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It was still attached to an overhead line shaft when I found it in the basement.
I believe it was last used to make axe and Pick axe handles since there was a few of them in various states of finish.
(which is rightfully described as a true beacon of human excellence - as well as our potential undoing.
We are literally victim to our own success.) Here is a pix of the recreated 1850s machine shop formerly at the Smithsonian - put together from the Harwinton (CT) Clock shop that Ed Battison "saved" and transported to the Smith in the 1960s.
High there, and welcome to the world's biggest community on skyscrapers and everything in between.
I actually meant the people were buying the pulleys etc and assembling they're own shops. I'd like to put it in an auction soon as I have a lot of large antiques I need to get a move on. I've never considered a museum so I'll have to look into that. As far as a value to sell this lathe I have to say it falls into the category of "between buyer & seller." Just not enough are found or sold to positively define a trade value?
I own most of the elements of a circa 1860s-1870s era shop (with later additions.) Most of my equipment was bought for relatively small money (only one item I paid nearly 2K for - the next most valued item was 0) But most of it was bought with some "utility" in mind - as in "it has to be functional, have some accuracy, and be capable of working to a common machinist plus or minus 0.001 (although all of my machinery is not marked in graduations.) Your lathe is a step before this and MAY be possible to work to this level of accuracy/repeatability - but the possibility becomes more of a challenge and relies more on the skill of the operator as one increases the age of a machine.
Thanks, Arthur Wow - you should get lots of comments.
Appears c1830s or early 40s and in a remarkable state of preservation. While someone may have been fooling around with woodworking projects at the saw mill - this is a metal lathe and really can not turn the complex shape of an ax handle. The heavy weight would have hung under the carriage to reduce vibration while taking a cut.
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