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Farm machinery of the past

Steward Sheaf Loader offered ability to load sheaves faster and with less physical labour

Bruce Black of the Brandon area has allowed the Manitoba Agricultural Museum to copy negatives of photographs taken around 1920 on the farms operated by the Black family. The photo above shows a sheaf loader. The handling of sheaves was a large enough problem that a number of pieces of equipment were developed to ease […] Read more

Farm machinery of the past

Grain wagons had to be strong enough to travel the rough Prairie trails

Bruce Black of the Bran­don area has allowed the Manitoba Agricultural Museum to copy negatives of photographs taken around 1920 on the farms operated by the Black family. This photo shows a grain wagon with tandem teams hitched to it with the evener for the lead team directly hooked on the tip of the wagon […] Read more

Black and white photo of a prairie grain elevator.

Farmers of yesteryear protected western wheat quality

Blending wheats of different grades was a scandalous crime that drew action from the PMO’s office

Determined to Remove Grievance of Farmers: Sir Wilfred Declares Government Has Secured Evidence of Mixing of Wheat and is Pledged to Punish the Guilty Parties” So reads the title of a front-page article in the Manitoba Free Press of Tuesday, July 19, 1910. The body of the news article reports on a meeting between the […] Read more

‘Binder Wars’ changed Prairie farming

Hand tying stooks effectively limited a single farmer to 25 acres and the invention of mechanical binders was a game changer for both producers and the farm equipment industry

The 1880s were known for the “Binder Wars” — a time farm machinery manufacturers slugged it out for supremacy in grain binder sales. It was no ordinary battle as hand tying of wheat sheaves was the biggest, single limiting factor on Prairie grain farms at that time. Stooking was critical because the slow-maturing varieties of […] Read more

Brandon was worth the trip — if you were looking for draft horses

Many of the leading horse dealers in the country made their home in Brandon and brought in stallions and mares from Europe, Ontario and the U.S.

The flood of settlers pouring into the West around the turn of the last century also meant a surge in demand for draft horses, and that turned Brandon into the draft horse centre of the Prairies. The town was home to many of the leading horse dealers in the country, such as Colquhoun and Beattie, […] Read more

The Massey 101 was one cool machine

Stylish and powerful, the redesigned tractor won the affections of farmers across the country

When it came to marrying style with functionality, James Duncan was the Steve Jobs of his day and his Massey Harris Model 101 Senior was — and is — as cool as anything to come out of Apple’s design lab. With its streamlined hood, bright-red paint with yellow wheels, chrome trim, and louvred side curtains […] Read more

A game changer in grain farming

Australian engineer Tom Carroll was convinced that self-propelled combines were the way of the future

What was designed by an Australian, built in Ontario, field tested in Argentina, revolutionized grain farming, and — 75 years ago — was sold to a Rapid City farmer? Full points if you guessed the first commercially successful self-propelled combine, and bonus ones if you knew it was the Massey Harris Model 20 purchased by […] Read more

Down Under Plow Found In Museum Boneyard

While researching the Cockshutt engine plows used to set the recent plowing record at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum, much information on the Cockshutt company was unearthed. Cockshutt not only sold plows in Canada but also in the U.S., England, Scotland, Australia and other countries. A twin-bottom walking plow, the “Kid Kangaroo,” was built for the […] Read more