Historical information

Scythes were used to manually mow wheat or grass. Scythes were used with a long sweeping movement which made them much less tiring for labourers to use than reaping hooks or sickles though they still involved great physical labour and considerable skill to perfect. Both hands were in use and the operator did not have to bend his back to reach down to the crop. On farms scythes were sharpened on a sandstone wheel mounted on an axle with a crank handle on one side. This was hand powered and used with water.


Scythes were not used as often on farms after the mechanisation of harvesting. They were still used for cutting awkward shaped small plots and for opening a path for the tractors. This item is an example of a tool used by the early settlers of the Orbost district.

Physical description

An iron scythe blade, curved and tapered. There is no handle and the blade is rusted and pitted.

Inscriptions & markings