This item wasused before diesel, electric and battery drilling apparatus were used by farmers, and other trades requiring a portable yet reliable method of drilling holes. As this item is a 3/4 inch hole drill it would be suitable for fencing and providing holes for structural studs. As with all outdoor farm equipment, man power was required (be it the farmer or farm hands). Fitness of the operator was at a high standard but protective gloves were not highly thought of as it was before occupational, health and safety regulations became mandatory over all manual handling activities, be they on rural properties or town/city factories. This period was one where the male ego was at its pinnacle i.e. the harder the tasks the more of a man was required. Hard manual work was not only the "way to go" but also a necessity. Evolution of cheap portable electric/battery powered tools opened up a more efficient method available, especially to those with less muscle strength.
This item personifies the rugged environment of the rural workplace. The Kiewa Valley with its main emphasis on farming and grazing provided ample opportunity to use this construction implement. The manufacturer being a Scottish tool company is very significant in the era when this hole maker was in high demand. British steel products were of high grade and had a good record of reliability. The reliability of any tool was a solid factor for farmers and tradesmen in this semi-isolated region (Circa early 1900s) within the Kiewa Valley and its regional area. This factor,although not as crucial, post 1960s, when Asian manufacturers entered the market place and produced cheaper tools and transportation and supplies was more frequent and reliable, the need for the more expensive British made tools diminished considerably. After the influx of tradesmen from war torn Europe (post 1945) and the increased availability of tradesmen in the Kiewa Valley and its region the price of tools was and still is not as crucial and the cost of all required tools has become a minimal part of the equation. It is only with the emerging younger trades person, farmer and grazier, who have more, "one eye on production costs" and no "old ties to the motherland" inert mind set that quality tools such as this auger and other hand tools "must be made to last a life time" is no longer part of the modern work environment.
This cast iron, hand operated Auger has a short barrel shaped cylinder at one end (known as the "Eye") and at the other end a Helical screw blade (screws the cutting edge into wooden material, thereby creating a hole 3/4 inch diameter in the wood) . The barrel section at the top permits a metal or wooden leverage plank to be inserted. The main rod has a 180mm long cutting/screw blade running from the bottom up towards the "eye" end. From the end of the screw blade to the handle is 380mm and cylindrical, but this changes at 550mm from the "eye" end to a 14mm x 10mm rectangular shape shaft.This shaft end is welded to the "Eye".
Inscriptions & markings
On the shaft below the "eye" is stamped " MATHESON GLASGOW" on the front side and a spade (cards) symbol on the back.