Story: Shearing

In the shearing shed

In the shearing shed

This engraving from The Illustrated New Zealand News of December 1883 shows that by this time large woolsheds were being built, so sheep could be shorn inside. About a dozen shearers are at work using blade shears, while ‘picker-ups’ (also known as ‘rouseabouts’ or ‘rousies’) sweep up the shorn wool. A tar-boy waits with brush in hand to smear tar over cuts to stop bleeding. The inset shows the ‘boss’, or ‘ringer’ – the fastest shearer in the gang.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PUBL-0110-1883-002

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Des Williams, 'Shearing - Early shearing', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2023)

Story by Des Williams, published 24 Nov 2008