An original cane cutter planter,
(patent no 25348)
A modern, tractor mounted version of the cutter planter
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In the early 1920's, ABM went into partnership with Jack Arnold, his brother-in-law, in a Motor Business in Brisbane Street.
Jack Arnold eventually sold out to Wall & Schivers and ABM went into business on his own account. He had a small shop in Sydney Street Mackay, about opposite Marsh & Websters.
20-26 Malcomson St Mackay, Queensland
A short history of the development of the AB Milne 'Cane Cutter Planter'
AMB writes: "During this period I took into partnership a Mr. Lew Rose. This was about 1921 and bought back into the Garage in Brisbane street, under the name of Milrose Motories.
Shortly after this I bought out Mr. Rose' share and formed a Limited Liability Co. This was followed by moving from Brisbane St to Wood St into the old Star Theatre purchased from J.J.Davis my Father-in-law. The premises in Brisbane Street was rented from Mrs. Hines. I bought all the machinery and this was moved to the Star Theatre.
Grace Milne and the Graham family kids with the Star Theatre
in the background.
"Jack Davis, my Brother-in-law came into the business and was a major shareholder in the early period of the thirties. He bought my share and I established an Engineering Factory on property I owned at 20-26 Malcomson Street North Mackay."
About 1930, three farmers approached ABM to develop a machine to handle cane planting, which was then done manually.
He became interested, and made four prototypes before taking out a patent for the device.
"I patented a Cane Planting Machine, that I named 'Cutter Cane Planter' patent No. 25348-30, and manufactured these right up to 1962."
According to an interview with Ces Etwell, a former colleague of Andy's, the Company exported cutter planters to most of the world's sugar producing nations, including, Angola, Venezuela, Peru, Barbados, Salvador, Malaysia, and a batch of 18 cutter planters was sent to Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka).
With such far away locations, there were problems maintaining patent, with local South American manufacturers simply copying the cutter planter.
"In 1962, I sold the plant patent rights, machinery, all jigs and patterns, together with all stocks of Planter Parts to E.& C. Etwell of Walkerston and the property to C.B. & S.E. Milne" (son Colin and his wife Sylvia)
A number of original cutter planters are displayed in museums and historical parks in North Queensland
Cutter cane planter on display at