger-beam when it has the platform to carry, substantially asdescribed. Y
3. The inclined caster-wheel S, arranged as ing the platform to be raised or lowered or represented, and in combination with the platgearing z 4 its arms 6 catch and throw the cut heretofore been used; but it was revolved by the machine was backed or turnedl around the gard to how much or how little of the weight' Having'thus fully described the nature and l form. whereby the latter is elevated when the l 5. A revolving track-clearer when operated machine is being turned short around to the from a. ground-wheel through gearing, sub` right, substantially as described. stantially as described.
4. In combination with a finger-beam and platform placed in rear of the main supporty CYRENUS VHEELER, JR.
ing-wheel, the two casters N S, arranged as described, for allowing the machine to turn lifitnesscs:
short; around to the right, for the purposes ALFRED LYGN, specified. A JOHN RWETSELL.



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