Monday, 30 January 2012

Shepherd Castor - Patented innovation

George Shepherd was a wealthy Melbourne oil company executive who regularly played bridge with his society chums, sitting around in big, comfy, club sofa chairs. He found that the tiny castor wheels fitted to the chairs made them very hard 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. Shepherd castors were patented and made under licence in 17 countries and an estimated 300 million have been sold.

A recent cleanup at the family shed in Shepparton produced these die cast original Shepherd castors for my collection. The patent numbers for Great Britain, United Stated of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were cast into the parts.

The Shepherd Castor featured in the exhibition 175 Years of Design in Victoria curated by Ian Wong.

Australian inventions. Patented Shepherd caster designed by George Shepherd.

Australian innovation - the patented Shepherd caster designed in Victoria by George Shepherd.

Patent drawing for the Australian innovation the Shepherd Castor.


  1. Hi, my name is Dom, I have recently acquired 4 of these shepherd castors, would like to know of they're value.... they are patented and marked left and right , doe's not appear to have any other markings.
    Kind regards Dom....

  2. Dear Dom,

    The products were mass produced so I would not expect them to have value as a rare item.