More lesser-known plough makers

One of the well-known local plough makers in Scotland was David Paterson of Alloa who died in 1914. In the 1890s his business was known as David Paterson & Sons of Mar Place, Alloa. In 1913 he had moved premised to Kelliebank, Alloa. By trade he was a smith, and a farrier and in the 1890s an agricultural engineer and agricultural implement maker. He exhibited at the Highland Shows of 1890 at Dundee and 1891 at Stirling, indicating his preference to exhibit near home. Further details of his life and business are found in an obituary published in the Stirling observer of 18 August 1914:

“Well-known ploughmaker dead

The late Mr David Paterson, Alloa

The many agricultural friends and patrons in the district-and their names are legion-of the late Mr David Paterson, Alloa, will learn with deep regret of his death, which took place on the 5th August, at his residence in Alloa, at the advanced age of 85. Mr Paterson was senior partner of the firm of Messrs D. Paterson & Sons, agricultural implement makers, Alloa. Born at Carnock, Airth Station, he followed the occupation of his father before him of agricultural engineer, and pursued his calling there until about 25 years ago, when he removed to more central and commodious premises in Alloa. The late Mr Paterson was very successful in business, having a good turn for his work, and the firm of Paterson & Sons is now known over the length and breadth of Scotland, and, in fact, beyond. Particularly successful was he in inventing and perfecting ploughs, till now, Paterson’s chilled ploughs are used and known throughout Scotland. Until age and failing health overtook him, he was a familiar figure at nearly all ploughing matches, and many are the trophies his ploughs carried home with them. Mr Paterson was very popular with the agricultural community, and the sympathy of them all go out to his family, of which there is two sons and two daughters.”

Another local plough-maker was Robert Anderson, Westwood Smithy, Stirlingshire. He exhibited locally at the Highland Shows in Stirling in 1873, 1881 and 1900. At the first he was awarded a silver medal for best make of swing and drill ploughs. His obituary in the Stirling Observer of 29 June 1918 noted that he was “famous”. It ‘s worth quoting at length:

“Death of Mr Robert Anderson, Westwood Smithy

On Tuesday of last week, the death took place at Hunter’s Hall, Kelso, of Mr Robert Anderson, late Westwood Smithy, Blair Drummond. Mr Anderson was one of the old-time blacksmiths who, as the old saying went, could make from a needle to an anchor. Deceased was a man of great capabilities, and was recognised by farmers and fellow workers as one of the most efficient smiths that ever struck an anvil. He was also a famous plough maker. His model was drawn out on fine lines, and was original. He possessed a silver medal for best make of swing, and drill ploughs, gained at the Highland and Agricultural Society’s Show at Stirling in 1873. Country smiths are ill to find with the knowledge he had of agricultural implements. He was of an inventive turn of mind. One of his inventions was a coulter cleaner for farmyard manure and turnip shaws. Previous to his death, “Bob” as he was familiarly known had been seven years in the employment of Mr D. Cuthiell, engineer, Drip Bridge. The funeral took place to Kincardine in Menteith Cemetery on Tuesady, Mr Anderson’s death will be deeply regretted by farmers and others in the Western District of Perthshire. In politics he was a keen Unionist. He was unmarried, and is survived by his brother and six sisters.”

A further plough maker was Gavin Callander, retired implement manufacturer, Ellenton, Maxwelltown. By the 1890s he was located at the Palmerston Sawmills, Maxwelltown. By the 1890s he was not only a smith, but also an agricultural implement maker, a timber merchant but also a colliery timber merchant. He was later to be a mechanical engineer and engineer. In the 1890s his business was an extensive agent for agricultural implements. They included Massey Harris Co. Ltd, London, John Wallace & Sons, Glasgow, James Gordon, Castle Douglas, Richmond & Chandler, Manchester, and Blackstone & Co. Ltd, Stamford. He exhibited at the Highland Show when it visited the Dumfries Show District (1895, 1903, and 1910). A short obituary was recorded in the Daily record of 24 October 1931:

“Noted plough-maker dead

The death has occurred at Afton Lodge, Lockerbie, of Mr Gavin Callander, retired implement manufacturer, Ellenton, Maxwelltown, who was well known in the south of Scotland as the maker of the wheel ploughs that bore his name.

Mr Callander died only a week after his brother-in-law Mr John Barbour, with whom he and his wife had been saying during his illness. He was 68 years of age and in his young days was an enthusiastic volunteer.”