What was entered for the “New Implements” award at the Highland of 1937?

As noted in an earlier post the “New Implement” was an important aspect of the Highland Show. In 1937 there was a particularly strong entry for the award. Some of the entries were from well-known and long established businesses, such as Cruikshank & Co. (Ltd), Denny Iron Works, Denny, J. L. & J.Ballach, Gorgie Implement Works, Edinburgh, and Alexander Jack & Sons (Ltd), Maybole. Others were introduced by inventors who had a good idea that would help to support the mechanisation of Scottish agriculture.

The Scotsman published an extensive account of the entries in its pages of 22 June 1937. Here is what it said about the Scottish entries:

“The Highland Show at Alloa

New Implements

The competitive section

This year there are no fewer than 18 entries for the Society’s silver medal for new implements, as compared with 10 at Melrose last year and 13 at Alloa in 1929.

One or two of the entries are improvements on existing implements, and several are of labour-saving devices, which bring them into the category of new implements. The Society does not bind itself to try in the field every new implement, but an exhibitor who expresses a wish to do so can, with the sanction of the steward of implements and at his own expense, take his new implement out of the showyard during show week and put it to work, and, if within a reasonable distance, the judges will, if they deem it necessary, inspect it at work, and decide if it is worthy of a silver medal.

The judges of new implements are Mr J. P. Ross-Taylor. Mungoswalls, Duns, chairman of directors of the Society, who is also steward of the implement sections; Mr James Paton, Kirkness, Glencraig, Fife; and Mr John E.B. Cowper, Gogar House, Corstorphine, Edinburgh.

Mobile grass drier

One of the novelties in the show, a mobile grass drier invented by Messrs R. H. Rowell, Thomas Sanderson, and D. H. Sanderson, has been entered for competition by Mobile Driers (Ltd), Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Radiant heat is used in order to bring the moisture content of the grass to such a temperature that expansion takes place, thus liberating the moisture from the cellular tissue, which comes away in the form of vapor. It is then carried away by a convection current introduced from the bottom. As the convection current rises it meets the driest grass first, and, as it ascends, that which is less dry passing through the layer of grass on the various conveyor belts, and finally passing out fully saturated at the open top of the machine.

The principal advantage of this method of using radiant heat as a drying medium is exemplified by the fact that although the temperature of the saturated or partly saturated air drops very considerably (due to the latent heat of evaporation), the radiant panels still retain their full heat, being unaffected by the temperature of the surrounding air. The grass on each conveyor is subjected to radiant heat emission both from above and below the intensity of the radiant heat on the various conveyors being regulated; the wet grass is subjected to the greatest intensity, and this is diminished on the lower conveyors as the grass approaches a state of dryness. By this means a higher thermal efficiency is obtained than is possible where only a convection current is used.

Mobility of unit

The grass is taken up on an elevator and dropped on to the travelling conveyor belts to a thickness of approximately 4 ins, and the cascaded five times from one belt to the next below it before being automastically ejected in twelve minutes, this being the average time taken to dry grass which requires to have extracted moisture composing 80 per cent, of its total weight. The transmission, mounted upon a chassis, takes the drive direct from the source of power, which is usually a tractor or traction engine. Each unit is mounted on a pneumatic-tyred wheeled chasis and can be moved from farm to farm, or, if necessary, from field to field.

Bracken cutting scythe

A bracken and thistle cutting scythe has been entered by Cruikshank & Co. (Ltd), Denny Iron Works, Denny. This invention had been designed for use in accessible places, where it is impossible or dangerous to operate horse-driven or motor-driven cutters because of rough, wet, or steep land, or of trees and rabbit warrens. The scythe consists of two blades, each having a concave cutting edge resembling sickles placed back to back, which are fixed by means of a socket to a central Y handle, and weighs 5 ½ lbs. It is claimed that by means of the scythe large numbers of unskilled workers could be equipped at a moderate outlay for cutting large areas of bracken-infested land cheaply and expeditiously.

Spuds for mower wheels

Messrs J. L. & J.Ballach, Gorgie Implement Works, Edinburgh, exhibit “Sure-Grip” spuds for hay mower wheels. They have been designed for renewing worn hay mower wheels which have lost their gripping power. The centre rib on the spuds minimises slip on sidelands, and also ensures smooth transport on roads. The cost of supplying and fitting the spuds is about half the cost of new wheels. The spuds are easily fitted.

Hay-stacking elevator

Mr Robert Fraser, Threapmuir, Fossoway, Rumbling Bridge, has entered a haystacking elevator of his own invention. The chief feature of this elevator is that it can be easily controlled by one person. It can also be worked as long as desired without any risk of choking. The engine is enclosed, and is thus kept free from seeds &c. The elevator can be fitted with Dunlop wheels at small extra cost.

Glasgow firm’s devices

Three entries have been made by Messrs W. Henderson & Sons, Kelvindale Road, Glasgow. One is the “Collins” anti-slip wheel device, for fitment to pneumatic-tyred tractors and other vehicles. The fitment imparts a caterpillar or feathering action, whereby the loss of power is reduced to a minimum. The second is a harrow, the purpose of which is to provide a means of cultivation for various operations at present requiring a specialised machine or tool for each different operation. The third is an improvement in implements for fitment to “Collins” junior bracken cutter.

Ayrshire machines

A new three-row combined drill plough, artificial manure distributor, and dibbler or spacer is exhibited by Alexander Jack & Sons (Ltd), Maybole. This new machine represents an advance in the methods of cultivating potatoes and turnips, and is designed to increase the speed of planting without employing additional horse-power or manual labour. The same firm exhibits an improved three-row drill cultivator, with shafts for one horse. It is claimed that it can do the same work as three men and three horses with single-row cultivators or hoes.

Soil aerator

Mr John Hutton, Lemonth, Crail, Fife, shows a soil aerator, invented by exhibitor and made by D. Colville Carr, engineers, Crail. The main feature incorporated in the aerator is to be found in the movable tines. By a slight twist of the handles-which also serve for pulling the instrument-two tines come into operation in the space between each plant. As a plant is approached a twist of the handles in the reverse direction throws the two moveable tines out, and thus allows the plant to pass between.

All-crop harvester

Alexander Strang (Tractors) (Ltd), 4 Duddingston Gardens South, Edinburgh, exhibit the “Allis-Chalmers” all-crop harvester-a machine for cutting and threshing crops in one operation. It is claimed to be a machine new in threshing principles, in shape, and in design, and entirely new in results, a machine designed to suit all territories and all crops.

