Self-Propelled Cotton Picker, 1950

Summary

This is the first commercially-successful self-propelled cotton picker. The inventor, John Rust, worked for decades to develop a machine that would end the back-breaking labor of picking cotton that he experienced in his youth. The machine reduced the labor required to pick cotton by 80%, contributing to the Great Migration from the rural south to northern cities in the 1950s.

This is the first commercially-successful self-propelled cotton picker. The inventor, John Rust, worked for decades to develop a machine that would end the back-breaking labor of picking cotton that he experienced in his youth. The machine reduced the labor required to pick cotton by 80%, contributing to the Great Migration from the rural south to northern cities in the 1950s.

Artifact

Cotton-picking machinery

Date Made

1950

Agriculture
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Agriculture

Object ID

75.133.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Alan R. Jones.

Material

Steel (Alloy)

Color

Red

Inscriptions

RUST COTTON PICKER / MFD. BY / BEN PEARSON, INC. / UNDER ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING PATENTS / [List of 22 Patent Numbers] / OTHER PATENTS PENDING / MODEL T SERIAL NUMBER 34

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