What did cyrus mccormick contribute to the business of agriculture

What did Cyrus McCormick do for a living?

Subsequently, Cyrus also served as a leading public figure and remained active in Presbyterian causes as well as Democratic politics. An extraordinary inventor with unparalleled business acumen, Cyrus McCormick will always be remembered for his contributions to the advancement and mechanization of agriculture.

Why is McCormick important to American agriculture?

While his competitors focused on farmers working the rocky, hilly farmlands of established eastern states, McCormick left his native Virginia and planted his flag in booming Chicago. The location gave McCormick a huge advantage, and his name soon became synonymous with innovative equipment for farm productivity.

How did Cyrus McCormick’s Reaper change agriculture?

Because his reaper enabled much fewer farmers to produce much more grain, Cyrus McCormick not only transformed agriculture, but also diversified American industry. In 1831, 90% of the U.S. population was involved in farming. Today, only 2% of the population produces more food than the country can consume.

Why is Cyrus McCormick called the father of modern agriculture?

Cyrus McCormick is remembered as “The Father of Modern Agriculture” because he made it possible for farmers to expand their small, personal farms into much larger operations. His reaping machine brought an end to hours of tedious fieldwork and encouraged the invention and manufacture of other labor-saving farm implements and machinery.

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What innovations did McCormick use to increase sales?

To increase sales, he used innovations such as mass production, advertising, public demonstration, warranty of product, and extension of credit to his customers.


What was the impact of McCormick’s reaper on farmers?

If a farm had insufficient hired or enslaved workers for a harvest, the farmer faced crop losses or the high cost of new labourers during peak demand. When McCormick’s reaper was tested on a neighbour’s farm in 1831, it offered the hope that the yield of the farmer’s fields would soon not be limited to the amount of labour available. The machine had defects, not the least of which was a clatter so loud that enslaved people were required to walk alongside it to calm the frightened horses.


How many machines did McCormick sell in 1856?

By 1856 McCormick was selling more than 4,000 machines a year.


Where did McCormick go to see wheat?

An 1844 visit to the prairie states in the Midwest convinced McCormick that the future of his reaper and of the world’s wheat production lay in this vast fertile land rather than in the rocky, hilly East.


When did McCormick take out his patent?

McCormick took out a patent in 1834, but his chief interest at that time was the family’s iron foundry. When the foundry failed in the wake of the bank panic of 1837, leaving the family deeply in debt, McCormick turned to his still-unexploited reaper and improved it.


Who was the main competitor of the reaper?

McCormick’s main rival was Obed Hussey, whose machine proved to be inferior as a reaper but superior as a mower. When McCormick’s basic patent expired in 1848, competing manufacturers—Hussey among them—tried to block renewal. The ensuing legal battle was but one of many in McCormick’s career. He was involved in endless litigation not only with rival manufacturers and infringers but also with the New York Central Railroad, which he sued for $20,000 damages following an altercation over an $8.75 overcharge on his wife’s baggage. He fought this particular case up to the Supreme Court three times—and won, even though it took 20 years. He did not win his 1848 patent renewal battle, however. Except for improvements on the reaper patented after 1831, the basic machine passed into the public domain. McCormick then set out to beat his manufacturing competitors another way: by outselling them.


Who invented the reaper?

Cyrus McCormick, in full Cyrus Hall McCormick, (born February 15, 1809, Rockbridge county, Virginia, U.S.—died May 13, 1884, Chicago, Illinois), American industrialist and inventor who is generally credited with the development (from 1831) of the mechanical reaper. McCormick was the eldest son of Robert McCormick—a farmer, blacksmith, and inventor.


Who is Cyrus McCormick?

See McCormick family. Signature. Cyrus Hall McCormick (February 15, 1809 – May 13, 1884) was an American inventor and businessman who founded the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, which later became part of the International Harvester Company in 1902. Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, he and many members …


Who was the African American who helped Cyrus build the McCormick plantation?

Building on his father’s years of development, Cyrus took up the project aided by Jo Anderson, an enslaved African-American on the McCormick plantation. A few machines based on a design of Patrick Bell of Scotland (which had not been patented) were available in the United States in these years. The Bell machine was pushed by horses. The McCormick design was pulled by horses and cut the grain to one side of the team.


How many children did Cyrus McCormick have?

They had met two years earlier and shared views about business, religion and Democratic party politics. They had seven children: Cyrus Hall McCormick Jr. was born May 16, 1859.


