Promoter: Royal Agricultural Society for England
Prize: £1,000 (Today's value £74,000)
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Royal Agricultural Society for England seemingly enjoyed thinking up and handing out awards. In total, they created 1,986 individual prizes. However, not all were successful for encouraging invention.
In 1852, the agricultural industry was crying out for an alternative manure to Peruvian Guano, with equal fertilising properties. The Guano was costly to import from South America and demand was incredibly high, so a local equivalent was desperately needed.
As such, the prize set out that this new substance had to be readily available to English farmers and cost in the region of £5 per ton. However, despite the £1,000 prize on offer, no such alternative was submitted to the society, and the prize was never awarded.