A celebrated potato digger from Mr John Richmond, Dron, Perthshire, in 1907

Some of the readers will recollect that Mr Richmond of Dron had successfully patented a potato planter that came to be manufactured by John Wallace & Sons, Paton Street, Dennistoun, Glasgow, one of the major implement and machine makers in Scotland. In the following year, 1907 he also patented a new potato digger, which he also patented. There was a lot of excitement about it and it was trialled in a number of locations throughout Scotland.

The following article in the Nairnshire telegraph of 26 November 1907 describes a trial of the digger and the potential improvements that it had over existing types of potato digger:

“New patent potato digger

On Thursday afternoon a new potato digger, patented by Mr John Richmond, Dron, near Perth, was tried, in presence of a number of farmers and merchants on a field on the farm of Grange of Elcho, tenanted by Mr Lyburn. Mr Richmond’s patent is on the horizontal principle. The prongs are hung in a joint, and are so mechanically arranged that when three-quarters through the drill they receive a kicking motion, which acts similarly to hand digging, and the potatoes are in this way thrown gently or violently as may be desired. What Mr Richmond claims for his patent is, in the first place, that fewer potatoes will be buried. He also claims that fewer potatoes are damaged by cutting or bruising, and. That, in consequence, his digger will be more suitable for lifting some of the larger sizes. This latter benefit was demonstrated on the field when working alongside a vertical machine. The soil was light and friable, the land was clean, and was in every way suitable for the trials, which were most successful. The crop averaged about ten tons an acre. The new principle has been applied by Mr Richmond to Messrs Wallace & Son’s diggers, which have been on the market for years.”

The photographs show his patented potato planted manufactured by Wallace of Glasgow.