Portsmouth Block Mills – the machines

‘ This is the second of two posts on the Portsmouth Block Mills. The first post covered the history of the Mills. This post provides photographs of some of the block making machinery. All the machines shown here are on display in the Makers of the Modern World gallery at the London SCience Museum.

The machines were produced in the works of Henry Maudslay.  They were his first major commission after he left Joseph Bramah and started his own business. Maudslay became famous for his high precision work. The key to the success of Maudslay’s workshop was his precision lathe. Rybczynski (Rybczynski, W., 2000. One Good Turn, Simon & Schuster Ltd) sees this as the mother tool of the industrial age.  Maudslay was responsible for many other innovations and trained some of the key figures of the early industrial revolution; including Joseph Clement who worked with Babbage, Richard Roberts (precision plane), James Nasmyth (steam hammer) and Joseph Whitworth.

1.  Boring Machine

2. Mortising Machine

3. Shaping Engine

4. Scoring Machine

A. Lignum Vitae Saw

B. Rounding Saw

C. Coaking Machine

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