After making a significant contribution to the life styles of the medical profession I am back on deck with a couple of future posts still left in me I hope!
This thread started as a look into the future trends of combine technology but in doing this I have also realised that it is also very interesting to look at where our industry has come from over the past couple of centuries.
So as you have seen in a couple of past posts I have expanded on where Australian farming technology has come from, probably an almost totally unknown part of farming technology as far as north Americans and Europeans are concerned.
Without belaboring the point, it was with some astonishment that I read that Cyrus McCormick, the american industrialist although not the inventor of the Reaper, [ invented by Obed Hussey in 1833 ] who is credited with the introduction of the Reaper on a large scale from 1834 on only introduced the self raker to his reaper in about 1861, or some seven years after the first self raking reaper was produced in 1854.
Even then, north American farmers were still decades away from a simple single man harvesting system.
Meanwhile Australian grain farmers had been using single man operated "strippers" since soon after their invention by either Ridley or Bull in 1843 and thousands of "stripper" were operating in Australian wheat fields only a very few years after their invention.
More details in the previous thread; March 20th.
To follow on in the historical context section of this thread I ambled along to the local Easter Agricultural Machinery Display at Warracknabeal some 50 kms north of Horsham.
There is a good selection of the older Australian harvesting machinery and tractors displayed at this Museum.
They eventually intend to ut the entire catalogue on the web but as the whole museum is run solely by older generation volunteers both time and the necessary web skills are not readily available to do this as fast as they would like.
With few web skills myself I have had a lot of difficulty in figuring out how to place photos / images on the web for others perusal.
Some of these image hosts seem to delight in making their instructions as complicated and convoluted as possible so it was a case of sifting through them until I found one that was simple enough to understand.
Hopefully the following large number of thumbnails / images of the machinery on display at Warracknabeal will come out OK.
If I am infringing on any limits I hope the mods will correct me or make any neccessary changes.
And if there are any questions about these machines just ask and I will try to find the info on the machine.
The following thumbnails / images show some of the harvesting machinery around the end of the 19th century and into the first 50 years of the 20th century.
As I included "tractors" in the thread heading, I have also included a large number of tractors and types, some purely Australian designed and built through the first 70 years of the 20th century.
A further caveat is you will find the photos listed under username "Blackheathen"
I am neither black and definitely not heathen!
The location of our property is in an area known as "Blackheath" and once consisted of a non official Post Office, a church, a school, a cemetery and one farm house, all gone except for the farmhouse and the cemetery, hence the username I assumed for this image host site of the "Blackheathen"
So following is a large number of thumbnails / images on harvesting equipment and tractors from the Warracknabeal Museum.
I hope you find them interesting.
An example of a "stripper" from 1896.
This winnower is man powered . The crank handle can be seen in the first image.
This winnower is almost identical to the one and only time I as a small boy, saw such a winnower being operated by my father to clean some seed oats.
A horse treadle powered winnower.
The treadle can be seen alongside of and part of the winnower.
My long departed neighbor had one of these on his property for many years.
I remember him telling my father that these treadles were horse killers. I can't remember his exact words but I think he quoted something like about twenty minutes on the treadle for a good horse was about the limit and then you had to change horses.
This last machine has a set of rudimentary walkers in it and possibly some sort of thresher but I don't know it's province.
It was probably powered by a belt from a single cylinder oil engine of which there were thousands around the grainlands soon after the turn of the century.
A last sad end to a large winnower.
The Sunshine AL Harvester. There were thousands of these machines produced and used until soon after the end of WW2.
These machines used the stripper principle of a rapidly rotating beater over the finger comb to remove and thresh the heads of grain and then the threshed grain and chaff was thrown into and through a rudimentary thresher seen at the top of the machine and then through the sieves for cleaning.
They were a very simple and robust one man operation machine that produced a very good, clean sample of grain and were ideally suited for the conditions, crop types and low yields of the first half of the 20th century.
A final variation of the Sunshine Stripper of which only a few were produced before the full scale move to "Headers" [ drawn Combines ]
The very popular and ubiquitous Sunshine HST Header. My first header experience and the model I learn't on as a 16 / 17 year old using the extension steering to the tractor.
A 1924 Sunshine Auto Header powered by in this case, by a Fordson engine.
The bagging platform, there was no grain box a such, can be seen on the left hand side.
The single rear wheel steering mechanism is also shown.
Sorry for some of the photos as the room to photograph was very constricted.
The very popular, second to last model example of the Sunshine No4 Header produced by the HV McKay Sunshine works before the take over my MF.
And now for the Tractor
aficionados some Australian designed and built tractors;
The Jelbert Tractor built in Ballarat in western Victoria.
An early example of the McDonald Imperial tractor and a later model , some of which were still used into the late 1950's.
They were, like the Lanz Bulldog, single cylinder, two stroke, hot bulb engines but with engine reversed so that the hot bulb was just in front of the navigator!
Ronaldson Tippet tractor built in Ballarat Victoria. I never saw these tractors actually operating and there were probably very few produced.
R.T. was a very large, small and larger sized engine manufacturer until well into the 1970's with some tens of thousands of engines produced over 70 or so years.
They were finally put out of business by the competition from the very large American and Japanese small engine manufacturers.
Chamberlain Tractors, thousands of which were produced over some 30 years starting in the early 1950's in Western Australia.
They were a two cylinder, horizontally opposed piston engine, quite reliable and very popular and drank fuel like it was going out of fashion.
They were petrol / kero engines although some diesel models were produced.
JD bought into them in the 1960's or 70's and in the usual American corporation practices in Australia, slowly stripped Chamberlain's assets with some fancy accounting while claiming heavy losses, got lots of tax payer subsidies and then closed the whole of Chamberlain's manufacturing business down to get rid of any Australian competition to it's north American based machinery export business.
No doubt familiar to north Americans.
I believe that there are possibly less than a half dozen examples of this very early Lanz Bulldog tractor left in the world.
A line up of Lanz Bulldog tractors; Single cylinder, two stroke, hot bulb ignition, fuel was either heavy oil or even crude and sump oil.
They were everywhere before and after WW2
The closest example has the decal K&L on the front. The KL Bulldog as it was known.
These were the Australian license built versions of the German Lanz Bulldog.
On the clear early mornings in winter you could hear the rising pop, pop, pop of Bulldogs starting up all over the country and from miles away.
Swedish [ ? ] Avance tractor; Two cyclinder. two stroke, hot bulb ignition, compressed air start.
If you didn't get it started the first time as happened here, you needed another supply of compressed air and where you got that from in the 1920's except from a tyre pump was a problem?
They also run backwards quite happily as does the Lanz Bulldog.
The Bulldog killed a few people when at very low revs it didn't make it over top dead centre, fired and ran backwards and so reversed over anybody behind it.
A hand clutch which some used from the ground to inch backwards to hook up cultivating gear didn't help the situation.
And etc; The way it was!
An old wire tie pickup baler. This baler was before the automatic wire tie and so the bales had to be tied by hand.
You can see the timber footrest. The seat supports are also there although the seat timber is gone, where the two guys who had to tie the wire on those bales actually sat.
I will leave it to your imagination just what sort of job that was!
I saw this particular man powered bale wire tying operation only once, again as a small boy.
A small single bagging off chaffcutter.
A nice american origin restored engine and the way it was!
If anybody has any questions or wants further information i will try to help.
I hope you have enjoyed the old time picture gallery above!