|Seed Planting Drill|
A horse-drawn machine that plants seeds in regimented lines, and then covers them with earth.
The seed drill replaces the old method of a farm hand simply walking the fields and scattering seed by hand. Instead of wasting seed or allowing them to be eaten by birds and scavengers, the drill plants them in a controlled manner. Seeds are poured into a hopper, and then a cunningly mechanical contrivance assures that each is properly buried at the right depth. Wastage is reduced, the plants have the correct amount of room, and crop yields are increased.
The inventor, Jethro Tull (1674-1741), was a practical man and a believer in empirical studies to determine the truth. He was of the opinion that plants gained much of their nutrition from the soil, and that it made sense to both improve it and remove weeds with an eye to increasing harvests. His seed drill was the only one of his inventions that aided the Agricultural Revolution in Britain. This (forcibly) freed workers from the rural economy and drove them to seek work in the new mills of the Industrial Revolution.