How many reapers did Cyrus sell?

Using the endorsement of his father’s first customer for a machine built by McPhetrich, Cyrus continuously attempted to improve the design. He finally sold seven reapers in 1842, 29 in 1843, and 50 in 1844. They were all built manually in the family farm shop.


What year did McCormick make reapers?

In 1856 , McCormick’s factory was producing more than 4000 reapers each year, mostly sold in the Midwest and West. In 1861, however, Hussey’s patent was extended but McCormick’s was not. McCormick’s outspoken opposition to Lincoln and the anti-slavery Republican party may not have helped his cause. McCormick decided to seek help from the U.S. Congress to protect his patent.


What was the McCormick family doing in 1839?

The panic of 1837 almost caused the family to go into bankruptcy when a partner pulled out. In 1839 McCormick started doing more public demonstrations of the reaper, but local farmers still thought the machine was unreliable. He did sell one in 1840, but none for 1841.


What was the impact of the reaper on agriculture?

Numerous prizes and medals were awarded McCormick for his reaper, which reduced human labor on farms while increasing productivity. Thus, it contributed to the industrialization of agriculture as well as migration of labor to cities in numerous wheat-growing countries (36 by McCormick’s death). The French government named McCormick an Officier de la Légion d’honneur in 1851, and he was elected a corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1878 “as having done more for the cause of agriculture than any other living man.”


How did McCormick’s reaper affect agriculture?

The impact of McCormick’s reaper was profound. Crops could be cut far faster than before, and with fewer farm hands to pay. By some estimates, about 75% of the U.S. labor force was connected to agriculture in 1820; by 1968, that number had dropped to just 5%. Displaced farm workers joined America’s westward expansion and contributed to the industrialization of the U.S. economy.


What city did McCormick choose?

While rival makers like Obed Hussey moved further east, McCormick would choose then-sleepy Chicago. The city’s connections to rail and water transportation routes were just what McCormick needed to reach his eager customers across America’s heartland.


How did the reaper help the North?

The abundance of lower-priced food made possible by the reaper ultimately helped prolong the North’s fighting stamina while still producing valuable revenues from sales to the old world. McCormick’s business had always been a family affair.


When did Cyrus patent the horse drawn reaper?

For the next 30 years, he tried in vain to refine and commercialize it. Working with one of the family’s slaves, Cyrus took over the project and by 1831 was demonstrating his improved horse-drawn reaper in nearby villages. He patented the device in 1834, but his design was no match for the area’s varying terrain.


What contributed to the industrialization of the U.S. economy?

Displaced farm workers join ed America’s westward expansion and contributed to the industrialization of the U.S. economy. Ironically, McCormick’s huge success in business may have contributed to the end of the southern way of life he grew up with and held dear.


Where did McCormick plant his flag?

While his competitors focused on farmers working the rocky, hilly farmlands of established eastern states, McCormick left his native Virginia and planted his flag in booming Chicago. The location gave McCormick a huge advantage, and his name soon became synonymous with innovative equipment for farm productivity.


Who made the first mechanical reaping machine?

However, quality control became an issue and McCormick decided he needed a central facility to manufacture his equipment under his watchful eye. Cyrus McCormick built and sold some of the earliest practical mechanical reaping machines.


Why did Cyrus McCormick become famous?

However, by the time of his death in 1884, both his fame and his business were secure. Because his reaper enabled much fewer farmers to produce much more grain, Cyrus McCormick not only transformed agriculture, but also diversified American industry. In 1831, 90% of the U.S. population was involved in farming.


What did McCormick invent?

As a boy, McCormick had a talent for both agriculture and inventing. At the age of 15, he invented a lightweight cradle for carting harvested grain (1824). Meanwhile, McCormick’s father, Robert, was working in the farm’s smithy on an invention of his own: a horse-drawn reaping machine.


Why was McCormick elected to the Academy of Sciences?

McCormick was elected into the French Academy of Sciences for “having done more for agriculture than any other living man .”


When did Robert McCormick give up on producing a working model?

When Robert McCormick finally gave up on producing a working model, in the early fall of 1831, his son took over the challenge. At that time, grain was harvested by the same manual process that had been used since the dawn of agriculture.


How long did it take for McCormick to build the first mechanical reaper?

