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The combine (short for “combine harvester”) puts a reaper and thresher together in one machine. The first, horse- or ox-powered, combines appeared in Scotland in 1826, and Hiram Moore patented an American version in 1835. Early combines required teams of as many as 30 horses, and experiments with self-propelled steam versions began as early as the 1880’s: self-propelled combines with internal combustion engines appeared in the nineteen-teens and -twenties, but due to the Great Depression and World War II, self-propelled and tractor-pulled combines did not become common in the US until after World War II.

Mules pull farm equipment. Circa 1912.


Reproduced under Creative Commons license.

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