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Home > History of Development > Alberta's Heroes of Resource Development > Agricultural Heroes > Charles Noble

Alberta's Scientific Heroes

Charles Noble 

Agricultural Hall of Fame member Charles S. Noble, June, 1968.A native of Iowa, Mr. Noble settled in Claresholm, Alberta, in 1903. By 1916 he had six farms in operation, and the next year he had close to 30,000 acres. In 1922, he lost his land due to a number of crop failures. Undaunted, he rebuilt his farm. In less than a decade his reputation as one of the most successful farmers in Alberta was secured. A life-long farmer, his energy and persistence led the way in the techniques of large-scale dry land farming. 

Charles Noble was responsible for the Noble Drill, a machine used for planting. Then, in 1936, he developed the Noble Blade. The introduction of plowless fallow or shallow tillage was a great adaptation to western conditions. The basic idea was to use an implement that did not bury all plant residues but left some on the surface for protection. 

Noble Balde Cultivator, 1953.When plows were no longer used, there was an urgent need for an implement that could penetrate unplowed ground, kill weeds without burying the stubble, and operate in heavy trash without clogging. C. S. Noble started work on his blade, getting the basic idea from potato diggers in fields in California. This is a special plow, which was pulled underground, cutting of the roots off weeds without disturbing the surface of the soil, which in turn lessened the risk of water loss. 

His emphasis on cultivation techniques and equipment development set the standard for today's progress in agriculture. He received an honorary degree from the University of Alberta in 1952. Charles Noble died in Lethbridge on July 5, 1957.

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