Within six weeks – before the 1831 harvest was over – he had built, field-tested, remodelled, and successfully demonstrated the world’s first mechanical reaper to the public. McCormick had singlehandedly increased farms’ potential yield at least tenfold, with minimal effort by farmers.


Why is Cyrus McCormick considered the father of agriculture?

Cyrus McCormick is remembered as “The Father of Modern Agriculture” because he made it possible for farmers to expand their small, personal farms into much larger operations. His reaping machine brought an end to hours of tedious fieldwork and encouraged the invention and manufacture of other labor-saving farm implements and machinery.


Who is Cyrus McCormick?

Biography of Cyrus McCormick, Inventor of the Mechanical Reaper. Mary Bellis covered inventions and inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years. She is known for her independent films and documentaries, including one about Alexander Graham Bell.


What year did McCormick make the binder?

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed McCormick’s company, but the family rebuilt it and McCormick continued to innovate. In 1872 , he produced a reaper that automatically bound the bundles with wire. Eight years later, he came out with a binder that, using a knotting device invented by Wisconsin pastor John F. Appleby, bound the handles with twine. Despite fierce competition and legal battles over patents, the company continued to prosper.


What was the name of the medal that McCormick won at the Great Exposition?

In 1851, McCormick gained international fame when his reaper won the Gold Medal at the landmark Great Exposition in London’s Crystal Palace. He became a leading public figure and remained active in Presbyterian causes as well as Democratic politics.


What innovations did McCormick make?

McCormick and his competitors continued to improve their products, leading to such innovations as self-raking reapers, with a continually moving canvas belt that delivered the cut grain to two men riding on the end of the platform, who bundled it.


Why did McCormick set aside his invention?

Ironically, after he had received the patent, McCormick set aside his invention to focus on his family’s iron foundry, which failed in the wake of the bank panic of 1837 and left the family deeply in debt.


What was the first step in a transition from hand labor to the mechanized farming of today?

The reaper was eventually replaced by the self-propelled combine, operated by one man, which cuts, gathers, threshes, and sacks the grain mechanically. But the original reaper was the first step in a transition from hand labor to the mechanized farming of today. It brought about an industrial revolution, as well as a vast change in agriculture .


Who was Cyrus McCormick?

His contribution to the advancement and mechanization of agriculture is unparalleled. He was elected as a member of the French Academy of Sciences.


When was McCormick Harvesting Machine Company founded?

In 1847, he founded the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company in Chicago to produce, market and distribute reapers. By 1858, this company became the largest farm equipment manufacturer in the United States with assets in excess of $1 million. This was also the year that he was married.


How long did it take for McCormick to make a reaper?

He built, tested and demonstrated it within a span of 18 months. Sales were slow to pick up and for the first few years, McCormick sold just one or two reapers each year. He received a patent for his design in 1834 and another one for improvements to the original in 1845.


Where was the McCormick machine made?

As the machine’s reputation became better known, however, orders started to pick up. McCormick had to move production from the family’s farm to a factory in New York. In 1851, McCormick’s reaper won the Gold Medal at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London. He began to face trouble with competitors at the same time.


When was the cradle for grain invented?

McCormick’s disposition towards invention was apparent even as a child, when in 1824 , at the age of 15, he invented a lightweight cradle for harvesting grain. McCormick’s father was an inventor as well and McCormick based his harvester model on his father’s earlier work and research.


Who invented the mechanical reaper?

Cyrus McCormick invented “Mechanical Reaper”. Cyrus Hall McCormick, known as “the Father of Agriculture” was an American inventor responsible for the production, marketing and distribution of the mechanical reaper. McCormick was born in 1809 and spent his childhood at “Walnut Grove” – his family’s 500 acre farm in Virginia.


Did McCormick’s son take over the automation?

The senior McCormick had tried to see his invention through but despite several attempts he could never make a model reliable enough to sell. His son took over the seemingly herculean task after his father had given up, as automation was a concept viewed with distrust and suspicion in those days.


What was McCormick involved in?

In addition to being an inventor and industrialist, McCormick also became involved in philanthropic affairs and was active in the Presbyterian Church and the Democratic Party. He acted as the principal benefactor in establishing the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.


Why was Cyrus McCormick inducted into the Hall of Fame?

In 1878, he was elected to the prestigious French Academy of Sciences for “having done more for the cause of agriculture than any other living man.”. In 1975, Cyrus McCormick was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame.


How many reapers did Cyrus sell?

