Title page of 'The Horse Hoing Husbandry', 1743.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Title page of 'The horse-hoing husbandry' (2nd Edition, London, 1743) by Jethro Tull (1674-1741), in which he investigates the principles of tillage and vegetation. Tull began his investigations into scientific methods of seed cultivation in the late 1600s. In around 1701 he produced his first drill to make channels, drill and cover the seed, sowing three rows at a time. A grooved cylinder rotated against a spring-held tongue, received the seed from the seedbox and dropped it evenly into the ground.