Plough, Wilcox Special; Reid and Gray; 1939


Plough, Wilcox Special

About this object

The Wilcox Special Plough was purpose built by Reid and Gray in Invercargill to tame the scrub and swampy wetlands along the South Coast of New Zealand. It claimed to be able to bury large flax bushes and light scrub and needed a crawler to pull it. It ploughed in 30ft manuka at a depth of 2.6ft deep and 4ft wide.

A.J. Wilcox of Kennington, a farm contractor, wanted an instrument capable of cheaply converting bush and swamp country into arrable farm land. Reid and Gray designed the plough to Wilcox's order and after twelve-months of continuous use, the plough was said to have proved itself beyond all doubt. Turning a four foot furrow, the Wilcox Special weighs around three and a half tonne. During its lifetime, the plough has had three mould boards, each 3ft by 9ft and man-made.

Another plough of this magnitude exists in Southland. The Paterson Plough was built after the Second World War and was designed for the same purpose as the Wilcox, and, while the Paterson Plough is bigger in size, it turns a smaller furrow.

The Wilcox Special was not only used in Southland, in fact, one of the last jobs it did was to plough the running race track at the Q.E.II Commonwealth Games Arena in Christchurch.


Reid and Gray

Maker Role


Date Made




Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Invercargill

Medium and Materials

inorganic, processed material, metal, alloy, steel
inorganic, processed material, metal, cast iron
organic, processed material, vegetal, plant extract, latex, rubber


h 1700 mm x w 2460 mm x d 8400 mm

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

Machinery and Tools

Object Type

occupation-based equipment


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