James Small

1730 - 1793

Inventor. Brought up in Dalkeith, Small went to England and studied the various designs for ploughs. Returning to Berwickshire (Scottish Borders), Small invented the iron swing plough (1784), taking his designs to the Carron Iron Works to be cast. His plough was an immediate success, replacing the existing cumbersome and less robust wooden ploughs.

However, Small would not patent his design, believing that he should not profit from an invention intended to make life easier for the farmer, and thus his plough was widely copied. He died from over-work and in poverty.

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