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Wood Copying Lathe, circa 1865

1860/1870

The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford

Thomas Blanchard's duplicating lathe was originally developed in 1818 for manufacturing rifle stocks. It made copies using a rotating blade whose position was guided by the shape of a prototype -- much in the manner of a modern key cutting machine. These lathes -- readily operated by semi-skilled operators -- were adapted to make other irregularly-shaped forms such as shoe lasts and axe handles.

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