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Biographical entry Smith, Richard Bowyer (1837 - 1919)

2 September 1837
London, England
4 February 1919
Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia
Agricultural machinery maker


Richard Bowyer Smith, a farmer from Kalkabury, in the mallee country of South Australia. Initially he worked as an apprentice engineer then a foreman with a farm implement firm. Smith, with the help of his blacksmith brother (Clarence Herbert Smith), developed the first stump-jump plough, the 'Vixen' three-furrow plough, in 1876. This eliminated the time-consuming task of removing rocks and the stumps and roots of felled trees before ploughing could commence, dramatically changing the processes of clearing and cultivating. Smith received £500, a gold medal and a grant of 260 hectares of land from the South Australian government for his work.

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Andr√©, Roger, 'Smith, Richard Bowyer (1837-1919), Blacksmith and Inventor of the Stump-Jump Plough', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. Supplement, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2005, pp. 366-367. Also available at Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Technology in Australia 1788-1988, Online edn, Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, Melbourne, 3 May 2000, Details
  • Institution of Engineers, Australia. Sydney Division. Engineering Heritage Committee, The Historic Engineering Plaques of Australia, The Institution of Engineers, Australia, Milsons Point, N.S.W., 1994, 38 pp. p.26. Smith's Stump-Jump Plogh, Ardrossan, S.A. Details

Rosanne Walker