The Plow or plough was invented somewhere around 6,000 BC once man started using animal power.
Before that time he cultivated with hoe like devices. In Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Indus Valley (Pakistan-India) man first harnessed the Ox and so the plow. The first plow is called the ARD.
William Smith in 1875 decribes the ARATRUM a plow developed in Greece that "was by taking a young tree with two branches proceeding from its trunk in opposite directions, so that whilst in ploughing the trunk was made to serve for the pole, one of the two branches stood upwards and became the tail, and the other penetrated the ground, and, being covered sometimes with bronze or iron, fulfilled the purpose of a share."
The Bible speaks of the plow when Jesus said in Luke......
61Another also said, "I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home."
62But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) wrote around 1 AD about the ROMAN PLOW with an iron plowshare.......
"From its youth up, in the woods, the elm is bent by main force and trained for a plow stock, taking the form of a crooked plow: to suit this a beam is shaped stretching eight feet in front, while behind are attached two mold boards resting on the slade (or sole piece) with a double ridge."
Moldboard plow (mouldboard plough)[Chinese (kuan)]
By the 100 BC iron moldboards were used in Chinese plows and by 1000 the Dutch farmers had copied or also designed them. The mouldboard plow actually flipped the soil over and turned a true furrow.
Wheels were added to the plow by different people, mostly in the middle ages with some indications that the Roman Plow was used with wheels at times. The wheels allowed a heavy plow and so deeper cutting plows.
The swing plough has no wheel allowing the ploughman to control the depth and width of the furrow as he was working. The first was known as the iron Rotherham plough and an improved version became known as the Scots or Scotch plough. They were unlike the wheeled English plough, developed at the same time. Swing ploughs were better than wheeled ploughs on uneven ground and became popular in Wales. Rotherham plough invented by Joseph Foljambe of Rotherham in 1730.
Scots plough invented by James Small, (1730-1793).
See Other Articles on Plows, Ploughs
Many improvements were added by American inventors and farmers including Thomas Jefferson, Charles Newbold, Jethro Wood, James Oliver and John Deere.