Animal feeding trough

An animal feeding trough, invented by Mr A. B. Allan, Auchinleck, Newton Stewart, and made by Mr John Rutherford & Sons, engineers, Earlston, Berwickshire, is exhibited by Messrs Gillies & Henderson, Bread Street, Edinburgh. This trough has an ingenious locking device. While the animals are feeding the trough is held in a locked position, but when the feeding stuffs have been consumed the trough is automatically turned upside down. This locking device ensures that the trough will be kept perfectly dry, and this prevents feeding stuffs from becoming damp.

Refrigeration plant

Messrs G. D. L. Swann & Son, Abercorn Street, Glasgow, have entered a pulsometer refrigeration plant, invented by a Reading firm. The plant is a methyl chloride refrigerating plant for cooling milk at approximately 45 gallons per hour under normal weather (summer) conditions from 90 degs F. to 40 deg F. It is in the design of the milk cooler itself that an advance is claimed. The design, viewed mechanically, is considered to be the best for withstanding internal pressure-i.e. a cylinder. No corrugated cooler could withstand so great a pressure.

Milking machine

Messrs Swann & Son also exhibit the Hinman-Simplex milking unit. The special improvements claimed, for recognition include the extreme simplicity of the design, which makes it possible to dismantle and re-assemble the whole unit, including the pulsator (patented) by hand only, no tools whatever being required.”


Local trials of binders in the late 1880s and early 1890s

There were a number of local trials of binders held by local agricultural organisations in the late 1880s and early 1890s. While some of the accounts of them were very short, others were much more extensive and provide great detail about the trial, including the machines entered and how they worked. They give a flavour of the event, its importance and the work carried out. The accounts were important for helping to disseminate information on binders, how they worked, and what they could achieve in the field.

The following is a selection of reports of trials of binders from this period.

Trial of harvest binders at Crathes (Aberdeen press and journal, 18 September 1888)

“Although no public trials of binders under the auspices under the auspices of the Royal Northern Agricultural Society have taken place, there have been semi-public trials in different parts of the country. The binders appear to be replacing the old reapers, and in a few years they will probably be the only implement of the kind in use. Yesterday one of Hornsby’s new binders started work at Mr Adam Todd’s farm, Milton of Drum, at Crathes Station, when a very large number of persons visited the harvest field. Amongst those present were noticed Mr Irvine of Drum, convener of the county; Colonel Innes, yr, of Learney; Mr Collie of Knappach, Mr Davidson, factor, Crathes; Mr Nicol, Upper Auguston; Mr Still, Nether Anguston; Mr Hunter, Crathes; Mr Ross, Crathes, &c. This binder has several improvements this year, and though the crop was heavy and there was a great sole of grass it gave the greatest satisfaction to everyone present. The machine cut as low as any grass mower, and so perfect is the cutting and gathering power that no grass chokes it. This year the sheaf is smaller, a great improvement on the old “ill to win” sheaves. So pleased were many of the farmers with the new binder that several orders were given for delivery next season to Mr George Bruce, Aberdeen, the local agent.”

Trial of binders (North British agriculturist, 28 August 1889)

“A trial of binders, under the auspices of the Fettercairn Farmers’ Club, took place on a field belonging to Mr Cameron, brewer. The field, which almost adjoins the market stance, was visited during the afternoon by a large number of spectators. There were two machines, “Massey’s” and “McCormick’s”. There was no judicial decision given, but both machines performed their work in an admirable manner.”

Trial of binders in Banffshire (North British Agriculturist, 9 September 1891)

“On Saturday, on two fields on the farm of Braco, Keith, there was an exhibition of binders. Five machines took part in the trial, viz Blairgowrie, shown by Messrs Bisset & Son; the Woods, shown by Messrs B. Reid & Co., Aberdeen; the Massey, shown by Messrs G. W. Murray & Co., Banff; the McCormick, shown by Messrs Smith & Sons, Aberdeen; and the Brantford, shown by Messrs B. Reid & Co. All the machines, with the exception of the Blairgowrie binder, were of American design. Each machine had to cut and bind an equal plot of standing barley in one field, and in another field, on a slope, the machines followed in rotation, the barley crop being considerably lodged. Despite the softness of the ground, and the different ways in which the crop was lodged by bad weather, excellent work was done. The trial was under the auspices of the Central Banffshire Farmers’ Club, and was attended by a large number of interested agriculturists. The committee of the club will present a report on the trial in the course of a few days.”

Trial of binders (North British Agriculturist, 7 September 1892)

“Under the auspices of the Stirling Agricultural Society, a trial of binders was held yesterday on Raploch and Kildean farms, near Stirling, tenanted by Mr P. Dewar, and Mr McKerracher respectively. The weather was extremely favourable. Eight machines were entered from John Wallace & Sons, Graham Square, Glasgow (Massey-Harris “Brantford” open and binder); J. & H. Keyworth & Co., Liverpool, per Messrs James Gray & Co., seedsman, Stirling (“Adriance” rear discharge binder); Kemp & Nicholson, Stirling (Massey-Harris “Toronto” light binder); Richard Hornby & Sons, Grantham, England; P. & R. Fleming & Co., 29 Argyle Street and 16 Graham Square, Glasgow (“Bindlochline” binder and “McCormick’s” open end binder); Graham & Morton, ironmongers, Stirling (“The Buckeye Banner” binder); J. Bisset & Sons, agricultural engineers, Blairgowrie. The trials took place on four different fields, three being in barley and one in oats. The barley in the first field operated upon was a fairish crop, while the other two were decidedly over the average, with an undergrowth of grass and foggage. The oats were a heavy crop. The soil was a heavy clay, and soft in consequence of the wet weather. The exhibition was a distinct success, and was very useful in the way of enabling the farmers to present to form an estimate as to the machine best suited for their purpose.”


The introduction of binders in Scotland and other reflections on the implement trade

Accounts of dinners and other events of the Scottish agricultural implement makers sometimes provide nuggets of information about the history of the makers, the development and introduction of particular implements and machines. One such account was published in The Scotsman of 29 November 1922. It related to a dinner for Mr William Poole of Armstrong & Main (Ltd), Edinburgh. He had been working in the trade since 1871. He played a key role, working for one of the important makers and agents. He had a number of important recollections, including that of the binder into Scotland. This was to play a key role in the mechanisation of the grain harvest. Here is what the newspaper account wrote of that introduction and Mr Poole’s reflections on the implement making sector:

“Scottish implement trade

Introduction of self-binders

Mr William Poole, of Messrs Armstrong & Main (Ltd), Edinburgh, who has been for fifty years associated with Messrs A. & J. Main (Ltd) and Messrs Armstrong & Main, and is a director of the Highland and Agricultural Society and a member of Edinburgh Town Council, was last night entertained at dinner by the Agricultural Implement Trade in Ferguson & Forrester’s, Edinburgh. Mr James H. Steele, Edinburgh, presided, and at the chairman’s table were Councillor Poole, Sir Isaac Connell, S.S.C.; Bailie A. Thornton Hunter, Maybole (Messrs A. Jack & Sons); Mr W. B. Wallace (Messrs Wallace), Glasgow; and Major J. kemp Smith (Messrs kemp & Nicholson), Stirling.

