Gear-cutting machine, made by Joseph Whitworth & Co., of Manchester, c. 1854.
This gear cutting machine was made by J. Whitworth & Co. from a design first conceived in 1840. Like other gear cutters, it is a specialised milling machine. It can vary the number and size of teeth to be cut from a gear blank using ‘change gears’. These set the index that regulates the measurement of the teeth. A special chart of tables was used to calculate the change gears needed to achieve a specific pattern of teeth. The Manchester locomotive engineering company, Beyer Peacock, originally purchased this gear cutting machine from Whitworth in 1854. It came to the Museum in 1973, after being used for several years by the engineers Edgar Allen Tools Ltd of Openshaw, Manchester.