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2004/153/1 Booklet, 'Whichever way you turn Shepherd Castor Story', paper / metal, written by G F Shepherd, printed by Brown, Prior, Anderson Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1960. Click to enlarge.

‘Shepherd Castor Story’ booklet by G F Shepherd

Made by Shepherd, G F, 1960.
George Shepherd was a wealthy Melbourne oil company executive who regularly played cards with friends, seated in big upholstered chairs. But the tiny castor wheels fitted to the chairs made them difficult to move.

So from 1934 until 1939 Shepherd researched the physics of existing castors and proposed a new type of wheel that swivelled on an angled axle. With the weight of the chair offset from and below the axle, the wheel could be steered with much less effort. Shepherd made 60 different versions by hand in 1939 and fitted them to the furniture in his house.

Shortages of labour and materials in World War II frustrated his attempts to manufacture castors, but in 1946 his associate Mark Cowen set up Shepherd Castors Pty Ltd to mass-produce them. The final design of this Australian innovation encloses the axle, pintle and lubricating oil in an attractive dustproof dome, perfect for both 'high class' furniture and dirty industrial applications.

Shepherd castors were made under licence in many countries and hundreds of millions have been sold. George Shepherd used some of his fortune to set up the Shepherd Foundation in Victoria, a charitable medical diagnostic centre. By 2004, Shepherd Castors had become a US company and continued the production of George Shepherd's castors.

Summary

Object No.

2004/153/1

Object Statement

Booklet, 'Whichever way you turn Shepherd Castor Story', paper / metal, written by G F Shepherd, printed by Brown, Prior, Anderson Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1960

Physical Description

Booklet, 'Whichever way you turn Shepherd Castor Story', paper / metal, written by G F Shepherd, printed by Brown, Prior, Anderson Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1960

A booklet written by the castor's inventor George Shepherd, it describes the development, manufacture and marketing of the castor. The cover is buff coloured. On the front cover is a sketch of the Shepherd castor and the text 'Whichever way you turn' above the title 'Shepherd Castor Story' in red block letters. The inside covers bear cutaway diagrams of the castor. The booklet has 24 pages and the text is illustrated with black-and-white photographs. It has a staple spine.

Marks

No marks

Dimensions

Height

203 mm

Width

123 mm

Depth

2 mm

Production

Made

Shepherd, G F 1960

Notes

This booklet was written by the inventor of the Shepherd Castor G. F. Shepherd (who died in 1971 aged 83). It was printed by Brown, Prior, Anderson Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 1960.

History

Notes

The donor was formerly an accountant with Lane Hardware, the company that manufactured Shepherd Castors in Australia.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Alan Herron, 2004

Acquisition Date

17 November 2004

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Shepherd Castor Story' booklet by G F Shepherd 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 9 July 2020, <https://ma.as/346340>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/346340 |title='Shepherd Castor Story' booklet by G F Shepherd |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=9 July 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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