East Lothian demonstrations

Bailie Thornton Hunter, Maybole, in presenting Mr Poole with an illuminated address and other gifts, said much water had run under the bridges since Mr Poole commenced his business life under the late Mr James R. Main in 1871. He often wondered if the agricultural engineer got the credit he was entitled to for inventing and improving machinery to assist the farmer in his endeavour to make the proverbial two blades of grass to grow instead of one. It was admitted that one of the greatest inventions of last century was the self-binder, and Mr Poole’s connections with its introduction in this country was a unique and interesting one. In August 1878, at a field trial of the Walter A. Wood and the McCormick wire binders, he superintended and secured for his firm a gold medal for the McCormick manure. In the early eighties he had the honour of starting eth first twine binder ever put to work in Scotland. This demonstration took place on the farm of Mr Waugh of Eweford, Dunbar. Shortly after this the Toronto binder was introduced into Scotland by the late Mr Wm Ford of Fenton Barns. In the season following the introduction of the Toronto machine, he secured one of four Brantford all-steel frame binders, made by Harris & Son, Brantford. This machine was found to be an improvement on anything that had up to that time been used in this country. It, however, lacked capacity for dealing with the heavy crops grown in this country and it left a long stubble. Quick to see the defects and to know how improvements could be made, Mr Poole met a representative of the makers in the harvest field at Abbey Mains, Haddington, and from the suggestions made by Mr Poole this make of machine was so much improved that it at once jumped into popularity. So great was the success of this binder that the Massey Company found it would be to their interest to amalgamate with Harris & Son, which they did, and their joint production was the world-famous Massey-Harris binder. Mr Poole had contributed in so small measure to the art of agricultural implement making, particularly to the self-binder branch of the art, and a debt of gratitude was due to him by the whole agricultural community for his energy, ability, and enterprise. (Applause)

Importance of agricultural engineer

Mr Poole, in reply, said the manufacture of agricultural machinery in this country gad been looked upon by many as the Cinderella of the engineering profession, but, in his opinion, this was a misconception. In the great countries of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentine, and South Africa the agricultural engineer occupied a position of pre-eminence, and, in co-operation with the farmer, had helped forward the development of these new countries with a rapidity that otherwise would have been impossible. During the late war the British Government discovered the importance of the agricultural engineer, and the amount of work entrusted to him. Through the manufacture of munitions of war and specialities connected with the same, was simply stupendous; and it must not be forgotten that it was in an agricultural engineering shop at Lincoln that the first war tank was designed and built. Mr Poole referred to the patriotic and valued services of the late Dule of Sutherland in land reclamation, spoke of the valuable assistance which the Scottish agricultural engineer has always received from the Scottish landed proprietors, their factors, and agents, and said that the passing of the landlords at the present time was nothing short of a national calamity. He had been connected with the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland since 1873, and with a few exceptions he had been present at the many trials and competitions that had been held under the auspices of the Society, and he had no hesitation in saying that the trials of tractors and tractor implements recently held at Dalkeith were, in his opinion, the most valuable and successful, so far as good and satisfactory work was concerned, that the Society had ever had. (Applause)

A fair field for Scottish agriculturists

Replying to the toast of “Scottish agriculture”, proposed by Mr W. B. Wallace, Glasgow, Sir Isaac Connell said Scottish agriculturists were up against a stiff proposition, but they were not going to lie down to it. They were not going to trust to Government promises or to political proposals. It was their own right hand and their brains on which they had to rely. It was right that the Government should help them with plant breeding, and to combat animal diseases. It was right that they should get the most up-to-date implements. If they got these, and were a fair field, he thought they would win through. (Applause)

Mr P. O. Turnbull, Smeaton, Dalkeith, in proposing the toast of “The Agricultural Implement Trade”, said farmers could not exist without implements, whether they were manufactured in Scotland or not, by they wanted implements which were suited to Scottish conditions.

Mr W. J. Hutchinson, Thurso Engineering Co., replied,

Other toasts included “Our Scottish Capital and its Civil Rulers”, proposed by Mr R. K. Anderson, and replied to by Councillor Philips Smith, and “The Highland and Agricultural Society”, proposed by Mr James Morgan (Messrs George Sellar & Son), and acknowledged by Mr A. B. Leitch, Inchstelly, Alves.’

William Ford of Fenton Barns was involved with the introduction of the binder in Scotland between at least 1887 and 1893. He advertised in the Scottish agricultural press in these years, exhibited at the Royal Highland Show and in 1895 participated in the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland’s exhibition of binders at work. He appears to have been earlier a farmer at Hardengreen, Dalkeith.


Reflections of the hay field and the hay harvest in 1899

Newspapers sometimes print articles that reflect on contemporary activities and widder issues. These can be helpful in understanding what it was like to participate in framing activities decades ago.

On 29 July 1899 the Linlithgowshire gazette printed an article on haymaking in present days and in past years. It is an interesting account for the reflections on the haymaking season and the significant changes that took place in the hay field over the course of the second half of the nineteenth century. The late 1880s and 1890s was also a time of significant change in the hay field with the development of rick lifters and horse forks which came to have a profound impact on the amount of manual labour needed to make hay. The article is quoted at length:

Haymaking past and present

The weather has become peculiarly fine and warm, the haymakers are busy in every field, and the scent of the beans and the new-mown grass give a pleasing sweetness to the morning breeze. When we see the rising sun tinting the hills with gold, and kissing the brow of great majestic white clouds enthroned on the horizon, and listen to the carolling of the lark and the lambs bleating on the brae, we conclude that the long-looked-for summer has come at last. The mildness of autumn has got a knack during recent years of prolonging its stay to the early spring, and the bleak winds of winter continue to sigh through the naked hedgerows, and whistle through the gaunt boughs, long after the swallow and cuckoo have made their appearance, so that one can scarcely believe that the summer is with us. As we wander by hill and dale with the sun nearing the west, and shedding its soft effulgent light o’er vast cornfields fast coming to the ear, and watch the long grass bending in billows before the breeze, and the shadows flitting over the grassy lawn, chasing one another until lost on the russet brow of some silent hill away in the distance, round which the grey shadows already creep and anon grow deeper, until night close o’er it, and it is lost from our view, we begin to realise that the nights are again lengthening and the days creeping in. The years roll, and everything comes in season, and, oh, how quickly! When boys at school how long the time was in passing, how wearisome the Sundays, and how long the fair time was in coming, and how we used to boast of what we would do when men, and still find us beginning, and but children in knowledge. With advancing years time passed too quickly, and hay time and harvest come before we realise that they should be here.

