Mason Vaugh

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Mason Vaugh
Mason Vaugh in Allahabad.jpg
Born (1894-06-27)June 27, 1894
Bonne Terre, Missouri, United States
Died October 7, 1978(1978-10-07) (aged 84)
Ohio, United States
Residence United States and India
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Missouri
Scientific career
Fields Agricultural Engineering
Agricultural machinery
Institutions Allahabad Agricultural Institute
University of Missouri
The Ohio State University

Mason Vaugh (June 27, 1894 – October 7, 1978) was an American agriculturalist who developed the first agricultural engineering department outside North America in 1921 at Allahabad Agricultural Institute.[1] He also served in the US Army during World War I.[2]

Work in India[edit]

Mason Vaugh was born on June 27, 1894 in Bonne Terre, Missouri. He graduated at the top of his class from grammar school and high school. In 1919 he was given a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Missouri and in 1928 earned the equivalent of a M.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering in 1928. In 1921 he became a lay missionary in India, teaching agricultural engineering at Allahabad Agricultural Institute.[3]

Vaugh utilized traditional Indian materials which he adapted for farmers to use as modern agricultural implements. Among his innovations was the "Shabash," an improved plow consisting of a plowshare, a moldboard, a few bolts and a wood beam. It cost Indians 15 rupees, or $3. Improved implements such as the Shabash made it possible for farmers to plow larger areas than previously possible.[3]

Vaugh introduced several other implements, such as hoes, cultivators and the wheat threshers. He was the leader of the Agricultural Development Society (ADS), established in Naini to manufacture and sell improved implements developed by ADS and the Institute. He retired in 1957 and returned to the United States.[4][5]

He has often been called the father of agricultural engineering in India.[6] In his honor Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) established the Mason Vaughn Agricultural Engineering Pioneer Award. Prof. Ralph C. Hay was the first recipient of this award for his contribution in establishing agricultural engineering programs at IIT Kharagpur (1954–56) and Pantnagar University (1962–64).[7]

In 2012 Professor K.V. Katti of the University of Missouri made a trip to India and presented a paper at the Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS) on green nanotechnology in agriculture, medicine and engineering. He was going to set up a relationship between the two institutions but learned of Vaugh's early career at the Institute which had already created an affiliation. He expressed amazement at the work done by Vaugh.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hall, C.W.; Olsen, W.C. (1992). The Literature of Agricultural Engineering. Cornell University Press. p. 34. ISBN 9780801428128. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Shavit, D. (1990). The United States in Asia: A Historical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. p. 504. ISBN 9780313267888. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Kramer, Howard D. (November 1953). "'Shabash' Means 'Well Done'". The Rotarian. Rotary International. p. 15. ISSN 0035-838X. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "C Vaugh, Mason (1894-1978), Papers, 1928-1970" (PDF). 22 August 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2015.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ "Agricultural Implements & Farm Machinery" (PDF). 22 June 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2015.  External link in |work= (help)
  6. ^ Chaturvedi, P.; Indian Association for the Advancement of Science (2002). Food Security in South Asia. Indian Association for the Advancement of Science. p. 186. ISBN 9788170229728. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
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