Seed-box for Jethro Tull's seed drill, 1733.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustrated plate (page 147) taken from 'The horse-hoing husbandry' (2nd Edition, London, 1743) by Jethro Tull (1674-1741), showing the component parts of the seed-box that is attached to the seed drill. 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. A grooved cylinder rotated against a spring-held tongue, received the seed from the seed-box and dropped it evenly.