Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 16:49 UK

Accident that changed agriculture

Cast iron plough

Cannot play media. Sorry, this media is not available in your territory.

A plough made by Ransomes of Ipswich was submitted to the BBC's A History of the World project by the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket.

Robert Ransome set up the foundry in Ipswich in 1789, but it was a spillage of molten iron that gave the firm its revolutionary patent in 1803.

As the molten iron solidified on the workshop floor, it was noticed that it was harder where it had come into contact with colder surfaces.

'Chilled cast-iron' was born and the firm put it to use in plough shares and mass production.

Story Tools


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific