Massey Ornamental Turning Lathe
- by Henry B. Massey of Spalding, Lincolnshire -
Built circa 1870 to 1900, the beautifully constructed and finished Massey ornamental turning lathes were manufactured by a relatively small company whose versatile employees are reported to each have been adept at a range of skills including fitting, turning, planing, milling and pattern making.
Of 5-inch centre height and approximately 36 inches between centres, the lathes would almost certainly have been made to order with each built to a customer's precise requirements and been mounted on it's own treadle stand with a complex "overhead" drive to run toolpost-mounted drilling and grinding attachments. While some examples might have been "plain-turning" others, in a better-specified form, would have had backgear, screwcutting, a dog clutch on the leadscrew and possibly tumble-reverse on the changewheel drive. In addition, some may have been fitted with a rear-mounted power shaft to provide the facility for generating particularly coarse pitches or driving some form of power cross feed.
Should any reader know of a surviving Massey lathe, the writer would be interested to hear from you - as would comments and observation on the design from interested viewers.