Photo of the Week
FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
Hudson Cultivator, Riverhead, c. 1887
by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian
Small-Scale Model of the Hudson Cultivator, Riverhead, c. 1887. (From the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Museum. Image copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)
The inventor of this unusual but useful contribution to Suffolk County agriculture was Riverhead resident Samuel Terry Hudson, born in 1843 on the Riverhead farm where his grandfather Daniel Hudson had lived. Samuel Terry Hudson was the only child of Samuel and Elizabeth (Terry) Hudson. He attended the academies of Northville and Franklinville, and in 1861 he married Mary, the daughter of J. Edward Wells of Riverhead.
Samuel Terry Hudson designed several farm machines and implements. His first invention was a machine for stripping leaves from sorgum. By 1887 Hudson had built a factory in Riverhead called the Riverhead Agricultural Works, where he manufactured potato diggers, pot sprayers, harrows, weeders, and riding cultivators–all designed specifically for Suffolk County’s agricultural conditions. The Hudson Cultivator, also known as a riding or bicycle cultivator, attracted the most attention nationally and was sold to farmers across the United States. It was primarily manufactured by others on a royalty basis.
Hudson was a charter member of the Agricultural Society in Riverhead, and a stockholder in the company that started Point o’ Woods, a Fire Island summer resort community where Hudson spent part of many summers in a private cottage.