But the hay harvest is now in full swing, and the click of the reaper is heard once more throughout the land. Broad fields are soon mown down with these labour-saving machines with an ease and lightness unknown thirty years ago. The hay is then drawn into windrows with the horse rake, for the tedding process is now seldom performed, for the mowing machines leave the grass in a broad thin swathe upon the field that obviates the necessity of turning it. Men and women come with forks and coil it roughly up in case of rain. Next day, if the weather is suitable, a horse sledge is drawn between the rows, and two men fork the hay from each side, while another builds, until a fair-sized field rick is formed, which is gently slipped off, and the process renewed until all the crop is secured. It is allowed to dry there for a fortnight, or such time as the farmer finds convenient, when it is drawn on the rick-lifters and carried to the barnyard, where it is, by the aid of the horse-fork, elevated on to an oblong stack, and thus finally stored until required for use. The whole process is thus easily and expeditiously completed by the aid of machinery and horse power, and the labour bill materially reduced.

But some thirty or forty years ago haymaking was a serious business, for a good number of extra hands had to be employed for the occasion. A band of scythesmen cut down the hay, which was turned over next day, as the swathes were heavy and thick. When at the proper stage of dryness men with forks gathered it into windrows, while others followed and coiled it up; and hay was coiled in these days, it was not throw into heaps like now. Women and boys then raked about and trimmed up the coils by pulling the hay from the bottom and placing it on the top, like a man thatching a stack, which sharpened them up considerably, and assisted materially in throwing off the wet, and made them proof against any moderate rainfall. After the field was all hand raked, which was no light task in itself, the hay generally remained untouched for about a week, or until sufficiently dry, when it was turn-coiled, and again trimmed as formerly. It was then load on to the carts after drying a day or two longer, and finally staked in the barnyard. This system, when carefully performed, was certainly hard to beat, but it required a large number of hands to complete every detail properly. Quite apart from the question of wages, farmers would be somewhat dubious of returning to this old style, for it required a certain amount of taste, tidiness, and inborn thrift not noticeable in the field labourer nowadays. When by the aid of machinery the same ends can be obtained with a lightness and ease hitherto unknown, none are sorry that the old system has disappeared never to return, although one certainly regrets that the mirth and social glee characteristic of the time have also gone with it.

I believe few people even at the present time contemplate the occupations of the hay field without feeling a very pure and elevated delight. But the gathering together of so many hands in these days fostered a warm sympathy and cheerful mirthfulness rarely seen now. The mowers moving gracefully in concert, the grass trembling for a moment, then swept into swathes by the scythe, its grateful fragrance, the maidens tedding the hay, the soft summer air peculiar to the season, all excite a sensible pleasure in almost every mind. A concerted movement implies a common will, and creates an agreeable sensation; and a scheme of utility completed also gives a restful pleasure and satisfaction. It was quite a common thing for a band of scythesmen to gather at a farm after their day’s labours were finished, and cut down a fair-sized field before darkness set in. Of course this was generally arranged beforehand, and the “guidwife” prepared for the occasion. It was grand to see a squad of stalwart men, the one a little behind the other, swinging their scythes from side to side, keeping “chap” and all moving forward in unison. Every cutter tried to do his level best, for the old and experienced sat at the rig end smoking, cracking, and criticising, while the young played around or stood listening to their remarks. On the task being completed the company assembled in the farm kitchen where curds and cream, tea, scones, cakes, butter not made by machinery, home-made cheese, and a bottle or two of Liddel’s best disappeared as if by magic. After the inner man was soothed, satisfied, or elevated, as the case might be, a retiral was made to the granary, which had been recently swept. Lasses gathered in from the neighbouring farms, and a concertina, fiddle, or perhaps a penny whistle being got hold of, country dances, strathspeys, and reels were set in full swing with much “hooching”. The mirth, laughter, and rhythm of the dancers on the wooden floor could be hears a long way off, for the heavy beat of some twenty pairs of “tacketty” boots descending in unison made the rafters dirl, and the old barn rock and sway to its very foundation. Thus the merry hours passed, swift-winged, with joy unfeigned; then each by slaps and stiles took off their several way, for the labours of the morrow commanded attention.

Through the great decrease of the country population, by emigration, and its large influx to great cities, by the introduction of machinery, and the advance of science and education, a pleasing feature of country life has passed away. Although a new order of things has arisen on the ruins of the old, which enables the farmer to cope with the world-wide competition prevailing at present, still it is sad to think that the clannish feeling, warm sympathy, happy labour, love, and social glee of the past has fled never to return. The emigrant lying on a foreign shore, with his raven locks now mixed with “siller threeds” must look back on these happy scenes as sunny memories of his youth, which link him with sacred ties to his native home.-Andrew McFarlane, Chalmerston, in the “Scottish Farmer”.


An important business announcement from William Garvie, Aberdeen

On 11 July 1923 the Aberdeen press and journal carried the following advert:

“Business announcement

William Garvie, for over thirty years Manager of the Millwright Department for Robert G. Garvie, begs to announce that he has taken over the engineering business at 41 Willowdale Place, Aberdeen. He intends, along with James Innes and William Scott, to carry on the work as engineers, millwrights, and implement makers, under the name of Garvie, Innes, and Scott.

Estimates given for all sizes of threshing machines, crank shafts and mill parts.

Charges moderate.

41 Willowdale Place, 9th July, 1923.”

This announcement heralded the start of the new business of Garvie, Innes, and Scott. It was recorded in local trades directories in Aberdeen throughout the 1920s and until at least the outbreak of the Second World War, though by that time James Innes was away from the business. In 1929 the business described itself as engineers and millwrights. A decade later this was as engineers.

In 1931 it advertised its light-running threshing machines which were “substantially built and well finished”. It was an agent for all classes of oil engines, bruisers etc. It sent out illustrated catalogues for its complete threshing plants.


An episode in the history of an old established Ayrshire business: Thomas Hunter & Sons, Maybole

On 24 June 1922 The Scotsman published the following advert in its columns:

“Agricultural implements. For sale, as a going concern; that old established business of Thomas Hunter & Sons (Maybole), Limited, in liquidation, agricultural implement makers, Maybole; the buildings are modern, and were specially erected for the trade, but are suitable for other purposes. Offers for the whole concern, or for (1) the land, buildings, and machinery, and (2) the stock, will be entertained; good opportunity for acquiring at moderate price a made business with valuable connection extending over 60 years.

