Lathe, a very useful engine for turning wood, ivory, metals, and other hard substances.

The invention of this instrument is of great antiquity, for, according to Virgil, the ancients availed themselves of it, informing various kinds of vases, which they enriched with figures and ornaments in basso-relievo.—It is composed of two wooden cheeks or sides, parallel to the horizon, with a groove between them : perpendicular to these are two other pieces, called puppets, constructed so as to slide between the cheeks, having two points meeting the opposite central sides or ends of the article intended to be worried, so as to sustain it thus, the piece is turned round in both directions, by means of a cord attached to it, fastened above to the end of a pliable pole, and underneath to a treadle or board, which is moved by the foot. To such apparatus, a rest is also subjoined, which supports the instrument, and keeps it steady.—This useful machine has lately been much improved, and we had an opportunity of comparing a variety of lathes manufactured of steel in the metropolis, and designed chiefly for private use and exercise; among which, for neat ess and simplicity, we are inclined to give the preference to those contrived by Mr. Holtzapfel, an ingenious young artist, of Long-acre.

With respect to the manner of applying this curious instrument to the various purposes to which it is adapted, we refer the reader to the article Turning.