Shearing Sheep With Power-driven Sheers, Kirkland, Ill.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Here is another development of modern industry. In pioneer days our sheep were largely raised on little farms in small flocks. Each farmer sheared his own sheep, and his thrifty wife and daughters spun the wool into yarn and wove the cloth. Many of our sheep are still raised on small farms. But the great sheep-raising states are in the semi-arid districts of the west. The market for these sheep and for their wool is in the more thickly populated Middle West and East. Chicago is the greatest sheep market in the world. Near Chicago have sprung up many sheep feeding-stations. These are on the railway lines tapping the plains states. To these stations sheepmen send many of their "feeders"-sheep that need fattening somewhat before they can command the best price. By doing this two points are gained. First, the shipping distance to the market is so short the sheep do not lose flesh as they do in a long distance haul. Second, the stations can take advantage of a sudden rise in the price by getting their sheep on the market in a few hours. The sheep-shearing scene here is one of these feeding and shearing stations of the Chicago, St. Paul and Milwaukee Railway. This station can feed 50,000 sheep. It is fully equipped with barns, feeding sheds, and shearing floors. The plant is equipped with power shears. These are attached by gears to pulleys driven by engines. The shears snip off the fleeces as easily and smoothly as a pair of clippers cut a man's hair in a barber shop. Two thousand fleeces can be removed in one day. Each fleece is rolled into a neat bundle and tied with a piece of twine. It is shipped in this form to the great woolen mills to be washed, sorted and prepared for weaving. Keystone ID: 18341 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.