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Australian Inventions & Products

The Sunshine Harvester

The Sunshine Harvester was a major improvement of the Wheat stripper because it included the winnowing.

 

The Invention of the Sunshine Harvester

First all in one Wheat Harvesting
Original Sunshine Harvester design
The original design by Hugh McKay

Sunshine Harvester at work
Sunshine Harvester - The first commercial model

In 1883, Hugh Victor McKay, a 17 year old got tired of turning the heavy handle on this fathersÂ’ winnowing machine in Country Victoria, wondered if a harvester could be made to winnow as well.  With the help of his brothers George and John he built a prototype made of old metal scraps and farm tools.

It was finished in 1884 and called the Sunshine Harvester. It was an immediate success because it separated the grain, straw and chaff using a rotary fan making the entire harvesting process automatic. 

He soon established a factory and was selling thousands of the machines in Australia and overseas.  In 1904 McKay purchased  land for a plan in Braybrook near Melbourne.

So important was the Sunshine Harvester to Australian agriculture that the entire area surrounding the new plant was officially renamed Sunshine in recognition of its contribution.

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