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Bag Filler

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Fast Facts
Type of thing Farming
Date made or found 1901
Place made Adelaide, South Australia
Place used Hundred of Dublin, South Australia

The filled bag of grain (wheat or barley) was sewn across the top nearly to the second ear. The bag filler was inserted as far as possible into the bag of grain. The cylindrical hopper was filled with grain from an excess supply and the half lid clamped down. Using a pumping action with the bag filler, more grain would be forced into the bag and the sewing of the top completed. The overall aim was to supply tightly filled bags of grain that would stack uniformly.

Description: A bag filler was manufactured from thin steel piping with Simpson Pty Ltd being a supplier. The top was a cylindrical hopper tapering to the pipe which was 3 feet long with a diameter of 2 1/2 inches. The top of the cylinder had a hinged half lid which could be clipped down whilst the other half of the lid was fixed. The bag filler needed to be made of light weight material for ease of handling eg. light galvanised steel down piping.

A modified version of the bag filler was made by Simpson Pty Ltd for the use of younger persons.

One such version was made for 11 year old Clem Pritchard of Windsor who was not strong enough to handle a full size bag filler. Clem left school at age 13 years and probably used the modified version until he was fully grown. Mr Clement Murray Pritchard enlisted in the Australian Army in World War 1 on 14 March 1916. He served with the 4th Field Ambulance and was Killed in Action in France on 21 October 1917.


  • Mallala Museum Research Notes
Sewing and filling bags
Sewing and filling bags
bag filler
bag filler
Needles and twine
Needles and twine

Memories of Bag Filler

During harvest time there was always the unrelenting task of sewing up the bags of grain. When rain was forecast all members of the family were recruited to close up the bags so they could be put out of harms way. The tarpaulins could cover the bags if the weather was showery but heavy rain meant bags had to be quickly sewn and turned to prevent the damp grain from sprouting. Many personnel who were shift workers in the district were keenly sought after and employed by farmers to go bag sewing.

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