International Harvester Cotton Picker.
The first attempt to develop a mechanical cotton picker to replace
manual labor was made in 1850 in Memphis, Tenn., by S.S. Rembert and
Jebediah Prescott. The next significant invention followed in 1889 by
Angus Campbell who founded the Price Campbell Cotton Picker Corp. Little
progress ensued, however, until International Harvester purchased the
Price-Campbell patents in 1924. The period from 1924 through 1939
brought out experimental machines that showed significat improvements
over the Price-Campbell invention. In 1943, International Harvester
produced the first dozen of its commercial cotton pickers. In 1948,
International Harvester's Memphis Works came on line with the
industry's first mass-produced cotton picker, the M-12M cotton
picker. Two important consequences of the development of the mechanical
cotton picker were the reduced need for farm labor and the end of
sharecropping, which were considered disadvantageous to sharecroppers,
owners and the land.
ASAE President Larry F. Huggins, Purdue University, and ASAE
Emerging Areas Division Chair Joel L. Cuello, The University of Arizona,
coordinated the search for the Outstanding Engineering Achivements of
the 20th Century.