The portable threshing machine would have had an enormous impact on a Victorian farming community like ours in Ryedale. Before threshing machines, grain was separated from stalks by hand, a long and exhausting but also essential job. It was threshing that turned inedible husks into potentially delicious grains!
In the early days of the 19th century, not everyone welcomed the threshing machine’s innovation which undoubtedly led to job loss. But, as the century progressed, their roles became increasingly relied upon. Cue some extra inventiveness by one William Marshall. His portable machine did something even more revolutionary than standard threshing machines. It travelled! This meant that it wasn’t just the wealthy elite who could farm with new technology. This machine could be shared amongst a number of farms, journeying between them just like contractors do today.
We like to think of it as the superhero of the threshing world! You’ll be pleased to know that the achievements of William Marshall didn’t go unnoticed – he was awarded a princely £25 at the Royal Agricultural Society’s show in 1849.
So if you want to feel transported, you can adopt this fascinating piece of farming history and sow the seeds of heritage conservation all at the same time.
For the adopter, and with our thanks, you will receive...