In spite of the labour-saving potential of the machine, initials sales were not promising; by the end of 1846 he had sold fewer than one hundred machines. Undaunted he moved to Chicago, the following year, where he found success by using original marketing techniques – such as sending out trained salesman to demonstrate the machines – and by benefiting from the city’s status as an industrial centre and railway hub, which aided manufacture and distribution. Not long after relocating his brothers, William and Leander, joined him as partners in the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company.
The McCormick’s continued to develop the machine, as well as other farming machinery, which they sold around the world. Sales undoubtedly benefited from the awards and honours bestowed upon Cyrus and his machine: the reaper won a gold medal at the 1851 Great Exhibition, in London; and the French Academy of sciences elected Cyrus as a corresponding member.
Cyrus died in 1884, passing the company to his grandson Cyrus Hall McCormick III. It was he who, two years later, presided over the darkest event in the company’s history: the Haymarket Affair of 4th May 1886. Nevertheless, the McCormick’s company went from strength to strength, staying at the forefront of the manufacture and sale of not only farming equipment but also non-agricultural vehicles, weapons, and domestic appliances.
You can download a pdf copy of the original 1834 patent document from pat2pdf.org.