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815
SHAYS—SHEATHBILL

lines. The city has two large public parks and a Carnegie library, and is the seat of the Curtice Industrial School. Shawnee is situated in a fine agricultural region, is a shipping-point for alfalfa, cotton and potatoes, is an important market for mules, and has large railway repair shops, and cotton-gins and cotton compresses; among its' manufactures are cotton-seed oil, cotton goods, lumber, bricks and flour. Shawnee was first settled in 1895 and was chartered as a city in 1896.


SHAYS, DANIEL (1747–1825), American soldier, the leader of Shays's Insurrection in W. Massachusetts in 1786–1787 (see Massachusetts: History), was born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, in 1747. In the War of Independence he served as second lieutenant in a Massachusetts regiment from May to December 1775, became captain in the 5th Massachusetts regiment in January 1777, and resigned his commission in October 1780. After the collapse of Shays's Insurrection he escaped to Vermont. He was pardoned in June 1788, and died at Sparta, New York, on the 29th of September 1825.


SHEARER, THOMAS, English 18th-century furniture designer and cabinet-maker. The solitary biographical fact we possess relating to this distinguished craftsman is that he was the author of most of the plates in The Cabinet Maker's London Book of Prices and Designs of Cabinet Work, issued in 1788 “ For the London Society of Cabinet Makers.” The majority of these plates were republished separately as Designs for Household Furniture. They exhibit their author as a man with an eye at once for simplicity of design and delicacy of proportion. Indeed some of his pieces possess a dainty and slender elegance which has never been surpassed in the history of English furniture.

There can be little doubt that Shearer exercised considerable influence over Hepplewhite, with whom there is reason to suppose that he was closely associated, while Sheraton has recorded his admiration for work which has often been attributed to others. Shearer, in his turn, owes something to the brothers Adam, and something no doubt, to the stock designs of his predecessors. There is every reason to suppose that he worked at his craft with his own hands and that he was literally a cabinet-maker—so far as we know, he never made chairs. Much of the elegance of Shearer's work is due to his graceful and reticent employment of inlays of satinwood and other foreign woods. But he was as successful in form as in decoration, and no man ever used the curve to better purpose. In Shearer's time the sideboard was in process of evolution; previously it had been a table with drawers, the pedestals and knife-boxes being separate pieces. He would seem to have been first to combine them into the familiar and often beautiful form they took at the end of the 18th century. The combination may have been made before, but his plate is, in point of time, the first published document to show it.

Shearer, like many of his contemporaries, was much given to devising “ harlequin ” furniture. He was a designer of high merit and real originality, and occupies a distinguished place among the little band of men, often, like himself, ill-educated and obscure of origin, who raised the English cabinet-making of the second half of the 18th century to an illustrious place in artistic history.


SHEARS, an implement for cutting or clipping. The O. Eng. sceran, to clip, cut, represents one branch of a very large number of words in Indo-European languages which are to be referred to the root skar-, to cut, and of which may be mentioned Gr. κείρειν, Lat. curtus, Eng. “ short,” “ share,” “ sherd,” “ score.” For cutting cloth “ shears ” take the form of a large, heavy pair of scissors with two crossed flat blades pivoted together, each with a looped handle for the insertion of the fingers; for clipping or “ shearing ” sheep the usual form is a single; piece of steel bent round, the ends being shaped into the cutting blades, and the bend or “ bow ” forming a spring which opens the blades when the pressure used in cutting is released. Another form of the same word, “ sheers," is used of an apparatus for hoisting heavy weights, generally known as “ sheer-legs.” These consist of two or more uprights meeting at the top, where the hoisting tackle is placed, and set wide apart at the bottom. The masting of ships was formerly carried out from another vessel, a dismasted hulk, hence called a “ sheer-hulk,” on which the “ sheer-legs ” were placed (see Crane). From this word must be distinguished “ sheer,” straight, precipitous, also absolute, downright; this is to be connected with Dan. skjaer, clear, bright, Ger. schier, free, clear; the root is also seen in O. Eng. scinan, to shine. The nautical phrase “to sheer off,” to deviate from a course, is due to a similar Dutch use of scheren, to cut, shear, to cut off a course abruptly.


