Adverts for displenishing sales are a useful source of evidence to see what implements and machines were used on particular farms at a specific point in time. They may include implements and machines that had been used for decades as well as newer ones and the latest technologies. They can show the preference of particular farmers for certain makers and makes of machinery as well. They can also be used to show how widespread some implements and machines were, especially if they were more specialised.
By the early 1950s mechanisation was a key word on Scottish farms. The horse era was giving way to the tractor era and on some farms both kinds of power were used, sometimes for specific tasks. With labour shortages both of full-time and seasonal and casual workers, there was a push to start to find more mechanised ways to deal with the handling, harvesting and processing of crops.
The following selection of adverts newspapers in Fife, Angus and Perthshire show the implements and machines on a small number of farms in 1952. They show widespread mechanisation with up-to-date implements and machines to undertake a wide variety of tasks from ploughing, sowing, cultivation, management, harvesting and processing of crops.
Implements and machines from key makers were noted. They included names such as Bisset of Blairgowrie, Sellar of Huntly, Hunter of Maybole and Mollison of Alyth. English and north-American names were also represented for some of the implements and machines. They included well-known names associated with particular products such as Massey Harris for corn drills and binders.
The farms were using a range of motive power. Bridgend, Drumly, Wolflaw and Templands were using tractors. Smithston, Netherton Croft and Drumglass appeared to be working with horses, no tractor being listed.
Smithston, Lundie (Dundee courier, 17 April 1952)
2 furring-up ploughs, Howard plough, brake harrows, circular harrows, grubber, barrow, turnip slicer, ladder, quantity wire netting, 3 sheep nets, plain and barb wire, sowing sheet, yokes and swingletrees, 2 scythes, saws, graips, shovels, pick and mell, vice and sundry tools, 2 old carts, scrap iron, odd harness, milk basins, spare household furniture, Valor perfection stove (2-burner) with oven, china, ornaments, lanterns &c.
Netherton Croft, Sauchen, Cluny (Dundee courier, 17 April 1952)
4 poultry houses, various sizes, 6 chicken coops, 1 small sized box cart, on rubbers, with harvest frame, turnip sower, sets of iron, chain and spring-toothed harrows, shim B. M. P. plough, drill plough, furring up plough, Sellar one-horse plough, potato plough, stone roller, sack lifter, weighing machine and weights, hand hay cutter, bushel, 3 corn chests, feed barrels, turnip hasher, ladders, plain, barbed and wire netting, quantity of hand and fencing tools, small horse rake, rick cover, 12 x 12 new, sacks, scythes forks, hand rakes, measuring chain, cart and plough harness, cart ropes, yokes and swingletrees, quantity of second-hand and new posts. Also some household furniture and dairy utensils, include meal girnel, milk basins, pails, churn, cheese press, and a quantity of crockery.
Drumglass, Lawers, Aberfeldy (Dundee courier, 22 May 1952)
3 F.B. carts (2 R.T.), coup cart, R.T. ricklifter, hay rake, swathe turner and side delivery rake (new, Blackstone), Deering binder, Bamlett mower, corn driller, potato digger, turnip barrow, roller, hay collector, 1 Oliver, 2 reversible drill and furring-up ploughs, 2 sets spring toothed, 2 drill, saddle, chain and 2 sets iron harrows, potato sorter, steelyard and weights, turnip pulper, slicer, cake breaker, fanners, chaff cutter, hand bruiser, galvanised feed bin (1 ton), 2 bins (1 cwt), 2 R.T. wheel barrows, 2 ladders, sheep nets, 250 larch stakes, 100 props, potato baskets, fuel drum (40 gals), sack cover, cart and plough harness for 3 horses, set ploughing match harness, 4 henhouses (1 wheels, 1 skids), ark, outdoor and indoor brooders (100-egg), dairy utensils and spare furniture.
