Science: Gallic Harvester

In ancient Roman times most labor-saving machines were human slaves, whose feelings about monotonous labor did not count. One of the few exceptions was a device that Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) said was used to harvest grain on the great estates of Roman Gaul. It had, he said, a large frame fitted with teeth and carried on two wheels. When pushed through ripe wheat by a pair of oxen, the toothed frame tore the heads from the stalks and collected them in a box.

Pliny did not say how well the Gallic harvester...

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