Cultivating the Land Centuries Ago

PloughPeople have been farming for centuries. In the beginning, work was done by hand with simple tools. As the world population continued to grow and people began living in cities, the market for food increased.

Crofters began inventing tools and small machines to do the work faster with less effort. This increased their output without having to hire as many hands to work the farm. The use of iron in the machinery added strength and longevity.

Below is a cultivator which was used in the early 1800s. It would have been pulled behind a horse, oxen or similar animal. The small wheel in the front would have helped get it from one place to another, but I wonder if it was left on once it was hooked into the harness gear. It would have easily fetched-up on stones and hard lumps of soil, making work more difficult than need be.

The small wheel appears to have suffered damage and was strengthened with straps of steel. Or perhaps the steel was on from the beginning because of the rough terrain it was meant to be used upon.

The sign posted over the machine states: 1805 Cultivator: Also called a scuffler, scarifier or grubber: An agricultural implement employed in breaking up land or in stirring it after ploughing.

The first all-iron cultivator, known as “Finlayson’s Grubber” was brought out about 1820. It was designed to meet the need for some implement of intermediate character between the plow and harrow.



Wherever man has left his footprint in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization we will find the hoofprint of the horse beside it. ~ John Moore


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