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and an opportunity was thus afforded those present to compare the work of the several plows, and form their own opinions in relation to their merits. The trial of the plows from France, United States, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Bohemia and Austria, together with the English plows, was had at Hounslow, a few miles from London, on the 19th of July. There were twenty-one plows tried from foreign countries and five English plows, one more than those to which the prize had been awarded, belonging to Ransoms & May, of Ipswich, which, not being entered in time for the first trial, was then excluded.
As the chairman of the Jury, Hon. Mr. Pusey, was not present at the trial at Hounslow, and has not alluded to it particularly, in his report, it may not be deemed inappropriate to give a some what full account of the trial.
From my notes, taken at the time of the trial, I give the order in which the plows were tried and the impression made as to the work of each, and the awards of the Jurors.
No. 1–French plow, with large wheels nearly as large as the fore-wheels of a wagon, with a single short handle. This plow worked badly, was very difficult to manage, and although the patentee of the plow was present, he found it extremely difficult to keep it in the ground. It operated without a person to hold, being governed by the wheels. It was adjudged as of little value.
No. 2-Starbuck's plow No. 6. Troy, N. Y. This plow cut the requisite depth with a good sole to the furrow; but the furrow slice was wider than that required; in every other respect, the work was well done.
No.3—Prouty & Mears, No.40, Boston Center Draught. This plow worked well in every respect, and turned a good furrow slice, though the English Jurors thought it did not lay the slice flat enough; but in the kind of soil in which the trial was made, the breaking of the furrow slice and thus pulverizing the soil, was a decided advantage.
No. 4—Talbot's French Plow, with wheels. This operated better than No. 1, and did good work; it was rather too complicated, though an arrangement by which the fore carriage was raised or lowered without stopping the plow, was convenient. No. 5Another French plow, very indifferent and was rejected.
No. 6-Rogers' Cast-steel American Plow. This worked indiffe rently and could not be brought within the rey uirements.
No. 7.-Starbuck's Troy No.4 with coulter on share. This plow was without a wheel; it performed its work well, was of very light draught. The bottom of the furrow not quite as even as No, 2.
No. 8.-A Belgian plow, which was very rudely made and worked very indifferently, was rejected.
· No. 9-A. B. Allen & Co. of New York, plow No. 20. This plow worked well, cut a good furrow, though wider than the requirement.
No. 10.-Belgian Plow. This was a short plow, that did good work and was of very light draught.
No. 11.-Canada Cast Iron Plow. This was an Iron Beam Plow, very short-its work did not answer the requirements. No, 12, Flecks Wilkie Scotch Plow, from Montreal. This plow did good Scotch work-but as the sole of the furrow was uneven, the Jurors did not approve of the manner in which its work was performed.
No. 13.-Another Belgian Plow, very defective in its work. No. 14.-A Belgian Turn-Wrest Plow, governed by a spring on the top of the beam, so that it could be very easily turned by the holder, while the team was coming about. The mold-board was convex. It did very good work, and its draught was light.
No. 15.-French Plow very indifferent, and work badly done.
No. 16.–A Belgian Plow, tried in April, and on this trial performed very well-the draught light. No. 17.-Belgian-similar somewhat to No. 14, but not as good.
No. 18.- Plow from Netherlands--very plain in its appearance, but operated remarkably well. Its furrow was quite equal to any tried. Its draught light, and the plow very easy to hold.
No. 19.—Bohemian Plow.—This plow had a square sheet iron mold board—could only be worked in very light sandy soils—and entirely failed in the trial.
No. 20 and 21.–Austrian Plows—very defective, and their work bad-rejected.
The English plows tried, were Busby's two or four horse ; Howard's XX; Ball's; Hensman & Sons' four horse ; and Ransoms' Plow. These all laid their furrow slice with great neatness, almost entirely nnbroken, the teams guided by two men, generally at the very
The Jurors present at the trial, consisted of Captain Shelly, Mr. Miles, and Mr. Hammond, English Jurors; Baron Mertens d'Ostins, Belgium ; Professor T. Moll, France; B. P. Johnson, United States. The Jurors awarded a Prize Medal to Prouty & Mears, U. S. Center Draught Plow; No. 4, Talbot Brothers, French No. 18, Jenkin, Netherlands; No. 10, Delstanche, Belgian plow. The awards were made, without reference to the comparative merits of the plows of the different nations, which were tried
Prouty & Mears' Plow, No. 40. Price $12.50.
Previous to the trial of our implements, a very erroneous idea generally prevailed among those who visited the Exhibition, as to what they could perform. They were so different from the English plows, so light in their structure, and so much shorter, the impression was very general, that they would not succeed. The following description of our plows, as compared with the English implements was given during the Exhibition, in the leading Agricultural Monthly Magazine published in England.
Aster describing the defects of the implements exhibited from the Continent, the writer remarks, “ This is also particulary noticeable in the American plows, which with the exception of the varnish and high finish, reminded us of the prints in agricultural works intended to represent plows that were used sereral hundred years ago. They also show us that the Americans must have a very friable soil to cultivate, or that their tillage operations are executed in a very imperfect manner.”
It was under all these disadvantages that the trial was had; but the result proved, that what had been affirmed by us of our plows, was practically demonstrated to be true. There were present at the trial, a large number of practical farmers and land proprietors who felt a deep interest in the result; for if the American plows succeeded--their cheapness, as well as lightness and diminished draught-were objects of no small moment to the English farmer, struggling with exorbitant rents, taxes, and poor rates, as well as
with the foreign competition induced by Free Trade, which called for every possible improvement that would cheapen the production of grain crops.
The trial ground was a moderately stiff soil, with a light scd, and the depth and width of furrow was fixed at 6 and 9 inches. When the first American plow was brought on to the ground for trial, the interest manifested was very great. A large number of farm laborers as well as farmers were gathered around the plow, and the expressions I heard from many were—“that plow won't go in;" "that plow will break;" and other remarks of a similar character. I had an American with me to hold the plow-but the gentleman upon whose land the trial was made, advised that his plowman who was well versed in his work, should hold the first one--and I consented. The plow was set to the required depth and width, as near as it could be done, and the team started. The plowman, unused to the plow, pressing his whole weight upon the handles, lo keep it in, was desired to let the plow take its own course, merely steadying it, and it went through its work with great ease, both to the plowman and team. As we returned to the starting point, it was settled that our plow would do its work.
We tried several American plows: Starbuck's, of Troy ; Prouty & Mears', of Boston; Allens', of New York, and one from Philadelphia. The work was well done, the sole of the furrow was as well finished as by any plow upon the ground and the only objection made by the Jurors, to the work of our plows was, that the furrow slice was broken too much. It was evident to those familiar with plowing such soil, that this was an advantage in favor of our plous, as a stiff soil needed to be broken to prepare it for the seed, and if not done by the plow, it would require much more lahor with the harrow or cultivator to prepare it; and this was sustained by the judgment of practical farmers on the gound, whose attention was particularly called to the work done by our plows and who admitted that it could be prepared for the seed at much less expense and labor, than when the furrow slice was laid over smoothly and unbroken.! !