Mechanical fruit harvester designer Ed Kilby dead
Updated: Saturday, December 22, 2012 9:49 AM
Ed Kilby, who revolutionized orchard production with the mechanical harvesters he designed and manufactured from Kilby Manufacturing in Gridley, Calif., has died.
He was 81.
Kilby told the Gridley Herald in 2000 that he developed fruit and nut harvesters in the 1950s because he was "too lazy" to hand-pick prunes.
"Ed Kilby had a huge influence upon our family in 1967 when our parents discovered his equipment at an equipment show in California," Lee Schrepel of Fruithill Inc., in Yamhill, Ore., said in an email.
Schrepel said Kilby and the equipment he brought to the industry "was very significant in the decision of my brother and me to transition Fruithill into generation three."
Kilby died while on a hunting trip in Montana, a trip he reportedly made almost every year since his teens.