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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.
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Author:Huggins, Larry F.; Cuello, Joel L.
Publication:Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World
Date:Jan 1, 2000
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