Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 132,191 pages of information and 209,712 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
The company manufactured machine tools, tools for the makers of sewing machines, and gun-making machinery for use by the Union Army during the American Civil War.
This company is now known as Pratt and Whitney Measurement Systems.
In 1925, Frederick Brant Rentschler approached Pratt and Whitney looking for funds and a location to build his new aircraft engine. Pratt & Whitney loaned him $250,000, the use of the Pratt & Whitney name, and space in their building. This was the beginning of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company.
Pratt & Whitney's first engine, the Wasp, was completed on Christmas Eve 1925. The Wasp developed 425 horsepower (317 kW) on its third test run. It easily passed the Navy qualification test in March 1926, and by October the Navy had ordered 200 engines. The Wasp exhibited speed, climb, performance and reliability that revolutionized American aviation.