Slotting Machine

Slotting machine, c.1830

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Slotting machine, c.1830
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Slotting machine, c.1830. Vertical fluted pillar, 10' 9" high (328cm). Supporting cutting arm driven by three step pulley with flywheel on same shaft. below, table to hold work piece, adjustable for height with rotating face plate to which work was bolted. Date unknown but probably pre 1830. Small base with bolts to secure it to the floor. With plate at left to secure it to the beam. Floor area needed 3' x 3' (90 x 90 cm). Presented by Calico Printers.

From accession envelope: "This slotting machine is a development of the one by Sharp Roberts. The fluted column suggests that it was built around the time of the great exhibition in 1951. The reason that this machine like so many others bears no makers name is that many engineering firms made their own tools. This was common practice throughout the whole of the last century, as was the method of prepairing broken gear teeth with shaped pegs."

There are no maker’s identification marks on this slotter, and its origins are unknown although it is thought to date from the 1830s. It is made from cast iron, and features the decorative fluted column often found on machines from this period. The slotter’s gear teeth are hand-cut, which tended to be irregular and prone to wear and break. Several teeth on this machine have been replaced by pegs.


Hand and Machine Tools
Object Number:
overall: 830 mm x 3120 mm x 1570 mm, 1410 kg
Weight inc. pallet and packing: 1490 kg
slotting machine
Gift of Calico Printers' Association Ltd