Summary

Booklet entitled 'A Farm Smithy: A Record of Vision and Pluck', published by the Sunshine Harvester Press, in September 1928.

The booklet was first published to commemorate a public ceremony held on Tuesday 25th September 1928, when a tablet dedicated to the achievements of H.V. McKay and the original farm smithy where he built his first harvester was unveiled at the Sunshine Harvester Works in front of the recently re-erected smithy building that had been relocated from the McKay family farm at Drummarton. The publication of the booklet was referred to in contemporary reports published in a variety of Australian newspapers over the following weeks. Copies of the booklet were provided gratis on application to H.V. McKay Pty. Ltd., at the Sunshine Harvester Works or any of the firm's interstate branch offices and may have been distributed through the firm's agents also. It was possibly reprinted at least once over the following few years.

Contents includes a eulogy of the life of Hugh Victori McKay, detailing his early struggle to establish the company. A full colour painting of the original bark shed of legend is included, as well as photographic portraits of the industrialist at age 20 and late in life. Quotes from McKay provide information on early working conditions, and there is a description of the technical problem which had to be overcome in designing the the original harvester.

The description of how the works at Sunshine appeared to travellers heading north on the adjacent railway line is useful in giving a perspective of how the business was regarded across the wider Australian society at the time of writing.

Part of a collection of photographs, negatives, moving film, artefacts, documents and trade literature belonging to the H. V. McKay Sunshine Collection. The McKay collection is regarded as one of the most significant industrial heritage collections in Australia. The collection relates to the agricultural manufacturing firm, the Sunshine Harvester Works. The Australian operations of this company were originally founded by Hugh V. McKay in the 1890s in Ballarat. Between 1906 and 1907, McKay moved production to Sunshine where the firm became one of the largest industrial businesses in Australia. Change in ownership is a recurring theme in the company's history. In 1930, it merged with Massey-Harris to become H.V McKay Massey Harris. In the mid-1950s, the company was absorbed by Canadian agricultural firm Massey-Ferguson. Production in Sunshine ceased in the mid-1980s, following almost 100 years of manufacturing agricultural equipment.

Physical Description

A 16 page booklet, glossy pages, printed both sides, black text. Grey paper cover with brown text and border. Colour print of painting of the Smithy, two portraits of H. V. McKay and an aerial view of the Sunshine Harvester Works.

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