For further particulars apply to Reid & Campbell, accountants, 49 West George Street, Glasgow; or to Templeton & Granger, 157 West George Street, Glasgow.”

The name of Thomas Hunter & Sons, later from 1914, Thomas Hunter & Sons (Maybole) Ltd, was associated with the Implement works, Alloway Road, Maybole, Ayrshire. It was first recorded in the agricultural press of 8 May 1961. For a short period around 1878 the business was known as Thomas and Andrew Hunter. By 1895 Thomas was joined by his sons. From the 1870s the business was an agricultural implement maker, and a smith and later a mechanical engineer.

The business was well known from the 1880s for its turnip drills, ploughs, harrows, mowers, reapers, and turnip thinners. From 1909 they were described as drills and cultivating tools. It was especially noted for the “Hunter Hoe”.

The business attended the Highland Show from 1864 and was a regular attender throughout all the different show districts. It also won a number of awards at the show. These included in 1870 a medium silver medal for Armstrong’s harrows. In 1873 it was awarded a silver medal for 2 patent turnip thinners and in 1875, a minor silver medal for its collection.

It entered the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland’s trials and competitions in later years. These included turnip thinners in 1883 and 1886, manure distributors in 1886b and 1894 and turnip lifters in 1895. It was one of only a small number of Scottish makers to gain success at the competitions of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. In 1870 it was highly commended for Dickson’s patent double drill turnip cleaner. In 1872 it was also awarded a prize of L5 for Dickson’s patent harrows for harrowing turnip drills.

Thomas had a number of patents. These included ones for the invention of ‘improvements in implements for lifting potatoes’, and ‘improvements in apparatus for topping and tailing turnips and root crops’

In 1924 the proprietors of the business was another Maybole agricultural implement and machine maker: Alexr Jack & Sons Ltd. It was associated with this business in its adverts, until at least 1934.


Passing of a veteran: Mr Mathers, Inchmichael, Errol, Perthshire in 1923

The name of Mathers of Inchmichael was well known in Perthshire in the early 1920s. In fact the name is associated with implement and machine making back until at least 1896. By 1903 when Mr Mathers was joined by his sons, he

operated out of the Implement Works, Errol. By 1909 it had businesses addresses at Errol and at Glasgow Road, Perth. Its trades were as an agricultural implement maker and as a smith and farrier. It was a well-known business, advertising in both the North British Agriculturist from 1899 onwards and in The Scottish Farmer from 1901. It exhibited at the Highland Show from 1896, principally in the shows in central and northern Scotland.

The business also acted as a dealer for a large number of well-known makers including in 1904 those of W. Deering & Co., Chicago, Harrison, McGregor & Co. Ltd, Leigh, Lancashire, Cockshutt Plough Co., Brantford, Kemp & Nicholson, Stirling, Oliver Plow Company, South Bend, Indiana, W. Reid & Leys, Aberdeen, and Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies Ltd, Orwell Works, Ipswich.

By the early 1920s the firm was being noted for its innovations. In 1920 it entered for the new implement award at the Royal Highland Show a “self-propelled engine driven turnip cutter of the barrel type, which can be used for cutting turnips into finger pieces for sheep and slices for cattle.”. A self-propelled engine-driven turnip cutter was also entered for the following show. By 1923 Mathers’ patent self-propelled engine-driven turnip cutter. Invented by Archibald C. Mathers, sole partner (patent no 181108) was also entered.

Henry William Mathers, who described himself as an agricultural implement maker and agent, retired on 10 February 1922. The business was carried on by the remaining partner of the business, Archibald Charles Mathers.

Henry W. Mathers died in July 1923. His passing was marked by the Perthshire advertiser in its columns of 21 July 1923. This records some of the history of his business and its development:


Passing of a veteran

The death has occurred at Inchmichael, Errol, of Mr Henry Wm Mathers, who for more than half a century was associated with the agricultural industry, and was well known in the framing community in Perthshire, and particularly of the Carse. The deceased, who was 82 years of age, followed his grandfather and father in business at Errol as a blacksmith. As such he worked for the farmers and others in the Errol district. His opportunity to develop and widen his business came to him when many years ago he invented a hay collector. The machine became a recognised implement in the hay field, and is still widely in use. So successful was Mr Mathers’ first venture that he branched out in business as an agricultural implement maker and repairer under the name of Messrs H. W. Mathers & Sons. The loss of two sons, who were associated with him in the business, was a severe blow, but Mr Mathers persevered, and was assisted in the development of the concern of another son, Mr Archibald C. Mathers. Now the firm have extensive premises in Glasgow Road, Perth, and their implements are in general use. Mr Mathers retired from active participation in the business about four years ago. He was, however, able to move about until recently. His figure was familiar at the Highland and many local shows during a period of about twenty years, the last Highland he attended being that at Aberdeen four years ago. The deceased is survived by one son, who carries on the business, and four daughters.”

In the late 1920s the business was known for its hay collectors and engine driven turnip cutters.


The Aberdeen “Highland” of 1931: the Motion Yard

Earlier in the week we looked at what was new at the Aberdeen “Highland” of 1931. Today we are looking at another aspect of that show: the Motion Yard. This was an element of the show that showed implements and machines “in motion”, hence, they were in the “Motion Yard”. The Scotsman, in its pages of 23 June, carried an extensive feature of the Yard. It focused on one or two of the key Scottish businesses. So what were they exhibiting?

“Machinery in Motion

Large collection

There is no more attractive department in the entire display of implements than that devoted to machinery in motion. Here, at the stands of some seventy firms, all of whom are well known throughout the agricultural world, visitors will find much of general interest, whether or not they are associated with pursuits of the soil. The mere fact that the great assortment of machines can be seen in motion is undoubtedly an appealing factor in itself. To townspeople as well as to farmers, a machine shown in motion is always a much more human interest than an inert exhibit, and, after all, few men have lost that boyish interest in the turning of wheels. A tour of the motion yard is an education, revealing the wonderful ingenuity of the agricultural implement producers in evolving new methods in farming operations. Most of the up-to-date machines are already well known to farmers, but new devices and improvements are always being brought forth, and therein lies the value of an inspection.

