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 140,174 pages of information and 227,382 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Vaucanson's Drilling Machine

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This is an innovative and beautifully-made machine, designed in the 18th century by Jacques de Vaucanson, and on display at the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris.

Its intended application is obscure. It was designed to drill small holes in a horizontal plane. The drilling head was guided horizontally and vertically and positioned by leadscrews. These were of fine pitch and were equipped with micrometer dials to allow precise positioning. The machine could therefore be used for what is now known as 'co-ordinate drilling'. The spindle was belt-driven and was fed into the work by turning a screw.

Felix Rosat was responsible for the production of the drilling machine and of Vaucanson's Lathe.[1]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 'Scientific Instruments of the 17th & 18th Centuries and their Makers' by Maurice Daumas, translated by Dr Mary Holbrook, Portman Books, 1972, p.308