1910 Colchester Lathe

Image This cute little lathe has been in the family since the 1950ís.

Although the badge plate on the front identifies it as a Brown Brothers lathe, it is one of the first models made by The Colchester Lathe Company. Early Colchesters were sold unbranded to resellers who would add their own marque.

The Colchester company, founded in 1887 and registered in 1907, produced its first all geared head machines in 1914 and went on to become a leading supplier of lathes to industry and technical colleges worldwide.

This lathe has serial number 539, identifying it as manufactured in 1910. It is a 3 inch lathe, has a 20 inch gap bed, is back-geared and has screw cutting capability. Whilst now electrically powered (by an almost equally ancient British Thomson-Houston 1450 rpm, 1/3 hp motor), it was originally designed to be powered by a treadle.

In addition to the drive being added, the top of the tool slide and tool holder have been modified at some point. Everything else is probably original, including the paint, and the changewheels for screw cutting which are often missing.

The lathe itself is sound, with little wear and still turns very well.

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Count Belmiro © Copyright December 2011
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