Holy Cow Tractor Pulling Team

Fresno scraper

The Fresno Scraper is a machine used for constructing canals and ditches in sandy soil. It was invented in 1883 by James Porteous. Working with farmers in Fresno, California, USA he had recognised the dependence of the Central San Joaquin Valley on irrigation, and the need for a more efficient means of constructing canals and ditches in the sandy soil. In perfecting the design of his machine, Porteous made several revisions on his own and also traded ideas with William Deidrick, Frank Dusy, and Abijah McCall, who invented and held patents on similar scrapers. Porteous bought the patents held by Deidrick, Dusy, and McCall, gaining sole rights to the Fresno Scraper. The design of the Fresno Scraper forms the basis of most modern earthmoving scrapers, having the ability to scrape and move a quantity of soil, and also to discharge it at a controlled depth, thus quadrupling the volume which could be handled manually. Prior scrapers pushed the soil ahead of them, while the Fresno scraper lifted it into a C-shaped bowl where it could be dragged along with much less friction. By lifting the handle, the operator could cause the scraper to bite deeper. Once soil was gathered, the handle could be lowered to raise the blade off the ground so it could be dragged to a low spot, and dumped by raising the handle very high. This design was so revolutionary and economical that it has influenced the design of modern bulldozer blades and earth movers to this day. Between 1884 and 1910 thousands of Fresno scraper

were produced at the Fresno Agricultural Works which had been formed by Porteous, and used in agriculture and land levelling, as well as road and railroad grading and the construction industry. They played a vital role in the construction of the Panama Canal and later served the US Army in World War I. It was one of the most important agricultural and civil engineering machines ever made. In 1991 the Fresno Scraper was designated as an International Historic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. It is featured prominently in the Fresno Metropolitan Museum. Abijah McCall was a co-inventor of the Fresno Scraper, a horse-drawn (and later, tractor-drawn) earth-moving machine upon which modern road- and canal-building equipment is based. Along with his partner Frank Dusy, McCall devised an improvement on the Buck Scraper, invented by James Porteous. On June 15, 1885, McCall and Dusy received U.S. Patent 320,055 for their version of the scraper. Porteous purchased the patents held by Dusy and McCall and also a patent held by William Deidrick as he perfected the scraper, which Porteous also manufactured at his factory in Fresno, California. The scraper was widely used in the Western United States and also put into use by U.S. engineers building the Panama Canal. Deidrick, Dusy, and McCall were all early residents of Selma, California, where McCall Avenue is named for McCall. McCall reputedly used a Fresno Scraper in building the road which runs between Selma and Fresno.

C.O.W. Systems