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History Lesson of the Week: Origins of Hay Harvesting

Long before disc-mower's or discbine's there were Hay Knives, Sythe's, Sickle's and Machete's.

Can you imagine the back breaking labor it took to weild any one of these, even before Hay Knives became popular, Sythes and Sickles were a basic tool of ever farmer who had any sort of crop that needed to be harvested at the base, i.e. wheat, barley, etc. tells us that by the 20th century that "Scythe grinding was a vile occupation, and the almost certain risk of silicosis, meant that many scythe-grinders died by the time they reached 40. However the scythe-grinders union was strong, and very active in the Sheffield of the 1850s. Machinery was [eventually] destroyed, factory owners were shot at, and the secretary of the Scythe Grinders Union, Michael Thompson, was accused by Joshua Tyzack, [who held a Monopoly on Scythe Grinding] of paying men to blow up scythe grinding wheels with gunpowder. The union hustled 14 scythe grinders out of the country to avoid their prosecution."

Believe it or not, WSJ1 tells us that Scythes are starting to make a comeback, in their article from June 2012, "Who needs a Weed Wacker...." the article states that the reason for the comeback is the fact that they, "don't use gas, don't get hot, don't make noise, do make for exercise, and do cut grass1 .

To be Continued in the meantime enjoy the wonderful one of kind Paul Harvey tell us "So God Made a Farmer" ->

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