In an episode of Modern Marvels on the History channel, the history of agricultural labor was delineated as follows:
* With a sickle, one man could harvest one acre of land a day. This remained the standard from the time of the Egyptians until the sixteenth century when the scythe was invented in what is now modern day Germany.
* With a scythe, one many could harvest three acres of wheat a day.
* With the McCormick reaper, a farmer could harvest twelve acres in a day.