2000.84.1

Planting potatoes at Middleton in the 1920s

Photograph of Alasdair MacDonald planting potatoes with Lizzie MacArthur, Effie and Mary Ann MacDonald at Middleton in the 1920s.

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Courtesy of Mr Lachie MacDonald

Taken in the 1920s, the photograph illustrates a standard plough used to prepare the ground for sowing corn. Because of the fine sandy soil in most of Tiree, a ridger was not successful.

The women followed in the furrow planting potatoes from the supplies heaped in their sack aprons and the ploughman made a second furrow to cover them. This process was repeated leaving a 45 cm space between the planted furrows for the grubber.

The Middleton seaweed factory operated by the North British Chemical Company can be seen in the background. Known locally as the Glassary, it ceased operation in 1901 and was demolished during World War II.

Black and white photograph of Alasdair MacDonald planting potatoes at Middleton in the 1920s.

Planting potatoes at Middleton, with the Glessary (as it was known) in the backgound in the 1920s. L-R: Lizzie MacArthur, Middleton and Greenhill – aunt of John MacArthur, Middleton Farm; Effie MacDonald, married to the late Archie Walker, Coll and Kenovaay, Tiree – aunt of Lachie MacDonald , Middleton; Mary Ann MacDonald – aunt of Lachie MacDonald, Middleton; Alasdair MacDonald – father of Lachie MacDonald, Middleton. The photograph illustrates a standard plough used to prepare the ground for sowing corn. Because of the fine sandy soils in most of Tiree, a ridger was not successful. Instead, the standard plough was used and the women followed in the furrow with supplies of potatoes heaped in their sack aprons. The ploughman made a second furrow to cover the potatoes. The same process was repeated thus leaving an 18 inch (45cm) space between planted furrows to allow the grubber to be used.

Object Details

Other Number: K48

Planting potatoes at Middleton/Sandaig in the 1920s

Because of Tiree`s fine sandy soils, a standard two-horse plough was more successful for preparing the ground than a traditional `ridger`. The women followed the plough, planting potatoes in the furrow from supplies heaped in their aprons. A subsequent furrow covered the potatoes. In the background is the seaweed factory or `Glassary` which processed kelp from 1863 to 1901. L-R: Lizzie MacArthur, Effie MacDonald, Mary Ann MacDonald and Alasdair MacDonald.

Normal Location: Photograph Shelves: photographs – K1-99
Current Location: normal location

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