Farmers’ emporium

Mr James H. Steele, Harrison Road, Edinburgh, presents at Stand no. 48 his customary varied collection of agricultural implements, appliances, and requisites. The assortment is of such a nature as to justify his motto, “Everything for the Farm”. Here indeed it is a case of “inquire within upon everything” for the farm, from a fencing staple or nail to a tractor, from a scythe blade to a binder and reaper. The articles on view are too numerous to detail, but special attention is directed to the display of tractors of the very latest type, each with power take-off. Alongside are several binders with direct tractor drive. In addition there are numerous engines, mowers, and binders of Ruston-Hornsby make, and a full range of Messrs Ransomes’ tractor and horse ploughs, horse rakes, potato diggers &c. The proximity of the hay harvest makes opportune the exhibition of a collection of modern machines, including new patent crane-pattern hay elevators, triangle rick-lifters, hay bogies, Bamletts’ “Rolls-Royce” mower, swath turners, hay collectors, &c. There can also be inspected here an improved potato sorting machine for power drive, manure distributors, turnip-cutting attachments for carts, cattle troughs, corn bins &c. The Wilder new patent “pitch-pole Minor” grass harrow is a new implement, being shown at the “Highland” for the first time. A combination of a flexible tine harrow with a square-link chain harrow attached, the unique and vital feature of the “Minor” is the patent offset tines, which are self-cleaning. Consequently, tufts and rubbish present no difficulty. At Stand no 120, a special display is made of all the latest dairy equipment. Of outstanding interest here is the complete dairy and wash-house plant, comprising steam boiler, steam sterilising chest, washing trough, bottle-washing turbine, and rinser. There are also an improved bottle filling and discing machine, cream separators, refrigerators, churns, butter-workers, milk bottles and boxes, milk filters, and all the latest Grade A milk appliances. Poultry enthusiasts are likewise well catered for, the stand containing a special range of the well-known Venn Carr automatic dry-wash hoppers together with various sizes of poultry houses, incubators, and all the accessories for the hen run.

Engines and implements

Two specimens of their noted oil engines are shown at Stand no. 44 by Alexander Shanks & Son (Ltd), Dens Iron Works, Arbroath. One is an engine of the cold starting crude oil type, and the other is a horizontal hot bulb engine, also for crude oil. They are to be seen in motion, complete with all accessories. A 36-inch cut water-cooled motor mower is also on view. The firm, are also to be found at Stand no, 324, where they are showing a number of their famous lawn mowers of the Eagle, Britisher, and hawk types, together with motor mowers in varying sizes.

A comprehensive assortment of implements and general requirements for the farm, dairy, garden and poultry establishments, is made by Mr A. M. Russell, 108-112West Bow, Grassmarket, Edinburgh. Cultivators, rototillers, tractors, and oil engines figure prominently on the stand, but there are also binders and mowers, potato diggers and turnip cutters, field and stable bins, troughs, extension ladders, whitewashing and spraying machines, Dairy and poultry appliances, garden tools and requisites. Samples of Mr Russell’s popular hand-made wire netting for sheep and the A. M. R. brand of pig netting are featured.

John Wallace & Sons (Ltd), 34 Paton Street, Glasgow, are to be found at stand no. 74, where they have their customary varied display of implements and machinery. A feature is made of their extensive range of barn machinery, including a chaff-cutter, corn-bruisers, oilcake breaker combined grinder and bruiser, &c. Examples are also shown of the firm’s famous potato-diggers, mowers and reapers, manure distributors, together with a section of Oliver ploughs, food coolers, oil engines, &c. Messrs Wallace have long been renowned for their implements, a reputation built entirely upon quality and reliability.

Gillies & Henderson, 59 Bread Street, Edinburgh, are at Stand no. 55 in the motion yard, where they have a most comprehensive display of machines likely to meet the requirements of every farmer. Here we have a Case tractor of the newest model, as well as binders, mowers, hay rakes, swath turners, and potato diggers. Among other features special mention can be made of the fact that there is the newest telescopic poultry house, a new grid which obviates the necessity for gates on main roads, and an exhibition of the weaving of hand-made sheep wire netting for which the firm are known throughout the country.

P. & R. Fleming & Co., Graham Square and Argyle Street, Glasgow, are located at Stand no 75, where they present an attractive display of agricultural implements and dairy utensils, &c. prominent on the stand is the Waugh patent sheep dipping outfit, comprising a circular catching pen, sheep dipper, and circular dipper. Other exhibits include potato and charlock sprayers, horse forks, engines, mowers, pumping sets, horse rakes, dairy sterilising plant, bins, troughs, poultry appliances, and a collection of wire fencing gates &c.

Sowers and cultivators

Sowing and cultivating machinery is to be seen in variety at Stand no, 80, occupied by J. & J. Ballach, Gorgie Implement Works, Edinburgh. Included in the assortment is the new patent universal expanding disc drill scarifier, adaptable for drills from 18 to 30 inches wide. This machine gained the H. & A. S. silver medal at the 1927 Show in Edinburgh. Manure distributors, combined seed and manure sowers, drill scarifiers, and other implements are to be found in profusion, as well as hay mowers, potato diggers, swath turners, engines, and a selection of galvanised ware.

A general survey

Apart from these particular stands and exhibits, there are many firms represented in the motion yard, all displaying their respective productions and wares. A never-failing feature of this section, irrespective of whether the Highland Show is held north or south, is the collection of heavy traction engines and road rollers on view, almost of not all of which are forward from firms in the English Midlands. These engines are now adaptable to almost every duty in and around the farm, and they are to be seen in motion or stationary at practically every stand in the section. Threshing machinery constitutes another feature in the general display. Many firms have such plant in motion in conjunction with oil engines, amongst those specialising in this department being George McCartney & Co., Cumnock; Barclay, Ross, & Hutchison (Ltd), Aberdeen; Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies (Ltd), Ipswich; Marshall, Sons & Co., (Ltd), Gainsborough; R. G. Garvie & Sons, Aberdeen; James Ferries & Co., Inverness; Garvie, Innes & Scott, Aberdeen; Allan Brothers, Aberdeen.”


What was new at the Aberdeen Highland of 1931?

The Highland Show was an important forum for the exhibition of the latest Scottish agricultural implements and machines. The Aberdeen show of 1931 was noted for the size of its implement yard but also for some of the important innovations that were on display. As the Aberdeen press and journal noted: “Engineering skill in the interests of the agricultural industry is strongly reflected”.

So what was on display at the Aberdeen highland of 1931? In sort, a wide range of the most up to date and innovative farm machinery made by the leading Scottish makers (as well as others from further afield). These included names well associated with the north-east and north of Scotland. The following account from the Aberdeen press and journal of 23 June 1931 sets out what one of its reporters thought of the show and what they found interesting:

“Implements for the farm – at the Highland Show

Manure distributor from Aberdeen

Many labour-saving devices

In the section set aside for implements and machinery there are 2,991 entries. This number creates a record for the Highland Show. The nearest approach to this total was at the Edinburgh show in 1927, when the collection was 2,874. At Aberdeen on the following year the number was 2,377.

