100 Years of Mechanical Sheep ShearingPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The plaque commemorates 100 years of mechanical sheep shearing.

Frederick York Wolseley (1837 – 1899) was an Irish-born New South Wales inventor and woolgrower who invented and developed the first commercially successful sheep shearing machinery. It revolutionised the wool industry.

In 1871 he acquired Toolong in the Murrumbidgee district, five years later another property, Euroka near Walgett. Now living at Euroka, he continued testing and on 28 March 1877 he and Robert Savage (1818–1888), the inventor of various items of mining and agricultural machinery, were granted a patent. Another patent was granted in December; however their machine was not a success and Wolseley continued to work on it but without Savage. He made further developments with Richard Pickup Park and they patented an 'Improved Shearing Apparatus' on 13 December 1884.

The following year, Wolseley bought John Howard's rights to his horse clipper and hired him to work as a mechanic on his Euroka station. There Howard made improvements that were so effective that Wolseley began public demonstrations in Sydney and at Euroka. A William Ryley made suggestions for improving the handpiece. In 1887–1888, demonstrations were arranged throughout eastern Australia and New Zealand. The culmination was the first complete shearing by machinery which took place at Sir Samuel McCaughey's woolshed at Dunlop, Louth, New South Wales, and also in that year, 1888, eighteen more woolsheds were equipped with Wolseley machinery.


Address:77 Fox Street, Walgett Shire Council, Walgett, 2832
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -30.023505
Long: 148.116985
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 12th September, 1988
Front Inscription

                              1788 - 1988

                      Presented to
            Walgett the Wolseley Town
          on the 29th September 1988 by the
             Wolseley Car Clubs of Australia
   to commemorate 100 years of Mechanical
    Sheep Shearing & to honour the memory of
     Frederick York Wolseley 1837 - 1899
          of `Euroka` who developed the first
           successful sheep shearing machine.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au