Fruit grader

Made in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1947-1964.

The fruit grader is typical of the type of machinery used in a fruit packing shed of the 1960s. Fruit is generally graded by size before being taken to market. It makes the fruit easier to pack and less likely to be damaged during transit. Uniform sizes also enhance the appearance of cases of fruit, an important factor in competitive markets. As a hand-operated machine, it semi-automated the grading process. In 2007 all fruit grading is automated.

The area around the Hawkesbury River is part of...


Fruit grader and case holder, timber / metal / cloth / rubber, made by Pope, Mayne and Southerden Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1947-1964

The grader is rectangular in shape, with six bins or hoppers for separating fruit of differing sizes. The front legs are made of timber but the back legs are metal. They support a conveyor belt and an adjustable roller along which the fruit would have rolled. As the pieces of fruit moved along the conveyor belt they would have dropped into bins when they could fit under the roller. Because the roller is angled to create an ever-increasing gap between it and the conveyor belt, small fruit fell into bins before the larger pieces. The roller can be raised or lowered, to suit the size of the fruit. A hand lever on one end turns the conveyor belt but a pulley attached below it indicates that it was also capable of being driven by a small engine or electric motor.

The case holder is made of timber and cantilevers from the front of the grader. It can be moved from one bin to another.


1300 mm
1760 mm
350 kg


This grader was manufactured by Pope, Mayne and Southerden Pty Ltd in Brisbane, some time between the years 1947 to 1964. These are the years for which the company is listed in the Australasian Manufacturers Directory. After 1964, the company became known as PSF Equipment.


The grader was used on a citrus farm near St Albans in the Hawkesbury River district from 1984 to 1991. The farm is called Perry's Run and is on the Broadarm (a creek). It was owned by Reggie Jurd who grew fruit there for fifteen years. He purchased the machine from another member of the extended Jurd family who was retiring from fruit-growing on a nearby farm. Reggie had graded the fruit manually for nine years before buying the grader. The plaque indicates that the grader was purchased at some time from George Howell Farm Machinery Exchange in Penrith.

Reggie grew oranges, mandarins, melons and cattle but his main income was derived from the transport industry. He drove a truck, delivering produce from the St Albans district to the Flemington and Sydney markets. Although the farm was small, it returned about $14,000 each year from the citrus fruit. Reggie Jurd sold the farm in 1991 to Antonia Nagy.


Gift of Antonia Nagy, 2007
24 December, 2007

Cite this Object

Fruit grader 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Fruit grader |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
Know more about this object?
Have a question about this object?