South Australia's Onkaparinga threshing roller was the subject of a shorter and even more tentative paper given at a History Trust of South Australia (now History SA) State History Conference several years ago. This essay extends and illustrates that initial presentation.
From the early 1850s, or the late 1840s, large, solid tree trunks were fashioned in South Australia as grooved rollers pulled by animal power to thresh hard-won wheat and barley crops. Rollers were used in most of the cereal-growing areas of the State, including Kangaroo Island, and almost certainly originated in German settlers' description and advice if not their initial making of the tool. The German contribution was initially recorded by Anglophone observers and farmers.