Farm displenishing sales provide information on what implements and machines were present on individual farms at a specific date. They show what was there rather than what was actually being used as some may have fallen out of favour. However, they can be useful for tracking the use and adoption of new implements and machines (such as tractors, steam ploughs, binders or reapers), as well as noted makes of implements, and the use of ones from the United States or Canada.
In the early 1920s farm displenishing sale notices show the progress that mechanisation had been made at this time, including the use of reapers and binders and the recently adopted tractors. Some of the large farms in Midlothian – as at Bonnington – had embraced this new form of motive power, though alongside the older form of horse power. At this time we see the increasing use of implements and machines from Canada and the United States, shown in names such as Massey Harris, Deering, Cockshutt, and Oliver. These were being used along locally made implements and machines by makers such as Sellar, Newlands and Sherriff – names that were also widely known outside the country.
On some farms the range of implements and machines was impressive – many tasks were widely mechanised and an implements and machine used to undertake them; man power was still needed to work them.
The following extracts from farm displenishing sales of leading farms in the Lothians were published in The Scotsman in 1921. Are there any trends that you notice in them? Are there any implements that you consider unusual or unexpected?
Westfield Farm, two miles from South Queensferry and Winchburgh (15 October 1921)
Implements – 4 box carts, 4 long carts, spring van, dog cart, 2 Massey Harris binders, 3 Wallace reapers, hay trolley, swathe turner, broadcast sower, hay collector, horse rake, 6 chill ploughs, 2 Oliver ploughs, 2 drill ploughs, double driller, 5 sets harrows, 2 land rollers, turnip sower, 2 cultivators, 2 drill grubbers, 2 rollers, cake breaker, fanners, chaff cutter, troughs, barrows, ladders &c, and all the usual small farm implements; 9 sets cart and plough harness.
Bonnington, Kirknewton, Midlothian (29 October 1921)
Implements – 1 Fordson tractor, 12 box carts, 10 long carts, 1 dog cart, 3 Massey-Harris, 1 six-foot Massey Harris, and 2 Deering Binders; 5 reapers, 5 hay tillers, 4 drill ploughs, 1 Oliver chilled plough, 10 single ploughs, and 4 double furrow ploughs; 2 three-horse grubbers, 7 drill grubbers, 2 tractor cultivators, 1 horse cultivator, 6 sets harrows, set 10 ft grass seed harrows, 1 Scotch harrow, 2 drill harrows, 1 scarifier, 4 metal rollers, 1 stone roller, 1 Cambridge roller, 1 manure plough (double drill), 1 manure distributor, 1 turnip sower, 1 broadcast sower, 1 potato planter, 3 potato diggers, 1 expanding 18-horse rake, 3 horse rakes, 1 horse fork, 1 turnip cutter, 1 water cart, weighing machine, cake breaker, 6 sheep racks, fanners, chaff cutter, troughs, ladders, barrows, cart axles, 20 sets swingle trees, 30-cwt block and tackle, cart ropes, bosses, scythes, sowing sheet, graips, hoes, forks and shovels, potato baskets, sheep netting and stobs, shearers’ blankets, stack props, cake and corn bins, lawn mower, washstand and basin, mallet, brushes; mangle; bothy utensils, and all usual small implements.
Harness and saddlery
20 complete sets cart and plough harness; 2 riding saddles; 3 sets driving harness; 2 riding bridles and 6 horse blankets, forge, anvil, bellows, and various tools.
Monktonhall, Musselburgh (5 November 1921)
Implements – The usual farm implements, including – 22 close and long carts, 4 Massey Harris binders, 4 mowers, 1 sheep turnip cutting cart, 1 sheep cart, broadcast, 2 Ideal manure distributors, 2 corn drills, 2 horse rakes, scarifier, turnip sowing barrow, iron rollers, hay collectors, Newlands cultivator, 2 double moulded ploughs, 5 Sellar ploughs, 2 Oliver ploughs, 2 double furrow ploughs, harrows, 2 sets chain harrows, drill grubbers, van, water barrel, and all the small tools. 12 sets cart and plough harness.
Millrigg Farm, Kirknewton (9 November 1921)
Implements – Deering binder, double drill manure distributor, 6 carts, 4 hay waggons, horse rake, Deering hay reaper, 2 reaping machines, double furrow Cockshutt plough, double bulking plough, Ransome’s Scotch plough, swing plough by Gray, Dux plough, hay trolley, 2 sets harrows, brake harrows, saddle harrows, field and other grubbers, turnip barrow, potato digger, turnip pulper, turnip cutter, 2 metal and 2 stone rollers, potato planter, dumb tam, wash barrel, wash pump, wheelbarrow, sack barrow, fanners, boilers, various; harvest frame, troughs, potato baskets, various binding chains, trees, scythes, graips, rakes, spades, forks, shovels, ropes, 4 set cart harness, 2 pairs backbands, odd harness, corn chest, meat cooler, 8 8-gallon and 2 4-gallon milk flasks, milk refrigerator, butter cooler, barrel churn, various outhouses and sheds; 3hp oil engine, threshing mill, hay cutter and corn bruiser &c.
Knowes, Prestonkirk (19 November 1921)
Farm implements – 10 coup carts on wheels, coup cart body, 3 long cart bodies, 7 cart frames, turnip cutting cart, 4 Massey Harris binders, 2 reapers, Sherriff broadcast seed sowing machine, Sherriff corn driller, manure distributor, double driller and manure sower, Ransome potato digger, potato sprayer (almost new), turnip seed sowing machine, scarifier, 3 metal rollers, drill roller, horse rake, 3 hay collectors, 2 Ransome cultivators (with moulds), 4 Ransome ploughs, 4 double moulded ploughs, 4 sets English harrows, set glass seed harrows (18ft), hand hay baler, 3 sets ladders, 5 cattle turnip slicers, 2 sheep turnip cutters, dishorner, graips, forks, shovels, hoes and other small barn and stable utensils. Also, 11 sets cart and plough harness.