Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Brown and Sharpe

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September 1902.
September 1902.
October 1912. Gear Milling Machine.
March 1929.
1961. Plymouth.
1964. Turret drilling-machine.

of Providence, Rhode Island, USA

See also See Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Co and See Brown and Sharpe (UK).

The company was founded in the USA in 1853, being established by a partnership of Joseph R. Brown of Providence, Rhode Island, and Lucian Sharpe. They went on to become one of the foremost makers of small-medium machine tools and precision measuring equipment.

c.1861 Built their first machine tool - a screw machine. These machines were initially made for the Providence Tool Co, who wanted them for producing nipples for Springfield rifles. The nipples had a hole drilled using a twist drill. The helical flutes in the drills were initially made by filing, but Frederick W. Howe set about developing a way of machining the flutes, and consulted Joseph R. Brown, who saw the wider scope for a machine which could undertake that type of milling operation. The first commercial machine was sold to the Providence Tool Co on 14 March 1862. B&S patented the universal milling machine in 1865.[1]

1868 Started producing micrometers, initially called the 'Pocket Sheet Metal Gauge', with the range 0 - 0.325". The range was subsequently expanded considerably.

1876 Products sold in the UK through Charles Churchill and Co [2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'The Universal Milling Machine' by Luther D. Burlingame, American Machinist, 5 Jan 1911, p.9
  2. Fielden’s Magazine Vol 4