Latest articles


Second World War-era photos show novel solution to labour shortage

Photos donated to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum show W.G. Dickson’s unique combine setup

Photos recently donated to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum may show one farmer’s novel solution to labour shortages during the Second World War. The Dickson Henderson family of the Boissevain area donated several digital images to the museum. One photo shows a pull-type combine set up to allow remote operation of the tractor from the combine […] Read more


Threshing in the Path Head district 1903

Thomas Hunt was a noted thresherman in early Manitoba history

The photo collection of the Manitoba Agricultural Museum contains a photo of the Thomas Hunt outfit threshing in the Path Head district of Manitoba in 1903. The Path Head district lies between MacGregor and Katrime. Thomas Hunt was born at Dunkeld, Bruce County, Ont. in 1862. In 1874, when Thomas was 12 years old, his […] Read more



The Cockshutt five-bottom auto lift engine gang plow

This innovative design let one operator run the tractor and multiple plows at once

The Manitoba Agricultural Museum collection contains a Cockshutt five-bottom auto lift engine gang plow donated by Charles Hefford of Miami, Manitoba. Charles Hefford Jr. was the son of Charles Hefford, who was an early resident of the Miami area. Charles’ father was a boat captain on the Great Lakes who drowned in Lake Superior during […] Read more


Grain elevators as ‘works for the general advantage of Canada’

Another regulatory wrinkle with an interesting history

While the “no mixing” rule has long been discarded, a legacy still remains in the form of the 1925 Government of Canada declaration that elevators are “works in the general advantage of Canada.” This declaration is still in force and sometimes rears its head causing bureaucrats, farmers and others in the grain trade to scratch […] Read more



The origin of the ‘no mixing’ rule

This regulation helped build Western Canada’s global grain reputation but it had downsides

Recent articles by the Manitoba Agricultural Museum on loading producer cars mentioned the “no mixing” rule that was in force in the early days of the western Canadian grain trade. One reader has inquired about the origin of this rule, which is a very interesting tale. The “no mixing” rule meant when grain was graded […] Read more


Kerosene powered tractor

The Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company 25-50 tractor

The Dickson-Henderson family of the Boissevain area donated to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum digital copies of photos taken on the farms operated by these families. One of the photos shows a “prairie style” tractor breaking sod in 1913. Prairie style is a term applied to early gas tractors, all of which were large, heavy and […] Read more



The McCrindle Sawyer Massey 25-45 gas tractor

This beautiful piece of machinery was donated to the museum by the original owner

The Manitoba Agricultural Museum’s collection contains a Sawyer Massey 25-45 gas tractor, donated in 1960 by J.M. McCrindle of Foxwarren, Manitoba. James Marshall McCrindle was born in Nova Scotia in 1879 and later came to Winnipeg when his family moved there. McCrindle then moved to Foxwarren in 1897 to work as a clerk in Laycock’s […] 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




Boom times for farmers a century ago were good for equipment makers, too

It’s one thing about farming that hasn’t changed 
with time. It’s one thing about farming that hasn’t changed with time

Last year was a pretty good one for most Prairie grain farmers — but things were hopping a century ago, too. This 1912 photo of the American Able Company storage yard in Winnipeg is proof not only of good times, but that farmers of that age — like their modern counterparts — were quick to […] Read more