Cutting firewood, photo from the collection of Albert Bayles.

Longago, horse driven treadmills were used on the farms of LongIsland. A contractor would take his machine from farm to farmto do the threshing.

Oncehe arrived at the farm, the contractor would unhitch hishorse and put him on the treadmill. The treadmill stood at anincline and was locked so the horse could stand still. Themill would then be belted to the threshing machine. Once thatwas done the contractor would unlock the treadmill whichwould then start moving under the weight of the horse.This makes the animal walk while staying in place, justlike a treadmill today. The movement of the horse helped tokeep the treadmill moving and the threshing machine working.Every once in a while the horse was given a rest. Once thejob was finished, the horse was unhitched from the treadmilland had to then pull the wagon home.

Canyou guess what this process did? It separated the seeds fromgrain and oats. It was also used to saw logs into planks.

Written by,
Michael Ninivaggi

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