Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Philadelphia Roll and Machine Co

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of Philadelphia, USA

c.1900 The firm built a large lathe for turning granite columns for the cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City. It was designed for the Bodwell Granite Co of Vinalhaven, Me., by E. R. Cheney and H. A. Spiller. 78" swing, 60 ft between centres. The tailstock was of the same design as the headstock, except that it was not powered. The columns were held in cast steel bell chucks, each having 24 setscrews 2" diameter. The carriages were supported on rollers and propelled by leadscrews 66 ft 3.5" long. The granite was removed by a spalling action resulting from the pressure of discs held in the toolposts. A 50 HP engine provided the power. The columns started as blocks of about 240 tons, reduced to 135 tons.[1]

1900 The US magazine 'Machinery' described a machining operation carried out on a large rolling mill housing at the works 'on an old Hetherington & Co's 60" x 60" x 22' planer'.[2]

Philadelphia Roll & Machine Co. was bought by William Wharton, Jr. & Co.

The business was liquidated in 1935.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] Machinery, April 1901, p.252ff.
  2. [2] August 1901, p.397