Named for combining the three-step harvesting process (reaping, threshing and winnowing) into a single speedy technique, combines have completely transformed the face of commercial agriculture and have helped farmers to maximize the potential of their land. We turned to the Library of Congress archives to for old photographs of this classic farm machinery.
A farmer and mules pull a combine through fields of wheat, ca. 1941.
A harvest combine in action in a Kansas wheat field, ca. 1900.
Oiling the combine in a wheat field, ca. 1941.
Harvest scene with the combine on Tom Lyon’s ranch, ca. 1915.
Dumping wheat into the truck from a combine in central Ohio, ca. 1938.
A sixteen-horse combine in Whitman County, Washington, ca. 1936.
Loading wheat following a combined harvester, ca. 1936.
Combine harvester in a California wheat field, ca. 1938.
Emptying soy bean seeds from a combine harvester, ca. 1939.