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People > Scottish Innovators > Rev. Patrick Bell

Notable Scots: Innovation & Discovery

Rev. Patrick Bell (1801-1869):

Inventor & Church of Scotland Minister

Rev. Patrick Bell
Rev. Patrick Bell

Born in a farming community in Auchterhouse, Angus, Bell studied to become a minister. However, he believed that he could help more people by easing the back-breaking labour of farm work. Bell was working on his father's farm in 1828 when he invented a machine to ease the labour of reaping. A public trial of the reaping machine on September 10th of that year at Powrie Farm proved it to be successful. Bell was awarded a 50 prize by the Highland Agricultural Society, and within a few years reaping machines were in demand from farmers all over the country. However, Bell's fortune never grew to be much greater than his prize money - his belief that all men should be able to benefit from his invention barred him from ever seeking a patent.

Bell's spiritual quest came to fruition in 1843 when he was appointed to be the minister in Carmyllie parish.

Bell's Reaping Machine
Bell's Reaping Machine
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