COLLECTION: Tools & Equipment

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Turning Machine

Origin: United States, Connecticut, Southington
OA: 10" OL: 12 1/2"
Iron, steel, brass and wood
Gift of Stephen Eisenhart
Acc. No. 2014-80
Hand-operated machine with two adjustable disk-shaped dies set one atop the other, on geared axels. Spring-loaded adjustable guard set at the convergence of the two discs. Iron frame with integral provision at the bottom for mounting on a cast iron stand.
Label:At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Eli Parsons and Calvin Whiting received the first American patents for their machines invented to perform some of the functions of the tinsmith. By 1810, the duo had contracted with Seth Peck of Stonington, CT, who manufactured and continually improved the machines, and ultimately purchased Parsons and Whiting's patents.

Peck became very successful, and his machines were sold all over the United States. It is believed that by the mid-1830s, most American tinsmiths were using Peck's products, but this machine was made by Stow, a competing firm. After the Civil War, Peck and Stow formed a highly successful partnership, which is still in business today.

Called a "turning machine," this handy device was most often used to turn the edge of a piece of tin beginning the process of setting a wire within it, as on the top of a cup or coffeepot.
Provenance:From the Eisenhart collection of tinsmithing tools.
Mark(s):S. STOW SOUTHINGTON CT WARRANTED stamped into the brass top of the frame.