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British Industrial History

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Francis Lewis and Sons: Slotting Machine

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This is a sub-section of Francis Lewis and Sons

In 1841 an early example of a slotting machine made by Lewis was described and illustrated by Buchanan in 'Millwork and other Machinery'. The illustration was reproduced by W. Steeds[1].

Model of a Lewis Slotting Machine?

The Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris have on display a number of large scale models of machine tools, commissioned to display the current state of the art. These include the slotting machine (machine à mortaiser) shown in the photographs. The model was made by Ecole des arts et métiers de Chalons, and acquired by the museum in 1844, but the maker of the original machine is not stated[2]. However, it bears a close resemblance to the machine illustrated by Buchanan and Steeds. There are two significant differences: (a) the curved neck of the column is of 'H' section in the drawing, and 'T' section on the model; (b) the drawing shows a worktable with movement in the rotational and longitudinal and transverse axes, whereas the model lack movement in the transverse axis.

Unfortunately the photographs are impaired by reflections, and to a lesser extent to the unneveness of the glass in the historic display cases.

A description and photograph are available online.[3].


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 'A History of Machine Tools 1700-1910' by W. Steeds
  2. [1] Musée des Arts et Métiers: Collection item details: Inv.: 02981-0000-
  3. [2] Le Conservatoire numérique des Arts et Métiers, Catalogue du musée, Section B, Mécanique, pp.147-8 - ima.152