Angus implement and machine makers in the 1920s

Local agricultural shows were an important place for agricultural implement and machine makers to exhibit their manufactures. One of these shows was the Angus Show at Brechin, held in early August each year. Local newspaper such as the Montrose Standard and the Dundee Courier provided detailed accounts of the show, and importantly what was included in the implement department. They reveal who were the key exhibitors as well as makers and agents in the district as well as what they were exhibiting. They also show what were the latest implements and machines. 

Here are some accounts of the highlights of the implement department at the Angus Show: 

1921 show (Montrose standard, 5 August 1921) 
“A strong feature of this year’s Angus Show at Brechin to-day (Thursday) is the display of implements and agricultural requisites. The excellence this department or the show is unprecedented and of great educational value.
Messrs A. Simpson & Son, motor, marine, and agricultural engineers, Montrose, Brechin, and Forfar, show the famous Austin and Glasgow tractors, which are now established as permanent adjuncts in the equipment of numerous up-to-date farmers. The Messrs Simpson are the agents for leading manufacturers of many farm implements, &c. They are, besides, the proprietors of a large engineering establishment. In addition to the tractors referred to they are exhibiting Sellar, Oliver, Cockshut, and Massey Harris tractor ploughs; Newlands’ cultivators, Sellar grubbers and disc harrows; Petter’s junior, Lister and Detroit portable and stationary engines; and Delco and Willy’s house-lighting sets. The stand is a feature of the show and all the exhibits are attractively arranged and of outstanding merit.” 

1923 Show (Dundee courier, 25 July 1923)
“The Angus showyard, in the estate of Hillhead, Kirriemuir, which has been under construction for a few weeks, will be completely fitted in good time for to-morrow’s great carnival.
The showyard is an extremely well-planned and commodious enclosure.
Mr Alex Bain, the architect, and his efficient staff of workmen were busily engaged yesterday putting things in final shipshape order, and the exhibitors of implements and machinery were actively employed receiving and arranging the exhibits at their stances.
The showyard extends to 16 acres, which is just 10 acres less than it occupied by “The Highland” at Inverness, and the penning accommodation to meet the huge entry of live stock exhibits, notably in the horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs classes, is ample and very accessible. 

In the implement yard, which is within 20 yards of the main entrance, there are to be seen a great variety of exhibits from leading Forfarshire firms. 
Bruce & Robbie Ltd, Forfar, are exhibiting Massey-Harris binders and Massey-Harris drills. These machines are specially designed to meet the most advanced ideas in modern farming, and Messrs Bruce & Robbie have supplied numerous customers with specimens which have given unqualified satisfaction. The firm already holds two gold medals for implements given by the Angus Society.
Alex Shanks & Sons Ltd, Arbroath, exhibit types of their famous oil engines. The Shanks oil engines are familiar to engineers and farmers alike. The firm can supply the 19/21 b.h.p. horizontal stationary oil engine with all accessories complete (price £195); 8/9 b.h.p. horizontal stationary oil engine with all accessories complete (price £105); and 3 1/2/4 b.h.p. petrol-paraffin engine (price £57 10s), types of which are on exhibition and sold at “The Highland”.
Peter Small, engineers, Forfar, have a splendid variety of agricultural machinery very well shown. The firm supplies International Junior tractors, ploughs, disc harrows, cultivators, grubbers and binders, various types of engines, threshing mills, mowers, horse rakes &c. The exhibits, indeed, embrace most of the finest specimens of machinery required in the most important branches of up-to-date farming.
Up-to-date implements
James Cuthbert & Co., Arbroath have a very attractive selection of exhibits, embracing latest types of up-to-date agricultural implements. They are the products of makers whose manufactures give never-failing satisfaction. The selection includes excellent specimens of the latest in ploughs, cultivators, diggers, grain drills, binders &c. Messrs Cuthbert & Co., are noted for the high-class nature of their ironmongery and seeds.
Harry Johnston, 8 King Street, Dundee, who had a most interesting stand at the Highland Show, which was very well patronised, will receive many visitors to his equally fine display at Kirriemuir of tools of all descriptions. The exhibits are of the best material, and embrace all the essential tool required in the home or farm, at the bench, and for the car. Tradesmen of all kinds can see much to interest them at this stand. 
Charles Lyon, ironmonger, Kirriemuir, is showing a large variety of implements and utensils required at the farm. The exhibits include binders, potato diggers, manure sowers, ploughs, churns, cream separators, and other indispensable parts of farm equipment. The exhibits are to be safely recommended for the up-to-dateness of their type and certainty to please purchasers. 
Ploughs and threshing machines
David Irons & Sons, Forfar, to meet the requirements of their large clientele keep in stock the best and latest types of labour-saving agricultural machinery. Their numerous exhibits at their Angus Show stand include cultivators, potato diggers, ploughs, threshing machines, &c-all of the most improved type and the best productions of the various makers. This stand should be visited by every progressive agriculturist.
Ednie & Kinninmonth, Forfar, show an extremely varied selection of implements of outstanding merit, and all specially made to meet present-day requirements. There are to be seen Walter A. Wood binders, &c, Jack’s manure distributors and potato diggers, churns, and separators. The firm can also supply all kinds of ironmongery, together with binder twine, stack and binder covers, &c.
R. G. Begg, 200 Strathmartine Road, Dundee, exhibit threshing machines, corn bruisers, and oil engines of the latest and most up-to-date designs. The machines of all descriptions which this firm can supply are of superior workmanship, only the best material being used in their manufacture. There will be on view types of machines and engines which they have supplied to the satisfaction of their numerous customers. 
Tractors and mills 
Ford & Graham, Broughty Ferry, the well-known firm of agricultural, electrical, and automobile engineers, have at their stand Petter paraffin and crude oil engines, Case tractors, and Crichton’s threshing mills. The firm have fitted up many of the celebrated Strichen mills in various parts of Forfarshire and other counties. The fitting up is invariably as perfectly done as the machines are perfectly made.”

