John appleby from wisconsin invented the knotter in the late 1800s I beleive, it was first used on grain binders and his billhook design is basically the same as used today. His prototype was carved out of wood. He was a young man when he invented it and his parents farm where he lived at the time is between elkhorn and whitewater WI on hwy 12. There is a plaque on a rock stating this at the location of the farm. The first appleby knotters were manufactured in nearby beloit WI.
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