This section is from the book "Lathe Design, Construction And Operation, With Practical Examples Of The Lathe Work", by Oscar E. Perrigo. Also available from Amazon: Lathe Design: Construction And Operation.
The aim of the Author in writing this book has been to present in as comprehensive a manner as may be within the limits of a single volume the history and development of the lathe from early times to the present day; to briefly discuss its effects upon manufacturing interests; to describe its practical use on various classes of work; and to compare in a representative, theoretical, and practical manner the Modern American Lathes as now built in this country.
In carrying out these aims the early history of the lathe is traced from its crude beginning up to the time when the foot-power lathe was the sole reliance of the early mechanic. Then the early history of the development of the screw-cutting or engine lathe is taken up and carried on to the middle of the last century. This is done to put the student and the younger mechanic in possession of the facts in relation to the origin and development of the lathe up to within the memory of many of the older mechanics of the present day.
The matter relating to the early history of the lathe is introduced for what seem to be good and sufficient reasons. If we are always to "commence where our predecessors left off" we shall miss much valuable information that would be very useful to us. A retrospective glance on what has been, a review of previous efforts, a proper consideration of the road by which we came, or by which earlier workers have advanced, is not only interesting but necessary to a full and complete understanding of the subject, and very useful to us in mapping out the course for our continued advancement in contributing our share in the development of mechanical science.
Following along these lines, the various types of lathes have been carefully classified, engravings and descriptions of the prominent American lathes are given, and their special features of design, construction, and use are pointed out and briefly commented upon.
It is a matter of much pride to every true American mechanic that this country produces so many really good and meritorious manufacturing machines, and in no line is this superiority more clearly shown than in the magnificent array of Modern Lathes.
This work brings these machines together in a comprehensive manner for the first time, and thus aims to add its quota to the present literature on this subject, and so make it valuable as a book of reference, alike to the student, the designer and the mechanic, as well as the manufacturer and the purchaser of Modern American Lathes.
In the revised and enlarged edition of this work a chapter has been added detailing all kinds of lathe work, treating of lathe installation and management, milling, drilling and grinding attachments and their use, methods of turning tapers, turning spherical surfaces, making oil grooves and many other processes pertaining to practical lathe work. Endeavor has been made to have this information sufficiently clear so it may be readily followed by the apprentice, student or amateur machinist.