1902 Encyclopedia > Agriculture > Harrows

(Part 20)



When a field has been broken up by the plough, it is usually next operated upon by the harrow, whether the object be to prepare it for and to cover in seeds, or to bring clods and roots to the surface. This is virtually a rake dragged by horses. In its most ordinary form, the framework is of wood with iron tines, of which each harrow contains twenty. Formerly each horse dragged a single harrow, although two or more were worked abreast. Under this arrangement the hallows had too much independent motion, and were liable to get foul of each other. This has been remedied, first, partially, by coupling them joining, which allows a separate vertical motion, but only a combines horizontal one. A rhomboidal form is also given to this pair of harrows --- usually called brakes --- so that when properly yoked, no two tines run in the same track. This description of harrow is now frequently made entirely of iron.

Howard’s patent harrows are a further improvement on this implement. The zig-zag form given to each section enables the whole so to fit in, that the working parts are equally distributed over the space operated upon. The number of tines is 75, instead of 40, as in the form last noticed, and yet, from the form of frame and manner of coupling, the tines are well-apart, and have each a separate line of action. Practical farmers speak very highly of the effective working of this implement. By an exceedingly simple contrivance, the central part when turned on its back forms a sledge on which its fellows can be piled and drawn along from one field to another. A light description of harrows, wit smaller and more numerous tines, is sometimes used for covering in grass-seeds. If a harrow is to be used at all for this purpose, Howard’s is a very suitable kind, but a much better implement is Cartwright’s chain-harrow, which abrades the surface over which it is drawn to a degree that could not be anticipated from a mere inspection of the implement. It is formed by attaching to a draught-bar pairs of square-linked chains, each 7 _ feet long, connecting them by cross links, and keeping the whole expanded by two movable stretchers. The old-fashioned ponderous break harrow is now entirely discarded, and the more efficient cultivator used in its stead. A form of the latter, from its close resemblance to harrows, is noticed now rather than before. It is a very strong iron harrow, with the tines made longer, and very considerably curved forwards. An iron rod with a loop handle is fixed to the hind bar, by means of which the driver can easily hitch it up and get rid of weeds, &c. two such harrows are coupled together and drawn by four horses. Its pulverizing power is very considerable. But when clods have been brought to the surface, they are most effectually reduced by various kinds of rollers.

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