Agricultural History Series
 Missouri State University

Post Civil War Farm Equipment

Report of the Missouri Plow Trial at the Missouri Agricultural College

The Missouri Plow Trial was held on May 16th -20th of 1877. Fifty entries were made, from six different states, representing many of the best manufacturing establishments in the country. It was held in Columbia, Missouri.

Regulations which governed the plow trial held at the Missouri Agricultural College were as follows:

Plows were entered in the following classes, according to their construction: Sulky Plows, Sulky Attachments, Walking Plows, Gang Plows, Reversible Plows, Subsoil Plows, Prairie Breakers and Sod Plows.

The Committee of Arrangements consisted of G.C. Swallow, Dean of Agricultural College, J.P. McAffee, Master of Boone Grange, W.L. Victor, W.T. Hickman, S.B. Spence, from Boone Grange, and J.G. Potts, J.L. Sterne, J.C. Gillaspy from the Boone County Agricultural and Mechanical Association.

First Place Prizes were awarded to:

Sulky Plows in Bluegrass Sod: Starling, Princeton Manufacturing Co., Princeton, Ill.

Prairie Breakers in Bluegrass Sod: Evans, Moline Plow Co., Kansas City, Mo.

Walking Plows in Bluegrass Sod: Speer Walking Plow, A. Speer and Son, Pittsburg Pa.

Sulky Plows in Old Bottom Soil: Hughes, Hughes Plow Co., St. Louis Mo.

Sulky Attachments in Old Bottom Soil: Slusser, L. Yinger, St. Louis Mo.

Walking Plows in Old Bottom Soil: Moline Walking Plow, Moline Plow Co., Kansas City, Mo.

Reversible Plows in Old Bottom Soil: Hillside Plow, Laur and Hartman, Louisville, Ky.

Gang Plows in Old Bottom Soil: Gang Plow, B.F. Avery and Sons, Louisville, Ky.

The Dynamometer tests were judged on draft per square inch of furrow section, area of section of furrow, draft in pounds, depth and width of furrows, and width of plow.

On the Monday succeeding the plow trial, May 21st, there was an interesting trial of cultivators in the bottom cornfield on the Agricultural Farm.

Click here to see pictures of the winning equipment

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This page was designed and researched by Ashley Blades and Ann Cavey.

For more information, contact Lyndon N. Irwin