If you were a farmer in Dumfries-shire and were looking to purchase a new threshing mill in 1895 you may have decided that you wanted to view them at the Highland Show which was held in the town of Dumfries in that year.
At the show there were 21 makers of threshing mills with a range of mills on display. A number of the exhibitors were local makers. They included Andrew Boyd, Noblehill, Dumfries, Thomas Turnbull, Castlebank, Dumfries, and Charlton & Wylie, Dumfries. Further afield, from Ayrshire, were George McCartney & Co., engineers, millwrights and iron founders, Old Cunnock and John Young Jun, Mid Lowes, New Cumnock. Other Scottish makers included R. G. Morton, Errol Works, Errol, Perthshire, and from Aberdeen the well-known Robert G. Garvie, Hardgate Iron Works, and Ben Reid & Co., Bon Accord Works. Shearer Brothers, Maybank Works, Turriff, had a foot and hand thresher.
All of the other makers were English, and included some of the most prominent threshing mill makers: Penney & Co. Ltd, Lincoln, Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies, Charles Burrell & Sons, Ltd, Thetford, R. Hornsby & Sons Ltd, Grantham, Ruston, Proctor & Co. Ltd, Lincoln, Robey & Co. Ltd, Lincoln, Marshall, Sons & Co. Ltd, Gainsborough, E. Foden & Co. Ltd. Sandwich, and William Foster & Co. Ltd, Lincoln. Only one English maker, Weyman & Hitcock Ltd, Cheltenham, exhibited a machine from a Scottish maker, that of Shearer Brothers, Turriff.
The makers exhibited a wide range of machines, from hand and foot threshers to 4 feet 4 inch thrashing and finishing machines. Among them Thomas Turnbull had an iron frame thrashing mill, with riddle and fanners, with all the most recent improvements, adapted for steam or water power, which sold for £38, and a wood frame threshing mill with riddle and small blowers and horse gear with all the most recent improvements, for £22 10s. Ransoms, Sims & Jefferies exhibited a 54 inch thrashing machine, with steel-beater drum, self-acting drum guard, self-cleaning corn screen for £150, and a 60 inch finishing thrashing machine for £160. Robby & Co. Ltd, had a threshing and finishing machine, mounted and improved, wrought iron frame, ajustable corn screen, barley owner, drum guard for prevention of accidents, self-adjuster arranged for finishing the corn for market, fitted with patent adjustable shakers, for £150.
One of the makers, William Foster & Co. Ltd, has a machine especially to suit the Scottish farmer. This was a 4 feet 6 inch finishing thrashing machine, specially made for “Scotch requirements”. It cost £150.
The Dumfries farmer had a wide range of threshing machines to choose from, from local makers to the largest English makers of world renown.
The threshing machines from some of these makers are from a selection of rallies in Scotland in 2016 (B. A. Stores, Deeside and Daviot).
© 2016 Heather Holmes