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North Dakotan Patented First Big Round Baler
A North Dakota farmer patented the world's first big round baler back in 1928 but no one knows what happened to it.
What was remarkable about John Wolf's invention was not only that it made a 600 lb. bale and tied it with wire but also the fact that there were no front-end loaders on tractors at that time. He must have also developed a way to handle the big 5-ft. dia. bales.
The old baler is of interest to retired Deere engineer Arnold Skromme of Moline, Ill., who's writing a history of forage and harvesting equipment. He's trying to find anyone who may have witnessed testing of Wolf's baler in the early 1920's in Ramsey County near Devils Lake, N. Dak. "Any young boy who lived in the area at the time would now be in his 70's or 80's."
Skromme says Wolf's patent indicates that the inventor must have done a great deal of testing of the machine because he goes into great detail on specific ways to handle the baler without damaging rake teeth, and how to thread wire around the bale.
Wolf, who still has a niece in the area, homesteaded a piece of ground in 1914 and also studied auto mechanics. Although Wolf appears to have invented the first big round baler, it was not the first round baler, according to Skromme. "That made small bales and was built way back in 1865," he told FARM SHOW.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Arnold Skromme, 2605 31st St., Moline, Ill. 61265 (ph 309 764-2168).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #3