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The Romance of the Reaper   By: (1869-1951)

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THE ROMANCE OF THE REAPER

[Illustration: A CHICAGO MOWER IN SIBERIA]

THE ROMANCE OF THE REAPER

by

HERBERT N. CASSON

Author of "The Romance of Steel."

Illustrated from Photographs

"And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together." Dean Swift.

New York Doubleday, Page & Company 1908

Copyright, 1907, 1908, by Everybody's Magazine

Copyright, 1908, by Doubleday, Page & Company Published, May, 1908

All Rights Reserved, Including That of Translation into Foreign Languages, Including the Scandinavian

TO THE FARMERS OF THE UNITED STATES WHOSE ENERGY AND PROGRESSIVENESS HAVE MADE THIS WONDER STORY COME TRUE

PREFACE

This is the story of our most useful business. It is a medley of mechanics, millionaires, kings, inventors and farmers; and it is intended for the average man and woman, boy and girl. Although I have taken great pains to make this book accurate, I have written it in the fashion of romance, because it tells a story that every American ought to know.

The fact is that the United States owes much more to the Reaper than it owes to the factory or the railroad or the Wall Street Stock Exchange. Without the magical grain machinery that gives us cheap bread, the whole new structure of our civilisation, with all its dazzling luxuries and refinements, would be withered by the blight of Famine. This may sound strange and sensational to those who have been bred in the cities, but it is true.

The reaper has done more to chase the wolf from the door to abolish poverty and drudgery and hand labour, than any other invention of our day. It has done good without any backwash of evil. It has not developed any new species of social parasite, as so many modern improvements have done. It has not added one dollar to the unclean hoard of a stock gambler, nor turned loose upon the public a single idle millionaire.

The reaper is our best guarantee of prosperity. In spite of our periodical panics, which prove, by the way, that the men who provide us with banks are not as efficient as the men who provide us with bread, we are certain to rebound into prosperity and social progress as long as we continue to make three hundred harvesting machines every working day one every two minutes. The rising flood of wheat is bound to submerge the schemers and the pessimists alike.

And it is the reaper, too, which has done most to make possible a nobler human race, by lessening the power of that ancient motive the Search for Food. Every harvester that clicks its way through the yellow grain means more than bread. It means more comfort, more travel, more art and music, more books and education. In this large fact lies the real Romance of the Reaper.

In gathering the material for this book I have been greatly assisted by Messrs. E. J. Baker, of the Farm Implement News ; B. B. Clarke, of the American Thresherman ; Ralph Emerson, of Rockford, Ill; C. W. Marsh, of De Kalb, Ill.; Edwin D. Metcalf and T. M. Osborne, of Auburn, N. Y., Henry Wallace, of Wallace's Farmer , William N. Whiteley, of Springfield, Ohio; and the officials of the International Harvester Company, who made it possible for me to have free access to all of its works and to familiarise myself with its manner of doing business in this country and abroad.

Also, I take pleasure in reproducing the following editorial note from Everybody's Magazine , in which four chapters of this book were first printed:

"President Roosevelt in his message of December 3rd said: 'Modern industrial conditions are such that combination is not only necessary, but inevitable.... Corporation and labour union alike have come to stay... Continue reading book >>




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