Model of Bell's original reaping machine (scale 1:

c. 1829
Patrick Bell

Model of Bell's original reaping machine (scale 1:48).

This working model of a reaping machine is at inv. 1868-14/1. It is made of brass to scale 1:48 and was constructed by the Reverend Dr. Patrick Bell of Carmyllie, Scotland, who invented its full-scale prototype, the first practical mechanised reaper, which is on display in the main gallery. Two horses walking behind the reaper pushed it forward. A revolving collector or 'reel', at the front, supported the corn and forced it backwards when it was cut upon a moving apron. This apron, which is missing from the model, delivered a neat swathe of cut corn to the side of the machine. The prototype performed creditably at trials in 1828, but the machine never sold in large numbers. This model, unlike the prototype, shows Bell's original scissor-type cutter bar worked by a crank from the travelling wheels.


Agricultural Engineering
Object Number:
brass, crank and scissor-type cutter bar
reaping machine
The Reverend Patrick Bell.