Jethro Tull seed drill, 1733.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustrated plate taken from 'The horse-hoing husbandry' 2nd edition, London, (1743) by Jethro Tull (1674-1741), showing what was at the time the latest seed drill (also known as a drill plough) invented by Jethro Tull. 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.