GLOUCESTER, November 30, 1773.
The Subscriber begs Leave to inform the Publick, that he intends to set out the first of April next to the several Counties on the James and York Rivers, that he may instruct those who incline to erect WHEAT MACHINES, in the best Manner of framing and setting them up. His Brother, Isaac Hobday, will at the same Time go through the Counties on Rappahannock and Patowmack Rivers, to give the like Instructions. The Timber, etc. necessary for a machine may be provided as follows: For the MACHINE. 2 Pieces 32 Feet long, 8 by 4 Inches, of Pine, Ash, Poplar, or Chestnut. 1 Ditto, 30 Feet long, 6 by 4 Inches, of the same Wood. 1 Ditto, 24 Feet long, 7 by 4 Inches, to form Part of an Arch of a Circle of 61 Feet 4 Inches Diameter. 1 Ditto, 18 Feet long, 7 by 4 Inches, to form Part of an Arch of a Circle of 43 feet 6 Inches Diameter, of Gum, Oak, or Walnut. 4 Rollers 8 Feet 6 Inches long, and 18 Inches Diameter, of Gum, Oak, or Walnut. 1480 White Oak Staves, 2 Feet 2 Inches long, and 2-1/2 Inches by 1-1/2, clear of Sap. For the PLATFORM 16 Pieces 8 Feet 6 Inches long, 7 by 5 Inches, [of Oak 80 Ditto, 8 Feet 6 Inches long, 5 by 3 Inches, [of Oak 1600 Feet of Inch and Half Pine Plank, 21 Feet long, and 12 Inches broad. 8 Planks 1/4 of an Inch thick, 18 Inches broad, [Pine and 24 Feet long. or 8 Ditto, 1/4 of an Inch thick, 14 Inches broad, [Poplar, for and 18 Feet long. Rims. The above Bill is for a Machine to work four Horses, but those who incline to work only two Horses may leave out the Piece of trirty Feet long, 740 Staves, and two Rollers, and must get the circular Piece but Half as long as is above directed. JOHN HOBDAY.
Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon) December 2, 1773
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John Hobday of Gloucester County was awarded a gold medal and a cash prize for his invention by the Society for the Advancement of Useful Knowledge in June 1774. The machine could thresh 120 bushels of wheat in three days. The medal is now part of the collection of the Virginia Historical Society.
Sources: VA. Gaz., CWJ Aut. 2003, VHS