Friday, June 8, 2018

Warner Swasey turret lathe

Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Design, a Pictorial Account.1929-57

Design for heavy machine tools by Henry Dreyfuss for the Warner Swasey company. Henry Dreyfus starting working with company in 1939, modernizing the line of large manufacturing machine tools, the partnership lasting at least 20 years. 
Warner & Swasey had been started by machinists Worcester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey, who had met either at the Exeter Machine works in New Hampshire as apprentices or (depending on the story) later at Pratt and Whitney in Hartford (one of the largest American toolmakers of the mid-late 19th century). 
 In 1880 they quit to start their own business and moved to Cleveland where they specialized in building turret lathes, mills and large telescopes. The partnership was finally incorporated in 1900 as Warner & Swasey. 
The industrialization of the country and both world wars brought a lot of business, the company continued to thrive during the 1950s, and they helped develop the emerging technology of Numerical Controlled machines through the sixties and seventies. 
The company was bought by the Bendix corporation in 1980 and through various mergers and acquisitions has survived to the present in other locations. The last Cleveland area plant closed in 1995.
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