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Boychuk Stooker

When the Boychuk Brothers stooker was field tested in front of an audience of farmers, businessmen, provincial agriculture officials, and machine company representatives on 17 August 1926, it was immediately hailed as being the best of a crop of new stooker prototypes.

The Edmonton Journal noted that "the machine, which in its field trial surprised the gathering of onlookers by the quality of its work, appears to have a number of features which make it as superior to any of the similar devices which have appeared during the past few years."

Boychuk Stooker

The Boychuk stooker automated an action that had previously been performed by a man following the grain binder. This man had to pick up the tied sheaves of grain as they came off the binder, and then stack them in piles of six or more sheaves. It was cumbersome, back-breaking labour, and the stooks had to be built properly or else the stacks of grain fell over.

The Boychuk stooker was attached to the binder, and it caught the sheaves as they came off the binder, and revolving arms and a canvas elevator lifted the sheaves into a position between movable guide walls on a table. When eight to 10 sheaves had collected, the walls pressed them into a stook, and with a downward and backward movement, set the stook on the ground.

"The machine is said to work equally well in all kinds of grain; six to 10 sheaves can be placed in a stook, according to their size, and the bundles are subjected to less rough handling and shelling of grain than is often the case with hand-stooking," the Journal article noted.

The market niche for the Boychuk stooker was ready-made; it automated the stooking process, eliminating the need for a farmer to hire an extra man to do the tedious work of building a stack of sheaves by hand.

Nonetheless, only a handful of the Boychuk stookers were ever produced, including five made by the Coutts Manufacturing Company of Edmonton. The brothers were unsuccessful in their initial attempts to raise money for production, and the onset of the Great Depression in 1929 killed any chance of mass production of the Boychuk stooker.

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