Brown & Sharpe automatic lathe

c. 1897 in Providence county
Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Company

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Automatic lathe, made by Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Co., Providence, Rhode Island, USA, and installed at the Renolds Ltd factory, Manchester, 1897. Number 0.0.

This American-built machine tool is a special lathe for making parts known as 'bushes' and 'pins' for roller chains, such as bicycle chains. It is an automatic lathe, and uses egg-shaped parts known as 'cams' to automate the machining process. They move the turret (sometimes known as a 'capstan') that holds the cutting tool. A slim rod of metal is fed through the machine, and sections are shaped and cut off the end of it by the cutting tool to make the chain parts. When the rod has been used up the machine automatically stops. The cutting tools can be changed to create different shapes. The largest workpiece that can be turned on this lathe is ¾ ins (or 2 cm). This machine was bought by Renolds Ltd of Manchester in 1897. The company still specialises in manufacturing roller chains.


Hand and Machine Tools
Object Number:
Gift of University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

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