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Trivia Time: Let's Talk About Significant Business Inventions...

Trivia Time: Let's Talk About Significant Business Inventions...

We all know that there have been significant business inventions and progressions in recent years. For writers, probably the biggest innovation, recently, has been the internet. However, for some industries, the internet is not the most significant invention. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some progress in another industry you might not be very familiar with.

The World of Farming

The world of farming has changed monumentally over the years. This is an industry that has gone from being completely labour intensive to highly machine intensive. Therefore, as you may have gathered, there have been some incredible farm machinery inventions along the way that have allowed this to happen. Here’s the most significant ones.



First and foremost we have the thresher. This is a machine that separates the grain from crops. It is a piece of machinery that is extremely popular in the present day. However, prior to its existence, grain was obviously cut by hand.

This was an extremely slow process. Farmers would haul the grain to a barn. It would then be spread on a ‘threshing floor’. They would either allow animals to trample upon the grain or they would beat it with hand fails. Both methods would knock the kernels free of the straw.

After this, the straw would be raked away, and what was left was tossed into the air. The wind then had the responsibility of blowing away the lighter debris and chaff from the heavier grain.

As you can probably tell, it wasn’t a very efficient process. Therefore, when Andrew Meikle developed the first threshing machine in Scotland in 1786 it was welcomed with opened arms.

General Purpose Tractor

You simply cannot mention farm machinery without talking about the tractor. There are a lot of significant inventions in relation to this machine.

For example, you have the first gasoline tractors for sale, which were invented in the 1890s. However, the general purpose tractor is arguably the most significant. It is one of the most popular farm machines on a global basis and has increased efficiency and productivity by truly astounding amounts.

So, when did the first general purpose tractor come about? That would be in 1924. It was called the ‘Farmall’ and it was created by IH. This machine could plant and cultivate row crops, as well as pull heavy tillage. It didn’t take long for the general purpose tractor to catch on at businesses around the world. Over the next twenty years, all manufacturers in the agricultural industry developed their very own version.

Cotton Gin

Last but not least, let’s rewind to one of the earliest farm machinery inventions. After all, we’ve delved into the world of the general purpose tractor – a machine that is dominant in the modern day, but what made a massive impact in older times? This has to be the Cotton Gin.

In Colonial Times cotton cloth was extremely expensive. In fact, it was more costly than wool or linen. This is because separating the seed from the clinging fibres proved to be tremendously tough.

To illustrate just how difficult this was, on a daily basis one individual would probably only be able to pick the seeds from one pound of cotton fibre. This process defined the word lengthy.

So, when Eli Whitney devised a Cotton Gin machine in 1793, it truly was a significant invention. This machine allowed for approximately 200 pounds of cotton to be cleaned per day. It’s not difficult to do the math – that means that this machine sped up the process of cotton cleaning by 200%! It truly was an incredible invention that caused the prices of cotton to plummet.     

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