Agricultural History Series

Missouri State University

 1904 St. Louis World's Fair

Goat Shearing Competition

The Angora Goat Shearing Contest was held on October 12 and 13, 1904. Contestants were given the option of using hand shears, hand or power machines.  Everyone chose the power machine.  Each contestant had to catch and shear one goat that was penned nearby.  Prizes were awarded for the best condition and appearance of animal after shearing, minimum number of cuts, smoothness of work, condition of the fleece after removal, minimum number of break and second cuts, scientific manner of handling both the animal and the machine.  Points were awarded on the basis of 50% for quality of work and 50%  for speed.

The winner of the Angora Shearing Contest was Tom Wedgwood of New Mexico. He won $125 and a silver cup.  His time was 3 minutes 3 1/2 seconds.  F. W. Ludlow, also of New Mexico, won second.  He won $65 and a silver cup.  Third prize went to James Riddell of Oregon, with a time of 3 minutes 21 seconds. Last place went to Frank Landrum with a time of 7 minutes 58 seconds.

Tom Wedgwood and his goat shearing table

It was noted that Wedgwood and Ludlow sheared their goats on a specially built table that was commonly used in those days.   Riddel sheared on the floor but had a difficult time getting his animal in position.  Later, he sheared a second goat to demonstrate how fast he really was.   The shearing competitions proved the usefulness of the new power shearing machines that were available. 

Reference: American Sheep Breeder, October 15, 1904.

Photos from  American Sheep Breeder.

This page was designed and is maintained by Lyndon Irwin

Go back to the main goat  page.

Go back to the Worlds Fair page.