To harvest grain, the crop was usually first cut, then the grain was separated from the stalk or body of the crop. Grain cradles were used for cutting and gathering the crops. The long wooden “fingers” of the cradle gathered the straw as it was cut and deposited it in piles. The cradle was an improvement on a single blade because the fingers acted as extensions of the farmer’s arms and made harvesting a little easier.
Grain Cradle, 1875-1925, wood, metal, H:37.75 x W: 49.5 x D:26.5. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of Mrs. Edgar Klock, F0243.1943.