FACTOID # 27: If you're itching to live in a trailer park, hitch up your home and head to South Carolina, where a whopping 18% of residences are mobile homes.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Threshing machine

The thrashing machine, or, in modern spelling, threshing machine (or simply thresher), was a machine first invented by Scottish mechanical engineer Andrew Meikle for use in agriculture. It was invented (c.1784) for the separation of grain from stalks and husks. For thousands of years, grain was separated by hand with flails, and was very laborious and time consuming. Mechanization of this process took much of the drudgery out of farm labour. Wind turbines The scientific definition of a machine is any device that transmits or modifies energy. ... This article is about the country. ... Mechanical engineering is the application of physical principles to the creation of useful devices, objects and machines. ... Andrew Meikle (1719- 27 November 1811) was an early mechanical engineer credited with, in about 1786, inventing (though some say he only improved on an earlier design) the threshing machine (used for removing the outer husks from grains of wheat, etc; occasionally also known as a thrashing machine), regarded as...

Threshing machine from 1881
Threshing machine from 1881


Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1447x785, 785 KB) Source: cropped from http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1447x785, 785 KB) Source: cropped from http://www. ...

Early Social Impacts

The Swing Riots in the UK were partly a result of the threshing machine. Following years of war, high taxes and low wages, farm laborers finally snapped in 1830. These farm laborers had faced unemployment for a number of years due to the widespread introduction of the threshing machine and the policy of enclosing fields. No longer were thousands of men needed to tend the crops, a few would suffice. With fewer jobs, lower wages and no prospects of things improving for these workers the threshing machine was the final straw, the machine was to place them on the brink of starvation. The Swing Rioters smashed threshing machines and threatened farmers who had them. The Swing Riots were a widespread uprising by the rural workers of the arable south and east of England in 1830. ... For other uses of the term see Enclosure (disambiguation) Enclosure (also inclosure) is the process of conversion of common land to private ownership. ...

The riots were dealt with very harshly. Nine of the rioters were hanged and a further 450 were transported to Australia.

Later Adoption

Early threshing machines were hand fed and horse powered. They were small by today's standards and were about the size of an upright piano.

John Ridley, an Anglo-Australian inventor, also developed a threshing machine in South Australia in 1843.[1]. John Ridley (26 May 1806 – 25 November 1887) was an English/Australian farmer and inventor of a threshing machine. ... Capital Adelaide Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Marjorie Jackson-Nelson Premier Mike Rann (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 11  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $59,819 (5th)  - Product per capita  $38,838/person (7th) Population (End of September 2006)  - Population  1,558,200 (5th)  - Density  1. ...

The 1881 Household Cyclopedia said of Meikle's machine:

"Since the invention of this machine, Mr. Meikle and others have progressively introduced a variety of improvements, all tending to simplify the labor, and to augment the quantity of the work performed. When first erected, though the grain was equally well separated from the straw, yet as the whole of the straw, chaff, and grain, was indiscriminately thrown into a confused heap, the work could only with propriety be considered as half executed. By the addition of rakes, or shakers, and two pairs of fanners, all driven by the same machinery, the different processes of thrashing, shaking, and winnowing are now all at once performed, and the grain immediately prepared for the public market. When it is added, that the quantity of grain gained from the superior powers of the machine is fully equal to a twentieth part of the crop, and that, in some cases, the expense of thrashing and cleaning the grain is considerably less than what was formerly paid for cleaning it alone, the immense saving arising from the invention will at once be seen.
"The expense of horse labor, from the increased value of the animal and the charge of his keeping, being an object of great importance, it is recommended that, upon all sizable farms, that is to say, where two hundred acres [800,000 m²], or upwards, of grain are sown, the machine should be worked by wind, unless where local circumstances afford the conveniency of water. Where coals are plenty and cheap, steam may be advantageously used for working the machine."

Farming Process

Threshing is just one process in getting cereals to the grinding mill and customer. The wheat needs to be grown, cut, stooked (bundled}, hauled, threshed, and then the grain hauled to an elevator and the chaff baled. For many years each of these steps were an individual process, requiring teams of workers and many machines. In the steep hill wheat country of Palouse in the Northwest of the United States, steep ground meant moving machinery around was problematic and prone to rolling. To reduce the amount of work on the sidehills, the idea arose of combining the wheat binder and thresher into one machine--a combined harvester. About 1910, horse pulled combines appeared and became a success. Later, gas and diesel engines appeared with other refinements and specifications. A set of lifts in the lower level of a London Underground station. ... A straw bale is a bundle of straw tightly bound with twine or wire. ... The Palouse is a region of hi peopleEastern Washington, North Central Idaho, and, in some definitions, extending south into northeast Oregon. ...

