Today in 1953, US Patent 2647521 A was issued, an invention of George E. Miller, for his “Hop Picking Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
My invention relates to mechanism for use in removing hops from hop vines. Numerous machines have been developed from time to time, many of them patented by me, for the purpose of removing hops from vines mechanically. One of the difficulties is that hops are quite delicate and must be handled with great care and another factor is that substantially all of the hops ‘must be removed from the vine for economic can be brought for picking, and also adaptable for use in a portable machine movable through a field of growing hops to remove the hops from the vine.
Another object of my invention is to provide a hop picking machine effective to remove substantially all of the growing hops from the vines, but capable of operating with sufficient delicacy so that the hops are not injured by the mechanical picking and handling.
Another object of my invention is to provide means for removing the hops from the vines without removing a large quantity of leaves and stems; that is, a device for selectively removing the hops while leaving, as far as possible, the leaves and stems undisturbed.
A further object of the invention is to provide I a hop picking machine having flexibly mounted hop picker elements effective to rove throughout 7 portions of the hop vine being picked, so that the hops are engaged from various different directions and in various different attitudes to promote their removal in the most expeditious fashion.
A still further object or the invention is to provide a hop picking machine in which the action of the picker elements is so gentle as not to injure or cut or tear the hops themselves.