R.D. “Shorty” York, who owned York Body and Fender Works in San Angelo, invented the popular sheller after watching a squirrel peel a pecan. York got a patent for the sheller in 1945, and the device went on the market in November 1953.
York got his idea for the aluminum sheller with blades from a pair of pliers. The instrument operates by means of a pliers-type handle, with sharp teeth to bite off the ends and sides of the nut, producing perfect halves.
A shield to direct the falling hulls into a container was an addition demanded by the inventor’s wife who grew weary of picking up nut shells from the living room rug. By removing the shield you have a great tool for lobster and crab legs.
Improvements have been made over the years, including replacement teeth, and handles shaped to fit your hands. These days plastic sleeves are fitted on the aluminum handles to keep users’ hands from getting black. And the aluminum shield has been replaced by high-impact plastic.
The Texan “York” Nut Sheller is the finest tool for removing shells from all kinds of nuts, including Pecans, Brazil Nuts, English Walnuts, Almonds, and Filberts. (Not recommended for Black Walnuts or Macadamians).
Left handed models are available by request. The handles are made of the finest cast aluminum. The shell deflector shield allows indoor nut shelling without making the mess that nut crackers create.