Inducted: November 29, 1989
George Middleditch was a member of a family credited with developing and producing a horse-drawn bean planter that revolutionized the growing of white beans in Kent County.
The innovative "Made in Ridgetown" planter was responsible, in part, for the expansion of acreage which made white beans one of the county's first important cash crops. One of the planters had been preserved and is on exhibit at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa.
George Middleditch was born at Amherstburg and moved to Ridgetown in the 1870s. He and his family operated a machine shop and a small manufacturing plant and were numbered among Ridgetown's leading citizens.
It was a period of significant developments in the bean industry. Bean pullers, very much in demand, were produced by John Yocum in his shop at Ridgetown; and William J. Duck of Morpeth, invented and manufactured a bean puller that he sold for eighteen dollars.
The Middleditch Family moved to Detroit in 1912, after George's death; attracted by the greater opportunities there. J.E. Middleditch, another member of the family, may have contributed to the development of the planter.