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15 October 1936 David Shearer

 15 October 1936        David Shearer

David Shearer, who died on 15 October 1936 at the age of 85, had established, with his brother John, a successful agricultural implement manufacturing firm in Mannum. The Shearers were born in the Orkney Islands and arrived in South Australia in1852 and lived at Port Adelaide and Clare. David began a business near Clare in 1874 but sold it in 1877 and joined his brother in Mannum. They began to manufacture farming implements and by 1886, using wrought iron instead of brittle cast iron for their ploughshares, had established a demand for their stump jump ploughs throughout Australia. In 1900 they made a steam driven car, actually built by their nephew J.M. Shearer, which caused a sensation when driven to Adelaide. The vehicle was the result of 13 years of experimentation. The engine weighed over 200 lbs and the horizontal boiler produced 350 lbs per square inch, developed 20 horsepower and could run at 15 miles an hour. It was driven to Adelaide to be shown at the Exhibition of SA Chamber of Manufacturers and the Shearers had to obtain permission from the City Council to drive through the city streets, but this was only granted on the Terraces. On the way to Adelaide the car scared horses on the road and it was reported that a group of women in a buggy threw themselves from the vehicle to escapee. In 1904 the brothers parted company to follow their own interests. David remained in Mannum where he served on the Council for 40 years. Shearers’ car is now in the Birdwood Mill Museum.

 Advertiser, 16 October 1936.

Tags: agricultural implement manufacturing, Shearer David, steam driven car