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31 January, 2024

Historical first for Clifton wheat harvesting

The Clifton Courier received correspondence recently regarding what might be an historical first for mechanical harvesting that took place in Clifton.

A Clement-Talbot vehicle made circa 1906 although not necessarily of the type used in the Clifton harvesting but an example of vehicle design in 1906. Photo, Peter Turvey

A Mr Steve Ryan of Peregian Springs recently came across a newspaper article published in 1950 from the Sunday Herald in Sydney.

The article claims that a Mr Wesley Williams was the first man to use a motor vehicle for harvesting in Australia and is reputed to have done so at Clifton in 1906.

There was a bumper harvest at the time and a farmer who had horses to draw two harvesters, secured a third but could not get additional horses.

“I took a Clement - Talbot car to the property,” Mr Williams said.

“We hooked it to the harvester and by the end of the day found we had stripped double the quantity of a horse unit.”

So began the slow demise of the horse as a work animal.

This limited information is however clear evidence of how motorised vehicles would ultimately replace horses for harvesting and other farm tasks over many decades.

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