One name known in the north of Scotland from the 1850s onwards was James McKidd, Thurso, Caithness. By 1870 he was associated with the Thurso Foundry.
By 1858 James was recorded as a millwright. He continued that trade until at least 1909. By the 1870s he was also an iron founder and a mechanical engineer, trades he continued in following years. By 1883 he also described himself as an agricultural implement maker, and specialised in making cornmills and thrashing machines.
James also made drill scarifiers. In 1880 he exhibited at the Highland Show in Kelso (a long way to travel) his new patent drill scarifier which he had invented.
James was also ambitious. He took further implements to the Highland Show at Inverness in 1892. He also advertised in the North British Agriculturist and the Scottish Farmer in 1909 and 1910.
Examples of his drill scarifier are still to be seen around the rallies and museums. There is one at the Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore. Another has been a regular exhibit to the Strathnairn Farmers’ Vintage Rally.
The photographs show James McKidd’s patent drill scarifier at the Strathnairn rally, 2014.
© 2016 Heather Holmes