Harvest Time – John William Herbert Bowditch

It’s harvest time here in the UK, but you don’t see many scenes like the one above these days. Third from the left in this picture is my Great Grandfather John William Herbert Bowditch (1878-1964). I suspect this was probably taken around 1940, as he looks to be around 60 years old.

The crop looks like Oat’s and it’s interesting to see how much taller the old varieties were in the days before modern combine harvesters. I think it’s a wonderful shot of life, with the little girl looking so pleased with the rabbit she has probably caught with the stick she is also holding as it ran from the path of the Reaper-binder, a somewhat noisy and dangerous machine originally designed 1872 in the USA.    There are two horses on the Binder, so I suspect the third horse was probably being used to haul the wagon, rather than being used on the Binder.

The video is taken from the BBC’s Victorian Farm program and shows a Reaper Binder in action.


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