The History of Threshing

Here’s another video of the threshing demonstration at a James Valley Threshing Show in the 1980’s.

John Westby posted it on YouTube and we’re linking to it. It runs about 9 minutes. Thank you John for making it available.

History of Threshing

Founding member and Past President Gordon Bergh explains the history of threshing…

Up until the late 1700’s, threshing had changed very little from Biblical times when straw was placed on the floor and animals driven across it to separate the grains from the heads, or when men did the job by beating the straw with flails. A few crude threshing machines were developed in the 1790’s, and the Pitts brothers devised a more successful machine in the 1830’s.

John Deere’s chilled steel plow began to take form in the 1840’s but it remained a single walking plow until wheels were added in the 1870’s. From 1875 to 1900, when the Dakotas were being settled, hand labor slowly gave way to the machine age, with the development of steam powered engines. Cyrus McCormick and J.I. Case Company were two influential manufacturers of the time. In 1900 gasoline engines began to take over more of the task horses and oxen had done for centuries.

The threshing demonstrations at the James Valley Threshers Show feature those early machines, and pay homage to the pioneers who settled in the Dakotas, as well as the pioneer equipment manufacturers who make agriculture the great industry it is now. (Exerpt from story by Gordon Bergh)