Friday, September 16, 2011

Another Threshing Accident

Dusty D has been reading fall issues of some 19th-century papers, and one thing that leaps out is the ever-present danger of threshing machines. The illustration at left is an article from a Pennsylvania farm journal warning of the machine's dangers. There were many local thresher accidents, to the point that you could say that it's common. These were huge machines designed to clean grain, containing various crushers, spiked cylinders, and rollers, often with several exposed belts whirring around. You can see some cool pics of threshers and binders here. Threshing machines were all too often subject to foul-ups, as documented in the article below from the September 14, 1878 issue of the Ypsilanti Commercial.

Charles Cohen, a young man 21 years of age, met with a horrible and fatal accident on the 3rd, while engaged in threshing on the farm of Anthony Krantz, five miles from Marine City [just north of Lake St. Clair]. The machine had slacked down with its speed for the purpose of repairs, when young Cohen jumped upon the feed board to ascertain what was the matter. He missed his footing and slipped into the cylinder. His left leg was ground to mince nearly up to the knee and also half of his right foot. Doctors Senghas and Beard were called and amputated both limbs. Cohen, however, grew very faint and suffered a great deal, as it was about an hour and a half after the accident before the physicians reached him. He died the next morning at 6 o'clock.

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