The history of the baler begins in the mid-Nineteenth Century in agricultural applications. In the 1860s, mechanical cutting and mowing devices were being developed to improve crop gathering time at harvest. In 1872, a reaper that used a knotting device to bundle and bind hay was invented by Charles Withington. It was commercialized in 1874 by Cyrus McCormick. By 1936, an automatic baler had been invented that tied bales with twine using knotters from a John Deere grain binder. With such time-saving mechanical devices, farmers were able to more quickly and efficiently harvest and move hay and straw when reduced in size into compact bales. Mechanical improvements were continually applied to reduce both time and labor by tying bales with wire. This allowed for much easier transport and storage of the bales. Square or rectangular bales also provided a much more efficient use of space in that they were easier to stack and store.