COLLECTION: Tools & Equipment

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Turning Machine (small)

1833-1843
Origin: United States, Connecticut, Southington
OH: 27 1/2" OW: 11"
Iron, steel, brass, and wood
Gift of Stephen Eisenhart
Acc. No. 2014-73
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. Mounted on a tenoned wooden post for setting and wedging into a workbench top.
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. This machine bears the earliest of Peck's marks, which first appeared around 1830, and was used until 1843 when the firm began operating under the name PECK, SMITH & COMPANY.

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):SETH PECK & CO. PATENT stamped into the brass top of the frame.