The News from Frederick, Maryland on June 9, 1970 · Page 18
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The News from Frederick, Maryland · Page 18

Frederick, Maryland
Issue Date:
Tuesday, June 9, 1970
Page 18
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O4 THE NEWS, Frafcvkfc, Taii.u. JWM ·, urn Ma king Hoy: From Scythe-Cut Grass To The Top Crop · "Make hay while the sun shines" . . . "a real haymaker" ... . "that ain't hay!" Almcwt everyone has heard these expressions at one time or 'another, but it's safe to assume tfiat few people have ever fiven nnich thought to the origin of these terms. And perhaps it's a 'good thing because they would have difficulty in tracking down 'such origins. The difficulty stems from the fact that haymaking operations have been around as long as recorded history. Indeed, one of the world's first agricultural writers, a Roman by the name of Cdumella, who was more hep to farming than fighting, penned some words about haying more than 2,000 years ago. He described making hay as "throwing hay loosely together for a few days to heat and concoct itself before putting into the mow." A lot has happened to haying since Columella's days when hay was looked upon merely as a handy way to feed stock. In early days little value was placed on the grass that was hand-cut with a crude scythe and placed in the mow with a pitchfork. Today we still are able to place an estimate of high value on things by saying . . . "and that ain't hay" . . . an indication that hay was once of little value. But such isn't the case today! Haymaking has become- such a precise, valuable agricultural science that such an exclamation no longer carries weight. Long neglected, hay is now one of the biggest crops in North America and there are instances where the per-ton market price of hay has exceeded the price of grain. But, the value of hay as a crop didn't keep pace with the development of agriculture through the ages. From Roman days through the Dark Ages, fanners were held in contempt by citizens of the cities and lords of the land. Slaves and serfs tilled the soil under a manorial system that offered little encouragement to the people who were developing better agricultural . methods. Despite this, it was only in the Dark Ages, following the fall of the Roman Empire, that agricultural development slowed down. . , THE BLACK DEATH STRIKES Then the Black Death wiped out half the population of England and spread through Europe. The farmer, with little help available, was faced with 'producing food to feed the .survivors. He met the challenge "with better implements powered · j»y larger teams of animals. Hay ^continued to be a crop that was Basically a fuel for the farmer's ^source of power -- his oxen and jjiorses. .. Cutting hay with a scythe, fjtorking it into piles, turning the ^piles several times/hefting it into *ja wagon by fork, then Unloading £.it by hand into haypiles soon rjhelped develop the brawn of the j haymakers. . These "men with *-bulging muscles were able to Develop tremendous power in the lowing of an arm. Many a ''townsman who was on the ^receiving end of such a swing in *jthe local inn became acutely ^aware of the power of a fthaymaker, and the ' term ^"delivering a real haymaker" .'found its way permanently into *'the English language, and is still »'mentioned occasionally by f 'boxing match announcers. v| For centuries, the scythe and r pitchfork continued to be the \'main implements for haymakers » in Europe. Their use was , extended to the English colonies where agriculture was blossoming into newly cleared frontier areas. By the time the colonists were declaring their independence from England, some enterprising Yankees had devised a "screw press" for putting hay into bales. Evidence of this baler is found in Washington living's "Life of ' ashington," where it is described as being an important part of the Battle of Boston. A HAY BALE FORT Colonial soldiers, seeing a large Redcoat army being assembled for an attack on Dorchester Heights, busied themselves during the night building a fort from the bated hay that was hand-fed into the presses. When the sun rose in the morning the British found themselves staring at a massive fort built of 700-pound hay bales. The English commander decided the fort was too strong to take and called of f the attack. Many agricultural implements were being invented and sold in large quantity in the United States during these years. But, little was done to improve haying methods even though the use of more farm animals was increasing the