Joseph Smith Inventor

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Joseph Smith Inventor


Many years ago, when a young man at Riseborough, through his skill and ingenuity, together with the practical aid of the local blacksmith Francis Huddlestone and carpenter Thomas Denney, a reaping machine was manufactured, which was quite an innovation in the district; and on the trial day the harvest field was besieged with spectators, who on seeing the machine cut and lay the corn in such a satisfactory manner, shouted themselves hoarse with wild enthusiasm.  No doubt had they remedied some little defects in the machine, and carried out the improvements which afterwards were taken up by other implement makers, this machine might have become a great success.


Reaping Machine 1

Reaping Machine 2


Joseph Smith was, we believe, one of the first agriculturists to introduce a steam thrashing machine into the district, going to Lincoln and purchasing a portable engine and machine of Messrs. Claton & Shuttleworth, in 1854 or 1855.  Such was the demand by the farmers for this steam machine, that by various stages, thrashing on many farms on its way, it was taken on several occasions to Mr. Sidgsworth's farm, between Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey, some twelve miles from Riseborough.



Clayton & Shuttleworth,


A small portable threshing machine, inside is a drum with wooden bars across the circumference, which rotates very rapidly close to an iron casting with holes in it.  The drum is driven by a horse-gear and this driven by a portable steam engine or an oil-engine.  The operator sits at one end of the machine; he takes a sheaf from his assistant and puts the end of it between the drum and the perforated iron.  The grains are freed and fall out down a chute, mixed with chaff and short straw.  Early threshing machines were portable so they could be taken from farm to farm, but others were static and powered by water-wheels.


Clayton & Shuttleworth, Stamp End Works, Lincoln

Established in 1842 when Nathaniel Clayton (1811-1890) formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, Joseph Shuttleworth (1819-1883).

In 1845 they built their first portable steam engine, and in 1849 their first threshing machine.  These products became the mainstay of the firmís business.  Clayton & Shuttleworth became one of the leading manufacturers in the country.  They supplied steam engines and threshing machines to other manufacturers, as well as selling under their own name. In 1851 they sold more than 200 steam engines, boosted by the Great Exhibition.  By 1857 they had produced a total of 2,400 steam engines, and by 1890 total output had reached 26,000 steam engines and 24,000 threshing machines.  In 1870 their workforce in Lincoln was 1200.  The export trade was important to the firm.  A branch in Vienna was established early on, and other branches followed.  The firm became a limited company in 1901, and Alfred Shuttleworth (1843-1925), son of the founder, became chairman.  In the twentieth century Clayton & Shuttleworth for a short time manufactured tractors, and was the first British firm to make a combine harvester.

They failed in the depression of the 1930s, and were taken over by Marshalls of Lincoln


Many other ingenious devices were to be seen on the farm at Riseborough; also a clever arrangement for penning sheep, by placing hurdles with gates opening out in such a manner that a large number could be sorted without difficulty.


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