Sheep Shearing is one of the most celebrated activities in Australian agricultural history and iconic part of our cultural image. The first authenticated tally of sheep shorn in a single day was 30 sheep by a blade shearer in 1835. By 1892 the record stood at 321 sheep. Patents for shearing machines were granted from the 1860’s and in 1882, Jack Grey became the first man to completely shear a sheep using mechanical shears. The method that most woolgrowers adopted was the Wolseley stand. Frank Wolseley invented a handpiece connected to a power source – originally driven by horsepower, but later connected to an external engine. The handpiece allowed the wool to be clipped up to three times closer to the skin than blade shearing. By 1900 machine shearing was the norm, although, it was not until 1949 that Jack Howe’s blade shearing tally was broken by Dan Cooper when he sheared 325 sheep by machine. In 1986 WA recorded its biggest wool clip of 231,000,000kg.
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