In the second of two companion volumes Brian Bell concludes his account of the mechanisation of farm machinery in the period 1930-2000.
He starts with the combine harvester. He goes on to deal with balers, hay and silage machinery, sugar beet harvesters and potato harvesting machinery. Finally he looks at estate maintenance machinery.
Throughout his two books Brian Bell deals in detail with the companies involved in the technical developments, making the two volumes together encyclopaedic in scope. They constitute a very much enlarged edition of Fifty Years of Farm Machinery with a completely revised and extended text and many new photographs.
In the short space of seventy years, sail reapers, binders and threshing machines have given way to the combine harvester. Self-propelled foragers and 24-hour haymaking techniques have replaced the cutter-bar mower, hay loader and buckrake. Harvesters now do in a single pass the once labour-intensive task of securing potatoes and sugar beet. This book charts a remarkable revolution.
Brian Bell has written over 25 books and DVDs on farm machinery and agricultural companies, and contributes to a number of magazines. He has been awarded the MBE for his services to agriculture.