Early tractors for sale in Scotland

Adverts for tractor dealers provide one way that we can find out who and where the first tractors were being sold in Scotland. Another way is to see where tractors were being used. Farm displenishing sale notices in newspapers provide evidence of where some of the earliest tractors were used and the context in which they were being used. They list the tractors alongside all the other implements and machines on the farm. 

There are few adverts for the “Glasgow tractor”. However, one had been used at the Mains of Dun, Angus, by Robert Rodger. After he died in the summer of 1921 a displenishing sale was arranged which comprised, according to The Scotsman of 10 August 1921, “1 Glasgow tractor, only been in use one season, in very good order; cultivator self-lifter for tractor; disc harrow; Cockshutt plough, 3 furrow; binder, 6 feet for tractor; and all the implements required on a large farm.” In total there were 398 lots. There was a “record attendance” at the sale, according to the Dundee Courier of 19 August 1921. It noted that there were “farmers and dealers from all over Scotland”. The implements and machines had “a very sharp trade” and “highly satisfactory prices” were received. The Glasgow tractor sold for £210.Mr Baird, the incoming tenant, was an extensive purchaser. 

The adverts were more usually for Mogul, Titan and Avery Tractors. They started to appear in displenishing sales notices from late 1919 onwards. They were largely used on the larger farms, including Mains of Home farms, where there were a range of arable activities, including the growing and harvesting of green crops, being undertaken. They were also being used alongside horse drawn implements and machines – and also alongside teams of horses as well. 

The following are extracts from farm displenishing sale notices which included these early tractors. Notice the large number of implements and machines for sale as well as the range of “modern” implements of the day: there is a considerable amount of mechanisation being used on the farms to make the range of tasks of indoor and outdoor work as easy to undertake as possible. 

Flawcraig, Errol, Perthshire (notice in Dundee courier, 31 October 1919) 
Implements- “Mogul” tractor, 3 furrow plough, large disc harrow, water tank, 4 coup carts, 4 iron carts, 4 metal rollers, 2 brake harrows, 1 4-horse grubber, set circular harrows, 4 set harrows, 4 drill grubbers, potato digger, 2 D. M. ploughs, 2 Sellar ploughs, 4 American ploughs, turnip shawer, 2 turnip cutters, 3 binders, 2 mowers, 2 Hunter hoes, cultivator, 5 cattle troughs, horse rake, manurer distributor, cake crusher, potato boxes, barn fanners, steelyard and weights, 4 sets cart and plough harness & c and the usual barn and stable utensils.

The Home Farm, Parkhill (notice in Aberdeen press and journal, 30 April 1920)
Implements-2 binders (Massey Harris), Albion mower, 1 disc drill sowing machine (Deering), 1 broadcast sowing machine, 1 turnip sowing machine, 1 manure distributor, 1 potato digger (Martin’s patent), 1 horse rake, 2 drag rakes, 5 single ploughs, 2 D. B. ploughs, 1 water furrow plough, 3 shim ploughs, 1 three drill plough, 1 seven tined cultivator, 3 water furrer combined, 4 stone rollers, 4 box carts (with tops), 2 long carts (with hay tops), 1 lorry (30 cwt), 1 cattle float, 1 pig’s float, governess car (suit 15 h.h.), 8 sets of harrows, including angle, chain, drag, grass seed, and potato; 3 grubbers (4, 3, and 2 horse), barn fan, weighing machine and weights, 4 box barrows, 2 peat barrows, scythes, wire fencing, yokes and swingletrees, cattle feeding troughs, turnip slicers, 6 sets cart and plough harness, pony harness, and all the usual stable furnishings, including power clipping machine, smithy tools, dairy utensils, including 2 crank churns and 2 plump churns, butter worker, etc, etc. Also, “Mogul” tractor No. B5268, speed 400, hp 16-20, in perfect working order, 1 portable threshing machine, 3 ½ feet, double blast finishing, by Clayton and Shuttleworth, in splendid order; 1 three furrow Cock Shoot tractor plough, steel sheaths; 1 two furrow plough, by Sellar and Son, Huntly, and a number of spares. 

Easter Caputh, Murthly (notice in Dundee courier, 9 November 1920) 
Implements-5 coup carts, corn carts, 4 senior Dux ploughs, swing ploughs, drill ploughs, 3 furrow tractor plough, 3 sets harrows, grass seed harrows, 2 two-horse grubbers, 3 drill grubbers, Hunter hoe, Martin’s cultivator, spring-toothed harrow, circular harrow, corn drill, manure sowing machine, double drill and manure sower (by Wallace), Richmond potato planter, 2 Deering binders, 1 Wood binder, 2 mowers, horse rake, hay rake, turnip cutter, pulper, cake breaker, grist mill, saw bench, sheep dipper and tanks, sheep haiks, troughs, stakes and netting, field feed house on wheels, potato dresser (Phoenix), potato barrow, 2 wheel-barrows, 2 steelyards and weights, sack lifter, corn chest, oil tank (130 gals), 2 steel barrels, drums, 2 straw bunkers, cattle troughs, fire clay troughs, portable boiler, boilers, moveable hen house, coops etc; 20 sleepers, ladders, props, bosses, oil iron &c, governess car, the horse harness, and the usual barn and stable implements and land tools; also, Titan tractor and Avery tractor, both in first class order. 

