American Farriers Journal
American Farriers Journal is the “hands-on” magazine for professional farriers, equine veterinarians and horse care product and service buyers.
It’s unclear who invented hoof trimmers — a predecessor of nippers — or when they were invented, but the tool was appearing in the pages of the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office since 1860.
The late Lee Liles of the National Museum of Horseshoeing Tools, now in Oklahoma City, Okla., found an 1860 patent that was awarded to Abraham Baker of Shenandoah County, Va., for a “new and improved instrument for paring down or reducing the hoofs [sic] of horses and other animals.” It’s clear, though, from his patent description that similar tools were in use at the time.
“In the use and application of my instrument,” Baker wrote, “the farrier holds it in one hand, as [you] would ... a pair of pinchers, nippers or tongs.”
When scrolling through the Gazette online, readers will find that the basic nipper design over the past 163 years is similar.
National Museum of Horseshoeing Tools; Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office.