rake, farm implement consisting of a row of straight or curved teeth of metal or wood attached to a bar or frame. It is used for gathering hay or grain into piles; for clearing fields, lawns, and yards; and for stirring and spreading soil. Horse-drawn rakes first appeared in the early 19th cent. but were not used generally until later. Of the several types of modern power-drawn hay rakes, the side-delivery rakes, which gather hay into continuous windrows by a rolling action, are the most popular. These include a reel type, which has raking teeth attached to rotating bars, and a finger-wheel type, which has teeth attached to large wheels. Lesser used rakes include the dump rake, which creates piles, and the sweep rake, which gathers and hauls a heavy load directly to the stack.
See C. Culpin, Farm Machinery (11th ed. 1986).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.