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 Australian market but also proved quite successful in England as the Kid Kangaroo pulled as easily as many single-bottom plows of British manufacture. The Kid Kangaroo was sold in Canada as well.
Why a twin-bottom walking plow? Apparently the English felt that a proper plowman always walked behind the plow and riding a plow was simply not done. The Australians followed this practice. “Only in Canada you say?” applies to sulky plows as well as tea, at least as far as the British Empire was concerned.
When the Kid Kangaroo story was discovered, it was remembered there was a twin-bottom walking plow laying in the museum’s boneyard. The plow was examined but no paint remains on it. However it has features found on Cockshutt JGC riding plows, such as the cast-iron wheels. As well, there are parts numbers cast into various parts which start with the same letter as parts numbers on known Cockshutt plows.
William Cockshutt has offered to visit the museum, when he is in the area next summer, to help identify this plow plus other Cockshutt plows. So stay tuned, maybe a Kid Kangaroo will be back in action in the 21st century at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum.