Today in 1966, US Patent 3285365 A was issued, an invention of Le Roy T. Longton, for his “Apparatus Particularly for Use in Harvesting Hops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
This invention relates to an apparatus particularly for use in the harvesting of hop vines.
Conventionally, the harvesters of hops stand on a platform of fixed height behind a truck which may move slowly down the rows of hops in a field. The height of the overhead hop trellises varies considerably from field-to-field and may also vary within one field because of ground irregularities and variations in the length of the trellis poles upon which the overhead wires are supported. The result has been that the worker-supporting platform is frequently too high or too low with respect to the vines to be cut by the workers therefore making it difficult for the workers to reach the vines, and generally rendering the operation inefficient. Another problem is the necessity for packing the bulky hop vines in the harvesting truck. conventionally, this has been done by the workers descending from the platform and walking around on the hop vines in the truck to pack or consolidate the vines. This is obviously an inefficient and time-wasting procedure.
It is the general object of this invention to provide a simplified mobile apparatus which will greatly increase the efficiency of the hops harvesting operation by the provision of worker supporting means which is quickly adjustable vertically and also the provision of an adjustable power-operated means for packing the vines down in the body or box of a truck or wagon.
Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus of the above-mentioned character which is constructed as an attachment unit for a farm tractor and readily mountable thereon.
Another object is to provide a hop vine harvesting attachment for tractors which is hydraulically powered and operated from a hydraulic pump on the tractor and a simple control device in a convenient location to be used by the tractor driver.