Ploughs and Progress
Set of model ploughs, Festival of Britain, 1951 These ploughs were part of a series of eight wooden models made for the Country Pavilion of the Festival of Britain. Six of the original set still survive. This section of the Festival focused largely on technical progress and there they were shown alongside the latest farm […]
Henry Owen Vaughan, Photographs of Miss Smith’s Museum, 1937–1943 These photographs were taken in the village of East Hendred during the late-1930s and early-1940s by the Reading-based amateur photographer Henry Owen Vaughan. They show a private home and museum at Downside House, which belonged to Lavinia Smith, sometimes referred to as ‘Miss Lavinia’ or ‘Sister […]
Ferguson, Demonstration model, circa 1949–1951 This model tractor was designed to demonstrate how the innovative three-point linkage technology on Ferguson tractors worked. This unique mechanism featured on the iconic TE-20 tractor or ‘little grey Fergie’ and made for a vehicle that was more stable and adaptable. Models like this enabled Ferguson agents, technicians, and distributors […]
Machinery 100 Years Ago
At the Royal Agricultural Show in Cambridge in 1951 people flocked to see the Museum’s display of Machinery 100 Years Ago. This old equipment sat only metres away from the very machines that threatened its existence. The countryside was steeped in history yet desperately in need of modernisation.
In its early years the Museum of English Rural Life toured the nation’s many country shows, picking up objects from farmers and the public. This type of plough is called a turn wrest and is commonly found in Kent, where we collected it in 1955. We put it on display at the Shillingford country fair […]