Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
Virtual American Biographies

Esterly, George 1809-1893

Read More About It

"Wisconsin Inventors" by the Wisconsin Historical Society


financial panic

Interesting Fact:

By 1861, it is estimated that 3,000 reapers of various kinds were being used by Wisconsin farmers.

Study Questions:

  • Who are other inventors from Wisconsin?
  • What is a hand-rake reaper?
  • How did the inventions of the harvesting machines help farmers?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on October 17:

    1777: British forces surrender at Saratoga.
    1933: Albert Einstein arrives in the U.S. as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

  • October 17

    October 17, 1809: George Esterly was born in New York state. In 1843, Esterly settled near Janesville and took up farming. By 1844 he had invented the first successful American harvesting machine and added a mowing machine, plow, hand-rake reaper and a seeder to his list of farm inventions. Esterly started a very successful implement factory in Whitewater in 1858. He moved the business to Minneapolis in 1892 but it was ruined in a financial panic. Died June 7, 1893.

    Wisconsin History Day By Day homepage
    January - December calendar page