State Library of South Australia logo Foundation Documents 1800-1851
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Ridley reaping machine
Title : Ridley reaping machine Ridley reaping machine View More Images
Add To My SA Memory
Creator : South Australian Chamber of Manufactures
Date of creation : ca. 1843
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 15.2 cm x 7.6 cm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Records of the South Australian Chamber of Manufactures comprising minutes, letter books, subscription book, cash books, photographs, score sheets, architectural plan, painting of Ridley stripper, cartoon of H.E. Winterbottom, exhibits, including silk grown by Mrs Beetson 1866 and silver engraving by W.E. Ward, registers of awards and draft histories

Drawing of the original Ridley Reaping Machine.

In 1843 the colony of South Australia experienced harvest difficulties - there was an increasing demand for food supply, but a shortage of labour available to harvest by hand. In response to a competition organised by the Grain Exchange, a mechanical wheat stripper was designed and built by John Wrathall Bull. John Ridley improved Bull's design and successfully developed the stripper as a working machine.

The Ridley reaping machine stripped the grain from the crop using a comb and rotating bars, and stored it in the 'boot' of the machine for later winnowing. This South Australian invention revolutionised the harvesting of wheat in dry climates, and greatly increased the amount of land cultivated.

Related names :
Ridley, John, 1806-1887
Coverage year : ca.1843
Period : 1836-1851
Place : South Australia
Region : Adelaide metropolitan area
Further reading :

Conigrave, JF. Agriculture in South Australia: a description of the South Australian seed-sower, stripper, and winnower, Adelaide: E. Spiller, 1883

'The death of Mr John Ridley',The Adelaide Observer, 3 December 1887, p. 30, col. b-d

Kelly, WS. Rural development in South Australia, Adelaide: Rigby, 1962

Port, Leo with Brian Murray. Australian inventors, Stanmore, NSW: Cassell Australia, 1978

'Reaping machines', The Adelaide Observer, 28 January 1860, p. 2, col. e

Reddin, JW. The first stripper : settling an historical argument, Glen Osmond, S. Aust. : J.W. Reddin, 1992

PRG 1043/10/8 Sutton, G.L., The Invention of the Stripper, reprinted from the 'Journal of Department of Agriculture of Western Australia', 1937

Internet links :

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online: see Ridley, John and Bull, John Wrathall

South Australian inventors Flinders Ranges Research

Technology in Australia 1788-1988, Chapter 1, II Farmers take the initiative 1851-1888 Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, University of Melbourne



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on