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SMALL (James). A Treatise on Ploughs and Wheel Carriages, illustrated by Plates, by James Small and Cart Wright, formerly at Blackadder-Mount, now at Rose-Bank, near Foord, Mid Lothian.1784

Edinburgh: Printed for the author, First edition, [6], 255, [1]pp., 4 large folding engraved plates of various different ploughs (neatly laid-down onto linen), later green cloth. James Small, agriculturist and plough maker, was born at Upsettlington in the parish of Ladykirk, Berwickshire. He served an apprenticeship with a carpenter and plough maker at Hutton, Berwickshire, and about 1758 he went to Yorkshire to work for a Mr Robertson, maker of wagons and carriages at Doncaster. He returned to Scotland in 1763 and started to experiment with ploughs to establish which worked with the least draught. He enjoyed patronage from several leaders of Scottish society. Henry Home, Lord Kames, encouraged him in the publication of his treatise. Sir John Sinclair, a leader of progressive agricultural opinion in Scotland, was another champion of Small and his work. Small did not forget his first investor, Renton, who in 1784 became the dedicatee of his "Treatise of Ploughs and Wheel-Carriages." The book made Small the first to set out the scientific principles of plough design in print, building upon and clarifying the work of previous thinkers on the subject as well as expressing his own theories. This treatise was the standard text on plough design for fifty years. Provenance: The Lawes Agriculture Library, Rothamsted Research Institute. Rothamsted, p.136; Not in Perkins; Fussell II, pp.98-9.

Stock #39327

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