Scottish agricultural implement makers in Dublin

Ireland was an important market for some of the Scottish agricultural implement and machine makers in the early twentieth century. One of the ways that they could make their manufactures more widely known was exhibiting at the Royal Dublin Society shows held in the spring and the winter in Dublin. These were important events for the display of livestock and implement makers.

While the show was an important one for Irish agricultural implement makers, there could be a strong display from Scottish makers. This is shown in the spring show of 1912. The Scotsman’s own correspondent provided a record of the Scottish farming implements on display:

“A feature of great importance to the agricultural community is the display of agricultural implements and other requirements of men concerned in tillage or breeding. Even to the ordinary visitors, the fine display of implements and machinery in motion was a great attraction. Scottish exhibitors are largely in evidence, seventeen firms being represented. Messrs William Smith & Co., New Broughton, Edinburgh, exhibit “the Standard” cattle and cart farm weigh-bridge and other weighing machines.

Messrs Alex. Ballach & Sons, agricultural engineers, Leith, show their new champion turnip sower, with discs in place of coulters, and their patent disc drill scarifier, with hoeing attachment. Messrs Alex Shanks & Son (Limited), Dens Ironworks, Arbroath, exhibit horse mowers and lawn mowers; Messrs George Sellar & Son, agricultural engineers, Huntly, plough harrows and potato diggers; Messrs Barclay, Ross & Tough, Aberdeen, thrashing machines fitted with single blast and treble riddles, and portable wheels and shafts, and a set of elevators; Thomas Hunter & Sons, Maybole, a large selection of plough harrows, horse hoes, roller drills, and rick lifters; Me Charles Weir, Strathaven, patrol motor driven threshing mill, land rollers, and double-action streamlet churn; Messrs John McBain & Son, Chirnside, Berwickshire, windmill and pumping engine; Messrs John Wallace & Sons (Limited), Glasgow, mowers and reapers, manure distributors, and turnip and mangel sowers; Messrs Alexander Jack & Sons (Limited), Maybole, the Empire potato digger, with new grip action, digging forks, turnip sower, and combined drill, grubber, and harrow; Mr Robert G. Garvie. Aberdeen, portable threshing machine and hay and straw baling machine; Mr Andrew Pollock, Mauchline, rick lifters, potato diggers, and cheese press; Messrs Watson, Laidlaw & Co., Kingston, Glasgow, cream separators; Messrs Alexander Cross & Sons (Limited), Glasgow, samples of fertilisers and feeding stuffs; Messrs T. Murdoch & Sons, Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, carts; Fleming & Co., Glasgow, rock drills; and Messrs Alley & MacLellan (Limited), Glasgow, Standard Sentinel steam motor wagon. 

It is interesting to note how many of these makers are from Glasgow and the south-west of Scotland, especially Ayrshire, which was in easier reach of Ireland than other parts of Scotland. Outwith these areas they include some of the key makers from north-east Scotland who were favoured by the Irish market: Sellar of Huntley and Garvie of Aberdeen; there are still some threshing mills around the Irish rally scene. 

The makers are also exhibiting implements and machines that are suited to Ireland, with its emphasis on animal husbandry, milk and cheese production as well as the growing and processing of crops for animal food and potato growing and harvesting. 

What Scottish agricultural implements and machines have you seen in Ireland?