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RB Smith's 'Vixen' stump jump plough
Title : RB Smith's 'Vixen' stump jump plough RB Smith's 'Vixen' stump jump plough
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Creator : Smith, Clarence Herbert, 1855-1901, Smith, Richard Bowyer, 1837-1919
Source : B 64256
Date of creation : 1876
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 145 x 215 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Rough sketch of the first single furrow stump jumping plough known as 'the Vixen' made by the Smith brothers of Kalkabury, Yorke Peninsula, in 1876.

The stump jump plough 'jumps' over any obstructions, enabling farmers to cultivate their land without having to undergo the expensive and time consuming process of removing stumps and stones before ploughing.

Designed by brothers Richard and Clarence Smith of Yorke Peninsula, the stump jump plough allowed farmers to cultivate the land without removing rocks and stumps. Along with the Ridley stripper (another South Australian invention), the stump jump plough revolutionised farming worldwide.

Widespread land clearing in the 1860s and 1870s meant a vast number of mallee stumps were left in the ground posing an expensive problem to farmers wishing to plough their land. The stump jump plough was designed to allow the farmers to jump over the stumps in their way thereby protecting their machinery and avoiding the cost of having to remove each stump.

Clarence Herbert Smith was born at Alma Goldfields in Victoria in 1856. Apprenticed to his brother Richard, a blacksmith at Port Wakefield and later a farmer at Kalkabury (now Arthurton near Maitland) he made the first stump jump plough under Richard's direction in 1876 and continued improving the design while farming at Kalkabury. He married Emma Beck in 1879 and established a factory at Ardrossan in 1880 where he began manufacturing the plough. He died in 1901 and his business passed to his sons Glen and Alma Smith. The business ceased operations in 1934.

As the master blacksmith, Richard is often acknowledged as the inventor of the plough, but both brothers should be credited.

Related names :

Smith, Clarence Herbert, 1855-1901

Smith, Richard Bowyer, 1837-1919

Coverage year : 1876
Period : 1852-1883
Place : Arthurton (formerly Kalkabury)
Region : Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :

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

McPhee, Margaret. The dictionary of Australian inventors and discoveries, St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1993

Neumann, Beryl. The Smith brothers and the stump jump plough, Maitland, SA: National Trust of South Australia, Central Yorke Peninsula Branch, 1986.

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

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