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Cyrus McCormick
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    (February 15, 1809-May 13, 1883)
    Born in Rockbridge County, Virginia
    Inventor of the mechanical reaper (1831)
    Improved the power loom for weaving cotton cloth quickly
    Founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company
    Named Officier de la Légion d'honneur (1851)
    Died in Chicago, Illinois
    He had little formal education.
    His wife was 26 years younger than him.
    The mechanical reaper he invented was actually based on earlier inventions.
    Moreover, it produced a sound so loud that slaves had to calm the frightened horses manning it.
    The reaper was initially unable to deal with many circumstances, so he had to improve it several times before he could get it to work efficiently.
    He sued the New York Central Railroad for $20,000 over a quarrel concerning his wife’s baggage.
    The factories owned by his company were the scene of strikes that resulted in the Haymarket Square Riot. (1886)
    He succeeded where earlier attempts, including that by his father, failed.
    The Panic of 1837 pushed his family to the verge of bankruptcy.
    His invention has allowed farmers to save a lot of time to plant more crops, drastically reducing world hunger in the process.
    He had to deal with rival inventors and patent infringers to keep his invention patented.
    His reaper even won the Grand Prize during the Great Exhibition in London despite being initially mocked by The Times. (1851)
    His youngest daughter Alice died in infancy. (January 25, 1871)
    Two of his children suffered from schizophrenia.
    His net worth at the time of his death was $11 million.

Credit: Big Lenny

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