Here we see a photograph of Frederick William Johnson with his steam engine and threshing set. Frederick Johnson was a farmer in Belton and farmed at Church Farm. The was also the owner of a threshing set which he would take to other farms in the area to thresh corn. Looking in Kelly’s Directory for Lincolnshire the Johnsons had a history of farming at Belton. By 1905 they are listed as the ‘Johnson Brothers, Farmers and Threshing machine owners’. A threshing machine removed the seeds from the stalks and husk of corn. Prior to the invention of these machines it was done by hand and was a very labour-intensive process. The Swing Riots in 1830 saw farm labourers’ revolt against the use of these machines which threatened to put them out of work. They remained expensive pieces of equipment for some time and it is likely that Frederick Johnson would have rented his machine to other farmers in the area.
Image courtesy of North Lincolnshire Museum service.