Thursday, November 17, 2016

Line Shaft and Leather Belts, revisited

(Update: old gas engines running belt driven machine tools, Morse Twist Drill Factory
Waltham Watch has links to lots of 1890s photos, most of which include line shaft driven machinery.)

I found enough pictures of the inside of factories that used jack shafts and leather belts that another posting on the topic is warranted.

Rich Behrends posted
1918 Pennsylvania College of Technology
William F. Rutkowski The Drill Press in the center looks like the 1893 MMM we were using at Schrade Cutlery back in the early 1980's.
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
Rich Behrends posted
Vocational training for returned WWI servicemen was established to assist those whose apprenticeships were disrupted by enlistment and was an important part of repatriation assistance. Rehabilitation training was established for the wounded. 1919
Rich Behrends posted three pictures of a factory interior with the comment: "Merchants' Despatch Transportation Co. Rail car machine shop. Dated: between 1900 and 1906." I also included a picture of the factory's product.

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John Abbott posted
Mark Schmidt Yup! Indignant old timers would say no! Go sharpen your own
John Abbott posted
[This factory was in transition. You can see an electric motor on the right side of the gear train for the gun barrel machine.]
John Abbott posted
Robert William Lovell I worked in a plant in Bury, England that still had this type of system, along with a man whose job was to hook up new machinery, bless his heart. Bought a large planetary mixer,(50 gallons)for viscous epoxies. Told him it was coming and gave him the manual. The say it arrived he seemed surprised when it was obvious that it plugged in and didn't use the overhead belt system.
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted again
Bob Gaston Factory workers at Jones & Lamson during World War
William Harris I hear a lot of jokes from my friends about not being in the military. I just smile and say, without machinist you would have been fighting with your bare hands.
["During the war" explains why there are women workers in a machine shop. I assume it was WWI because line shafts should have been replaced long before WWII.]
Update:
All Things Vintage posted
Now that is the mother of grinding wheels!
Russell Johnson This isn't a grinding wheel. It is a drive sheave or flywheel for the pulley system that powers this foundry. Think steam power boilers, counter-shafts, belts, etc.
The man is either balancing this wheel or roughening the surface so a belt won't slip.
Russell Johnson Judging from the sparks coming off the wheel, it is cast iron. The man could be using a metal holder with emery and/or corundum inside that was heated to melt together forming something similar to a crude Aluminum Oxide.Ernie McCracken Its a grinding wheel at crewe railway worksJeff Jones Something is wrong...that piece he is grinding would be wayyyy too hot to hold.
Fred Tefft Not necessarily. Looks like he's dressing an iron wheel at low rpm. Light pressure on the dresser so it is just hot enough to hold comfortably. The air movement helps to do a little cooling. It even looks like he could be whistling, but he couldn't hear it.Dave Bell And when they exploded... many people maimed or killed .... silicosis was rampantSal Lumetta Looks like Ireland to me...Maybe the White Star Line tool shop?Craig Gilcrest the wheel is only turning about 120 to 150 rpm . long exposure the guy in the background is a blur
John Abbott posted
Islington Railway Workshops
[Most of the machines are evidently more modern electrically driven machines. But they still have some shaft driven machines along the left wall.]
John Abbot posted
Bob Gaston posted
WA Young & Sons
[The link is to a public group and well worth following because the comments provide video tours and a history.]
The second of 14 photos posted by Joshua Montgomery

John Abbott posted
Woman_operating_boring_machine;_boring_wooden_reels_for_winding_barbed_wire
[Note the building's line shaft in the upper-right corner. Not only is there a belt to the machine, the machine itself uses a belt to transfer power to the bit shaft.]
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
Bob Wynn posted
Machine shop at the Naval Academy, 1893.
Nick Mohar posted
Ford's crank grinding department back in day. Those are model T cranks next to the machines.
Jason Newby Picture is inside Highland Park. Model A would be at Rouge. Highland Park still exists, private ownership. The Rouge is still an active Ford plant, think they have tours. The Piqutte Avenue plant is a museum.
Randall Thompson also posted
Can you imagine the noise and smoke? Just oiling the line shafts would have taken several full time employees. An OSHA inspector would have laid down and died from a heart attack right on the spot.
1930 factory floor of Lawrence Brothers
1930 is a rather late date for such an extensive line shaft design to still be in operation.
Perry Locke posted
WWI manufacturing of shells
John Creasey The women who made shells in WWI were called "the canaries" because the poisons they worked with made their hair change color. No OSHA in those days.
Bob Gaston posted
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
John Abbot posted
Old-Shop
John Abbott posted
Siddheshwar Company Machine Shop
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
Sean Mullen Sure looks like a South Bend 24" by 12" bed there.
John Abbott posted
Hounshell
John Abbott posted
Parkinsons_Machine_Shop_1898

Tanner Remillard posted three photos with the comment: "Lineshaft display at Western Minnesota Steam Threashers Reunion."

