| March/April 1978

We can be grateful for author, Michael Partridge's early interest in the techniques of farming, for it has led to a most readable and informative book.

'Farm Tools Through the Ages' does exactly what its name indicates it takes a look at implements used by farmers down through the ages.

The book is arranged under 10 headings; land drainage, cultivating the soil, steam cultivation, sowing and planting, harvesting crops, processing crops, barn machinery, tools for use with livestock, motive power, and the farm dairy.

The sections then describe how tools evolved to handle the various tasks that confronted farmers throughout the centuries. We are struck anew with respect for these hardy tillers who sowed and cultivated, and reaped and kept the human race going. A special debt is owed to those innovative few who found better ways of doing things and who persevered until their new methods and implements were adopted.

The book describes numerous implements and tools such as the potato dibber, the turnip chopper, the hacking stick, the waddle hurdle, the flax brake and of course, many, many more.

Iron-Men Album readers, however, are probably most interested in the section on steam cultivation. In these 17 pages Partridge discusses the development of the use of steam in farming. The text is larded with some splendid illustrations. These include a picture of John Heathcote's steam plough, 1836; a diagram of John Fowler's plowing system; views of the Savage plowing engine and an illustration of the single-engine system of plowing with a Savage engine; a picture of Rickett's cultivator, 1858, and more.