One of the oldest materials used in the manufacture of fabric is the wool and hair of anim als ; and although at first the wool would be taken from the dead animal, it was not long before the living one was robbed of its natural clothing to protect our more tender bodies from the atmosphere's changes. The scissors or shears used for this purpose were very primitive indeed, being only two blades and a spring back ; and with this simple implement sheephavebeen sheared forthousands of years past ; it is but lately that a new implement has been introduced which can be worked by power, thus leaving the operator all his strength to manage the sheep and guide the shears. Our engraving (Fig. 2) represents a sheep being sheared by one of these machines, which is suspended from a beam, A, and consists of a frame, B, carrying a fast and loose pulley, C, turned by the belt, D, to which motion may be given by any convenient means. From the frame, B, a short shaft, G, descends, carrying the arm, F, which can be moved around upon it, and is free to be accommodated to the wants of the operator. From the end of F is suspended by a rack the pulleys and shaft, H, to which is attached the shaft, K, by an universal joint at J, carrying at its extremity the knife and handle, L. Motion is communicated from D by a spindle passing through G, having a pulley, Ej at its extremity, which imparts motion to the cord, I, and thus by turning the shaft, K, through the pulley and universal joint, J, gives motion to the knives', m, in L, by the universal joint, k, as seen in Fig. 1, which is an enlarged view of the cutter, knife, or shears, L. I is the handle, and m the knives, which move against each other by means of the apparatus above described, and n is a stop for regulating the motion of the cutters. In the process of shearing, the sheep is usually laid upon a table, with its head under the operator's left arm, while with the right he governs and guides the shears. By the construction of this machine it will be seen that the shears can be guided to any inequalities of the sheep's body ; and there is little doubt that it is a good and convenient labor-saving machine. This is the invention of J. V. Jenkins, of Detfoit, Mich., and was patented by him the 8th of September, 1857. All further information can be obtained by addressing as above.
This article was originally published with the title "Jenkins' Sheep Shearer"