Photograph of “Kalos” Clyde Engineering portable chaff cutter

Made 1905-1916

This is a photograph of a travelling chaff cutter with an elevator and twin bagger attachment manufactured by The Clyde Engineering Co. Ltd with the model name “Kalos.” Clyde Engineering was a large Australian firm in Granville, a Sydney suburb, which made agricultural machines, engineering equipment, and railway rolling stock during the first half of the twentieth century.

A chaff cutter was used to cut straw and hay in order to make feed for the animals, especially horses. Other animal food p...


Photographic glass plate negative, "'Kalos" portable chaff cutter with elevator and twin bagger, made by The Clyde Engineering Pty Ltd, Granville, New South Wales, Australia, 1905-1916

A rectangular black and white silver gelatin glass plate negative in landscape format. The image depicts a Clyde four knife double screw bagging travelling chaff cutter. The chaff cutter is hung on hooks with an auger which pushed the bags down, (see 88/289-218 and -219).


164 mm
215 mm
1.5 mm


The Clyde Engineering Company photograph collection is made up of around 1300 ½ plate glass negatives and approximately 4000 triacetate negatives.

The tri-acetate collection appears to date from the late 1930s through to 1960s the glass plates from around 1900 -1950. Most of the photographs are commissioned works taken around the Clyde Works in Granville, Sydney. Others are copies of original photographic prints, blueprints and pages from books. These are hard to accurately date it is almost certain that the collection is the work of numerous photographers; unfortunately their identity is at present unknown.

Glass plates were first used to support photographic emulsions in the late 1840s and remained in continuous use right through until the middle of the twentieth century. While the earliest plates supported 'dry' and 'wet' collodion emulsions these were replaced with silver gelatin emulsions in the 1880s. Unlike earlier plates these were mass produced on a huge scale and were capable of fast speeds even at ½ and full plate sizes.

One drawback of this process was that larger plate sizes required a correspondingly large camera to fit the plate. These were relatively cumbersome and when you take into consideration the weight of the glass plates it is no surprise to find they were mainly used for studio and commercial work. However they were still favoured by many professionals for a long time after roll film was introduced by Kodak in the late 1880s. This was because the large plates could be more easily worked on for masking and their contact prints provided better results than some of the early enlarging equipment

Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, Total Asset Management Project, February, 2008

Gernsheim, H. and Gernsheim A., The History of Photography from the Earliest Use of the Camera Obscura in the Eleventh Century up to 1914. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1955.

Cite this Object

Photograph of "Kalos" Clyde Engineering portable chaff cutter 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Photograph of "Kalos" Clyde Engineering portable chaff cutter |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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