Random mutterings, observations, and comments on what ever comes to mind. Photos will be posted.
your fascination with machinery of the pastis right up my alley.while looking through your site the pictures you choose for a series is grand! images juxtaposed in every aspectmakes for a wonderful story.~robert
Thank you, Robert, for your kind words. Some days are better than others. The Overby Corn Picker is especially unique as it is the patent model they used for the U.S. Patent Office, and it was altered from the original drawings and used until it was worn out. This means it must have worked just fine. Don't think the Overby brothers ever build a second one. It pre-dates the McCormick Corn Picker by several years, the first commercially produced corn picker.
Quite interesting how they are gathered.
The Overby brothers must have been tired of picking corn by hand, so they build this machine. Shown here are its internal machinery.
That cotton-pickin' machine looks quite intricate and complicated. Must have been put together by creative engineers!
One might think so, but it was designed and built by brothers who were farmers living south of Watertown, SD. They had black smith and carpentry skills, but they had to go to Minneapolis to have parts cast at a foundry. The wheels drive the machinery, and were from some McCormick equipment, but most of the gears and other mechanical pieces were cast to their specifications by the foundry. The story is that McCormick engineers were twice caught in the Overby brother's work shop late at night. The McCormick corn picker is very similar in design, and came out shortly after the Overby brothers built their machine.
Fascinating pictures and history. Thanks for sharing.
What an interesting story. Having trouble visualizing how these pieces might have picked corn but will do some research. Was this at a museum?
This machine was donated by the Overby family to the Agricultural Heritage Museum on the campus of So. Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. It spent perhaps 70 years deteriorating in a grove of trees before the Museum acquired it. It is the last, and perhaps the most difficult, restoration project by my friend, the just retired curator of collections. To see more about this machine there are about 200 photos on the Museum's facebook site. See http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151818067755644.872183.243827675643&type=1The first photo on the site is a historic picture of how the corn picker originally looked.
Went to the Facebook site...treasure trove of photos. When I did a google search of"Overby corn picker" images I was shocked to see some of my own, totally unrelated, photos. Your restoration friends may be better served by putting their photos on a website or blog rather than on Facebook. The story should be out there as well...along, I hope, with a diagram of how it operates for city-folk like me. Sounds like a project for you....;-). Good luck.
This corn picker was designed to be pulled by a horse. The arms go on each side of one corn row. The wheels turn and drive chains and a wooden elevator which pulls corn cobs from the plant. You can see that the rollers are geared, so they turn opposite directions which removed the husk from the cobs which then fall into another elevator up to a horse drawn wagon which goes along side the picker. The Ag Museum does have a photo curator, and I will forward your excellent suggestion. Perhaps google came up with your site because we had been discussing a corn picker?
Your explanation is very helpful in visualizing how it worked; thanks. And your reasoning sounds logical as to why google latched on to my images but that seems so unfair to the people doing all the work and not helpful for others looking for information. I had assumed google was smarter than that.
Google smart? Don't think so. I believe they are like computers, fast but without any real sense. They just scan for words, and often their suggestions are way off subject.
I love all the detail you show - it's very photogenic. Love the history, too!
The Overby Corn Picker will be fully restored and perhaps put on display at the Agriculture Museum in a few months. It is an amazing story of invention, skill, and creativity to make a machine this complex, and then keep it running for perhaps a quarter century. The sensitive restoration maintained dozen of original repairs to the machine as they didn't want to lose that history. It was used to pick corn for so long that it was worn out.
Smells like work!:)
Robert, if you follow the facebook link above to the Ag Museum photos, you will see that it is a huge amount of work. It has kept their restoration specialist more than busy for about nine months.