Meikle's threshing machine, c 1788.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Meikle's threshing machine, c 1788. Drawing of threshing machine invented by Scottish millwright and inventor Andrew Meikle (1719-1811). Meikle's first attempt at designing a threshing machine was in 1778. This machine failed, and he spent the next 10 years improving his designs, incorporating a drum to beat the grain. He patented the first successful drum threshing machine in 1788, a machine which was capable of being driven by wind, water, horse and later steam power, and so revolutionised the harvesting of grain.