Spade, a well-known implement, which is principally employed in horticulture.
The lit, or blade of this tool, is composed wholly of iron, being about 8 or 9 inches broad, and a foot in length : the upper part is flat ; and, and in the centre, there is a hole ox socket, in which is inserted a handle or shaft, being 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and about 3 feet long. It is employed for stirring and dressing the ground ; the labourer thrusting it in, to the depth of ten or twelve inches, accordingly as the nature of the soil may require.
The English spades, in general, are well calculated for heavy garden soils ; but, as there are many situa-tions, especially those abounding in sand and gravel, which might be more easily managed with a tool of a different shape, we. have procured the following Cut, that represents the spade employed in Tuscany, and the northern parts of Italy.
It consists of an iron spear, which is somewhat concave, being also longer, and thicker, than the implement used in Britain : instead of the workman setting his foot on the top of the blade, he places it upon a piece of wood which crosses the shaft, three or four inches above such blade ; though, we conceive, the distance need not exceed one or two inches. - The manner, in which this implement is used, varies in different places. Thus, at Geneva, it is thrust into the soil, perpendicularly ; at Pescia, the earth is divided horizontally, or at least in a slanting direction; so that the mould is thrown to a greater distance before the labourer. The peasants of that country, indeed, have an excellent mode of using the spade, without undergoing too great fatigue : it consists simply in supporting and lifting up the handle of the implement (after it has entered the soil) on the knee ; by which means they are enabled to penetrate to a greater depth, and consequently to bring up a larger quantity of earth to the surface.