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John Abbott posted
We are doing over time tonight need more Gun Barrels
Bill Zaremba A friend of mine use to work at Naval Ordinance in Louisville KY . Said that they had some huge barrel lathes for the Battelships.Michael Gross I always thought they was casted...John Abbott I believe they were cast with a hole and bored...Glen Nye Massive gearbox on that overhead craneJohn Abbott Heck of a Chain and Hook too looks like a old boat anchor
John Abbott posted
I need some 1/8" inch Plate cut...
Mark Emly That says 7/8" capacity!!!!!!

Earl Rempel I saw a machine of that vintage sold at auction in fall. 16 feet x3/16 capacity. The said it weighed 35 ton. They got $35.00 for the machine. [But the moving quote was $15,000.]
John Abbott posted
Exhibition4-Lathe-section-of-the-Main-Machine-Shop-at-Sterling-Works-1918
John Abbott posted
Machine Shop
John Abbot posted
milling-shop
John Abbott posted
I think I'll HoG a cut off this Little Ring...
[I have no idea what John means. Note this machine is in transition for being converted to electric drive. You can see the electric motor that needs to be hooked up on the floor at the right. It still has a belt coming down from the line shaft.]
John Abbott posted
Joe's over there doing the Big Barrels on the Belt Lathe...
[Even at full Facebook resolution the text is hard to read. This is what I saw: "Face plate 120" in diameter and swing over shears 130" by 76'. It is geared for turning taper from 1 in 10 to 1 in 400, and there are four carriages with compound rests. The shaft shown in the lathe weights 63,000 pounds and is 37" diameter at the center and 27'4" long." The word "shears" was a guess. I don't understand what that is.]
John Abbott posted
Russell Sauer posted two photos with the comment: "Thanks for the add! First picture is Iowa Marine shop in Belleview Iowa in the 30's if I remember correctly. I took the 2nd photo from the same angle in 2006." The owner passed away, but the machinery is being moved to a museum.

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John Abbott posted
Thomas Dean White Jr. Some of those in the picture look like kids working? Before child labor laws?
George R. Stewart III posted
Barrel shop at Smith & Wesson. Late 1880's.
George R Stewart III commented on his posting
Barrel dept. Around 1910.

George R Stewart III commented on his posting
Barrel dept foreman George S. Lilley in front with suit jacket over work apron.

Some more modern shops that still have some line shaft machines.
John Abbott posted
[This shop is in transition from line-shaft to electric power. You can see the big electric motor on top of the two "modern" mills in the foreground. But you can also see line-shaft drives in the background.]
John Abbott posted
[This is probably a museum that made an old belt-driven tool operational. The electric motor itself is a bit of a museum piece!]
Bob Gaston posted
[Look at the forest of belts in the background.]
Chris Kohlert posted
1925
[1925 is rather late to still have so many belt powered machines. I see the lathe in front does have an electric motor on top.]

Bob Gaston posted
Norton Crankshaft Grinder
[That is a rather modern looking tool to still be powered by a leather belt.]
David Smalley I used to work on a crankshaft grinder. It was one of the biggest challenges of my life. And one of my proudest accomplishments.Lou Tucci I hate using them
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
Nail-Factory-The-wire-is-fed-into-machines
John Abbott posted
[Note the child labor and all of the gears by the aisle ready to grab someones clothing.]
Ray Robertson posted
Machine shop class in 1899. The children are being taught metal fabrication. They look like WF & J Barnes lathes. What do you think?
John Abbott posted
Watch your Head on the Belts
Robert Phillips There actually less accidents back then than now in this I-Phone/X-box generation!!!!!!Mark V Thompson Is that two rows of shapers ? Shapers as the main production tool ! All shops I've been in, the odd, lonely shaper is a roughing, or trueing tool, back out of the way, or in the tool room. I was always told that the shaper was King at one time.John Abbott Not many cutter making shops or manufacturers ...you had to make your own Tool Bits For Cutting from a tool bit blank ... then you should ...NEVER ...loan your tool bit to someone else because that was YOURs ...would tell them ...you want ONE ...Go ...Make IT ...Sterling N. Schmidt Still true. I have made the mistake of loaning a few of my hand ground tools out....Followed by repossession and "make your own *** tool!Dick Campbell Lathe, shaper, and mill.....that was a machine shop at one time!! And if you've ever been around old shaper machinists you'd be amazed at what you can do with a shaper!!Randall Thompson The shaper was great when cutting tools were carbon steel, and cutting rates were very slow. High Speed Steels made milling machines more efficient, and carbide sealed the death warrant.
John Abbott posted
Typical Belt Driven Punch Presses
Thomas Bauza No Guards = No FingersDick Campbell Imagine the noise!James Miller Many of these had clutched dogs; electric motors added with air/mechanical linkages to the framework in the 1920s and 30s (I have punched out 450 4 inch U-bolts per hour for exhaust hangers) using a pressure foot release) after roll threading 150,000 of them. 1/4-24 and 5/16-18; Niagara and Cincinnatis were very common.

