Howard’s Improved Winding Engine, 1867


Early Agricultural Machinery 1700-1920

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John Fowler, developer of ploughing engines in the mid-19th Century, gained his inspiration from a visit to Ireland where he noticed vast tracts of bog-land and conceived a means of large-scale land-drainage. From this he accepted a challenge at the Lincoln ‘Royal’ of 1853 to develop the use of engines for other farming methods including cultivation. He used a stationery steam engine to move a plough to and fro across a field on an endless wire rope. His equipment was made by Ransomes and together with Jeremiah Head he developed a steam-ploughing set which won the Highland Society’s long-offered prize of £500 at the Chester ‘Royal’ of 1858. A combined engine and hauling drum was placed at one end of a field and a self-propelling anchor and pulley at the other. Both moved slowly across the headlands in parallel while the plough traversed up and down hauled by the endless rope. Fowler constantly experimented with the design of engines, tackle and working systems but died in 1864 at the age of only 38. In 1863 the Howard Brothers constructed a vertical drum engine carrying a three-wheeled chassis. Using two engines on opposite headlands they developed a system where each engine worked half a field. It was an ungainly machine and was modified in 1867. The result, though functional was unimaginative. Hauling 30 tons Howards replaced the machine in 1874 with a much-improved model on the lines of a traditional traction engine

Additional information

Weight 0.0118 kg
Dimensions 5 × 24.5 cm