Ensilage Cutter

Our Ensilage Cutter
Ensilage is the process of cutting a crop - such as hay or corn stalks - into feed for animals. The feed is called 'silage'; it is stored in a silo. The crop is fed down the shoot where a hand crank turns a wheel that pulls it into the cutting knives. This one was introduced in the 1870's and very popular in the 1890's. By the 1920's, ensilage cutters were larger and powered by a gasoline motor.

Ensilage is the process of putting a crop into a silo for storage and began in the late 1870's and was very popular by the 1890's. The crop was usually hay or corn stalks.

The cutter pictured has a redial knife cutter head. The material is fed down the shoot and then a compression wheel pulls it into the knives. They would gradually become larger with addition of the gasoline motor in the 1920's. By the 1940's it was replaced by the field harvester. The field harvester would harvest the crop, cut it, and blow it into a following wagon. It would then be taken to the silo and blown into the silo.

Our ensilage cutter is made by the Joseph Dick and Company. Turing the crank on the right powers the cutting wheel. A gear behind the cutting wheel, now gone, powers the rollers through a chain and series of gears. A "C" spring pulls down on the top roller to grab the material tightly and pull it into the knives. The housing seen in the picture is gone, buy the dowels and catches can still be seen. The cut material falls down the shoot in front.
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