SHEARWATER, the name of a bird, first published in F. Willughby's Ornithologia (p. 252), as made known to him by Sir T. Browne, who sent a picture of it with an account that is given more fully in J. Ray's translation of that work (p. 334), stating that it is “ a Sea-fowl, which fishermen observe to resort to their vessels in some numbers, swimming[1] swiftly to and fro, backward, forward and about them, and doth as it were radere aqua, shear the water, from whence perhaps it had its name.”[2] Ray's mistaking young birds of this kind obtained in the Isle of Man for the young of the coulterneb, now usually called “ Puffin,” has already been mentioned under that heading; and not only has his name Puffinus anglorum hence become attached to this species, commonly described in English books as the Manx puffin or Manx shearwater, but the barbarous word Puffinus has come into use for all birds thereto allied, forming a well-marked group of the family Procellariidae (see Petrel), distinguished chiefly by their elongated bill, and numbering some twenty species, if not more—the discrimination of which has taxed the ingenuity of ornithologists. Shearwaters are found in nearly all the seas and oceans of the world,[3] generally within no great distance from the land, though rarely resorting thereto, except in the breeding season. But they also penetrate to waters which may be termed inland, as the Bosporus, where they are known to the French-speaking part of the population as âmes damnées, it being held by the Turks that they are animated by condemned human souls. Four species of Puffinus are recorded as visiting the coasts of the United Kingdom; but the Manx shearwater is the only one that at all commonly breeds in the British Islands. It is a very plain-looking bird, black above and white beneath, and about the size of a pigeon. Some other species are larger, and almost whole-coloured, being of a sooty or dark cinereous hue both above and below. All over the world shearwaters seem to have precisely the same habits, laying their single purely white egg in a hole under ground. The young are thickly clothed with long down, and are extremely fat. In this condition they are thought to be good eating, and enormous numbers are caught for this purpose in some localities, especially of a species, the P. brevicaudus of Gould, which frequents the islands off the coast of Australia, where it is commonly known as the “ Mutton-bird.” (A. N.)


SHEATHBILL, a bird so-called by T. Pennant in 1781 (Gen. Birds, ed. 2, p. 43) from the horny case[4] which ensheaths the basal part of its bill. It was first made known from having been met with on New-Year Island, off the coast of Staten Land,

where Cook anchored on New Year's eve 1774.[5] A few days

  1. Meaning, no doubt, skimming or “ hovering,” the latter the word used by Browne in his Account of Birds found in Norfolk (Mus. Brit. MS. Sloane, 1830, fol. 5. 22 and 31), written in or about 1662. Edwards (Gleanings, iii. 315) speaks of comparing his own drawing “ with Brown's old draught of it, still preserved in the British Museum," and thus identifies the latter's “ shearwater " with the “ puffin of the Isle of Man.”
  2. Lyrie appears to be the most common local name for this bird in Orkney and Shetland; but Scraib and Scraber are also used in Scotland. These are from the Scandinavian Skraape or Skrofa, and considering Skeat's remarks (Etym. Dictionary) as to the alliance between the words shear and scrape it may be 'that Browne's hesitation as to the derivation of “ shearwater " had more ground than at first appears.
  3. The chief exception would seem to be the Bay of Bengal and thence throughout the W. of the Malay Archipelago, where, though they may occur, they are certainly uncommon.
  4. A strange fallacy arose that this case or sheath was movable. It is absolutely fixed.
  5. Doubtless some of the earlier voyagers had encountered it, as Forster suggests (Descr. animalium, p. 330) and Lesson asserts (Man. d'ornithologie, ii. 343); but for all practical purposes we certainly owe its discovery to the naturalists of Cook's second voyage. By some error, probably of transcription, New Zealand, instead of New-Year Island, appears in many works as the place of its discovery, while not a few writers have added thereto New Holland. Hitherto there is no real evidence of the occurrence of a Sheathbill in the waters of Australia or New Zealand.