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I Our fanning friends, doubtless! remember that List year Mr Heiny Hunt, of Ashburton, brought to successful trial ft very efficient potato planting machine. That machine was put to public test on a good many occasions, both in our own neighborhood and in the vicinity of Christch'urch. Of the public trials bf the I new- machine the newspaper report*} T^ere i Very flattering, and practical farmers were 4 commendatory iu v their remarks^on^the >> work-done by it before thejir, eyesT,'. ,jSr Hunt planted his owh^orbp' ifoth' 'the machine, and other crops in the province were also , planted it; in .fact it;„!» already in fairly extensive^'ii'^e pi pofclitogrowuig districts,' considering' Htoe short; time it has h.een before, .the public, Mr Hunt, however,, -was: /no^MtisfieWnMbh having invented a ; succtMwf up jilariUng machine, anclhis constructive geAiua Trent to. work to supply a want' that 5 h*« b««n felt ever since potatoes.; were groWn~ namely, a machine, that would do-'/ior tlie harvesting of the, tuber crop'whit;-!the reaping machine .has done for the' ceteal. Many ideas suggested themselv&b to 'him, and ,hji; conversation' with Mt James !Keir, manager at'Ashburton for Messrs P. and D. Duncan—himself an inventor of some note —Mr Hunt mentioned what he had been - studying. ,Arv~ exchange of ideas took plac^- ]£lr l£eir Jhad; been engaged in the construction of *a plough for digging drain f urrowa.-for; irriga|ioi| purppses—a plough t^t, after jd'islojdging/the ijoil by. the share, would carry it over an elevator, ;and shed ifc^on.either side of { the .^^ch left, thus leaving a.complete.ditcK in one motion.* Messrs Keir'and Hunt decided to. work together, • and they, adopted as .the, base .of • ffieir , jneiital operations the principle of Mr 'Keif's eleva<^r. plough. For three months.bpfch;have" been nara afc work experimenting witlh this' principle. Many things were tried ( by both and rejected, * arid v [iti' seemed afc one time like having to score a failure and give up. But successes not achieved by giving upland so they, kept on, finely have succeeded in constructing a niAchine not very far from perfections well does ib work, and"so yreU. pleased are-Jhey with the result of theu? study' that fltliey have: taken/ out a ,patient, for Urn n new digger, arid purpose r competing for the prize of £250 onered by "the Victorian Government) for the .beat machine of this kind. c

, The machine, made chiefly by-Mr Hunt himself, was subjected kio.pubKo jiriil on Mr Hunt's farm "yesterday afternoon, where it had been at work all; day; lifting the crop Mr Hunt had^pufc lii'wi£h'; vhis patent potato planter;*l' 'The same'day 1 tihe itoachine' ' made' rfrbm l (' the • plans '-' and specifications of theinyentors, by MesSrs P. and D.. Duncan' was a similar trial at" Riuigiora 1.! Thd.wdrkfiifcne at Mr Hunt's farm L could' hardly Jfbe+flmproved upbri> Sueh fwas'the-opijiioft"of all the practical farmers 1 who saw it. ." digger" was drawn by two horses, ■; and when put into the potato ridge';W&nt straight on without ony hitch-at -all,'lifting the sqts continuously, carrying soil, haulihs, and',tubers over< the elevator:m; a steady stream, and dropping, the.tubers behind, so'that the pickers-cVulct; grade and bag them without trouble. No' work- ' man with a fork could ;have,done the work so efficiently, while there was the further recommendation for the inachine'^thatjall weeds were effectually uprooted " and spread out to be killed by. the: weather.. The digger gives .plenty of. employment to twelve people, in gathering the^ tubers, and is calculated to go over as much ground in a day in potato digging; as, will a " three-furrow" in ploughing....jt'is*of light draught, and the two horses drawing it were not in any way distressed with the work. The following is a detailed description of the ' machine. ', It runs on two pairs of wheels, they front pair . 15 inches in diameter, and the hind v pair 30 inches. The frame consists of four bars of 2&-inch 'by £-inch iron. Two of these • bars ' are,, ; attached' .to the axle of the hind wheels by bearings, and extend "forward about four feet to the share, jwhichris diamond pointed, and 20 inches wide. > The other Ijwo; bars are connected at the front .to the upright stem of- the front wheels, and extend backward to; the" ends of 'the axle of the hind Avheels. The two pairs of bars are strongly stayed "to. ; each .other. The hind wheels—fitted:, with .spikes, to prevent skidding—are connected to the axle by ratchet boxes and pawls, and " impart motion to a spur;wheel, keyed to the axle. By a spur pinion, gearing in the spur wheel; imparted to two sprocket wheels, 18 inches"" apart. Orer these, work two ordinary, reaper • chains. The chains run round two rollers fixed to the side pieces immediately behind the share, and round-iron spars connect the two chains at.intervals of 5 inches. Between the loop,;of. the chains,, and extending from the sprocket wheels $o the rollers, are. &: number .of, longitudinal;bars of 12in. by Jin,,and ljin. apart, fprniing the floor; of a kind of t elevator.,, j# Mr Hunt's machine.these bare were of wood, but in the, machine. for. the market the ! whole turn-but will be. of iron.'' *Vhe soil ! raised by the share is'conveyed up these bars by the, chains and cross spars, after the manner of a! straw eleyatqtv '' .The „ earth drops through, ' and' f only ; tlie potatoes, arrive at the top and are therefore .left" on the surface 9f-*he ground. The depth of the share in the ground is regulated by a collar on the front wheel stem, so that the driver can sink hie'share to any^depth." 1 The required depth will be very soon made apparent to him, for if any potatoes are cut he. will know that his share is too near the surface. The' machine * is- provided with a chain, lifting .gear, steering rod, and—^-in the machine for '^market--* driver's seat." The machine will -work in any r soil, but will naturally do. \ts. best on friable land. ' Unless the Inventive genius of Victoria or elsewhere has produced somethingixstter than was shown at Mr Hunt's farm-^and that will* be difficult to do— the £260 Victoria premium looks very like coming t» Ash* burton. •

The "Lytteltoncrimes", says, in reference to the Rang'iora trial:—A practical trial of Keir and Hunt's potato digger was made .yesterday morning in Mr Shaw's paddock near Ranpiora. The implement was exhibited by Messrs P. and D. Duncan,'and a description of it has already been-) given.- Ifc diown to every advantage in clean crap, jfond performed its work with evident satisfaction to the number of-farmers who wa§ present and commended the[exceUen^chani?fcef of its work.; ".>•;.."/, •„;-> hSl" n - 7n -} :,-

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NEW POTATO DIGGER PUBLIC TRIAL AT MR HUNT'S FARM., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2438, 11 June 1890

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NEW POTATO DIGGER PUBLIC TRIAL AT MR HUNT'S FARM. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2438, 11 June 1890

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