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Stump jump plough

The stump jump plough is recognised as one of the most important agricultural inventions of the 19th century. It was invented in South Australia by the Richard and Clarence Smith of Kalkabury on the Yorke Peninsula. The area around Kalkabury (now Arthurton), where Richard was a farmer, and many other parts of South Australia are covered with Mallee eucalyptus trees that have stubborn stumps at, or just below, ground level that make clearing the land difficult. In 1876, after breaking a bolt on their plough and finding that it rode over a stump rather than getting stuck behind it, Richard and Clarence tinkered with the idea and came up with the design for the stump jump plough. In 1877 the machine won first prize at the Moonta show. Clarence began commercial production of the stump jump plough in 1880 with credit from GP Harris, Scarfe and Company. Richard was awarded ₤500 and a square mile of land at Ardrossan for the invention in 1884.

The stump jump plough eliminated the time consuming task of clearing land filled with stumps and stones and allowed mallee land in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, previously thought to be too difficult to work, to be cultivated.

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RB Smith's 'Vixen' stump jump plough
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Stump Jump Plough : advertisement
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