In the early days all the catfish were hung on hooks and the skin was pulled off by hand with skinning pliers. That was the way it had been done for years and was slow and labor intensive. Later on we got this Baader Skinning Machine that picked up the speed, but had to be used with great care. I know of 2 instances were the operator got a serious injury by touching their hand to the moving cutting knife. It would skin your hand just like a fish if you didn’t jerk it out.
Here you see a couple of ladies operating the skinning machine. You could stand a person on each side facing each other and have two people feeding the fish through. It really worked best after the fish were headed and gutted.