The steward of this department is Mr J. P. Ross Taylor, Mungoswells, assisted by Mr charley tinker of Kilmartin, Inverness. There are over twenty new implements. The society is offering £1,000 of a prize doe the best new implement or machine. This offer remains open until the end of next year. The entries for this prize are to be submitted to practical trials not later than March of 1933, and must be submitted from the actual manufacturers or inventors.

Engineering skill in the interests of the agricultural industry is strongly reflected. At every turn one sees improved and labour-saving devices for the feeding of live stock, and new ideas in implements and machinery that reduce costs of outdoor and indoor farm work. Subjected to a long period of depression, farmers are keen on finding out how expenses can be reduced without efficiency being reduced in any way.

Northern stands

North country firms make a bold display, and are certain to attract attention from the thousands of visitors who wish to keep themselves abreast of the times. The stands include those of Aberdeen Journals, Ltd (“Aberdeen Press and Journal”); Aberdeen Town and County Association for Teaching the Blind at Their Homes.; W. Alexander, Ruthen, Watten, Caithness; Allan Brothers, Ashgrove Engineering Works, Aberdeen; Barclay, Ross, and Hutchison, Ltd, Aberdeen; Anglo-American Oil Coy ltd; J. P. Brown, Dipple, Fochabers.

Miss Davidson, Gushetneuck Pottery, Bieldside; James Ferries and Co., motor engineers, Inverness; Garvie, Innes, and Scott, Willowdale Place, Aberdeen; R. G. Garvie and Sons, Canal Road, Aberdeen; Macaulay Institute for Soil Research, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen; Kenneth MacKenzie, engineer, Evanton, Ross-shire; Marshall and Philp, Aberdeen; John Milne and Sons, Montrose; North of Scotland College of Agriculture, Aberdeen.

Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen; Scottish Home Industries Association, Nairn; George Sellar and Son, Ltd, Huntly; Sutherland Home Industries, Golspie.

Mr Kenneth MacKenzie, engineer, Evanton, who has a high reputation for the making of quality farm implements and machinery, has several of his own inventions at his no. 5 stand. They include a portable combined cleaner and cutter with engine; a practical and very desirable combination for sheep feeding; a turnip cutter with engine; sack holders and feeding barrows. Mr Mackenzie is the type of engineer that farmers and others should keep in touch with, because every now and again he is inventing something that plays an important part in the economic side of agriculture.

Foaling alarm

Farmers will be interested in stand 234, on which there is exhibited the “Brown-Souter” foaling alarm. Mr Brown, Dipple, Fochabers, is a director of the Society, and his co-inventor is Mr J. Stephen, Greyfriars Iron Works, Elgin.

This invention, particulars of which appeared in the “Press and Journal” some time ago, gives warning when a mare is about to foal.

It comprises a mechanical electrical device so designed that it is not possible for foaling to take place without a warning bell being rung. The bell may be fixed at any distance from the loose box or stable. The price is approximately £5.

From Caithness

Mr W. Alexander, Ruthen, Watten, Caithness, has an automatic trapnesting apparatus for recording the number of eggs laid by hens; the layer of an under-standard weight egg is also retained until released. When the eggs are collected, the egg belonging to any individual hen may be traced. This apparatus, with a turnip thinning machine, was made by Mr George Doull, Bellevue, Castletown, Caithness.

North country people, on approaching the Anglo-American Oil Company’s stand 331, are gripped by the striking and attractive display of the famous and popular Pratt’s High Test Petrol, and various kinds of oil and spirit. There are specimens of bulk storage installations, Valor heater and cookers, drums, cans, and Flit, the household insecticide.

J. L. and J. Ballach, Gorgie Implement Works, Edinburgh, have an improved revolving divider, for use with binders. The object of this divider is to make the operation of a binder cleaner and quicker.

Barclay, Ross and Hutchison, Ltd., Aberdeen, have, among other implements, the “SAI” manure distributor. Invented and made by the exhibitors, the machine is not an entirely new implement, but it is claimed that new principles are embodied in the design. The machine is also suited to sow all classes of fertilisers in any desired quantity from ½ cwt to 20 cwt per acre. The distributor is simple in construction, strong, and well-fitted.

The special feature is the mechanism adopted, whereby the machine is capable of sowing a very small quantity per acre with even distribution.

Other features are:-the size of the rollers and the way the shutting bar and scraper is applied, assure an accurate and even distribution. The adjustment with the single lever enables fertilisers to be sown at a minimum rate per acre. The speed of the distributing roller, and revolving stirrer arms inside the box, help materially in a regular and even distribution. The draught is extremely light. Gearing is simple and accurate. The standard size sowing width of the machine is 8 feet wide and 9 feet to centre of wheels. The distributor is easily cleaned by undoing a centre bush and removing the stirrer rod.”


New implements at the “Highland” of 1935

An important section of the Royal Highland Show, yesterday, and today, is the new implements entered for the “New Implement” award. Entries reflect what was new, innovative as well as solutions to try to remedy contemporary problems in Scottish agriculture. There was a diverse range of implements and machines entered for this award in 1935. Some were to address long-standing issues, others to deal with current problems. Some reflected the interests of their inventors, having a great idea that would make an important change to Scottish agriculture.

The Scotsman provided a detailed account of the entries for the “New Implement” award in its pages of 18 June 1935. This is what it wrote:

“Farm implements and machinery described

New implements

The competitive section

Each year the Society offers a silver medal for new implements, and on this occasion 17 exhibitors have entered implements and other labour-saving devices in this competitive section. The entries are to be found among the exhibits of the manufacturers’ stands, and while some of them are “old friends”, many show improvements in detail of existing implements which bring them into the category of “new implements”. Small and simple as some of the inventions may appear, they are of considerable importance. One of the novelties of last year was a bracken cutter, for which a medal was awarded to an Ayrshire firm. This year another bracken cutter has been entered, but before the judges can appraise its value it will have to be seen at work.

The judges of new implements, Messrs J. P. Ross-Taylor, Mungoswells, Duns; James Paton, Kirkness, Glencraig; and John E. B. Cowper, Gogar House, Edinburgh, began their inspection yesterday, accompanied by Professor R. Stanfield, A.R.S.M.; M.Inst.C.E. F.R.S.E., consulting engineer, and Mr John B. todd, B.Sc., PhD., M.I.Mech.E., Edinburgh, assistant consulting engineer.

