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Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull was one of the most important inventors of the Industrial Revolution. He designed plowing and seeding contraptions that made farming a not-so strenuous task as before. His inventions revolutionized the agricultural business altogether. Tull was born in Basildon, Berkshire and baptized on March 30 1674. His father was a farmer so he was raised as such. He studied at Oxford and originally planned to have a political career, but health problems postponed his plans. After his marriage at the age of twenty five to Susannah Smith, he returned home to farm with his father.

            At this time farming was a very different ball game then it is today. The seeds were distributed by hand; this was also known as drilling. Tull noticed that the heavy sowing densities made drilling inefficient, so he ordered his workers to drill at very exact densities to make the job easier. When Tull’s patience had run short with his workers and their lack of cooperation, he decided to make a machine to do work for him.       


The Seed Drill
Tull’s seed drill was unlike any other at his time. It worked with a turning grooved cylinder which led the seeds into the ground; teeth behind the cylinder promptly covered them with dirt. This method produced minimal seed wastage, and made the seed easier to root.                 
Horse Drawn Hoe
Jethro Tull designed the horse drawn hoe. He described the methods of his invention in his book “Horse-Hoeing Husbandry.”  His design pulled out weeds and other unwanted shrubs, and left them on the surface to die. He also improved the design of the plow which had a similar mechanism as the horse drawn hoe.


Jethro Tull’s designs changed the agricultural world forever. Though his designs are not seen in their entirety today, there are still small traces of them found in modern machinery. If Jethro Tull never had the short patience that he did, and never decided to invent his creations, who knows where we would be today. Our crop yielding could still be as minimal as it was before if Tull had never developed his great machines. Jethro Tull is considered one of the fathers of agriculture, and I believe that he is for good reason.

By: Caleb Johnson

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