Ernest G. Hausen of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, could hand-pluck the feathers off a chicken in 4.4 seconds. I dedicated my Whizbang plucker plan book to Mr. Hausen for this remarkable feat. But is 4.4 seconds the right time? Was it actually 3.5 seconds?
The question of the .9 second discrepancy arises when one visits the Hoard Historical Museum in Fort Atkinson. They assert that Hausen's world record was 3.5 seconds, as explained in this bit of information on their web site:
"Born on the 4th of July 1877, in the same house on Clarence St. where he would live his whole life, Ernie Hausen was destined to become Fort Atkinson’s only world champion.
Using the techniques he perfected while working as a butcher at McMillen’s Meat market, Ernie won the 1922 Chicken Picking Championship, defeating his opponent by picking his chicken clean in only 6 seconds. He held onto this world title for 33 years until his death in 1955, defeating all challengers whether men or machines.
Ernie Hausen reached the height of his success in 1939 when he fended off two challengers in front of the hometown fans and set a world record for picking a chicken in 3.5 seconds – an amazing feat that was duly noted by Ripley’s Believe It or Not."
Well, whatever the exact time was, that Ernie Hausen sure was a fast feather picker! And I'll bet he would have really appreciated the poultry shrink bags we sell here on this web site. They shrink tight in hot water and help prevent freezer burn. Did they have freezers in 1939?
Now, here's the odd thing about Ernest Hausen...
I can not find a picture of Ernest Hausen on the internet. All I could find was the picture above, of his gravestone at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Atkinson. But I actually own a picture of the amazing feather-picking legend, with his hands on the bare carcass of a just-plucked chicken. It was sent to me by an internet friend who purchased it for me at the Hoard Historical Museum.
So, why aren't I showing the picture here? Well, I was told the rights to the photo belong to the Hoard Museum. That being the case, it would not be ethical for me to show the picture here. Bummer!
I guess that, if you want to see Ernest Hausen, you'll have to go to Wisconsin.