demand for hay as feed. At the beginning of the 19th century some models of mowers began to make their appearance on the farm scene as an outgrowth of the mower device on the reaper which had found its way into farm use in England as early as 1787. While America was fighting the War of 1812, agriculture inventors were at work devising better ways to feed the growing nation. It was during this period that mowers and rakes began to occupy the time of inventors. But, it wasn't until the mid 1800's that any great advances were made. Until this time farmers were forced to pay particular attention to the weather when they began to make hay. Because all the operation involved long days of hard work farmers would not chance haying operations when there was danger of losing their crop to a rain storm. "Make hay while the sun shines" meant just that to fanners who were prone to keep a keen eye on the horizon for storm clouds. Today we use the statement to indicate taking advantage of opportunities, many of which are in no way related to farming. Typical Midwest Haymarket in 1905 T*r» of the oentwy Portable Hay Press develop'a method of ytaf the bales without the use of the two men doing the job. He bad perfected hi* knojtter and was experimentiat with it when spotted by a group of toe* 1 businessmen. They coukTsee the effect the device would]have on farming and promptly boughtthe rights to the knotter. They then JSLsed the New Holtond Machine Company to begin production of New Holland balers. The war drained the farm manpower reservoir and- the baler became a prime example of modern labor saving inventions that were to make hay the nation's leading crop. "Grassland fanning" became a science that resulted in more and better hay crops to help feed a world at war By the end of the war, New Holland had established itself as the leader in grassland farming equipment. But the curtain was just going up on a whole new era in the history of haymaking. Farmers and scientists were at busy as the machinery inventors and they discovered new and valuable information about hay crops. They found that the animal nourishment value was in the leaves, not the stalk. So machines were designed to preserve the leaves.. The scientists found that crimping Wiciiuato «n»-- -- f--*· the stalk preserved the crop, so a crimper was devised to do the job easily. Then mowers were combined with a machine which spread the hay into windrows for proper conditioning prior to baling. The New Holland engineers devised a mowerconditioner that could put hay into either windrows or wide swaths, and the Haybine* mower-conditioner was born. Farmers liked (Continued On P«ge 5) Modern Automatic Bale Wagon in Action The Baler of the *70's with Bale Throwing Attachment FARM EQUIPMENT MOVES AHEAD But things really began to happen to farmers - and haymakers around 1850. Improvements in mowers, rakes, and hayloaders accompanied Other farm implement breakthroughs. Farmers were now able to plant larger crops with the knowledge that they would be able to harvest them with less danger of loss from weather. With larger hay crops possible farmers began to . see the commercial value in hay and by 1880 hay had become the nation's leading agricultural product in value. Packing, shipping and SAFE FOR LIVESTOCK "illinium handling of hay was an irregular business, but an important one. Horses were the mainstay of transportation in the nation, and hay was the fuel that kept the country moving. By 1895 the hay business had become so developed that the National Hay Association was formed in Cleveland, Ohio. This group, marking its 75th anniversary this year, has been deeply involved in matters affecting the transportation and handling of hay. In one historic battle near the turn of the century, the association came to grips with the nation's railroads which had increased the classification of hay for shipping purposes. That battle wound up in the U. S. Supreme Court, and results in an eventual amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act. Today, the National Hay Association is still active with members throughout the nation who grow, ship and distribute several million tons of hay each year. HAYMAKERS GET NEW TOOLS At the same time the National Hay Association was being formed, a small machine shop, destined to play a major role in haymaking in the future, began operations in New Holland, Pennsylvania. The company began building a new type non-freezing gasoline engine for the farm, and built and repaired the usual farm machinery of the period. And all across