Friday

Shearing in the bushranging era

Sheep shearing at Yandilla Station, ca. 1894
Sheep shearing at Yandilla Station, ca. 1894
Sheep shearers working in a shed at Yandilla Station.
A supervisor or manager in a hat, vest, shirt and trousers
and a tarboy in rough clothes pose for the photograph.
(A tarboy assists by dabbing tar or antiseptic on any cuts suffered
by the animals during shearing.
Shearers shearing sheep in the Barenya Station wool shed in 1916, Queensland
Shearers shearing sheep in the Barenya Station wool shed in 1916, Queensland.
The shed was installed on the property in 1916.                                
Shearing in the bushranging era
Shearers


Shearing in the bushranging era
Shearer's Union


In the 1800's wool was one of the main industries in Australia but the shearer's worked in atrocious conditions.  John and Elizabeth Macarthur, established the wool industry in Australia in the early 1800s with rare Spanish sheep. Compared to growing crops, sheep grazing needed less labour. But the wool had to be washed, shorn and pressed to turn it into a product.

The Amalgamated Shearers' Union of Australia was formed in 1887 and by 1890 they had thousands of members.


The weather has been sultry for a fortnight now or more
And the shearers have been driving might and main
For some have got the century who ne'er got it before
But now we all are waiting for the rain

Chorus
For the boss is getting rusty and the ringer's caving in
His bandaged wrist is aching with the pain
And the second man I fear will make it hot for him
Unless we have another fall of rain

Now some had taken quarters and were keeping well in bunk
When we shore the six-tooth wethers from the plain
And if the sheep get harder then a few more men will flunk
Unless we have another fall of rain



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