Modern Developments

In Europe and Americas

Modern day combine harvesters (or simply combines) operate on the same principles and use the same components as the original threshing machines built in the 19th century. Combines also perform the reaping operation at the same time. The name combine is derived from the fact that the two steps are combined in a single machine. Also, they are self-powered, usually by a diesel engine, and self-propelled. A LEXION Combine. ... A LEXION Combine. ...

Today, as in the 19th century, the threshing begins with a cylinder and concave. The cylinder has serrated bars, and rotates at high speed (about 500 RPM), so that the bars beat against the grain. The concave is curved to match the curve of the cylinder, and serves to hold the grain as it is beaten. The beating releases the grain from the straw and chaff.

Next, the beaten grain is lifted through a set of straw walkers, which carry the large pieces of straw away allowing the grain and chaff to fall below. Below the straw walkers, a fan blows a stream of air across the falling grain, removing dust and fines and blowing them away.

The grain falls into a set of two sieves mounted on an assembly called a shoe. The sieve is shaken mechanically. The top sieve has larger openings, and serves to remove large pieces of chaff from the grain stream. The lower sieve separates clean grain, which falls through, from incompletely threshed pieces. The incompletely threshed grain is returned to the cylinder by means of a system of conveyors, where the process repeats.

Some threshing machines were equipped with a bagger, which invariably held two bags, one being filled, and the other being replaced with an empty. A worker called a sewer removed and replaced the bags, and sewed full bags shut with a needle and thread. Other threshing machines would discharge grain from a conveyor, for bagging by hand. Combines are equipped with a grain tank, which accumulates grain for deposit in a truck or wagon.

It was neverwidely used by the average farmer. Only the farmers with alot of land and money had one. It took alot of labor to do. Thanks,

A large amount of chaff and straw would accumulate around a threshing machine, and several innovations, such as the air chaffer, were developed to deal with this. Combines generally chop and disperse straw as they move through the field, though the chopping is disabled when the straw is to be baled, and chaff collectors are sometimes used to prevent the dispersal of weed seed throughout a field.

The corn sheller was almost identical in design, with slight modifications to deal with the larger kernel size and presence of cobs. Modern-day combines can be adjusted to work with any grain crop, and many unusual seed crops.

Both the older and modern machines require a good deal of skill to operate. The concave clearance, cylinder speed, fan velocity, sieve sizes, and feeding rate must be adjusted for crop conditions.

Another development in Asia

From early 20th century, a self-powered threshing machines, run by a gasoline or diesel engine, has been developing in a different way. It has been designed especially for a use to thresh rice, because rice is the most important crop there.

Even after combine was invented and became popular, a new compact-size thresher called harvester with wheels, self-powered by an engine had designed, and still at present it is available from a Japanese agricultural manufacturer. Such a small-size machine is very convenient to handle in a small field at mountain areas where a large machine, such as combine is not usable.

People there use this harvester with a modern compact binder. New Reaper McCormick Harvester and Binder A modern compact binder For other uses, see Binder (disambiguation). ...


Operating the thresher was said to be exhausting work. When the threshers would come home they were known for consuming large amounts of food. This created a phrase, commonly used by midwestern Baby Boomers, "Enough to feed a Thresher."[citation needed]

See also

Threshing is the process of beating cereal plants in order to separate the seeds or grains from the straw. ...


  1. ^ H. J. Finnis (1967). Ridley, John (1806 - 1887). Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2 p. 379. MUP. Retrieved on 2007-08-19.

The Dictionary of Australian Biography is a reference work containing information on notable people associated with Australian history. ... Melbourne University Publishing (MUP) is the book publishing arm of the University of Melbourne (Australia). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Threshing machine

  Results from FactBites:
Threshing machine - definition of Threshing machine in Encyclopedia (664 words)
The thrashing machine, or, in modern spelling, threshing machine, was a machine invented by Scottish mechanical engineer Andrew Meikle for use in agriculture.
Some threshing machines were equipped with a bagger, which invariably held two bags, one being filled, and the other being replaced with an empty.
A large amount of chaff and straw would accumulate around a threshing machine, and several innovations, such as the air chaffer, were developed to deal with this.
Threshing Machines (1891 words)
Threshing machines, designed for rapidly removing the husks from grain, were such an advance that soon many farms had them.
A poor woman being employed to work on a threshing machine had her clothing caught in the machinery and one of her legs was drawn in and dreadfully mangled, amputation was resorted to and hopes are entertained about her recovery, she was aged about 68 years.
He was working with the threshing machine moving straw from the elevator when his head came in contact with one of the spikes on the elevator, tearing open his cheek from temple to chin.
  More results at FactBites »



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m