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Harrington, Julian P

Julian P. Harrington II
February 19, 1919-October 2008

Joseph Julian Harrington was born in Bertie County, NC in 1919. During his youth he became known as “Monk” to his friends. After WWII and a few years playing professional baseball, Monk went to work with his father’s company, Harrington Manufacturing Company in Lewiston NC. The small farm equipment manufacturing company built peanut pickers and hay bailers.

After his father’s death in 1948, Monk became president. With his close friend and business partner, Charlie Griffin, they began experimenting with peanut curing systems. After successfully developing and making peanut dryers, Monk became interested in tobacco mechanization, especially curing tobacco with forced hot air. Since he already had experience with peanut drying, getting started with tobacco curing was a logical step. Working closely in the early 60’s with NC State College’s Ag Department, Monk and his engineers and local tobacco farmers developed the Roanoke Bulk Tobacco Barn, using the same peanut drying furnace, metal racks, and a two tier plywood/metal “mobile barn.”

Monk’s company was soon making and shipping these bulk tobacco barns all over the south, sold under the “Roanoke” name. What followed were tobacco harvesters. Since 1955, Monk’s company was making “pull type” and motor driven harvesters that basically carried field workers who pulled and tied the tobacco on sticks on the machines. Working now with RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, Monk and his engineers developed the first successful “automatic” tobacco primer. The “Roanoke Automatic Tobacco Primer,” was soon being sold in all tobacco states plus Canada. These two inventions changed the “Old Tobacco Farm” forever.

In 1962 Monk ran for and was elected North Carolina State Senator for District 1. Monk remained in the Senate for 26 continuous years serving the last 4 as Senate Pro-Temporer. While in office, Monk worked tirelessly for the agricultural industry in North Carolina, especially the tobacco farmer. Monk Died September 10, 2008, at the age of 89.

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