PHO2011_1981.jpg Alexander Walker Reid (about 1892-1903). A. W. Reid. Collection of Puke Ariki (PHO2011-1981).

This photograph of Stratford inventor, entrepreneur and photographer Alexander Walker Reid was discovered by a volunteer amongst Puke Ariki’s collection of Reid’s glass negatives. Reid is posed next to a milk stand, which hints at one of his claims to fame.

Reid was the inventor of a mechanical milking machine that included a range of “up to date” innovations, as his product signage proclaimed. His machine had a variable-speed pulsator and rubber caps with reinforced sections, which simulated a calf’s natural sucking action. In order to avoid milk contamination, the machine was also designed to be easy to clean.

Despite the obvious appeal of his milking machine, Reid was perhaps more well known for helping Stratford become the third town in New Zealand to be supplied with electric street lighting.

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