Machine for Engine Turning

Machine for Engine Turning

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This small brass, and ferrous metal device has a variety of lever, pinwheel, and lever-and-cam motions. These work on the carriage below and the scribing head. The device apparently was designed to scribe a variety of engine turning figures on a round inset. On the right is an electric motor with an aluminum cover. It has two wires extending from it, a shaft at the front, and pulleys at the back for linking the motor to the mechanism. The wires might once have been attached to a rheostat for controlling the power delivered to the machine.
A mark on the plate on the bottom of the motor reads: TYPE A.D.C. (/) No. 6167 (/) UNIVERSAL FOR (/) ALL LIGHTING CIRCUITS (/) IN CONNECTION WITH (/) VARIABLE RESISTANCE (/) CURRENT CONSUMPTION (/).25 AMPERES (/) EDISON BUSINESS (/) PHONOGRAPH CO. (/) ORANGE, N.J.,U.S.A.. Another mark reads: 5260. Another mark reads: EDISON. The serial number on this motor suggests a rough date of 1908 for it. There are no maker’s marks on the object, other than a “0” on the central disc.
According to the 1946 accession file, this object is a “Rogers ruling engine.” A ruling engine was designed to produce closely spaced lines on gratings, and used in testing the power microscopes and producing diffraction gratings. This instrument does not appear to have served that purpose. William A. Rogers (1832-1898) also made dividing engines for scribing lines, though these were usually very precise. These engines by Rogers lso had means for careful adjustment of the scribing head relative to the object scribed.
Accession file.
For a similar motor label, see: That object is dated 1908, suggesting a date for the end of construction of the object - or at least the motor.
Currently not on view
Object Name
machine for engine turning
machine for engine turning
machine for engine turning
machine for engine turning
date made
ca 1908
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 24.8 cm x 41 cm x 21 cm; 9 3/4 in x 16 5/32 in x 8 9/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of A. R. McEwen
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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