Harvieston, Kinneff (notice in Aberdeen press and journal, 11 November 1921)
Implements-Mogul tractor 10-20hp; Sellar tractor, 3 furrow plough, tractor grubber (all as new), 4 box carts with tops, 1 long cart, 1 long cart body, dogcart, 3 iron single ploughs, M.P. plough, 2 D.B. ploughs, plough hurley, 2 sets spring-toothed harrows, set of chain harrows, 3 scrapers, 1 McCormick binder, 6ft cut (almost new); 1 Bisset binder (in good order), mower, potato digger, horse rake, 2 turnip sowing machines (almost new), manure distributor, 2 metal rollers, broadcast sowing machine, barn fan, weighing machine and weights, and other barn furniture; wire and wooden fencing, 3 sets cart and plough harness, gig harness and odd harness, yokes and swingletrees, cart ropes, coir yarn, 2 stack covers, sowing happer, ladders, picks, spades, forks, hoes, graips, and the usual assortment of minor farm implements. 

Muirton, Memsie (notice in Aberdeen press and journal, 28 April 1922)
Implements- Mogul tractor, in splendid order; tractor grubber, tractor pole, portable threshing mill, 54in drum, by Marshall and Sons; bruiser, practically new; 60ft endless Belatta belt; 2 box carts, with hay tops and creels; water cart, horse rake, 2 Bisset binders, spare binder parts, metal roller, metal pump, double furrow plough, 2 single ploughs, harrow hurley, spring-toothed harrows, iron harrows, wooden harrows, drill sowing machines, 2 shims, mower, oilcake breaker, spare wheels and axle, 3 box barrows, plump hasher, corn chest, field feeding trough, Martin potato digger, Ballach scarifier, ladders, various sizes; clipping machine, bench, water barrels and tubs, paraffin cask, 2 scythes, chicken coops, grains, forks, hoes, spades, shovels, fencing posts and wire, etc. Two sets of cart and plough harness, stall halters and stable furnishings. 

Gateside Farm, Bridge of Earn (notice in Dundee courier, 3 November 1922) 
Implements-2 25hp Mogul tractors, 16hp Titan tractor, Wyles tractor plough, Ford delivery van, all in working order; 4 Eagle Tractor Waggons, 2 6-ft McCormick and Wood’s binders, 3 corn carts, 6 coup carts, hay mower, double driller and combined manure sower, turnip sower, grass sowing machine, corn bruiser and grister (combined), cake breaker, horse cultivator, horse rake, thistle cutter, corn drill, horse roller, manure distributor, hay collector, 2 tumbling rakes, set circular harrows, turnip pulper, portable boiler, 2 drill ploughs, 3 set harrows, 6 Wood’s 2 wheel ploughs, 3 food coolers, incubators and brooders, harnesses for 3 pairs horses, stable utensils; dairy utensils, including 6 5-gallon flasks, refrigerator, weighing machine, barrows, potato sack filler, swingle trees, feeding boxes and troughs sheep haiks, scythes, shovels, &c

Craighead, Blairdrummond (notice in Dundee courier, 14 November 1923) 
Implements – Overtime tractor, 28hp, fitted with belt pulley, suitable for fireld or stationary work, in good mechanical order; Fordson tractor (as new condition), 2 cultivators (Newlands and Ransomes), the latter with mould boards for ridging potatoes, horse rake (Newlands), turnip sower; 9ft iron roller for horse or tractor, 6ft iron roller for horse or tractor, broadcast sower (Sheriff’s, Dunbar), 18ft for seeds or grain, hay tedder (Blackstone), Massey Harris binder (6ft cut), for horse or tractor (new condition), Massey Harris binder (5ft cut), 3 hay waggons, 6 box and coup carts, 3 sets diamond harrows, brake harrows, disc harrows (International Harvester) for tractor (new), set spring tooth harrows, set chain harrows, set saddle harrows, hay horse fork, hay horse crane fork (Wilson’s); Hunter hoe, one horse grubber, potato planter (Jack’s), stone roller, 2 Oliver 110a ploughs, 1 I.R.D.C.P. Ransome ploughs, 3 swing ploughs (high cutters and plain), Massey Harris D.F. plough for horses; La Crosse tractor plough (2, 3 or 4 furrows), D. F. tractor ploughs (Speedy); drill plough, Imperial manure sower, triangle, 2 Dickie hay slipes (horse or hand power), Massey Harris mower, set fanners (Scoular’s patent), turnip cutter, turnip pulper, Bamford’s bruiser and grinder for power; hay chopper for power, 9 brake hp engine by Wilson, Aberdeen, fitted with Magneto (unless previously sold), 18-in circular saw bench and belting, 50 gallon oil tank with pump, potato digger (Jack’s Imperial), cake crusher (Bentall’s) for hand or power, grindstone; Stewart’s horse clipping machine, 3 barrows, 2 brooders (Miller’s and Sussex types), dozen coops, portable henhouse to hold 30 hens, horse box (sectional), 5 ladders (20 feet and 12 ft), knife sharpener and stand, swing trees, steelyard and weights (White, Auchtermuchty), 2 corn chests, 2 churns, 300 stack props and a few sleepers, 1 dozen fireclay troughs, 5 sets harness, backbands, also the usual large assortment of barn, byre, stable and dairy utensils &c
Note – special attention is drawn to the implements, which are in excellent order. 

Interestingly, Harvieston, Kinneff, Kincardineshire, was one of the earliest farms in Scotland to use steam ploughing. This was in the late 1850s. It was to again use steam ploughing in the mid 1920s, through a set hired from Sam Hird, Sauchenshaw. That set can still be found around the rally fields (non-covid years) as the ploughing engine “Sam Hird”, owned by the Barrack family. 

The “Titan” and “Mogul” tractors were photographed at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum and the Manitoba Car Museum.