'Bell's Improved Reaping Machine by Croskill', c 1840s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Steel engraving by J W Lowry, after Cornelius Varley. This machine designed by Patrick Bell (1799-1869) and built by Croskills of Beverley, Yorkshire, was one of the first practical reaping machines to incorporate features that are still seen on modern combine harvesters. A farmer operates the machine by guiding two horses which push the harvester forward. Bell and Cyrus McCormick both put reaping machines into the Great Exhibition (1851). They helped lead to the widespread acceptance of mechanised reaping in England.