What was at the Highland Show ninety years ago?

n 1912 the Highland Show was held in Cupar, the first and only time that it was held there. The exhibitors included the well-known Scottish agricultural implement and machine makers, some of which had been exhibiting for decades. Their stands provide a good glimpse into what was new and in use in implements and machines as well as the activities of the stand holders.

The Scotsman always provided a comprehensive account of the stands and their contents. Its account of 9 July 1912 is quoted at length:

“Farm implementsMessrs A. Ballach & Sons, Leith, exhibit an interesting and useful selection, among which the implements for use in the cultivation of turnips and other green crops for, form one of the features. In their stand are the firm’s patent combined disc drill scarifier, with compensating spring levers and hoeing attachment. They also show Mather’s patent potato digger, with horizontal reels, which is chain driven. It was worked last season near Edinburgh.

Messrs A. Muller & Co., Aberdeen, show the Hampel manure distributor, the Hampel potato digger, and an automatic spring-time cultivator.

The stand of Messrs A. & J. Main & Co. (Ltd), Edinburgh, which is one of the most prominent in the show, will be found to contain a large variety of implements of the most up-to-date type. Their specialities include the new “Ideal” binder, the outcome of several years’ experiments. The frame of this machine, though light in appearance, is strong beyond any possible requirement. The mechanical details have also been simplified, while the capacity has been increased, and the introduction of a new patent adjustable grain deck enables it to bind crops from one to seven feet in length. Special mention may also be made of the firm’s special “all iron and steel” hay sheds, fitted with their design of elevated trussed couples, which allow the greatest possible storing capacity, and which ensure complete safety from wind pressure below and show pressure above. This stand is replete with potato-raising machinery. Messrs Thomas Hunter & Sons, Maybole, have several of their specialities on view. These include several types of the “Hunter” hoe, some of which are fitted with new patent screws, and may be used for earthing up and as scarifiers and drill grubbers. Another interesting implement is the “Hunter” patent single drill self acting turnip topping and tailing machine. Variety in the implements shown is a characteristic of the stand of Messrs kemp & Nicholson, Stirling. Attention will no doubt be given to their “Westfalia” artificial manure distributor, suitable for three or four drills, or broadcast, which may be had with or without transport arrangement. Some of the largest departments include hay or stubble rakes, carts and vans of various types-including an improved cattle float-and turnip cutters.

One of the largest stands in this department is that of Messrs Alexander Jack & Sons (Limited), Maybole. Their “Empire” reapers and mowers and the “Empire” horse rake are up-to-date machines. A potato digger, with new graip action, is one of the many other implements which are worthy of inspection.

Some notable plough exhibits are to be seen at the stand of Messrs George Sellar & Son, Huntly. These include the “M.P.” plough, with one or two wheels and malleable body. A variety of grubbers and barrows are also open to inspection.

A stand familiar to the “Highland” is that of Messrs Newlands & Son, Linlithgow, who show a wide range of implements. Among these are several handy drill grubbers and Parmiter’s charlock harrow.

Messrs Bisset & Sons (Limited), Blairgowrie, who have a large stand, show binders and mowers, three types of potato digger, and a two-band straw trusser. An extensive collection is shown by Messrs John Doe (Limited), Errol and Perth, of many leading manufacturers’ implements.

The stand of Messrs Hood & Robertson (Limited), Cupar, includes well-known makes of milk separators, binders, and potato diggers.

Among the smaller stands may be mentioned those of Messrs Wm Smith & Co, New Broughton, Edinburgh, who show live stock weigh bridges; the Agricultural Implement Co., Dundee; Mr D. T. Paterson, Duns, who has a wind engine, complete with tower, wheel and pump; and Messrs beg & Sons, Dalry, Ayrshire, who have several ploughs on view.

Farm and horticultural equipment

Next to the directors’ pavilion is one of the largest stands in the yard, that occupied by Messrs Thomas Gibson & Son, Bainfield Iron Works, Edinburgh, who have on view over 150 articles of their own manufacture. One of the most interesting to farmers is the wrought-iron corn rickstand, with improved air bossing, enabling the farmer to take in his grain in good condition. The exhibition of estate furnishings, including ornamental entrance gates, fencings, and tree guards, is on a large scale, and is quite of a noteworthy character. There is an equally large assortment of horticultural requisites. Messrs Thomas Sheriff & Co., Dunbar, show corn drills of the latest pattern. The “Small Holdings” seeder, which is combined drill and broadcast, with five-row adjustable coulters, and may be used for all kinds of seeds, appears to be ab efficient machine. There are also several broadcast sowers at this stand. Several new patent steel-framed balers form the leading implements at the stand of Messrs Dickie Brothers, Stirling. There are also rick lifters and an improved hay bogie for working with rick lifter. A compact display of some of the lighter farm machines is made by Messrs Allan & Sons, Murthly-viz, potato diggers and thistle cutters. They have also several coup carts and a useful turnip cutting cart. Mr D. Wilson, East Linton, Prestonkirk, makes a speciality of potato implements, including a potato raiser, which, it is claimed, will lift the whole crop undamaged.

Quite an impressive display of Scottish made implements and machines!