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Sunshine Stripper Harvester
Image: 'Early Sunshine Harvester', McKay Bros Patent, Sandhurst, circa 1886
Source: Museum Victoria
Frustrated by the slow and laborious nature of harvesting wheat, Hugh Victor McKay, at the age of 18, assembled a 'stripper harvester' on his father's property at Drummarton, Victoria, in early 1884. Having obtained Victorian patents over his harvester design in March and June 1885, McKay set about commericalising the design by commissioning McCalum, Garde & Co., of North Melbourne, to build five harvesters under contract that were sold to Victorian and New South Wales farmers for use in the 1885-86 harvest. While his design was not the first 'combine harvester' developed in Australia, through vigorous promotion and ongoing improvements the McKay harvester had, by 1900, became the most commercially successful Australian harvester design.
The popularity of the 'Sunshine' Stripper Harvester was able to secure McKay's place as one of the most successful agricultural implement makers in Australia. The harvester played an important role in establishing Australia as a leading cereal producing country, and was one of the first Australian manufactured products to be exported in large numbers. The H.V. McKay Company also manufactured an extensive range of other farming equipment and implements. By the 1920s it had become the largest manufacturing enterprise in the Southern Hemisphere, employing over 3000 workers.
H.V. McKay Sunshine Collection
Origin of the 'Sunshine' Brandname
The Sunshine Harvester Works, Sunshine, Victoria, Australia
Hugh V. McKay, Agricultural Implement & Machinery Manufacturer, Ballarat & Sunshine, Victoria
H.V. McKay Massey Harris Pty Ltd, Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers & Importers, Sunshine, Victoria
Massey-Ferguson (Aust.) Ltd, Agricultural & Construction Equipment Manufacturers & Importers, Sunshine, Victoria
1. F.J. Kendall, H.V. McKay Pioneer Industrialist, Monograph No.2, Council of the Science Museum of Victoria, 21 Nov 1979.
2. John Lack, 'McKay, Hugh Victor (1865 - 1926)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol.10, Melbourne University Press, 1986, pp 291-294.
3. Victorian Patent No.4006, 24 Mar 1885 (Hugh V. McKay & John McKay) 'Improvements in and connected with harvesting machines'.
4. Victorian Patent No.4095, 19 Jun 1885, Hugh V. McKay , 'Improvements in and connected with harvesting machines'.
Items per page: 10 50 (showing 51 - 60) 107 items
Historic engineering marker plaque dedicated by the Institution of Engineers of Australia in recognition of the McKay smithy as a significant structure the history of Australian agricul ...Images: 1
Typewritten letter to H. V. McKay Pty. Ltd. from Robert Anderson of Pine Grove, via Moama, NSW, dated 1 August 1928. An original photograph of this letter confirms the date as 1 August ...Images: 1
Invitation card addressed to Mr. R. Barnett from the Directors of H.V. McKay Pty. Ltd., to attend the unveiling of a memorial tablet for the farm Smithy at the Sunshine Harvester Works ...Images: 1
Crate containing two plaster moulds of left hand side relief profiles of HV McKay by Wallace Anderson, made between 1926 and 1928. The crate appears to be a recycled travelling crate, o ...Images: 16
Model of a three furrow stump jump mouldboard "Sunrise" plough. The model was made by H. V. McKay Massey Harris Pty. Ltd., Sunshine, Victoria. The "Sunrise" plough was first manufactu ...From: Braybrook, Australia Images: 2
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5(10)-furrow stump jump disc cultivating plough. Model made by H. V. McKay Massey Harris Pty. Ltd., Sunshine, Victoria. Model. 1:4 scale. The 'Sundercut' was Invented by J.B. Garde, ...From: Sunshine, Australia Images: 0
Photograph of H. V. McKay with representatives of the Russian Agricultural Society, during his marketing tour of Russia in 1912. This image and the model harvester depicted in it for ...Images: 1
Black and white photograph of Sunshine Harvester Works office staff unloading coal from rail wagons during the 1911 strike. Photograph is located in an album: Volume No.1: 'Views of Fa ...From: Sunshine, Australia Images: 1
Booklet entitled 'The Peril of Melbourne' produced by The Victorian Land Settlement Division of the Immigration League of Australia in 1907. It promotes the increase of primary producti ...Images: 6