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Link to full record and imageMcKay assembled his stripper harvester prototype in a bush smithy in 1884. His first manufacturing base was in Ballarat.

McKay purchased the Braybrook Implement Works in 1904 and moved his operations from Ballarat to Braybrook Junction (later named Sunshine) in 1906. It offered room for expansion, train lines to country and wharves, an existing manufacturing plant, and land for residential development.

At its peak the Sunshine Harvester Works employed 3,000 workers, covered 30.7 hectares (76 acres) and was the largest manufacturing plant in Australia.

Techniques of mass production reduced labour costs and increased McKay's competitive edge. The plant was completely self-sufficient and manufactured every item needed, including metal tubing, nuts and bolts, and even the bikes used by plant supervisors.

 

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