Photographer's Note

This is Jondaryan Woolshed, built 1859, and situated in Queensland's Darling Downs. It is the oldest woolshed still standing in Queensland and the first purpose built woolshed in Australia. The first shearing in the shed was conducted without the roof in place. For those of you who know about the Queensland heat, can you just imagine the conditions? The galvanised iron for the roof was made in England. Shutters and many of the gates are made of red cedar. The uprights are made of iron bark and are in the ground seven feet (2.135 metres). The shed has never missed a shearing in its history. It is the only shed in Australia still shearing with steam power and the shed can accommodate 52 shearers at any given time (see the blades on the left). At its peak, 650,000 sheep were shorn in one year in the 1880s at the Woolshed. The woolpress (see my WS) has been in the same position since 1892. Originally there were two woolpresses side by side. In 1861, an average fleece weighed 1.8 pounds (0.8 kilograms). By 1881 they weighed 4.9 pounds (2.2 kilograms) and by 2002, 16 pounds (7.3 kilograms). In 1892 Jackie Howe was said to have shorn 321 sheep in one day, using steam-powered shears. This equates to one sheep per 80 seconds. In 1998 at the Jondaryan Woolshed Sports Shear Competition it took 40 seconds to shear one sheep using a wide comb. Nowadays a shearer charges the farmer $5 to shear each sheep. When you see the strength and energy required to shear a sheep (some of them weighing up to 115kgs) it's $5 well spent.

Canon 5D
ISO 1600
Exp: 1/13 sec

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Additional Photos by Lisa DP (delpeoples) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5632 W: 351 N: 12448] (60326)
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