[Imagine setting on a steel stool all day.]
Ian Wilson posted
Raleigh Cycle works Nottingham 1914
[Putting shields between the belts+gears and the punch-press workers was progressive for 1914. But having a boy working (right foreground) is regressive.]
John Abbott posted
[These are a lot of rather big machines running off of line shafts.]
John Abbott posted
Bob Apalsch posted
John Abbott posted
Laura Hill Not one dang safety cover!Ronald Dennis Mossolle Imagine if one of those belts snap instant death or lots of pain i believe those were leather.Tom Troszak In my experience they usually just fall down when they break, but if one did catch you it will leave a bruise. If you ever felt one on your fanny, you know it's not *usually* fatal, but I suppose a getting your neck between the belt and a pulley might be. 

Colin Hancock Very ornate legs on the grinding wheel stand. Much better than today's square box jobs!

Ray Franklin The most dangerous job in the shop with line shafts was shifting the belts to another pulley.

Tom Troszak I would swear that's the Edison's Menlo Park Machine Shop at the Henry Ford Museum. I worked there as a volunteer in 1979, helping with the recreation of the Lighting of the Lamp on the 100th anniversary. On the evening of the big day I got to help fire the boiler and start up one of the dynamos. The entire compound was actually lit by replica carbon filament bulbs, which were wired to the actual dynamos wich were run from the line shaft. I actually got to see all of that actual equipment in action. I went on to work on a lot of other stuff there over the next few years.

Tom Troszak Russ Kiler, The shop is powered by Babcock and Wilcox Sinuous header boiler #1 (the actual #1) and a stationary horizontal engine. I don't remember exactly, but right off the top of my head I'm going to guess it was about 50 hp.

Tom Troszak The boiler that is in that shop was the very first one manufactured from this design: https://www.google.com/patents/US1085241

Tom Troszak So, the worst leather belt accident I ever had was when I was working near a fast moving, small diameter pully, and the floppy pinky of my leather glove caught between the belt and the pully going down, whipped around the bottom of the pully and then threw my own hand up into my face so hard it bloodied my nose, and about knocked me over backwards. So that's why I don''t wear gloves around pullies any more. Ever.
Jason Sobczynski commented on the above posting
It is menlo park.
John Abbott posted
HORWICH-WORKS-MACHINE-SHOPS-1919
John Abbott Nice and Bright in That Building ... I don't even see a machine Light ?
John Abbott posted
HORWICH-WORKS-MACHINE-SHOPS-1919
John Abbott posted
Robert Phillips That is a lot of belting licking around your ears:):):):)
John Abbott posted
The comments debate if this is trade school or child labor.
John Abbott posted
John Abbott posted
interior-1900-detroit-automoble-company-factory-machine-shop-line-shafting-set-up
John Abbott posted
Jim Volvo Karlsen David Richards 1920's machine shop
[This is the first shot I have seen that emphasizes the shafts instead of the machines.]
John Abbott posted
Factory Workers punching buttons
John Abbott posted
Jerry Fleischman Looks like they are using a suction device to pull the fumes from the polishing wheels, possibly polishing precious metals.
John Abbott posted
Brush Machine Shop



This link is a treasure chest of old machine shop photos. I especially like this one because the levers are red so you can clearly see that sometimes the clutch that controls a machine is up near the ceiling.



An early (silent) video of the machine shop of the Westclox factory. You can see that they are still using line shafts to power the equipment next to the wall. It appears the factory is in a transition period between belts and electric motors.
A shop in the factory that has a "forest" of belts.
A steam powered machine shop.
The reconstruction of Edison's shop.
W. A. Young and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop

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