On the hill overlooking Rocklands Reservoir, the locals have set up several pieces of agricultural equipment for permanent display. This one is a stump jump plough, originally invented 1876 in South Australia by Richard Bowyer Smith (1837-1919).


An ordinary plough couldn’t cope with constantly hitting rocks or stumps from recently cleared fields, so Mr Smith came up with a blade system that kicked up out of the way when it hit an obstacle, and which could be dropped down again, by hand.


B-64256 SLV stump plough

Rough sketch of the first single furrow stump jumping plough known as ‘the Vixen’ made by Mr. R. B. Smith of Kalkabury in June 1876.
Image: State Library of South Australia [B 64256]

In the following years, others manufactured the stump jump ploughs, some having as many as 12 blades. The flexibility was added to other types, including disc harrowers.


Fallowing with a stump jump mold board plough on S.J.Venning’s property near Pinnaroo. Image: State Library of South Australia [B 20498]

It would’ve been informative if these pieces of machinery at Rocklands had little plaques, saying what they were, but I was able to find out easily enough.


Thanks for looking.



An Aussie invention: Stump Jump Plough