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Scale model of a threshing machine as used in the early twentieth century

Date made: late 20th century

Place made: Andreas

Description: This is a working scale model of a threshing machine, as used on farms in the Isle of Man in the early 20th century to separate grains of wheat from stalks and husks. It was built by Thomas Quaye, who was born in Ballaugh. The model was inspired by his childhood spent on a farm at Andreas, where such machines were used in harvesting.

The model is built at approximately 1/5th scale. It has reddish-pink paintwork, representing the red lead paint commonly used on Manx farms, with green wheels. It is a working model, and it is possible to run it from a stationary engine.

Threshing was once done laboriously by hand using flails. The invention of the threshing machine in the 19th century caused riots, because it threw many agricultural labourers out of work. Threshing machines such as this would have been driven by a belt from a steam powered traction engine. They were once common in Manx fields at harvest time. Manx National Heritage still uses a machine of this type to produce the straw for thatching its cottages. Modern reaper binders as used in 21st century agriculture break the straw, rendering it useless for thatching.

Measurements: overall: 137 x 61 x 77 cm

Materials: Wood

Object name: Model Threshing Machine

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2002-0157


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