Early combine harvesters at displenishing sales

Adverts for displenishing sales in newspapers are valuable for identifying the use of some types of implements and machines, especially innovative ones. In the 1940s a number of these adverts document some of the earliest farms in Scotland to use – and sell – combine harvesters. These include Westbarns, Dunbar, East Lothian, Coltcrooks, Gordon, Berwickshire, Stravithie Mains, St Andrews, Fife, and West Binny, Uphall, West Lothian. Their combines included International and Massey-Harris.

These farms were using some very up to date implements and machines, with the names of leading makers being recorded alongside them. However, they were also selling some of the older technologies, including harvesting ones. At Westbarns both horse and motive power implements and machines were being used, as was evidenced by the cart and plough harness, horse implements, tractors and tractor implements, as well as the binder and combine harvester. Binders were also for sale at Stravithie Mains. So too were threshing mills alongside a combine harvester at West Binny.

The following adverts show the combine harvesters that were being used on some farms that were early users of combines as well as the range of implements and machines being used.

Westbarns, Dunbar (recorded in The Scotsman, 25 November 1942)

2 short carts on wheels, short cart body, 2 long carts on wheels, “Ransome” plough, 2 drill ploughs, beet plough, “Ransome” potato plough, rig marker, set Scotch harrows, set chain harrows, 4 drill grubbers, barley brake cultivator, 2 plain rollers, drill roller. Double driller and manure sower, “Massey-Harris” binder, “Massey-Harris” reaper, hay collector, sheep turnip cutter with 1 ½ hp “Fowler” petrol engine, cattle turnip slicer, sheep turnip and cake boxes, sheep wire and spring nets, sheep net stakes, set barn fanners, barn weights, ladders, graips, forks, spades, shovels, hoes, and other small barn and stable utensils.

Tractor and tractor implements – “International F12” tractor with 6ft power “International” reaper; “Ransome” 3 furrow mid trac plough, “Ransome” 2 furrow Juno mid-trac plough, 2 sets heavy English harrows with tractor hitch on wheels. And International no. 8 combine harvester. Also, 3 sets cart and plough harness.

Coltcrooks, Gordon (recorded in The Scotsman, 17 May 1947)

Massey-Harris no. 15 combine harvester, 6 ft cut (1944); Fordson tractor, Ransome Dauntless cultivator, Cockshott no. 6 D.F. plough, Blackstone potato digger, N.H. binder, 6 ft cut; tractor bogie, and all the usual farm implements, of a good class; saw bench, 7 hen houses, also household furniture, including diningroom suite, tables, chairs, chests of drawers, sideboard, linoleum, beds, rugs, carpets, 2 churns, milk dishes, &c.

Stravithie Mains, St Andrews (recorded in The Scotsman, 6 November 1948)

Tractor and tractor implemets-D2 Caterpillar tractor (in first-class order), “Fordson Major” tractor on rubbers with high top gear, “Standard Ferguson” tractor on rubbers (new), “Ferguson” ridger, “Ferguson” cultivator, “Ferguson” 10 inch D.F. plough, 2 “Ransomes” D.F. ploughs, “Ransomes Dauntless” cultivator, “Bentall” disc harrows, diamond harrows, brake harrows, trailer, “Bamford” hay mower (5ft cut), hay sweep, “Albion” P.D. binder, “Bisset” trailer binder (6 ft cut), “Bamford” potato digger, 3-gang roller (21 ft), M.H. combine harvester (8ft cut) new this year.

Implements-6 coup carts (3 on rubbers), 4 corn carts (1 on rubbers), hay bogey (on rubbers), water cart, “Ransomes”, 2 wheeled plough, 3 drill ploughs, “Ransomes” beet plough, 3 sets diamond harrows, set gras seed harrows, spring tooth harrows, Parmiter harrows, saddle harrows, 3-drill harrows, drill grubber, “Jack” double driller, “International Manure” distributor, “Massey Harris” grain driller (16 row), grass seed sowing machine, turnip barrow, scarifier, “Bisset” binder, “Wallace” hay mower, “Bamford” expanding horse rake, “Dickie: swath turner, triangle rick lifter, “Salopian” hay elevator, “Bisset” potato digger, “Petter” 1 ½ engine {new), barn fanners, steelyard and weights, sack lifter, R.T. sack barrow, 2 R. T. wheel barrows, handbarrows, 2 sets iron swingletrees, drill trees, sheep tackle including turnip cutter, nets, stakes, feeding troughs, turnip troughs, hay haik, and feeding bin, portable pig-house with run, pig feeding troughs., potato baskets, stack bosses and props, ladders, fencing stobs, fencing wire, electric fencer, 2 paraffin tanks (250 gallons and 50 gallons), large water tank, 3 hen houses (2 portable), battery laying cages for 48 hens, incubator (150 egg size), chicken coops and other poultry appliances, harness for 2 pairs of horses (mostly new and in good order) and the usual barn and stable utensils.

Also “Ann Arbour” pick-up baler (practically new) from Messrs A. & J. Wilson, Carvenom. And 6hp tractor (complete with tools), 1 semi-digger plough (new, October 1947), set disc harrows, set cultivator tines, set hoeing plates, belt pulley, and tool carriage, and set “Ransomes” tandem discs, from Mr E. Cowe, Beley Poultry Farm.

West Binny, Uphall (recorded in The Scotsman, 28 October 1950)

2 threshing mills on wheels; combined harvester (International 62), Howard baler, Morris motor van (1946), Ogle elevator 30ft; crawler tractor (Fowler & Marshall, new 1949), Fordson Major (land utility), Fordson agricultural tractor (1947), conversion set; Ransome four furrow plough, three furrow plough, two furrow plough, two tractor binders, 2 tractor mowers, tractor cultivator, tandem roller, International combine drill, 2 manure distributors, tractor hay rake, disc harrows, Ajax lime sower, lime spreader, dung spreader, F. Major strakes, tractor harrows with wheeled draw bar, tool bar, 2 swaith turners, 3 tractor trailers, tractor sweep, 2 potato diggers, potato dresser, reaper, horse fork, horse rakes, 2 hay slipes, 2 close carts, 2 hay carts, 2 land rollers, DD manure barrow, Cambridge drill roller, 2 turnip seed barrows, grass seed barrow, cultivators, harrows, ploughs, iron saw bench, wood saw bench, chaff cutter and engine, power turnip cutter, sack lifter, weighing machine, Ceresan mixer, wheel barrows, potato baskets. Smith’s fire and anvil, sectional henhouse; fishing boat, large quantity small implements and tools, quantity of household furniture.

Note-many of the implements have recently been purchased new.

The photos were taken at the Fife Vintage Rally, June 2022.