ONE of the great stories in Henty’s history is that of an invention that revolutionised the agriculture industry.
And now the great nephews of Headlie Taylor, the man who came up with the harvester-header 100 years ago, are determined to have him recognised — cast in stone.
They are using this year’s Henty Machinery Field Days to garner support to honour Headlie, the self taught engineer who made such big a difference with the machine he first displayed at a forerunner field day to today’s event, way back in September 1914.
Colin Wood and Bruce Taylor are working with the first chairman of the modern field days, Milton Taylor, to raise money for the project.
Bruce Taylor said it would cost $200,000 to achieve their plans.
“Stage one of the project is a life-size sculpture that will sit on a marble fence about a metre high out the front of the museum in Henty,” he said.
“And then there is stage two, to set up a scholarship to help struggling inventors to parallel the likes of what Headlie Taylor did all those years ago.”
“His story has not had all that much publicity or recognition and it is important that it is recognised.
“We hope the sculpture will be an iconic part of Henty and we hope, eventually, it will become what Henty is known for around the country.
A replica of the first header is on display at the field days.
Milton Taylor spearheaded its reconstruction through the Farmers and Settlers Association in 1969, using parts from six early headers.
Colin Wood, who also is a former chairman of the field days said the invention had played an important role in the history of farming.
“It made a huge difference and put dollars — or pounds in those days — into farmers’ pockets,” he said.
“It had the ability to cut the heads off crops, take them in, separate them and there was virtually no loss of grain right from the beginning.”
The machine will go back into the Headlie Taylor header museum after the field days.
People who want to donate to the heritage project can email firstname.lastname@example.org.