the country, inventor- farmers were developing improved haying tools. By 1900, mower cutter blades had increased to widths of eight feet and roller bearings and ball Dealings had been introduced to make mowers more efficient. Hay rakes had been steadily improved .from crude wooden rakes -- that resembled giant garden rakes pulled by horses -to the one-horse steel toothed sulky rake that dumped a row of hay with the pull of a lever. By 1900, side delivery rakes were being used to neatly pile continuous windrows of hay and straw and crews could start loading as soon as the rake started across a field. The movement of hay and straw from rural areas to cities developed into a great problem for growers and shippers. The cities were undergoing great expansion and horses were providing the bulk of transportation power. Trolley cars were horse powered. Delivery wagons demanded thousands of horses for power. Family carriages were the only practical method of commuting until rail lines were built to serve expanding areas. Even the city fire departments and police paddy wagons required horsepower. Haymarkets in the cities were the equivalent to today's fuel distribution centers and these buildings figured in many a historical event including the infamous Haymarket labor riot in Chicago in 1896. In the latter half of the 1800's some railroads began refusing to ship loose hay and demanded that hay and straw be baled. Baling presses were improved and made portable so they could be taken into fields, and bales weighing 200-300 pounds were made from hay that was hand fed into the presses. This hay was hauled to the press after it had been picked up by hand or with a horse drawn hay loader that found its way into use around 1850. Both twine and wire were used to tie bales, and the baling wire began to find it sway into a variety of other uses on farms. Machines and implements were "repaired" with bailing wire, and gradually many old machines, automobiles and even airplanes which were in a sad state of maintenance were referred to as being held together with baling wire. This wire, also known as hay wire, was so commonly used for repair work that things which were no longer functioning properly were said to have gone "haywire," a term which is still used when things go wrong. , A horse powered baler was invented that went through the fields and picked up hay from windrows. Two men sat at the rear of the baler and as bales emerged at the rear, they hand tied the bales. Eventually tractors were used to pull these balers, and this was the state of making hay in 1940 when the world faced the crisis of a global conflict. In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a farmer had been experimenting with previous models of balers trying to JAMESWAY Volume-Belt Cattle Feeder __ __m Feeds Fast without Separation Big Capacity Belt Simple Design - Low H.P. Galvanized Hood Works In-Bam or Out Come in Today for Details. GLADHILL TRACTOR MART FREDERICK, MARYLAND PHONE 633-6060 PRATT « LAMB1RT BARN t FENCE PAINT | (WNITE) Brighten up barns, out-buildings and fence* with this practical, economical white paint by PkL. Excellent hiding power and elasticity. Completely lead-free -- safe for livestock. Stands up to extremes of weather. Free-chalking qualities. Stays white (tie. lommr MUC1 longer. |«.f| *»JL NOW ONIY $5.45 KR OAL From the Dairy Farm and the DAIRY FARMER King FLOOR SERVICE . ·^^coanetf ixtrmo. C(CO«TINJ. 712 EAST ST. FREDERICK, MD. GOOD EATING, GOOD HEALTH, GOOD BUSINESS WE SERVE THE DAIRY Through his effort and enterprise, the dairy farmer boosts both physical and financial well-being. Good Eating and Good Health for consumers come from delicious, nutritious dairy products. And Good Busi- neM f° r oil conies from the dairy farmers who make a big contribution to the prosperity of this community. Wff Sf*Vf THE DAIRY FARMER. We are proud to have a part in local dairy progress, and we always stand ready to help with the financial needs of dairymen through our Full Banking Services. Frederick County National Bank 1 NORTH MARKET STREEi BRANCH OFFICE: 1602 ROSEMONT AVL. PHONE MO 2-2191 PHO NE 662-6444 Member Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF SUCCESSFUL BANKING THE FREDERICK MOTOR COMPANY . . MOO RANGER FORD PICKUPS COME IN FOUR LEVELS OF LUXURY CUSTOM ft SPORT CUSTOM ft RANGER ft RANGER XLT F-100 RANGER X L T . . . LOW RATE FINANCING ON THE SPOT DELIVERY IX THE HEART OF FORD COUNTRY 117 WEST PATRICK STREET PHONE 663-6111 FREDERICK, MD. V lEWSPAPERr

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