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Andrew Meikle



Andrew Meikle (1719 27 November 1811) was an early mechanical engineer credited with, in about 1786, inventing (though some say he only improved on an earlier design) the threshing machine (used for removing the outer husks from grains of wheat, etc; occasionally also known as a 'thrashing machine'), regarded as one of the key developments of the British Agricultural Revolution in the late 18th century. Earlier (c.1772), he also invented windmill 'spring sails', which replaced the simple canvas designs previously used with sails made from a series of shutters that could be operated by levers, allowing windmill sails to be quickly and safely controlled in the event of a storm. Meikle worked as a millwright at Houston Mill in East Linton, East Lothian, and inspired John Rennie to become a noted civil engineer. He died at Houston Mill and is buried in East Linton's Prestonkirk kirkyard (close to Rennie's father, George, who farmed the nearby Phantassie estate).


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