Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,972 pages of information and 229,026 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Richard Penn

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1821 ' Richard Penn, of the county of Surrey, has obtained a patent for an improved mode of manufacturing ornamental wooden furniture, by the application of machinery. This improvcd furnitnre consists of the employment of the turning lathe, furnished with the sliding rest, such as is in common use with many turners. The sliding rest, cutting tool, attached to certain simple machinery by means of which the lathe and sliding rest are employed in a manner which has not hitherto been adopted. The sliding rest is not only used as a carriage for the cutting-tool, but the cutting-tool, the face of which is given any required form suited the moulding or embellishment intended to be produced, revolves upon its own axis by means of a small pulley driven by a band, and is kept in action by any of the powers in common use for giving motion to machinery; and while the tool or cutter is kept in action, revolving upon its own axis, and carried along, by means of the sliding rest, the wood is kept either stationary, or in a slow motion, in such a way as to bring the different parts of its surface (conformably to the pattern or figure intended to be produced) successively under the operation of the revolving cutter or tool. The patent is granted not only for the invention of the tools, but for their application for the first time the manufacturing ornamental wood furniture.'[1]

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Sources of Information

  1. Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 27 June 1821