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A previously unknown American Micrometer ! WELLS BROTHERS GREENFIELD LITTLE GIANT

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
That's a pretty good story of product evolution.

1st the thread comparator that Salem found.

2nd the over-complicated version I once had, updated and then patented to assure the "V" parts were square to the threads.

3rd the simpler version in the catalog above, that does the same job at lower cost and greater durability.

I suppose 4th, 5th, etc. would be some still-later versions. There was a B.C. Ames version where the interchangeable anvils were basically a circular patch with thread wires brazed in place as one example.
 

SPDTool

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Location
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Hello,
We did some digging into the collection at the Museum today and uncovered a few more interesting examples of Wells Tool thread micrometers.

KIMG0427.jpgKIMG0428.jpgKIMG0431.jpgKIMG0432.jpg

We are still discussing if these were made in-house, or if they purchased and modified micrometer frames from somewhere else.
The first example has a double "wheel" to center the threads but unfortunately some of it was ground off at some point in its history. The second one is also interesting as it looks like it may have had different attachments and an adjustment mechanism that would shift it sideways.


-Scott
 

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
Hello,
We did some digging into the collection at the Museum today and uncovered a few more interesting examples of Wells Tool thread micrometers.

View attachment 319954View attachment 319955View attachment 319956View attachment 319957

. . . The second one is also interesting as it looks like it may have had different attachments and an adjustment mechanism that would shift it sideways.


-Scott

Scott, it's been a while but I had one with that sideways adjustment. It was equipped with a 60 degree point, much as described in the patent referenced in an earlier thread. I believe your example with the one flat anvil was modified by the owner and is not a factory modification.

The purpose of the side adjustment was to allow the 60 degree points on each side of the thread to enter perpendicular. The coarser the thread, the more "cocked" those pointed anvils would become..
 

SalemRule

Cast Iron
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
The Museum of our Industrial Heritage, in Greenfield, Massachusetts, has expressed a great deal of interest in the Wells Screw Thread Micrometer.

They admit they have not given these Micrometers much interest before; neither have I.

For whatever reason, Screw Thread Micrometers have been given short shrift by collectors for decades.

Anyhow, they tell me they have recntly acquired TWO of them. Their first.

One sounds a lot like the 1903 Patent; the other the 1916 Catalog Mike.

It is astounding that the 1916 version should be so rare.

Anyhow, I, PM Members, and Jim, Scott, and Al at the museum are determined to give this admittedly arcane (but very cool) series of Micrometers the attention they deserve.

And the long passed inventor his due, as well.
 

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
One angle for the Museum might be to do an exhibit on the development of the precision screw thread. It is as fundamental to the entire industrial age as the steam engine or the clock and its development spans centuries -- the source of precision in thousands of devices. It drove ruling engines and machine tools. Take it right up to the computer age and we wouldn't have etched silicon wafers without precision screw threads.

The screw thread micrometer is a triple winner - with Greenfield, MA figuring prominently. Those micrometers incorporate a precision screw thread -- to measure other threads -- and thus replicate still more precision screw threads. It's in the "DNA" of almost every industrial advance for more than two centuries.
 

SalemRule

Cast Iron
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Hello,
We did some digging into the collection at the Museum today and uncovered a few more interesting examples of Wells Tool thread micrometers.

View attachment 319954View attachment 319955View attachment 319956View attachment 319957

We are still discussing if these were made in-house, or if they purchased and modified micrometer frames from somewhere else.
The first example has a double "wheel" to center the threads but unfortunately some of it was ground off at some point in its history. The second one is also interesting as it looks like it may have had different attachments and an adjustment mechanism that would shift it sideways.


-Scott

Hi Scott,

Thank you for the excellent pics, and now we know there are four Wells "Little Giant" micrometers that have survived. Yet all are different.

And still no examples of what should be the most common one: the 1916 GTD catalog micrometer. However, your - 1 inch micrometer matches the GTD in every respect but the maker's stamp.

A friend pointed out to me, today, that my "Intergchangable Anvil" Little Giant has seen considerable use, as the thimble knurling is worn right where a person's finger would twist it.

Some of the finest examples of tools, and antiques in general, were purchased by people who never, ever used them. I, myself, am guilty of that with even modern tools. Some tools are just nice to own; but too nice to use !

Anyhow, Thread Micrometers seem to escaped that fate. They were purchased by men who needed them, and were not afraid to employ them.
 








 
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