Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Bamford Potato Digger 1930's

The Potato Digger of the 1930-40's
This style of Potato Digger or Harvesting machine was made by at least two agricultural machine companies that I know of. As with the one above made by the Bamford company and the other made by another well known company of Ransome, Sims & Jefferies of Ipswitch.
The spider wheel that can be seen to the right was to remove any potato haulm so that all the potatoes were exposed. Even then any prudent farmer would run a pair of zig-zag harrows over to expose any potatoes that were burried.
This machine only dug in one direction, so the horse would have to go back to where they started empty. If the potatoes were planted on an incline it was easier on the horses to come down hill than try digging uphill.
Later these machines were converted so a tractor could replace the horses and the digging could be done in two directions with two gangs of pickers working the same field.
In the late forties and early fifties these machines were replaced by the chain elevator style digger, but that is another story.

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