Plucking Feathers: A Foul Job

Early mechanized devices tackled mess of plucking feathers

1928 Chicken Plucking Machine
Invented in 1928, this machine consisted of two cylinders: a double-walled outside cylinder (A) and an inner one (G). Inside the cylinders is a large screw (L). A bird carcass was inserted at (D) and a vacuum was introduced into the outer cylinder. When the machine was started, the carcass moved along the turning screw and the feathers were lifted by the vacuum and protruded through holes in the inner cylinder. There they were caught between the saw-tooth edges (F) and (H) of the holes in the spinning inner cylinder and the inner wall of the stationary outer cylinder and yanked from the bird.