A Cut Above the Rest
A History of Lister Shearing 1909-2009
15th August 2009
Sheep and their wool have played major roles in Britain's economics as far back as pre-history. Simple sharp-edged tools came into use to shear the sheep, developing into scissor-like cutters known as blades. And there development stopped for many centuries. In the mid-nineteenth century the first mechanical shears were invented in Australia. The idea was taken up by the engineering company R.A. Lister & Co. Ltd, renowned for the quality and diversity of its agricultural products. Thus in 1909, in the small town of Dursley, tucked into the edge of the Cotswold Hills, famed for their breed of sheep, the manufacture of shearing and clipping equipment began. The story is related to the histories of R.A. Lister, its parent firm, and to the town of Dursley; it is connected with many parts of the world, particularly Australia and New Zealand, and most recently it has become associated with the Wahl Clipper Corporation in the USA. Lister Shearing has always been a small industry but its impact on the world has been tremendous. It still is!