This photograph from the Clyde photograph collection is of a horsedrawn endgate seeder made by Australian firm Hudson Bros Ltd in the Sydney suburb of Granville. Hudson Bros were the predecessor to the Clyde Engineering Company Ltd. The seeder would have been made after Hudson Bros added farm machinery to their range of railway carriages and rolling stock in 1884 but before Clyde Engineering Co. Ltd rose from the ashes of the Hudson Bros in 1898. It comprises a hopper, a feeding device, and distributing wheel driven by a chain and sprocket from the left wheel of the cart. It is an early mechanized way to uniformly sow a field. Previously, the common method of seeding was known as broadcasting. Broadcasting involved throwing, by hand or machine, seeds in the air and having them fall onto the fields. The disadvantages for this process were that the seeds fell unevenly. Seeding machines allowed uniformity in distribution of the seeds. The seeds in this machine were fed into the upper funnel and evenly moved into the lower funnel to be dropped onto the soil. The timing for the seed distribution was controlled by a feeder that was powered by a chain connected to a wheel. A coulter opened a furrow for the dropping seed.
Almost all of the glass plate negatives in the Clyde photograph collection were taken at the Clyde works in Granville, in Sydney, and depict both the workers and the machinery they manufactured. Subjects covered include: railway locomotives and rolling stock; agricultural equipment; large engineering projects funded by Australian State and Federal governments; airplane maintenance and construction and Clyde's contribution to the first and second World Wars. Some photographs date back to the 1880s but most were taken between 1898 and 1945.
This collection of photographs is an archive of national significance due to its unique relationship to the industrial technology, engineering and commerce of New South Wales. In Australia few collections of this nature have survived to the present day especially ones which cover one company's activities from the 1880s through to the 1950s in such depth.
The photographs are also significant in their illustration of the important contribution made by Clyde Engineering to the social fabric of New South Wales. By 1923 Clyde had 2,200 employees working round the clock on eight hour shifts. Some of these lived in houses specially built by the company in Granville and the works had its own fire brigade, ambulance service, gun club and was home to Australia's first soccer club.
Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, Total Asset Management Project, February, 2008
Sidney Wilkinson-Flicker, Museum Studies Intern, February 2011.
Murray, J., Phoenix to the World; the Story of Clyde Industries and Sir Raymond Purves, CBE, Playright Publishing Pty Ltd., 1992
The Clyde Engineering Company Limited, Visit to Clyde Works of the delegates of Chambers of Commerce of the British Empire, 21 September 1909, Cumberland Argus Printing Works, 1909?
Australian Railway Historical Society, New South Wales Division, Steam Locomotives Built by the Clyde Engineering Co. Pty. Ltd., Granville, Australia, Australian Railway Historical Society, New South Wales, date unknown
Simpson, Margaret and Phillip, "Old Farm Machinery in Australia: A Fieldguide & Sourcebook", Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1991, p. 39-42.