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Mccormick, Cyrus Hall

McCORMICK, CYRUS HALL (1809-1884), American inventor of grain-harvesting machinery, was born at Walnut Grove, in what is now Roane county, W. Va., U.S.A., on the 15th of February 1809. His father was a farmer who had invented numerous labour-saving devices for farmwork, but after repeated efforts had failed in his attempts to construct a successful grain-cutting machine. In 1831, Cyrus, then twenty-two years old, took up the -problem, and after careful study constructed a machine which was successfully employed in the late harvest of 1831 and patented in 1834. The McCormick reaper after further improvements proved a complete success; and in 1847 the inventor removed to Chicago, where he established large works for manufacturing his agricultural machines. William H. Seward has said of McCormick's invention, that owing to it " the line of civilization moves westward thirty miles each year." Numerous prizes and medals were awarded for his reaper, and he was elected a corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences, "as having done more for the cause of agriculture than any other living man." He died in Chicago on the 13th of May 1884.

See Herbert N. Casson, Cyrus Hall McCormick: his Life and Work (Chicago, 1909).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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