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Mark Underwood and his cousin Ralph Lagergren have pooled their talents and their funds to bring to market Mark's invention, an innovative harvester they hope will take the farm industry by storm. The author takes readers through the saga of the cousins' struggles: raising capital, obtaining patents, and presenting the harvester to a long line of corporate suitors. Illustrations.
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Dream Reaper: A Story of Modern Agriculture based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Dream Reaper by Craig Canine is one of two books in the Sloan Technology Series (the other is Naked to the Bone) that is essentially two histories in one. The two histories in Dream Reaper are a history of the 13 year development effort of a radically new combine by Mark Underwood and his cousin Ralph Lagergren and the history of the evolution of modern agriculture. The two themes - new combine invention and development and agricultural history are interleaved in the book in the form of alternating chapters. With a chapter on the efforts of invention followed by a chapter on the history of one or more aspects of agriculture that were mentioned in the chapter about the development of the combine. By presenting his history in this fashion, Canine is able to show the overarching connection between agriculture and invention: Pesticides and WWI gas warfare, the tractor battles between Ford and Harvester, the struggle to develop efficient reapers and combines in 19th Century America, etc. The book was published in 1995 and I purchased my copy shortly after it was released. At the time there was only one aspect of the book that jarred - it didn't really have a finish which is to say no one had stepped forward to purchase the rights to manufacture the Bi-Rotor. This lack of closure really bothered me and in 1996 it occurred to me to look up Bi-Rotor on the internet - it turns out that in July 1996 John Deere bought the Bi-Rotor. As with all of the books in the Sloan series Dream Reaper is well written. The explanations of the various aspects of science and technology are clear and concise and the book itself has all of the reading characteristics of a good novel. I would recommend Dream Reaper to anyone with an interest in the history of technology.
This book was incredible. Agriculture is not my standard idea of an interesting subject. But, this book melds so well with the people and the history behind the industry, it beomes a real page turner.