1924 Show (Dundee courier, 29 July 1924) 
“A feature of the Angus Show at Montrose to-morrow will be the implement yard. Many of the exhibits of agricultural machinery, &c, were on view at the Perth “Highland”, where firms, generally speaking, were well pleased with the business done.
Peter Small, Forfar, are exhibiting a specimen of the new International Junior Tractor, just out this season; threshing mill by Messrs Barclay, Ross & Hutchison, Aberdeen; engines, pumping plant, self-propelled turnip cutter, binders, horse rakes, manure distributors, potato digger &c.
Barclay, Ross & Hutchison, Aberdeen, have a display of the latest types of agricultural implements. This firm specialises in the production of threshing plant of the most up-to-date construction, and their exhibits at both the Perth Highland and the Royal Northern shows attracted, as they will at “the Angus”, much interest. 
D. Irons & Son, Forfar, are showing the Westphalia manure machine, Deering New Ideal binders, and a general collection of agricultural implements. Messrs Irons always exhibit the latest types of machinery and implements at these annual shows, and their stand at Montrose is more attractive and interesting than ever.
Ednie & Kininmonth, Forfar, are showing a large and varied collection of up-to-date agricultural implements. The exhibits are of the highest class of workmanship, and embrace the very finest and latest types of implements now demanded by up-to-date and progressive farmers.
Arbroath firm
James Cuthbert & Co., Arbroath, the well-known form of ironmongers, seedsmen, and implement agents, are exhibiting a large variety of up-to-date agricultural implements from the leading makers. These include binders, ploughs, grain drills, cultivators, manure distributors, scarifiers, potato planters and diggers, mowers, horse rakes, stack and binder covers &c. 
Bruce & Robbie Ltd, Forfar, will be showing specimens of the Massey Harris binders and Massey Harris drills. As a former Angus shows, the firm will display, in addition, a complete collection of farm tools. Bruce & Robbie Ltd, have been awarded three gold medals for implements by the Angus Society. 
D. & J. W. Lackie, Montrose, will have on exhibition a varied collection of agricultural and domestic hardware. The exhibits are of superior manufacture, and are displayed to the best advantage. This stand is well worth a visit from both town and rural visitors to the show.
Alex Shanks & Son, Ltd, will, as usual, display some of the latest types of the engines which have made their name famous throughout the country. They are equally well known for the production of mowers of the most up-to-date pattern, which have been supplied to customers far and wide.” 

