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English implements for a farm, of from three to five hundred acres, would amount to a very large sum ; much more than was desirable in any case; and most of which might be obviated by more simply arranged implements, equally effective.
In regard to the merits of the English implements which were tried in the month of April, previous to my arrival and before the exhibition opened, I of course have no means of judging from the trial itself; but the sub-Jurors who made the trial, were gentlemen familiar with the English implements and the wants of the English farmer, and selected from those on trial such as they deemed best adapted for general use in that country, and from such opportunities as I had to ascertain their merits, I have no doubt they judged wisely.
I give the cut of Busby's plow, which was decided by the English Jurors as being the best of their plows, and was included, with other implements exhibited by him, in the Council Medal award. To no other plow from England was this distinction given. This plow is a very good representation of the plows shown and for which prizes were awarded. The price of this plow is £4,10.0_about $21.60.
The following remarks from an English Journal, in review of the plows on exhibition, are far more just than the notices usually taken of the foreign contributions, and I give it entire, as in the main, the subject is treated with great fairness, and with a commendable regard to the merits of American implements.
which are novel in their character. Among them are, the model of a plow with sixteen shares; a sub-soil plow, adapted for plowing from 18 to 22 inches; a Pomeranian fan plow, and a Belgian plow. A model of an apparently good implement is shown by the Agricultural Society of Darmstadt. The Belgian plows displayed, appear somewhat heavy, they are strongly and stoutly made, but show a want of finish.
“Several plows are shown in the Austrian department, from the manufactory of Agricultural implements of Prince F. Von Lobkowitz, which are stated to be the inventions of the Chevalier Von Infield, the manager of the works; many parts of the implements appear open to grave objections, while in several instances undoubted improvements might be pointed out. In the absence of any data, however, we are unable to form any opinion upon their merits; as a whole, they do not tend to convey a very good opinion of the state of Agricultural mechanism in Austria. (On a subsequent trial of these plows, they were found to be very defective in their work.)
“On the foreign side, the department which makes the best show of plows, is that occupied by the United States; and the implements exhibited possess many strong points of contrast, even with all others in fact, that are put forward for competition. Without entering into the question of the comparative merit of European and American plows, the satisfactory solution of which is to be found in actual use only, we will briefly describe those which have been furnished by Boston and New-York exhibitors, these two sections having made up mainly the Agricultural portion of the United States division of the exhibition.
" These plows are made from patterns of peculiar construction, and are of great variety in size, form, fixture, and adaptation to different conditions of soil and modes of culture. The wood part of these implements is in most cases made by machinery, and can be readily taken apart for repairs, or put up for conveyance to distant parts. The timber is, in nearly all cases, a second growth
white oak, of peculiar toughness. The iron used, is composed of an admixture of several kinds, producing a metal of greater strength and durability than the ordinary iron, and which will endure the chilling process, applied to the point of the share and the base of the landside, with safety. The mold board, land-side and point of some of these plows are ground and polished, and coated with blue varnish, making them resemble blue steel, to prevent rusting. They are also better fitted for adhesive soils by this process, the dirt being prevented from sticking upon them, and impeding their progress.
“ Among the plows exhibited, are the root-breaker, sward, stubble, center-draught, corn, double mould hoard, ditching, side-hill, &c., &c. They are of various sizes, and are calculated for all kinds of soils. Some are intended to have the common, some the Scotch clevis; some have the draught-rod, and others the crane clevis attached, so that the team can walk on the sward instead of a wet furrow, or so that the plow can run close by the side of a fence or ditch. The advantages claimed for many of these plows are, that they are smoother and better made, and more durable and cheaper than the common plow in use; that they work much more effectually, cutting a deeper, wider, more even and truer furrow : and that they will do their work with less expenditure of team power. They will also pulverize the earth as they lift and turn it over, thus effecting that minute and general separation of the particles of the soil, which is so essential in preparing it for the ready admission of the rootlets of the plants, and enabling them to draw their food from every portion of it.
One principle alluded to above, in these plows, is too important to be passed lightly over. From the complicated structure of the plow, and the manner in which the draught must be applied to it, many misconceptions havearisen as to the true operation, and proper application of this draught. Too little is understood of the princi‘ple involved in this, to enable the plowman to attach his team and arrange his clevis so that the instrument shall do its work, with the least force and power. The draught is not the end in view, but
merely the means by which the end is accomplished—the former being made to subserve the latter; so that if it be not rightly applied, good work can not easily be done. If, for example, the plow inclines out of the ground too much, or takes too wide or too narrow a furrow slice-both evils usually arising from a wrong application of the draught—the plowman must exert a force to direct it properly, in addition to that which is required to overcome the inequalities of the soil; while, on the contrary, if the draught be rightly applied, the plow will move so accurately as not only to perform good work, with more ease to both plowman and team, but in soil free from obstruction, even without being guided. This application of the draught to the plow, is claimed to be superior in the American plows to that in any others. This claim of superiority can be easily tested by the application of the dynamometer-an instrument made for measuring the amount of power employed ; and we understand that the exhibitors are willing for a trial of competition whenever this shall be allowed, as one of the elements of excellence. In a recent and carefully conducted trial in the United States, upon the merits of plows, it was found that a difference of power even among the best and most modern inventions existed to the extent of more than one sixth--that is, as 412 lbs. to 596 lbs.*
“ The American Side-Hill, or “ Starbuck" plows we understand, are being used here with much acceptance. They are so con structed that the mold-board can be instantly changed from one side to the other, which enables the plowman to perform the work horizontally upon side-hills, going back and forth on the same side, and turning all the furrow slices, with great accuracy downwards. They are employed also for level plowing, as the work leaves the field without any center-dead or finishing furrow, and without the banks or ridges from turning two furrows towards each other. They also save labor by allowing the team to turn short about at the end of the furrow instead of obliging it to travel across the wide ends of each land in the field. For plowing down the banks of ditches they are the only plow that will turn the fur
• Note.-In the trial bad in this State in June, 1850, on stiff clay soil, the furrow 7 inchcs deep by 10 inches wide-the difference was from 380 lbs. to 550 lbs.
rows from the ditch, thus carrying the earth upon the level ground.
“Although the number of each kind of agricultural implements exhibited from the United States is small, the variety is very considerable. The remaining specimens include harrows, rakes, hoes, potatoe hooks, (a good invention to save the potatoe from injury in uncovering the soil,) scythes, forks, shovels, spades, fanning mills, (one especially of a new and valuable kind,) grain reapers, mowing machines, seed-sowers, axes, &c. Of the latter article, as we should expect froin a country where a skill is obtained in the felling of trees by the backwoodsman which is unknown elsewhere, there is an excellent contribution, formed and finished with a degree of perfection which leaves the Americans nothing to learn in this portion of their business and little to fear from competition.”
By an arrangement of the Royal Commissioners with the Royal Agricultural Society of England the trial of agricultural implements was put in charge of a Jury, appointed or nominated by them, and the trial took place in the month of April, before the exhibition was opened and before many of the implements had reached London. Why this was so arranged I did not learn.
The gentleman who at that time had charge of the United States department very properly declined having our implements tried, as there were no persons present representing them or who were familiar with their use. The trial at this time, only included the English implements and a few from Belgium.
Trial of Plows at Hounslow. Some time after the exhibition was opened, and after the awards on the English implements had been made by the Jury, application was made by Jurors of three foreign powers: Barron Mertens de Ostin of Belgium, Prof. Moll of France, and B. P. Johnson, United States, for a trial of the foreign plows with the English prize plows, the draught to be tested by the Dynamometer. This application was successful, so far as a trial was concerned. The plows of each nation were judged separately,