An instrument employed in agriculture for breaking and turning up the soil in furrows expeditiously. The invention is of very remote antiquity. The most ancient of ploughs on record are still used in their simple primitive form in many parts of the East Indies. In the following figures are exhibited a correct delineation of one of these miserable machines, of which many thousands are at this time engaged in tilling the land that supplies us with rice and other products of agriculture. Fig. 2 is the plough, made of wood, the parts being bound together by ropes; Fig. 3 is the yoke, designed for a pair of buffaloes. The husbandman holds the plough by one hand, while, in the other, he holds the goad, Fig. 1, with which, and his voice, he directs and stimulates the animals. The British manufacturer who may attempt to supply the Asiatic husbandman with better instruments, should, in our opinion, to a certain extent, copy the form represented, however he may improve upon it in the stability of his metallic substitute, and in the addition of convenient appendages, bearing in mind the well-known fact, that a workman who is used to a very inferior tool will, from habit, acquire a skill in using it which he could not exercise very readily with an intrinsically superior tool, differing materially from his previous one.
There are no instruments in which there are a greater variety of forms than ploughs Every country in England, and almost every district, have their favourites, which, in the opinion of the operators, surpass all others in utility. The probability is, that the difference is not very great in the quantity or the quality of the work executed by them; and that such difference will, in general, be in proportion to the proximity or remoteness of the district, town, or city, where the construction of ploughs is conducted on the large scale, and upon scientific principles. As our limits will not permit us to give even a tithe of the varieties that are figured in the books, we shall confine the subject to the description of two modern improved ploughs (manufactured under a patent granted to George Clymer, of Lon don), one designed for light and the other for heavy land; referring our readers who desire extended information on this important matter, to the Ploughwight's Assistant, by Gray, 1808; to the British Farmer and Ploughman's Guide, by Finlayson, 1829; and to the article Agriculture, in the Oxford Encyclopaedia and Supplement.
A plough for light land is represented in the following cut, which is a perspective view, a is the breast; b the beam; c the coulter; d the coulter-point; e the share; f so much of the land side of the plough as can be seen. The beam rests upon cross pieces at the head of the plough, and is there secured loosely by a transverse screw-bolt g. The hind part of the beam is secured by a movable pin passing through it, and through one of the several holes in the land side; this pin being shifted from one hole to the other, and the beam b turning upon the bolt gasa fulcrum, it is raised or depressed, so as to adjust its angle of inclination with the horizon at pleasure, causing thereby the plough to cut a deeper or a shallower furrow. The adjustment in a lateral direction is effected by placing several rings upon the bolt, by the; shifting of which the direction of the beam, with respect to the land side, is altered, so as to make a broader or narrower furrow; and, by the same means, the plough is adapted to a single or double team of horses.
The plough for heavy land is very similar in its construction to the one just described, except the breast a, which is materially different, as shown in the following cut. b is the beam; c the coulter, which is of the old kind, that being found the most efficacious in wet soils; it is fixed to an elongated part on the land side; d is the share. These ploughs are extremely light, and are put together, or taken to pieces, in a few minutes, being fastened together by a few screw-bolts; they are, therefore, extremely well adapted for exportation, and for use in hot climates. We have been informed by a practical agriculturist, who has several of these ploughs in use, that they turn the land well, and leave a particularly clean and even bottom.