In 1952, two timber men developed a brutally efficient method for leveling large tracts of trees. They strung a long thick steel cable tied with a giant steel ball between two bulldozer-tractors. The tractors would plow through the woods feeding out the cable as they went, eventually wrapping around a large area of trees to be felled. Anchoring to trees or tree stumps, they winched the cables in on both tractors.

The giant steel ball, weighing 4.5 tons and standing 8 feet tall, and the cable connecting it to the tractors would then draw in, pulling down trees, brush, and anything else that got in its path. The ball helped pull down trees and kept the wires from getting snagged on stumps.

Using this method, two men were able to pull down as much as 50 acres an hour, and the daily average production was close to 100 acres per eight-hour shift. That's pretty fantastic for two guys in tractors in the 1950s.

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Here's how they do it today:

The new machines are pretty cool, but it's hard to get more manly than ripping down an entire forest with a giant steel ball and lasso.

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