| January/February 1978

  • The Royal Trials at Bristol
    Five years before his death in 1884, McCormick had this ''wire-binding selfreaper'' on sale in Britain. It won the gold medal at the Royal Trials at Bristol in 1878. In North America, over 10,000 of these binders were aid to be at work that year.
  • Walter A. Wood's sheaf-binding reaper
    Walter A. Wood's sheaf-binding reaper'' was runner-up to the McCormick binder at the 1878 trials. At the previous year's Liverpool trials observers thought that it had the edge over the McCormick, but its delivery of sheaves was ''too violent.

  • The Royal Trials at Bristol
  • Walter A. Wood's sheaf-binding reaper

Book Review

Power on the Land is a history of 100 years of Britain's Agricultural Engineers Association. It was written by Robert Trow-Smith, formerly the editor of Farmer and Stockbreeder and a writer of several books on agricultural history.

The book is divided into three chapters. The first one deals with events from 1875 to 1900; the second from 1900 to 1945, and the third from 1945 to 1975.

The book has some 90 pages, about half of which are devoted to illustrations. It has a foreword written by Sir Henry Plumb, president of the National Farmers Union which, in the depression of the '30s, attacked the engineers group, blaming it for the high price of machinery and spare parts.

Although we never quite believed the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, there is no doubt that the many illustrations do add a lot to this book. The photos of early leaders of the association, for instance, show what appears to be a determined looking group.

Pictures of some old equipment add zest to the narrative of the early days. For example, there is a photo of what was probably the first hammer mill to be used in Scotland, and one of a side-delivery thresher made about 1870 and still being used in the 1950s.


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