The McKay collection is regarded as one of the most significant industrial heritage collections in Australia. It began with donations from Hugh Victor McKay in the early decades of the 20th century, and a number of important family donations were made during the 1960s. The largest donation came as the result of an employee at the Sunshine Harvester Works rescuing material from a dumpster in the 1980s. The collection ranges from the 1880s to the most recent agricultural developments. It features more than 15,000 photographs, 750 films, more than 6,000 trade publications, working models of equipment, a rare Sunshine model 'A' tractor, company archives and the original blacksmith shop where the first stripper harvester was made at Drummartin.
The Sunshine Harvester Works was the largest industrial enterprise in the Southern Hemisphere in the 1920s. It had a major impact on the social and economic development of Australia, and was a significant contributor to the mechanisation of agriculture around the world. The company was gradually absorbed by various global corporations (Massey Ferguson, Iseki and Agco), and stopped manufacturing equipment in the 1980s.
This story captured the imagination of many Australians. The legend fostered by the company is still alive in the images and memories of those who were linked by land, work, city, or machine to this enterprise.
Advertising, Aerial Photographs, Agricultural Equipment, Agricultural Equipment Dealers, Agricultural Implement Works, Agricultural Implements, Agricultural Machinery, Agricultural Research, Agricultural Shows, Agricultural Workers, Agriculture, Assembly Lines, Auto Header Harvesters, Blacksmithing, Cane Harvesters, Chaffcutters, Combine Harvesters, Construction Equipment, Construction Sites, Crop Processing Equipment, Crops, Cultivating Equipment, Cultivators, Display Windows, Earthmoving Equipment, Engineering Works, Engines, Excavation Equipment, Export Trade, Factories, Factory Plans, Farmers, Farming Methods, Farms, Floods, Foundries, Front End Loaders, Gardening Equipment, Gas Producers, Gates, Grain Handling Equipment, Grain Harvesting Equipment, Harvesters, Hay Making Equipment, Header Harvesters, Horsedrawn Equipment, Horsedrawn Implements, Industrial Design, Innovation, Innovations, Inventions, Land Clearing, Machinery Dealers, Machinery Displays, Manufacturing, Manufacturing Workers, Manufacturing Works, Milking Equipment, Mouldboard Ploughs, Occupational Health & Safety, Picnics & Picnicking, Planting Equipment, Public Gardens, Reaper-Binders, Royal Melbourne Show, Rural Industry, Rural Landscapes, Seed & Fertilizer Drills, Showgrounds, Showrooms, Soil Conservation, Spraying & Dusting Equipment, Stripper Harvesters, Stump Jump Ploughs, Sustainable Agriculture, Tools, Tractors, Tractors Attachments, Trade Literature, Weed Control Equipment, Working Life, World War I, 1914-1918, World War II, 1939-1945