Posted: January 9, 2018

Tractors finally overtook the horse as the chief form of power on the American farm around 1955.

Clyde Tillage Meter

But even before this time, agricultural engineering researchers were at work studying the forces that act on field equipment. Their goal was to help farmers work more efficiently, prevent damage to their equipment, and improve the design of their equipment.

In 1933, Arthur W. Clyde, professor of agricultural engineering at Penn State, invented the Clyde Tillage Meter Force Measurement Frame for Tillage Tools. Clyde used this machine, along with a previous machine he built, to measure the draft, center of pull, and other forces acting on various types of tillage tools. He tested plows, disk harrows, and other types of tillage implements with his historic machine.

Some years later, the USDA Agricultural Research Station built a similar instrument to be used in a laboratory setting at their Tillage Laboratory in Auburn, Alabama.