Sunshine Harvester

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Caption. University of Ballarat Historical Collection.



Hugh Victor McKay's Sunshine Harvester was patented in 1885, and was originally manufactured in Ballarat. The harvester would strip, thresh and clean a crop in one operation.


A sensational misadventure befel a boy named Bertie Pope, aged 16 years, to-day at the works in Yuille-street of Mr. H. V. McKay, manufacturer of the Sunshine harvesting machines. The boy was seriously injured, and it is surprising that he was not killed outright. It appears that he was in the act of oiling one of the bearings on a revolving shaft which runs along the eastern side of the building, close up to the roof, when his clothing got entangled in a coupling, and he was lifted and whirled round a dozen or more times, striking the roof at each revolution, before the machinery could be stopped. On the sufferer’s removal to the hospital, Mr. Cade, M.B., found that his left thigh-bone and both bones below the knee were fractured, that his left arm was also broken above the elbow, and that his body had been extensively bruised. The boy naturally suffers severely from shock to the system, but at a late hour this afternoon he was reported to be progressing favourably.' [1]



Community Involvement

In 1904 the engineering students of the Ballarat School of Mines reported a visit to McKay's: Another trip was taken one afternoon to McKay's Harvester Works, was availed of by a large number of students, who were interested in the methods of forging and moulding, of which a good deal is done in the manufacture of their machines. This firm employees a large number of hands, and deserves the success their enterprise commands. These trips open the eyes of the students as to what is done in manufacturing establishments, and show that Ballarat is still alive in certain parts, as well as at the School of Mines.

Works Produced

Workplace Relations

The People

The head painter at Sunshine Harvester was James Menzies (1862-1945), father of the future Prime Minister Bob Menzies.


See also

Hugh Victor McKay

McKay Harvesting Machinery Company

Further Notes


  1. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1956) Saturday 18 May 1901, page 15.

Further Reading

External Links

--H. Scarpe 21:40, 24 August 2011 (EST)

--Beth Kicinski 19:32, 29 December 2012 (EST)

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