There are many different pieces of equipment in the museum for sowing seed but perhaps the simplest is the seed lip, shown on the left. It was hung round the neck and with a rhythmic swing the farm worker threw handfuls of seed as he advanced over the field. This method could be wasteful and hoeing was difficult.
In the latter part of the 19th century the Aero Seed Broadcaster was introduced. It was nicknamed the fiddle drill because of moving the bow at the front back and forth, which made a finned disk throw out the seed in alternate directions. It is still used by some people for sowing grass and other seed.
Another method of sowing seed, such as grass and lucerne, was the broadcast barrow. The wheel drove a shaft, which rotated a line of circular brushes in the box of the barrow dispensing seed through holes in the underside. There are other examples of brush seed barrows in the museum plus various hand held sowers and dibbers.
In 1701 Jethro Tull introduced the seed drill. Seed was put in a hopper and was dispensed at regular intervals down a funnel to the ground below to rest in a groove made by a coulter (knife). The seed drill on the left uses small cups on a shaft to pick up the seed and drop it down the five regularly spaced funnels. By this means the seed was uniformly spaced and in straight lines. It was made in 1842 and was used until the 1930’s.