Jethro Tull the inventor should not be confused for Jethro Tull the rock star. Not many young people today would know Jethro Tull the inventor. Most young people today remember the rock star, but have no clue the Jethro Tull the inventor is the reason they have so much to eat.
Here are some basic life facts of Jethro Tull the Agricultural inventor:
· Born: was born in 1664 in Basildon, Berkshire, England
· Died: February 21, 1741 at the age of 67. Died in Shalbourne, Berkshire, England
· Burial Place: St. Bartholomew’s Church, Berkshire, England
· English: Lived most of his life in Berkshire, England.
Jethro Tull was educated at St. John’s College and Oxford and at Gray’s Inn. He would become ill with pulmonary disorder and begin a search for a cure. During this search for a cure he travelled across Europe. During his travels he was always learning about agriculture.
Jethro Tull is considered by many to be one of the very first to propose a scientific approach to agriculture. This scientific mind and great inventions would eventually help feed the world. Jethro Tull created several scientific inventions for agricultural uses:
· Seed Drill, 1701: before Jethro Tull invented his seed drill seeds were sewn by simply throwing them about. Some would germinate and some would fail. It was a very inefficient way of seeding that did not always produce good crops. Jethro Tull’s seed drill illuminated this problem. He created a machine that would plant seeds in three rows at a time. A hole for the seed would be made at a proper depth. The seed would be dropped in. The hole would be covered up. The machine, horse or cow drawn would then move to the next position and seed again. It is said that some inferior seed drill’s had been invented prior to Tull’s seed drill. But, Jethro Tull is given the distinction of creating the modern seed drill and changing the course of agriculture for all time. Planting with Jethro Tull’s seed drill invention improved germination fivefold. It would go on to greatly increase food production and help to eliminate fammon.
· Hoe: Jethro Tull designed several horse drawn hoes to clear between the rows. His designs are the father to the modern day hoe and many other tractor and agriculture equipment.
· Plough: Jethro Tull’s inventive influence in the plough can still be seen today. His genius design allowed for grass and weeds to be pulled from the ground and left on the surface to die.
Jethro Tull’s inventions in agriculture had a major historical impact in crop yield that would be utilized throughout the world. He is seen as one of the first scientific agriculturist and a father to this field.
Like many other scientist and visionaries, many of the Mr. Tull’s inventions were ridiculed and not adopted until much later. Ironically, Jethro Tull’s own farm became incredibly profitable and farmers quickly changed their minds and wanted to know what they needed to do.
Jethro Tull wrote a book “Horse hoeing husbandry” for farmers but it would take almost a hundred years before farmers widely adopted his proposals and technologies. He wrote the book in 1731. Jethro advocated the use of horses instead of heavy oxen for much of the farm work. He also had a great interest in fertilization. He believed that the plant could get all the nutrients it needed from the soil if it could be broken up and released. He advocated stopping using horse manure as fertilizer. He knew grass would grow from the horse manure. Tull was only part right about breaking up the soil around the plants. It did release nutrients and oxygen into the soil but not in the levels he believed. Plants did need fertilization. He was right about horse manure though.
Jethro Tull would die before he would see many of his inventions widely adopted or his book become popular. His contribution to modern farming has been astounding. It is said in scientific circles today that Jethro Tull was the father of mechanized farming and changed agriculture forever.
Jethro Tull was not only an inventor, he was a visionary. He would form a group of scientific and revolutionary agriculturists known as the “Norfolk System”. They incorporated the mechanized farming invented by Jethro Tull. Maybe, even more importantly they introduced new crops to England. They would bring in turnips and potatoes. The Tull group would also bring science to the art of stock-breeding. The advances in breeding stock became the base of our knowledge today. Their advances greatly improved breeding stock of all kinds. It led to much more viable stock that produced more and lived longer.
The introduction of new crops to England is believed by many to have saved England. New crops offered the people the ability to feed themselves when times were hard, and during the time of War.
Jethro Tull is now recognized as a great inventor, even though it has been a long time after his death.