An Unusual Pair of Heinisch #9s

Started by MrLufi, January 30, 2024, 05:49:46 PM

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I've come across a brain-tickler of a mystery, and perhaps someone here might have some insight as to what I have on my hands!

Heinisch, #9 pair of shears, 15 inches from end-to-end, 8-inch blade.

Comparitively, the blade on a #11 Heavy Pattern pair of 15-3/4" shears are only 7-1/2".

Look at the way these have an undercut area behind the bolt, with a special rest for the forefinger? You can also see the "9" stamped onto the outside of the blade, behind the bolt, rather than on the inside facing.

Look at how the blade mouth is dropped far below the pivot-point of the shear bolt...

... compared with the relatively centered blade mouth on a pair of #11 shears.

Look at how the tip of the bottom blade's rise is only 7/16th inch from the table...

... compared to the 1/2 inch rise of the #11 shears.

The weight of these is 1126 grams (2.48 lbs.)

The weight of the #11 pair is 1471 grams (3.24 lbs.)

This has to be due to the #9's blade profile being much lower. Instead of a tall, heavy top blade, it features the dropped blade which provides that lower mouth and hollowing for one's forefinger.

The bolt engraving's lack of "LATEST PATENT.1859" suggests this is a newer model pair, however I can find no other like it either for sale or in the two Heinisch Catalogs on the J. Wiss & Sons website.

What exactly do I have on my hands, here? I'm genuinely curious. Do I have a later-aged experiment that Heinisch attempted toward the end of the company's life? Do I have an early set but with a bolt from a later set? I thought perhaps I have a Long Blade set, but the model number would indicate it is of the "Heavy Pattern" variety.

Do I have another company's shears but with a Heinisch shear bolt?

I'm stumped!


The shorter blade length is intended for much tougher stuff.  It might even be suitable for leather.

The change in the pivot point increases the mechanical advantage.

Remember these huge old shears were made for industrial situations.

Beautiful set though. :)
Schneider sind auch Leute


Keep in mind, the #11 set was the one with the shorter blade, and it does fit into the description of what is in the Heinisch catalog.

It's the odd set marked with a "9", longer, dropped blade with finger-rest that I'm trying to identify! Can't find any other like it, either on eBay, a gallery, or a catalog.

Quote from: Schneiderfrei on January 31, 2024, 03:25:41 PMBeautiful set though. :)

Why thank you! Made them myself!  ;D


Looks like someone made a special in the forge shop with short pivot for quick, max open. Or messed up and hit the top die with a bottom blade blank und vice-vera.

Sold all my Wiss and Heinisch larger than 7s for just that reason. Only used front of blades as ran out of hand.


Quote from: Schneiderfrei on January 31, 2024, 03:25:41 PMsuitable for leather.

Best leather cutter I ever used was an early-early Wiss #4 with a pristine, chisel blade edge, no land. Recused and sold on, but goodly would it cut garment hide!!


I discovered what's up with these shears. Don't have the full story yet, but when removing the rust, I found this:

"AUG 2" and the rest was worn away from use.

Like their buttonhole cutters whose patent belonged to Peter Bauer, Heinisch must have licensed use of Herman Wendt's patent to produce these!

I know nothing of H. Wendt other than what I've found tonight through a little digging,  but it looks like they were the largest shear forge prior to Heinisch and Wiss. I can only find a few of their shears on display, and none for sale currently.

This patent that I found for an earlier style of tailors shears from 1842 apparently made the guy famous.

"The Scientific American," Page 171, 1863

QuoteTailor's Shears.-This invention consists in having the lower blade of tailors' shears formed with a recess or shoulder, in such a manner that the cutting edge of said blade can be brought down in line, or nearly so, with the pivot connecting the two blades, without unduly weakening said blade, and that by this construction of the shears a draw cut is produced, enabling the operator to work the shears with the greatest ease, and to have the full benefit of the cutting edge from heel to point. Herman Wendt, of New York city, is the inventor of this improvement. For further information address Henry Seymour, 82 Beekman street, New York.

Definitely sounds like these, though there's no picture. Having come across an article on Blogspot, there was a patent issued to Herman Wendt on August 25, 1863, so this must be one style that came from it. Definitely not a mess-up!

And, from "American Scissors and Shears..."

So, I'm betting after that fire, Wendt went to Heinisch to get his shears manufactured through them.

I'll research some more when I have time and see what I can come up with!

Here's how they're looking as of tonight.  8)