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Thread: 1872 steam-powered hop digging machine - photo, patent

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    1872 steam-powered hop digging machine - photo, patent

    1872 steam-powered hop digging machine. I guess hop digging machines are specialized because hops are cultivated by being trained to vertical poles in hopfields?

    Anyway, the inventor was John Henry Knight of Farnham in England. Turns out Knight was quite the homemade tool builder of the 1800s, with the usual assortment of useful and wacky steam-era inventions to his name, including early automobiles, a grenade thrower, a brick laying machine, and of course a "dish lever" for tilting plates when carving meat. Hmmmm, I wonder why I can't find a "dish lever" on Amazon.

    Interestingly, Knight was quite the rebel back then. In 1895 he was fined for operating a traction engine without a license, AND without the obligatory red flagman walking in front of the vehicle. Knight was also a bona fide speed demon, having been ticketed for traveling at 9 mph, far in excess of the 4 mph limit (how did they measure this?). Knight was active in the repeal of the Locomotive Acts, which strictly controlled the use of vehicles on public roads.

    Knight has some US patents in his name too, including a hydrocarbon motor, and this wooden block tire:


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