, of Chester county, Pa., Feb. 13, 1822, patented a
mower or grass-cutting machine which made considerable stir at the
time, in England as well as in this country. The Mechanic's Magazine
(British) [at page 145, of vol i]*, 1823, describes it as follows:
"The mowing machine of which
the above cut is a representation was invented by Jeremiah Bailey, of Chester
county, United States, who has obtained a patent for the same.
been extensively used and approved of during the last season in the
neighborhood of the patentee, and promises to be of great public
utility. It is understood that it will mow ten acres per day. The
following description will explain its operation and show the skill and
ingenuity of the inventor:
"This machine is supported by two wheels
on different axles. The left
wheel is fixed to its axle, so that they revolve together. The right
revolves on its axle like a common cart wheel, and is placed about a
foot further back than the other. The left works within the frame, and
has a circle of cogs screwed on the outside of the felloes, but of a
less diameter, to keep them from the ground. These cogs work into a
vertical cog wheel in front that turns an iron shaft extending
horizontally toward the center of the machine; upon the inner end of
this shaft is fixed a vertical face wheel, whose cogs turn a
trundle-head on a vertical shaft. To the bottom of this shaft, near the
ground, is fixed a circular horizontal framework, on the circumference
of which is screwed the scythes in six parts, laid horizontally, with
the edges turned outward, so as to form a complete circle. To keep the
scythes at a proper distance from the ground the bottom of the shaft is
supported on a piece of wood of the machine, secured by a tye from the
tail, somewhat resembling a sled runner, in which it works in the
manner of a gudgeon; with the inequalities of the ground the scythe
frame shaft and trundle-head rise and fall.
The edge of the scythe, in its revolution, passes under a whetstone
fixed on an axis, and revolving with the scythe. To create friction
this axis is more or less inclined to the line of the direction of the
revolution, according to the friction required. This stone, by means of
a sliding rod by which it is attached to the machine, rises and falls
with the scythes.
[To prevent too great a pressure of the trundle
shaft and scythe frames on the ground, a lever, like a steel-yard, is
fixed to the top of the shaft, extending into the tail of the machine,
where it is weighed according to the nature of the ground or grass.]*
The horse is put into shafts and walks in front of the left side
of the machine, and always on the mowed ground after the first swath is
[By the increase of velocity the scythes revolve
with great swiftness.]* The grass as it is cut is first thrown by the
against a rise in the scythe frame toward the center, and by the same
motion is afterward thrown off in a regular row, following the center
of the machine." ...
... TWO-WHEELED MOWERS WITH
Apparently the first conception of flexibility or automatic
adjustability to the ground surface in the cutting apparatus was shown
in the mower of Jeremiah Bailey, 1822. ...
Implements, by Robert
c.1894], pages 45, 78-79, 83, 86.
* Additional quotes from the Mechanic's Magazine inserted from Appendix to the specifications of English patents for reaping machines. (Comm. of patents), by Bennet Woodcroft, page 36, and illustration from Plate XIV shown below.
(source) as digitized by Google
- Today in Science History event description for issue of patent to Peter Gaillard on 4 Dec 1812.
- Today in Science History event description for issue of patent to Jeremiah Bailey on 13 Feb 1822.