The hay rake has gone through many changes during the 20th century. Before the invention of the hay rake, the job of collecting the cut, dried hay was done by hand with hand rakes. The version of the mechanical hay rake above is little more than a modification of the hand rake. This version was designed to be used with horses (although this one is equipped to pull behind a tractor) and, of course, to rake much more hay at a time than a small hand rake. The teeth of a hand rake were replaced by the many arching teeth on the mechanical rake. In addition, a hand lever on the rake above or a ‘gear’ within the wheel (in later versions) allowed the teeth to be raised to release the collected hay. This was still a lot of work for the farmer, but much better than the hand rake.
Provided by Dorothy Bayes