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Mallee Roller (Scrub Roller)

The invention of Mallee Roller enabled new land
to be opened up to for cultivation

 

 

The Invention of the Mallee Roller

Mallee Roller in Use
malleeroller1
Early Mallee pulled by bullocks

malleeroller2
Mallee Roller pulled by horses

malleeroller3
Mallee Roller pulled by Tractor

 

In the 1860s the increasing demand for land for wheat crops saw the expansion into the dry Mallee country of South Australia and Victoria.  Clearing the dense vegetation was a problem. The Mallee eucalyptus is a small tree which has several stems growing from large stumps at or just below ground level which needed to be grubbed out before the land could be cultivated.

This was a slow and costly process until a farmer called Charles Branson devised the scrub roller which could be pulled through the scrub by horses or bullocks, flattening the small trees and undergrowth as it went.  The flattened vegetation was then left to dry before it was burnt.

The Mallee Roller (Scrub Roller) was in used right up until the early 20th century when tractors replaced horses and bullocks.  Many were made out of old boilers. 
 

 

 

 

Charles Branson
Charles
Invented the Mallee Roller (Scrub Roller)

Charles Branson  1832 - 1887

Charles Branson was the fifth child of James Branson and Sarah Hankins and was baptised on the 22nd May 1832 in Techmarch England.

On 20-2-1852 at 19 years of age Charles arrived in Australia on the 'Amazon' from Plymouth. His brothers William and James, his sister Rebecca and his Uncle William had already migrated.  He followed his brothers William and James to Greenock in South Australia and arranged a lease of land around Greenock  from Robert Bevan Esquire.

When faced with the problem of clearing his land he devised the Mallee Roller to flatten the Scrub instead of attempted to pull it out. The Scrub could later be burned.

He later moved his family to Victoria and purchased a property at Warburton called Brampton Park.

 

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