1925 show (Dundee courier, 30 July 1925)
“Visitors to Angus Agricultural Association’s annual show at Forfar to-day will find an extensive collection of agricultural machinery and implements of the most up-to-date description shown by leading firms in the county.
Messrs James Cuthbert & Co., Arbroath, are exhibiting a large variety of high-class implements from the leading makers. They include binders, ploughs, grain drills, cultivators, manure distributors, scarifiers, potato planters and diggers, mowers, horse rakes, stack and binder covers, &c. Messrs Cuthbert & Co., carry on a very extensive business as ironmongers, seedsmen, and implement agents.
Messrs D. Irons & Sons, Forfar, always has one of the most interesting exhibitions at these annual popular shows, and progressive farmers will find the stand this year more attractive than ever. The firm is displaying an extensive selection of farm machinery. The exhibits are of the very best and latest types, and special attention is directed to the Westfalia manure distributor, for which there has been a great demand.
Specimens of the famous Shanks oil engines, produced by the noted farm of Messrs Alex Shanks & Sons, Arbroath, will be seen at the show. This firm have supplied types of their latest engines to farmers all over the country. Their two stands at the Highland Show at Glasgow the other week were visited by agriculturists from far and near. A large number of orders for their engines was received on that occasion.
Messrs Ednie & Kininmonth, Forfar, are exhibiting a large collection of useful and up-to-date agricultural implements. They are the sole agents in Forfarshire for the “Albion” binder, for which they have received numerous inquiries. They are also district agents for Jack’s implement manure distributors and potato diggers. At the stand there are also being shown Lister’s churns and separators, binder twine, &c.
Mr Peter Small, engineer, Forfar, has a most attractive and interesting collection of high-class exhibits. These include the McCormick power-drive tractor binder, which has been awarded silver medals at the Royal Show at Chester and the Highland Show at Glasgow this year. The binder will be shown in motion, coupled to a new International junior tractor. Mr Small will also be exhibiting latest types of implements of various kinds.
Bruce & Robbie Ltd, Forfar, have a large and varied collection of implements and machinery, amongst which are specimens of the famous Massey-Harris binder. They are also exhibiting the artificial manure sower, which is a new implement that was awarded the silver medal at this year’s Royal Show. It is simple and efficient, and sows from 1 to 20 cwts of “supers” or any other manure. In addition, there is a complete collection of farm and garden implements.
Mr David Ritchie, blacksmith and implement maker, Forfar, has on view here field fodder waggon and sheep-dipping tank and dripper, poultry houses, galvanised field cake, troughs, improved potato bagger, &c. The exhibits are all of superior quality, and Mr Ritchie extends a cordial invitation to farmers to call and inspect them for themselves. The stand occupies a prominent position in the implement yard.
Messrs G. & J. Fitchet, millwrights and engineers, Gighty Burn, by Arbroath, invite orders or inquiries. The Messrs Fitchet are makers of threshing and dressing machines of the latest improved designs. They also supply sheaf elevators, straw carriers, chaff blowers, and grain conveyors of various types. Orders received will have prompt attention.” 

1927 show (Dundee courier, 19 July 1927)
“Few county shows in past years have equalled the Angus in its display of implements, manures, and general requirements of the farm, and this year finds the enterprising agricultural merchants of Forfarshire staging displays which will hold practical interest for all agricultural visitors, and in some directions for the public in general as well.
James Cuthbert & Co., Arbuthnot, who have already won so many premier awards at the Angus, show their ability to cater for every farming need in their display of binders, rakes, cultivators, and other implements, stack covers, and dairy requirements.
Messrs Ednie & Kinninmonth, Forfar, are featuring in a generally excellent display of farm implements the “Mollison Improved” potato digger, Lister’s churns and separators, the Albion binder, Jack’s potato digger, and a selection of harvesting requirements. 
In these days when an increasing number of farmers are taking up dairying, the separators, coolers, cisterns, cans, churns, butter workers, and bottle, shown by the Balgownie Dairy Engineering Department, Aberdeen, should prove of special interest to visitors.
Messrs Bruce & Robbie, Limited, Forfar, will have their usual all-round display of implements, and will feature a new manure distributor, which should prove of interest to their already wide clientele in Central Forfarshire. 
The name of Messrs David Irons & Sons, Forfar, has long been associated with satisfactory catering for the implement and other needs of Angus farmers. To-morrow they will have the Deering binder as a feature of their stand.
The mention of lawn mowers conjures up thoughts of Messrs Shanks, of Arbroath, and in modern times this firm is become almost as inseparable associated with the up-to-date oil engines.”