Royal Agricultural Society at Newcastle, 1864.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate from the 'Illustrated London News'. Rows of greenhouses and various steam engines and the Royal Agriculural Show. As in other areas of production, steam power had become vital to agriculture by the mid-nineteenth century. In 1857, James Boydell's 'steam horse' with its endles rail, although it attracted much attention, was too cumbersome to be practical, John Fowler Jnr (1826-64), partially solved this problem by designing a system whereby an engine could draw an implement back and forth acros the field from a distance. By the 1860's the double-tackle engine had been introduced, and the balance plough was being developed.