The Corn Picker book is still in the works, for March 2011.

We are Bob and Phyllis Johnson and we are collecting information about corn pickers, and we hope that you can send us stories and photographs to share with other enthusiasts. Stories, pictures, and other information can be sent to:
Or to P.O. Box 525, Sycamore, IL 60178.
Hard-copy photos will be returned after we scan them.

Collectors of other kinds of equipment - from tractors to combines, plows to wagons - have all kinds of books in which to look for research.
We hope to preserve what information there is left about corn pickers, too.

What are your memories?
Did a family member or neighbor
ever use a picker?
For every make and model picker, we hope to include personal stories about farmers who worked with them.

Experiences - good and bad

Which model picked the most corn in a day?
Which was the worst lemon?

We've gotten several opinions, but hope to hear more.

As workers moved off the farm, the mechanical corn pickers did the work of lost hired hands - and caused the loss of many working men's hands.

There will be a section on farm accidents.


Do you have photos of pickers in action? A picker in the background of a family snapshot? The proud owner showing off a picker the day it arrived?

We'd love to see more.

Little-known brands?

The major manufacturers' models (Case, International Harvester, John Deere and New Idea) will be covered, of course, but have you ever heard of Great American, Steel-Craft, Blackhawk or Soilfitter pickers?

The book will show the pickers of these companies and explore some of their family trees as they merged and diversified.


Have a collection of sales fliers, mechanics' parts books or operators' manuals that talk about pickers that we could borrow?

We hope to compile as much specific technical data as possible.


Are you an expert on a certain brand of picker?
We invite guest writers to contribute.



(click on image to enlarge.)
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Historical data

On picking corn by hand, on the first corn picker, on ground-driven models, on one-, two- and three-row pull types, on one-, and two-row mounted varieties, on self-propelled pickers and on what made corn pickers obsolete.
With a comparison of all makes and models.

Contest information

Besides hand-picking contests, there were mechanical-picking contests.
We hope to find more details.

Toy pickers

For farm kids, of all ages, in the past - and the latest custom toy pickers.
Pictures could be included in a gallery.

A DVD may be in our future

Videos of corn pickers working in the field and factory films and filmstrips could be combined and preserved for everyone to share.

A production company is hoping to work with us on this project, too, if anyone is interested, and if footage can be found.

By e-mail
Send your memories, opinions, digital photos and scans to:

Send the same with photos
(that we can scan and return) to:
Bob Johnson
P.O. Box 525
Sycamore, IL 60178

By phone
(815) 761-3709


© Bob and Phyllis Johnson, 2010
Thanks for visiting.