|This revolutionary mechanical reaper, patented in 1834, was designed and built by Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809 â€“ 1894) of Virginia, USA, in 1831. Between 1780 & the 1850s, in England and America, several attempts had been made to devise a workable reaping-machine, but few were commercially successful. McCormack's was the first mechanical reaper to be generally adopted and to justify manufacture on a commercial scale. In 1848, at his factory in Chicago, 500 reapers were made after design improvements. By 1857 it was 23, 000. The ability to do the same amount of work as five farm hands emphasised the importance of this invention. It was instrumental in the birth of industrial agriculture.