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Motor cars there are in increasing abundance, and no doubt well-to-do pastoralists and farmers are large purchasers of these very convenient means of locomotion.
Rival agents for milking machines may press the merits of their goods on visitors, and manufacturers of artificial manures may make a brave show with their fertilisers, but the many modern field appliances that are destined to solve labour difficulties are conspicuous by their absence.
It is unquestionable that the decision some years ago on the part of the manufacturers and the representatives of manufacturers of agricultural machinery to refrain from exhibiting at the shows has deprived those events of a good deal of their interest for the public.
It was through these exhibitions that the march of industry in relation to farm work was most fully illustrated. This march continues.
The story of land dredges for excavating canals, of traction engines, and of travelling thrashing machines is an old one, and need only be mentioned for the purpose of observing that internal combustion engines for driving farm machinery are now being largely introduced in other countries.
While petrol makes the prosperous farmer almost independent of buggy-horseflesh and railroads, it may also become the willing servant of the small struggling farmer, and may materially help partially disabled returned soldiers in the cultivation of small holdings or orchards.
American motor manufacturers have introduced a tractor that is appropriately called the farmers' ''walking machine'', which power will perform all walking jobs, such as hoeing, weeding, raking, or propelling cultivator teeth.
The motor, moreover, can be dismounted and made to run a churn, a washing machine, a bone or grit mill for poultry feeding, or a sewing machine.
The heavier work, also pertaining to bush clearing, draining, and swamp reclamation can now be lightened enormously by the use of petrol-driven motor engines.
The value of machines of this kind in a country like New Zealand will be appreciated when it is remembered that there are large areas of swamp land in the dominion that can be made splendidly productive by efficient drainage.
The Government recognises this by offering special inducements to selectors of swamp lands.
At this year's summer show there were numerous exhibitors of motor cars suitable for private use, but there was nothing in the way of power-operated machinery that could help pioneer settlers to become prosperous at a minimum expenditure of manual labour.
•A striking instance of official cheeseparing was mention by a delegate to Friday's meeting of the War Funds Council at Invercargill.
A young Southlander enlisted. His teeth were not in very good order, and he was directed to have three or four of them out, the military authorities supplying him with an equal number of artificial molars.
In camp the soldier contracted sciatica and was eventually discharged from the forces and sent home. But he was not allowed to keep the false teeth, as the military people demanded them.
Now, although the young man can boast of no bullet marks or bayonet scars, he displays as evidence of his service with the colours, sundry gaps in the otherwise unbroken ranks of his masticating agents.
- ODT, 1.12.1916.
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