“Scottish bracken cutter”

In these days when the spread of bracken has been causing serious damage to sheep flocks by giving cover for maggot flies, and when methods for its eradication are being urged upon the Government, attention will be directed to the “Scottish” cutter which has been invented by Mr Thomas Scott, Thorn Farm, Bonnybridge. The cutter consists of a special scythe, to which is attached a chemical sprayer-a docker’s improved lamp-carrying a chemical preparation-the principal ingredients being paraffin oil and naphthalene, with benzolene, cresol, or other tar oils. The chemical mixture is allowed to drip on the blade of the scythe, and by slight movements of the hand is spread along the blade. By cutting a very short stubble the chemical mixture is permitted to reach and kill the fronds. It is also maintained that the inclusion of tar oils in the mixture will tend to eliminate flies.

Glasgow firm’s pasteuriser

The question of the pasteurising of milk has been acutely raised in many quarters, and there are some who advocate that all milk which is not produced from Grade A (😭.) or certified herds should be compulsorily pasteurised. With this contingency in view, Messrs G. D. L. Swann & Son, Abercorn Street, Glasgow, have designed the “Calorilac” Pasteuriser, which is entered as a “new implement”. The “Calorilac”, which can be made in various sizes from 20 gallons upwards, consists of inner and outer containers. The inner one is made of special stainless steel, all corners rounded to give a special smooth and hygienic surface. The joints in this container are welded, ground, and polished. The outlet tube is welded to the inner tank, and passes through the outer jacket and a gland. The two containers are lapped together. The required temperature is obtained by heating water with steam between the containers. There is, it is stated, no danger of pressure between the walls of the containers. The agitation is simple and clean, and no grease from bearings can drop into the milk. The agitator can be operated by hand, motor or steam. The “Calorilac” has been designed with a minimum height, so that it may be conveniently placed above the cooler even in low-roofed tooms, and this save pumping after the milk is heated. The covers are made of stainless steel. A recording thermometer is also fitted.

Small threshing mill

Mr James Crichton, millwright and engineer, Turriff, has on view a one-belt thresher, G. M. type, which has an approximate capacity of 32-40 bushels per hour. The thresher is fitted with a medium speed drum of 27 in. diameter, having cast-steel centres and six beaters, and is fitted with specially designed short-pegged beater plates, which do not bruise the straw. As only one small belt is required to operate the machine, a large number of wearing parts are eliminated, and much less power is required. Owing to its balance, the thresher needs practically no fixing down.

Binder divider attachment

Mr John Henderson, Meadownay, Maybole, exhibits a Binder Divider Attachment, made by Messrs Archibald Hunter & Sons, Maybole. The attachment consists of a sharpened steel blade about 3 feet 6 inches long, mounted on the top if the extension divider of a binder. When not in use the blade folds sown on the inside of the divider by means of a spring arrangement on the rear pin, a handle for the purpose being fitted to the blade. The attachment is intended to deal with laid cereal crops. However, badly a crop is laid, the attachment will cut through it, thus reducing the draught on horses or tractor, and easing the strain on the binder, with a consequent saving of time and labour. Where normally three horses would be required, and have a heavy task in dealing with a laid crop, two horse, with the aid of this attachment, are sufficient to deal with the work. In addition, delay and danger from choking are entirely obviated. The divider attachment – whatever the state of the crop – leaves a clean-cut face, and thus considerable labour is saved.

Messrs William Henderson & Sons, engineers, Mauchline, have entered the “Collins” Power-Driven Rotary Scarifier, invented by Mr Charles M. Collins, and made by the exhibitors. This scarifier is power-driven by a vertical rotor, and specially designed time-holding bars are carried. The bars are mounted so as to give a vertical movement. To compensate for undulations on the surface of the land, the mounting is also such as to take up the influence of torque. The tines are of coil spring type, and the tine-holders are designed to accommodate a plurality of tines. In operation the implement is propelled along the land surface, either by attachment to a power-driven bracken cutter or to an agricultural tractor.

Laid crop attachment

Alexander Jack & Sons (Ltd), agricultural implement makers, Maybole, have entered a laid crop attachment for mowers, reapers, and binders invented by Mr Charles T. McFadzean, kirklands Cottage, Maybole. The invention consists of an attachment to a divider, or shredder, for dealing with tangled or laid crops. The attachment is in the form of a longitudinal reverse knife, detachably secured to the divider in an inclined position rising upwards towards the rear. The knife has two parallel, straight, or slightly curved longitudinal, cutting edges, terminating in bevelled or inclined ends, forming four inclined cutting edges, two at each end of the knife. By reversing the knife, any one of the four inclined cutting edges can be brought to the front uppermost position for use in conjunction with one of the two straight cutting edges, thus dividing or separating and severing tangled or laid crops.

The same firm exhibit a new combined (convertible) general purpose coup cart and hay ricklifter, also invented by Mr Charles T. McFadzean. This new machine is the latest advance in the application of Dunlop pneumatic wheel equipment to the needs of the agriculturist.

Cattle drinking bowl

Mr William Kirkwood, Queenswell Lane Works, Forfar, exhibits a valve for cattle drinking bowl, which has been designed to give a minimum of trouble. The flow of water through the valve is practically shut off before the rubber washer meets the valve seat, and thus the usual bounce on the valve, caused by the reaction of the water flow being suddenly shut of, is obviated. Further, as the valve is able to work under semi-high pressure, it prevents the bowl overflowing when cattle play with the bowl tongue. This is die to the fact that the tongue must travel an appreciative distance before the full flow of water commences.

Wire-winding machine

Mr Thomas Nimmo, Braehead, Fauldhouse, West Lothian, exhibits a barbed and plain wire-winding machine invented and made by the exhibitor. It consists of a spindle, fitted with a cranked driving handle, together with fittings suitable to take a standard type of barbed wire reel.

The purpose of this machine is to simplify the handling of reels of barbed wire, and is especially useful when rewinding wire from temporary fences.

New type of ricklifter

Messrs A. & W. Pollock, engineers, Mauchline, show a ricklifter and low loading float combination. This is. Anew type of ricklifter, fitted with “Dunlop” special pneumatic wheels and roller-bearing axle. It is so designed that it can be instantly converted into a general purpose low loading float or cart, and thus it can be used throughout the whole year.

Pneumatic harness

McCubbing Pneumatic Harness Co., Linwood, Dalbeattie, exhibit pneumatic harness. Invented by Mr Robert McCubbing, and made by the exhibitors. It is claimed that with this harness the horse enjoys greater ease and comfort, as the shock-absorbing qualities embodied in the pneumatic principle are given full application. As the cushions are capable of being inflated or deflated a degree of adjustment with regard to the fitting or weight of load, &., is now obtainable.”