The following year, he sold one reaper and after continuously working to enhance the machine, Cyrus succeeded and was able to sell 50 reapers in 1844. In 1845, he patented a second design of his improved reaper.


How did Cyrus boost his business?

With the development of railroads leading to the expansion of his business, Cyrus also boosted the sales of his machine by using creative marketing techniques such as mass production, high publicity, hiring salesmen for public demonstration in the field, and providing warranty of product.


Where was the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company located?

In 1847, he established the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company in Chicago to manufacture, market, and distribute reapers.


Where was Cyrus McCormick born?

Childhood & Early Life. Cyrus Hall McCormick was born on February 15, 1809, Rockbridge County, Virginia, U.S., to Robert McCormick, a farmer and inventor, and his wife, Mary Ann “Polly” Hall. He was the eldest of the eight children of his parents. McCormick received limited education from local schools but possessed his father’s creative edge …


What happened to McCormick’s factory?

During the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, when the McCormick factory was destroyed, his wife encouraged McCormick to rebuild the company.


How did the Mechanical Reaper help the United States?

The Mechanical reaper helped the United states because it helped us produce crops (raw materials) to trade and it gave us food and our farmers were not as poor anymore. This invention is still used today they are just very much improved (speed and power) and called a combine.


What impact did the mechanical reaper have on the region?

The impact the mechanical reaper had on the region was: The Mechanical Reaper was built by Cyrus McCormick in 1831. This invention allowed farmers to quickly harvest crops. It allowed the farmers to sell things faster and in a larger bulk.


Overview

Cyrus Hall McCormick (February 15, 1809 – May 13, 1884) was an American inventor and businessman who founded the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, which later became part of the International Harvester Company in 1902. Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, he and many members of the McCormick family became prominent residents of Chicago. M…


Early life and career

Cyrus McCormick was born on February 15, 1809, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He was the eldest of eight children born to inventor Robert McCormick Jr. (1780–1846) and Mary Ann “Polly” Hall (1780–1853). As Cyrus’ father saw the potential of the design for a mechanical reaper, he applied for a patent to claim it as his own invention. He worked for 28 years on a horse-drawn mecha…


Move to Chicago

In 1847, after their father’s death, Cyrus and his brother Leander (1819–1900) moved to Chicago, where they established a factory to build their machines. At the time, other cities in the midwestern United States, such as Cleveland, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin were more established and prosperous. Chicago had no paved streets at the time, but the city had the best water transportation from the east over the Great Lakes for his raw materials, as well as …


Legal controversies and success

Another McCormick Company competitor was John Henry Manny of Rockford, Illinois. After the Manny Reaper beat the McCormick version at the Paris Exposition of 1855, McCormick filed a lawsuit against Manny for patent infringement. McCormick demanded that Manny stop producing reapers, and pay McCormick $400,000.


Family relationships

On January 26, 1858, 49-year-old Cyrus McCormick married his secretary Nancy “Nettie” Fowler (1835–1923). She was an orphan from New York who had graduated from the Troy Female Seminary and moved to Chicago. They had met two years earlier and shared views about business, religion and Democratic party politics. They had seven children:
1. Cyrus Hall McCormick Jr. was born May 16, 1859.


Activism

McCormick had always been a devout Presbyterian, as well as advocate of Christian unity. He also valued and demonstrated in his life the Calvinist traits of self-denial, sobriety, thriftiness, efficiency, and morality. He believed feeding the world, made easier by the reaper, was part of his religious mission in life.
A lifelong Democrat, before the American Civil War, McCormick had published editorials in his ne…


Later life and death

During the last four years of his life, McCormick became an invalid, after a stroke paralyzed his legs; he was unable to walk during his final two years. He died at home in Chicago on May 13, 1884. He was buried in Graceland Cemetery. He was survived by his widow, Nettie, who continued his Christian and charitable activities, within the United States and abroad, between 1890 and her death in 1923, donating $8 million (over $160 million in modern equivalents) to hospitals, disast…


Legacy and honors

Numerous prizes and medals were awarded McCormick for his reaper, which reduced human labor on farms while increasing productivity. Thus, it contributed to the industrialization of agriculture as well as migration of labor to cities in numerous wheat-growing countries (36 by McCormick’s death). The French government named McCormick an Officier de la Légion d’honneur in 1851, and he was elected a corresponding member of the French Academy of Scien…

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