Collection Storage Facility
The combine harvester, also known earlier as the reaper-thresher, combines in one machine all the operations associated with cereal-grain harvesting: reaping, threshing, and winnowing. First conceived in the late nineteenth century, combine harvesters were more widely produced in the twentieth century as grain farming expanded, particularly in western North America. Combine harvesters came in towed and self-propelled models, with self-propelled models dominating production after the 1940s.
The “No. 21” was first manufactured in 1941 and was the first rubber-tired self-propelled combine harvester. The No. 21 was designed by Australian engineer Tom Carroll, who wanted to create a smaller and more affordable combine than its predecessor, the No. 20. The No. 21 became Massey-Harris’s most popular combine, with 10,000 produced in 1949 alone.
Massey-Harris was founded in Brantford, Ontario, in 1891, the result of the merger of the Massey Manufacturing Co. and A. Harris, Son & Co. Massey-Harris became a globally important manufacturer of agricultural implements. It first began producing the No. 21 during the Second World War when agricultural implement factories were converted to war production. Massey-Harris received permission to produce this combine by proposing that 500 be produced to form a “Harvesting Brigade” that would harvest crops throughout North America. The Brigade began harvesting in the southern United States and moved northward, harvesting more than a million acres in support of the war effort. The Brigade also gave Massey-Harris wider exposure in the United States: by 1947 the company controlled 54 percent of the American combine market.