Ch. 11 Identifications
John Deere's steel-tipped plow-
was an American blacksmith and manufacturer who
founded Deere & Company, one of the largest and leading agricultural and construction
equipment manufacturers in the world. Born in Rutland, Vermont, Deere moved to
Illinois and invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837.
Cyrus McCormick's mechanical reaper-
The first reapers cut the standing grain and,
with a revolving reel, swept it onto a platform from which it was raked off into piles by a
man walking alongside. It could harvest more grain than five men using the earlier
cradles. The next innovation, patented in 1858, was a self-raking reaper with an endless
canvas belt that delivered the cut grain to two men who riding on the end of the platform,
bundled it. Meanwhile, Cyrus McCormick had moved to Chicago, built a reaper factory,
and founded what eventually became the International Harvester Company. In 1872 he
produced a reaper which automatically bound the bundles with wire.
Samuel F. B. Morse-
was an American contributor to the invention of a single-wire
telegraph system based on European telegraphs, co-inventor of the Morse code, and an
American system of manufacturing-
was a set of manufacturing methods that evolved
in the 19th century. It involved semi-skilled labor using machine tools and jigs to make
standardized, identical, interchangeable parts, manufactured to a tolerance, which could
be assembled with a minimum of time and skill, requiring little to no fitting. The system
is also known as
because of the history of its development by the
United States Department of War in the Springfield and Harpers Ferry armories (and
their inside and outside gun-making contractors). The name "American system" came not
from any aspect of the system that is unique to the American national character, but
simply from the fact that for a time in the 19th century it was strongly associated with the
American companies who first successfully implemented it, and how their methods
contrasted (at that time) with those of British and continental European companies.
Within a few decades, manufacturing technology had evolved further, and the ideas
behind the "American" system were in use worldwide.
are parts that are for practical purposes identical. They are made
to specifications that ensure that they are so nearly identical that they will fit into any
device of the same type. One such part can freely replace another, without any custom
fitting (such as filing). This interchangeability allows easy assembly of new devices, and
easier repair of existing devices, while minimizing both the time and skill required of the
person doing the assembly or repair.
Catharine Beecher, a Treatise on Domestic Economy-