The manure spreader removed the tiring process of spreading manure by hand, making the work of fertilizing the fields much more efficient. The manure spreader would be drawn by a horse or, in later years, a tractor. The beaters (spikes or blades), located at the rear of the machine, and the web (conveyor belt) would be powered by the wheels. The speed of the web would determine how heavily the manure was spread onto the field. Canadian farmers of the early twentieth century could purchase their spreaders from a variety of manufacturing companies.
This particular machine was the Cloverleaf Model no. 3, a product of the International Harvester Company that was patented in 1906. The I.H.C. was an American farm implements manufacturer based in Chicago. It was founded in 1902 when the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company and the Deering Harvesting Company merged, along with three other manufacturing firms. It opened up a branch in Hamilton, Canada, in 1903. I.H.C. set their manure spreaders apart from those of their competitors with their easily removable beaters, their low, easily loadable box, and their ability to evenly spread while turning corners. I.H.C. Their spreaders were built with drafts that were as light as possible for easy movement and strong, broad tired wheels. Among the many machines and implements that early farmers relied on, the manure spreader was among the most important.