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Agricultural

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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