Jethro Tull's seed drill, 1733.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by W Thorpe, taken from 'The horse-hoing husbandry' (2nd Edition, London, 1743) by Jethro Tull (1674-1741), showing his seed drill, including: Fig 1 the drill plough; Fig 15 the hopper; Fig 21 how the hopper and drill are carried. 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 seedbox and dropped it evenly.