McCORMICK

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McCOSH

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CYRUS H. McCORMICK

Born on a farm at Walnut Grove (W.). Va., February 15, 1800, three days later than Lincoln, the inventor of the reaper grew up under almost as har4 conditions as the great emancipator. His home was a log-cabin that sheltered a family of nine, and the farm was poor, rough land that barely afforded a living. But the family came of Scotch Covenanter stock that had fought for religious liberty in Scotland and for political liberty and against the Indians in America. The father was a backwoods genius in mechanics. He in-v ente d a rud e hemp - brake and clover-huller, and was experimenting on a reaper when Cyrus was born. Father and son became inseparable, and made many a queer contrivance that failed to work and made them objects of ridicule in an unenterprising, unimaginative community. When, in the autumn of 1831, the farmboy clattered out of the barnyard on his first reaper, he was given scant encouragement. The machine actually worked, but it was ten years before anyone could be induced to buy one. Had Mc-Corrnick not had immense personal force and tenacity of purpose, his invention would have benefited the world little. Forty miles from a blacksmith-shop and 60 from a railroad or canal, with iron $75 a ton, he built a blast-furnace on the farm, dug ore out of the Alleghanjes and smelted iron himself. In five years he made and sold fewer than 100 reapers.

At 37, with $300 in his belt, he left the farm on horseback and rode from New York to Missouri preaching his reaper. In Chicago he found a listener in Mayor Ogden. After two minutes' talk this typical Chicago man bought a half-interest in the new invention. Before the harvest of 1847 was ready to cut, $50,000 worth of reapers were sold. New markets for wheat were opened by the removal of the English corn-laws, and the discovery of gold in California made labor so scarce that the reaper suddenly became a necessity. Exhibited at the exposition in Crystal Palace, London, 1851, the London Times declared the fair worth all it cost if it had brought nothing else to England beside the new American reaper. When the war broke out, the 50,000 reapers in the field released 350,000 men for duty at the front. The world saw the United States support two armies in the field and still send grain abroad. He contributed

liberally to the founding (1859) of Mc-Cormick Theological Seminary at Chicago, and established a chair in Washington and Lee University, Virginia. In the fire of '71 the McCormick works were destroyed, but the inventor was 62 years old and had a fortune of $4,000,000. He thought seriously of retiring and leaving the field to competitors. His wife, whose business sagacity had helped build up the enterprise and who was an unofficial adviser of importance, insisted upon rebuilding at once. These works have turned out 5,000,000 reapers, and to-day employ 6,000 workmen. Personally Cyrus H. McCormick was not popular. He had been brought up in a hard school, and years and prosperity failed to soften him. Honest as the day, just, of tremendous force, he commanded respect and won the friendship of a few men as big as himself, but in his field of work he wanted to dominate. He wanted to make all the reapers. He said himself that he had to fight or get out of the fight. He became the reaper-king, and saw his machine push the frontier westward year after year, the wheat-field always ten miles ahead of the railroad and begging the iron horse to come on for the golden grain. To-day the reaper has gone to Puget's Sound, to Saskatchewan and to the Rio Grande. The inventor died on May 13, 1884, but it is scarcely conceivable that the McCormick Harvester Works should cease to exist, for they now supply a large percentage of the machines used in the wheat-fields in every country in the world. McCosh', James, a Scottish-American educator and philosopher, was born in 1811, in Ayrshire, Scotland. He was educated at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and while there earned the honorary degree of M. A. by his paper on the Philosophy of the Stoics, through the influence of Sir Wil-liam Hamilton. He was ordained at Brechin a minister of the Church of Scotland in 1835, but joined in the Free-Church movement in 1843. He was called to the chair of logic and metaphysics in Queen's College, Belfast, in 1851, and remained there until 1868, when the College of New Jersey, at Princeton, U. S. A. (now Princeton University), elected him as its president. By this step the college gained great benefit, for he imparted new life, and secured large donations by personal influence. The writings

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JAMES MCCOSH