Passing of a veteran: Mr Mathers, Inchmichael, Errol, Perthshire in 1923

The name of Mathers of Inchmichael was well known in Perthshire in the early 1920s. In fact the name is associated with implement and machine making back until at least 1896. By 1903 when Mr Mathers was joined by his sons, he

operated out of the Implement Works, Errol. By 1909 it had businesses addresses at Errol and at Glasgow Road, Perth. Its trades were as an agricultural implement maker and as a smith and farrier. It was a well-known business, advertising in both the North British Agriculturist from 1899 onwards and in The Scottish Farmer from 1901. It exhibited at the Highland Show from 1896, principally in the shows in central and northern Scotland.

The business also acted as a dealer for a large number of well-known makers including in 1904 those of W. Deering & Co., Chicago, Harrison, McGregor & Co. Ltd, Leigh, Lancashire, Cockshutt Plough Co., Brantford, Kemp & Nicholson, Stirling, Oliver Plow Company, South Bend, Indiana, W. Reid & Leys, Aberdeen, and Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies Ltd, Orwell Works, Ipswich.

By the early 1920s the firm was being noted for its innovations. In 1920 it entered for the new implement award at the Royal Highland Show a “self-propelled engine driven turnip cutter of the barrel type, which can be used for cutting turnips into finger pieces for sheep and slices for cattle.”. A self-propelled engine-driven turnip cutter was also entered for the following show. By 1923 Mathers’ patent self-propelled engine-driven turnip cutter. Invented by Archibald C. Mathers, sole partner (patent no 181108) was also entered.

Henry William Mathers, who described himself as an agricultural implement maker and agent, retired on 10 February 1922. The business was carried on by the remaining partner of the business, Archibald Charles Mathers.

Henry W. Mathers died in July 1923. His passing was marked by the Perthshire advertiser in its columns of 21 July 1923. This records some of the history of his business and its development:


Passing of a veteran

The death has occurred at Inchmichael, Errol, of Mr Henry Wm Mathers, who for more than half a century was associated with the agricultural industry, and was well known in the framing community in Perthshire, and particularly of the Carse. The deceased, who was 82 years of age, followed his grandfather and father in business at Errol as a blacksmith. As such he worked for the farmers and others in the Errol district. His opportunity to develop and widen his business came to him when many years ago he invented a hay collector. The machine became a recognised implement in the hay field, and is still widely in use. So successful was Mr Mathers’ first venture that he branched out in business as an agricultural implement maker and repairer under the name of Messrs H. W. Mathers & Sons. The loss of two sons, who were associated with him in the business, was a severe blow, but Mr Mathers persevered, and was assisted in the development of the concern of another son, Mr Archibald C. Mathers. Now the firm have extensive premises in Glasgow Road, Perth, and their implements are in general use. Mr Mathers retired from active participation in the business about four years ago. He was, however, able to move about until recently. His figure was familiar at the Highland and many local shows during a period of about twenty years, the last Highland he attended being that at Aberdeen four years ago. The deceased is survived by one son, who carries on the business, and four daughters.”

In the late 1920s the business was known for its hay collectors and engine driven turnip cutters.