Wolseley Shearing Machine

Mr Frederick York Wolseley of Euroka Station, Walgett invented the world's first successful shearing machine. After years of effort Wolseley eventually perfected his power driven mobile machine to Melbourne with Euroka's best shearer and in front of amazed onlookers, showed that the new machine could equal the fastest hand blade shearer and produce a better clip, closer to the animal with fewer nicks. On June 1887, a comprehensive patent was issued for the machine. The biggest test came in the shearing season of 1888 when Dunlop station, near Bourke, "went machine". It was the first property in the world to attempt a complete shearing by machine. 184,000 sheep were to shorn at 40 stands by machine - this was the baptism of fire for the machines. As well as Dunlop, 18 other stations were fitted with machines for the 1888 season. Burren with 24 stands was the first station in the Walgett district to be fitted. Ironically, Euroka itself was not fitted out with machines until later. In 1889, Wolseley sold Euroka to Dalgety Pastoral Co. and went back to England where he formed the Wolseley Shearing Machine Co. Wolseley remained in England and in 1893, arranged for the brilliant engineer, Herbet Austin to take over his Birmingham Plant. Wolseley's health began to fail him, and in 1894, he resigned as managing director, and Herbet Austin took over. The following year, Austin invented a motor car, which he named Wolseley in honour of his former boss. Wolseley died of cancer on 8 January 1899, in London, leaving behind a legacy that began a new era for the wool industry.

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