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The Manure Press -1930's. Although this machine was invented in the 1930's, the use of manure as fuel dates back much earlier. In the records of the Hochstadt private school around the turn of the century, several loads of manure are mentioned as part of the teacher's salary. This machine improved on the method of processing for use. Previously the practice had been to scatter the manure in a 10 or 12 inch layer with pitchforks, then walk a team of horses around and around to pack it down, harrow it to make it even, and then every available member of the family would join in stamping it down with their feet (usually barefoot), for a smooth top. After a drying period the patch was cut up in squares with a spade and set on edge for final drying. This machine enabled the whole process to be accomplished in one operation. The manure was fed into a hopper, an auger carried it along a tube to the other end where it emerged in a continuous ribbon. One man with a long handled cutter, cut the stream in squares and a crew of men with pitchforks picked up a square in turn and set it on edge on the ground, for drying.
Credit: W. J. Kehler