May 1992

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Mowing Machines vs. Scythes

Now let us compare a little, the two modes of cutting grass. Day laborers, hired at $1 per day, will probably mow in medium grass 1 1/2 acres to the hand; that is, it will cost $5 or $6 to mow 8 acres, and 25 cents each hand for boarding will be $1,50 more, which, added to $5,50 makes $7 for mowing 8 acres. Now hire a man with a span of horses and a machine to cut 8 acres, at 50 cts. per acre and he will cut it in a day—$4,00, and $1,00 more will pay their boarding, making in all $5,00, and the grass will be spread better for curing than a man will spread it after the 5 hands, which, in the estimate, will make $3,00 advantage to the mower. At that rate, the machine will pay for itself in 40 days' mowing, besides saving so much hard labor. —Jos. Mosher, in Ohio Farmer.

From Moore's Rural New-Yorker: An Agricultural, Literary and Family Newspaper. Rochester, N.Y., page 214, Volume VI. No. 27, Saturday, July 7, 1855

—From the collection of Richard Sherer

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