As in the urban and industrial spheres, technological advances in agriculture occurred gradually, sometimes leading workers to combine new technologies with the tried and true methods of old. In the city, the traditional carriage was replaced by the horse-drawn trolley, a halfway-point along the way to the electric trolley, which eventually became standard. The countryside produced its own hybrid of old and new: a mechanical reaper pushed on skids by a team of two horses and directed by a driver. While this piece of equipment replaced the rural worker and his scythe, it still drew on traditional horsepower to move the mechanical parts. Like the horse-drawn trolley, this horse-driven reaper would eventually be superseded by models utilizing steam and other sources of power. Wood engraving by unknown artist, c. 1840.

Mechanical Reaper (c. 1840)


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