Farming and agricultural equipment have radically evolved since man began to harvest crops. The process of cultivating the land stems back over many millennia and is still as important now as it has ever been. With each huge advance in technology, the techniques used to create more efficient farming implements has increased. The landscape may still be much the same as it was in the early days, but the methods of working that land are now unimaginably different.
From scythes to horse driven ploughs, right up to the sleek combines of today, which replaced unreliable threshing machines; the climate of farming is now run by motors. After all, the most important aspect of farming is time – and to get the most land worked in as little time as possible is the key to success.
Arguably, the climax of the industrial revolution in the mid 19th Century saw the largest growth in evolution of agricultural implements. It was a time of mass conversion from old methods to new and people yearned for an easier way of doing things. With the advent of the engine, factories could mass produce inventions and there followed many races to patent the best machine possible.
Before the industrial revolution, the farming community used much the same equipment that had been seen on the land for many hundreds of years prior. The advent of mass industry changed all that, as did the idea of faster worldwide commerce and trading. The world became a smaller place and money fuelled the production of new, exciting products.
Implements such as the corn picker, grain lift and cotton harvester greatly inspired similar types of machinery. These made farming quicker by carrying out multiple jobs at once. This, in turn, increased profits for the farmers and became incredibly popular devices. The cutting of hay and creation of bales was always labour intensive and took many hours to complete. The invention of new cutting machines led to many improvements and the process was soon made significantly easier. The baler became wide spread during the mid 19th century and soon farming was becoming more and more mechanised.
The last great revolution came in the early 20th century, with the birth of the car and the world wars pushing technological boundaries ever further. Agriculture needed to be made faster and on a larger scale than ever before. With the introduction of plough-led tractors the time of the ox and horse on the fields became increasingly rare. Farming implements have gone through much change over the last three hundred years, as industry took over the world. Who knows when the next great revolution will push it even further away from the early predecessors?