Sunday 22 December 2019

Sunshine Harvester

The Sunshine Harvester was invented in Australia in the 1880s by Hugh McKay and was the first commercially viable combine harvester in the world. By the early 20th century it was manufactured in the largest factory in Australia. Within a couple of years McKay's workers were on strike for better pay. They won the right to a living wage and the case forms the basis for minimum wage legislation.

Sunshine harvester in the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.
Sunshine harvester, National Museum of Australia, Canberra. Photographed by Susan Walter.

Combine harvesters are designed not only to bring in a number of different crops, but to combine the three tasks of reaping, threshing and winnowing in one machine which can perform the operations simultaneously. 

The McKay family sold the business to Massey Ferguson in the 1950s and in the 1970s production ceased in Australia and moved to the Northern Hemisphere.


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chm said...

Very interesting contraption...

Susan said...

Changed farming forever all over the world.

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