Bridgend, Lintrathen (Dundee courier, 8 August 1952)
Tractor and implements- Fordson tractor on rubbers, tractor bogie, Fordson tractor plough, 2 tractor ploughs (Ransomes and no. 10 Cockshutt), coup cart, Massey Harris binder, 2 Albion hay mowers, 2 grain drillers, 2 grass seed machines, horse rake, manure distributor, hay collectors, lying cart body, 2 set harrows drill harrows, turnip sower, steelyard and weights, Bisset potato digger, spring tooth harrow, chain harrow, circular harrows, horse roller, raspberry grubber and harrow, D.P. plough, Oliver plough, yokes, pig troughs, cart and plough harness, riding saddle and bridle, harness press, stack bosses, graips, forks, and all the usual minor implements and hand tools, 5 henhouses and dairy utensils including 2 small milk churns, one almost new, surplus household furniture.
Drumly, Stravithie (Dundee courier, 10 November 1952)
Implements – Fordson tractor with toolbar; McCormack binder, Welco hammer mill, tractor trailer, disc harrows, Hosier grain drill, 2 coup carts, hay bogie, hay sweep, potato digger, Jack turnip sower, shafted roller, stone roller, horse rake, spring tooth, saddle, diamond and drill harrows, swingletrees, Hunter hoe, 110A plough, D.F. plough, steelyard and weights, potato scoop, potato screens, turnip cutter, sheep nets and stakes, 250-gal oil tank, Lister separator, 2 henhouses, quantity wire potato baskets, hand tools, harness for 1 pair horses.
Wolflaw, Oathlaw, Forfar (Dundee courier, 17 November 1952)
Tractor plant – 1950 standard Ferguson tractor with Ferguson system, including hydraulic tipping trailer, Ferguson cultivator, Ferguson ridger, Sellar single-furrow plough and 110a single furrow plough both adapted for Ferguson, Ford-Ferguson tractor, tractor roller.
General equipment- Box cart and corn cart, both on rubbers, corn cart on irons, Oliver 110a plough, grain driller, Massey-Harris manure distributor, Bisset manure distributor, grass seed machine, turnip sower, scarifier, brake of 5 harrows with tractor yoke, chain harrows, Bisset hay mower, horse rake, hay sweep, Massey-Harris no. 6 binder (newly overhauled), Mollison potato digger, potato hopper, 6 dozen potato baskets (wire), steelyard and weights, turnip cutter, box barrow on rubber (new), new pneumatic barrow wheel, feed barrow, corn bin, iron water trough, 12 pig troughs, 6 dozen stack props, firewood, horse harness and all the usual minor implements and loose tools, also travelling saw bench, saw pulley, cattle weighing machine (50 cwt), 2 paraffin tanks (200 gallon and 50 gallon).
Sheds and poultry houses
Feed house with wood walls and floor (7ft x 6ft), 2 pig huts, sectional poultry house (17ft x 9 ½ ft), 2 poultry houses (12ft x 6ft), each for 100 hens, brooders, chicken troughs &c.
Templands, Falkland (Dundee courier, 17 November 1952)
Implements – 1950 Ferguson T.V.O. tractor (narrow gauge), standard Fordson tractor, Cockshutt no. 6 D.F. plough, Ferguson cultivator, Ferguson raspberry ploughs, Ferguson jack, Ferguson deep digging plough, Wallace potato digger, Massey-Harris binder, tractor trailer, grain drill, 2 berry trailers, diamond and chain harrows, 30 one cwt berry pulping tubs, 1 cwt raspberry twine, 250 new berry posts, 19 cwt Drymec derris dust, no. 2, Craven derris dust blower, 2 Salter spring balances and buckets, steelyard and weights, sack barrow, sowing sheets, covers, stack bosses, quality props, brooder, 7 henhouses, sectional hut, quantity of new gauge 13 raspberry wire, large quantity used posts and wire, quantity sleepers, large quantity new handtools, 250 pails &c. Also 2 Miller henhouses, 7 ½ ft x 9ft, henhouse, 8ft x 12 ft.