William Whiteley and sons

William Whiteley

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Sally’s blog: Static scissors?

Sally's blog:
Static scissors?

The above shears are a treasured part of our antique scissor collection. As you’ll notice from the images above, unlike scissors that we all know where both blades move, these scissors have one static blade.


Looking closely at the mechanism area in the photo above, you can see these are pair number 14 and were manufactured by Albert Wilson in 1848. As far as I’m aware, they are the only surviving pair.


They have a mechanism which allows the bottom blade to hold still and raises the top blade so the scissors can cut fabric. This design allows them to easily run along a bolt of fabric without disturbing it underneath. An ingenious idea, but this mechanism contributed to their hefty weight and size. They weigh 2kg (4.5lbs) and are 16″ (41cm) long. That’s four times as heavy as our flagship EXO shears for example.


Looking back at historical catalogues and price lists we have, we estimate their value in today’s money to be around £350.00. When these were made, everything was made by hand and the tools that used would also have been made by hand, including the individual bolt. So considering inflation generally and their time intensive nature, the cost to manufacture these now would be astronomical.

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