Iron Harvests of the Field: The Making of Farm Machinery in Britain since 1800

Iron Harvests of the Field: The Making of Farm Machinery in Britain since 1800

by Peter Dewey

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Overview

Iron Harvests of the Field: The Making of Farm Machinery in Britain since 1800 by Peter Dewey

Agricultural technology has moved on, inexorably, from broad-cast seed and the sound of the threshing flail, via the portable steam engine and the threshing machine, right through to the modern world of giant tractors and efficient farming methods. This book traces the broad sweep of the whole industry over 200 years. Beginning with the pre-modern world of the horse-drawn plough and the flail, it tells the story of the British agricultural engineering industry, and how it has revolutionized British farming – a revolution which is still going on today. A central theme of the book is technical innovation – the replacement of the wooden plough of the eighteenth century with the iron plough, the triumph of the steam engine and the threshing machine in the late Victorian era, and the tractor and combine harvester revolution of the twentieth century. Along the way we meet the inventors, form Jethro Tull to Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson. Apart from the larger issues of business history, the personal is not neglected. We enter the worlds of the Victorian factory laborer, the local employer dynasties of the later nineteenth century, the women workers of the First World War, the office politics of the 1920s, and of the enigmatic Harry Ferguson. We uncover the treachery of the Russian agent at Odessa in 1918, and find out why the attempt to create a massive industry-wide combination after the First World War failed so disastrously.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781859361603
Publisher: Carnegie Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/2012
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 957,692
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

PETER DEWEY graduated from the universities of Exeter and Reading, and became a lecturer in economic history at Royal Holloway, University of London, in 1974, retiring as Emeritus Reader in 2002. He was awarded the T.S. Ashton Prize by the Economic History Society in 1975 and the Alexander Prize by the Royal Historical Society in 1979. He was the Secretary of the British Agricultural History Society from 1998 to 2002. He has published extensively in leading history journals, and has two previous books to his credit: British Agriculture in the First World War and War and Progress: Britain 1914-45, a volume in the Longman Economic and Social History of Britain series.

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