Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/963

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
946
REAR—REASON

century of our era, though this system seems to have been lost sight of till re-invented by the Australians.

Again, in the Western states of America, where the climate is not hot and dry enough for stripping purposes, the method followed is to cut the straw as short as possible-just below the heads-and these fall on to a travelling canvas and are carried up into a thrasher and the grain separated and sacked as the work proceeds. An immense combined implement is used for this reaping and thrashing purpose, taking a width of up to 40 ft. of crop at a time, and being propelled by a 50-horse-power traction engine running on broad roller-wheels, though smaller machines pulled by, say, zo horses are also common. Sometimes the “ heading ” only is carried out, and the cut heads carried on a canvas up into a wagon travelled alongside, and then carted away for subsequent thrashing, the “header” thus being the form of reaper adopted also in the Western states of America., In these regions, as in many other places on the prairies in general, the straw is of no value, and therefore the whole is set fire to and burned off, thus returning a certain amount of fertility to the soil in the ashes. In the normal and ordinary system of reaping with the string-binder in Great Britain the rule is to “ open up ” a field by cutting “ roads " round it: that is, a headland or roadway is mowed by the scythe and tied up by hand. Then the string binder is started to cut around and continued till a finish is made at the centre of the field. Sometimes the crop is partly stack yard, where they are built up sheaf by sheaf into round or oblong stacks: that is, they are stored until required for thrashing or doddering purposes. The drying may be a tedious affair, and wet weather in harvest time is a national disaster from the spoiling of the corn, both grain and straw. The tremendous development in labour-saving in the matter of reaping the corn crops IS well exemplified in a comparison of harvesting with the hand hook or sickle as compared with the string-binder. With hand-reaping six men (or women) cut the corn and laid it on the bands in sheaf-lots: one man came behind and tied the sheaves and set them up in stooks. Thus a gang of seven worked together and harvested about two acres per day. With the binder three or four men handle say twelve or fourteen acres daily: in other words, there is only one-tenth of the manual labour required now in reaping that was necessary only a generation ago, for the string-binder has revolutionized farming as a whole, and given the nations cheap bread. (P. MCC.)


REAR, the back or hind portion of anything, particularly a military or naval term for that part of a force which is placed last in order, in opposition to “ van.” As the last word, shortened from “ van-guard, ” is an aphetic form of Fr. avant, in front, Lat. ab ante, so “ rear” is an aphetic form of “ arrear, ” O. Fr. orere, mod. arriére, Med. Lat. ad retro, to the back, backward. From this word must be distinguished the verb “to rear, ” used in two main senses: of a horse, to stand up on its hind legs, and to raise up or lift, of the construction of a building or of the breeding and bringing to maturity of domestic or El lodged and can only be cut on three sides of the field, and the 3 binder is “ slipped ” past the fourth side. It is customary in some parts to yoke three horses to the machine and keep these § $, ,», 1 -V at work all day with an interval for the midday meal only, but .<1<§ ;§ ”", -f— Y, 'r a better plan is to allow two men and four horses to each, and 5

FIG. 3.-American Header and Thrasher.

put one couple on and one couple off for meals and resting alternately. By this means the binder is kept going continuously without any stoppage for perhaps 14 hours daily in fine harvest weather. With a six-feet cutting width an acre per hour is fair work, but some have exceeded that, especially with wider cutting widths. A ball of twine weighing 3 to 4 lb is the usual requisite per acre for binding the sheaves, and it ought to be of Manilla hemp: “ sizal ” fibre (derived from the American agaves and named after the port on the coast of Yucatan) is not so strong and good, though cheaper. Good twine is desirable, as otherwise frequent breakages leave many sheaves in a loose state. V

The sheaves are dropped off on to the ground as tied, but some farmers use the “ sheaf-carrier, ” which catches these as they are shot out from the binding apparatus, and dumps them in lots of six or so-sufficient to make a stook or shock. The stooking-that is, the setting up of the sheaves on end to dryis a separate operation, and from two to three men can set up an ordinary good crop as fast as the binder can cut it. In this work the sheaves are set with their butts wide apart and the heads leaning against one another like the two legs of the letter A: a full-sized stook or “ threave ” is 24 sheaves-a relic of the days when the crop was all hand-reaped by piecework at so much per threave-but in practice now seldom more than 6 sheaves (3 each side) are put to each stook. When sufficiently dried or " fielded ” the sheaves are then carried by cart or wagon to the other animals, often used also of young children. The neran, of which it is the modern representative, is a doublet of the Scandinavian reisa, which has given English “ raise, ” both being causative verb forms of “ rise.”


REAR VAULT (Fr. orriére voussure), the term in architecture employed for the vault of the internal hood of a doorway or window to which a splay has been given on the reveal; sometimes the vaulting surface is terminated by a small rib known as the scoinson rib (q.v.), and a further development is given by angle shafts carrying this rib, known as scoinson shafts.


REASON (Lat. ratio, through French raison), in philosophy, the faculty or process of drawing logical inferences. Thus we speak of man as essentially a rational animal, it being implied that man differs from all other animals in that he can consciously draw inferences from premises. It is, however, exceedingly difficult in this respect to draw an absolute distinction between men and animals, observation of which undoubtedly suggests that the latter have a certain power of making inferences. Between the higher animals and the lower types of mankind the distinction is so hard to draw that many psychologists argue that the difference is one of degree rather than of kind (see also INSTINCT). There can be little doubt, however, that inference by man differs from that of the brute creation in respect of self-consciousness, and, though there can be no doubt that some animals dream, it is difficult to tind evidence for the presence of ideal images in the minds of