Pratt Whitney Horizontal Shaper?
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  1. #1
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    Google returns a lot of hits on P&W vertical shapers. Anyone know if P&W made a horizontal shaper? Anyone have a picture?

  2. #2
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Sheesh Bill, why does it matter ? You starting a Pratt and Whitney museum ?

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    I got a lead on some sort of P&W shaper of course. Trying to educate myself before going to see it.

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    Bill, I saw one on ebay 12-18 mos. ago. Memory fuzzy, but 12-14" stroke I think, plain shaper, looked almost old enough to be a line shafter or nearly so. Not much help, but they did make some back in time somewhere.

    Rob

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    Maybe Bill should have posted his request on the Antique Machinery Forum.

    It DOES matter.

    Somebody should start a Pratt & Whitney Museum.

    Pratt & Whitney's shop was as close as any shop to being the genisis of America's machine tool industry.

    I am both surprised and saddened that no one has documened the history of the Pratt & Whitney Company and presented a catalog of pictures of all of the company's varied prducts.

    I for one didn't know that Pratt & Whitey made horizontal shapers.

    I have seen Pratt & Whitney bench lathes as small as the Elgins and Cataracts. Their Model B and Model C lathes are some of the best ever made.

    They made the Great Big Keller machines that do what full contouring CNC machines do now. They even made a small one, about the size of a No. 3 Milling Machine.

    At various times, they must have made just about every kind of machine tool. I would love to know just how many different kinds they actually made.

    And, not to be forgotten, Pratt & Whitney was the nation's premier metrological laboratory. Many purists would scoff if I compared Pratt & Whitney to SIP.

    SIP would accept the comparison as a compliment.

    They both were pioneering precise measurements when measuring to the thousandth was tough enough.

    There is a company whose story needs to be told.

    Pratt & Whitney Museum?????

    I am All For It!


  6. #6
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Jim, you've inspired me to blow the cobwebs off my P&W files, fire up the scanner boilers and post the below. I assume the iron in the lower left area will be of interest to Bill.


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    i second that. I have become a P&W addict. I got a type c engine lathe and the rest has been history. I am currently collecting any and all P&W books, manuals,advertisement and any other pic or info about the company. I would like to start a web site. I don't know that much about it. Please anyone send any P&W related stuff to me..Thanks

  8. #8
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Looks like they still exist in some form anyway...

    www.prattandwhitney.com

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    D.Thomas,
    Once again you have answered another unanswered question, beyond question.
    Your illustration shows the shaper in all it's glory. How nice!!
    David from Jax

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    D, Thomas

    Your picture seems to have answered a question of mine. The engine lathe at the bottom right of the P&W ad appears to be the same one shown on page 127 of Ralph Walker's 'Hobby Gunsmithing' book. Seems it was a "relic" at the time, not in demand, and was rescued from scrap, cleaned up, and put back in service. Imagine that, a time when old American lathes weren't very well appreciated. If we knew, back in the '70s, what we know now about the chicom crap that gets referred to as "machine tools", I bet a lot fewer of those "old" lathes, mills, and shapers would have ended up in the scrap yard. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I've always appreciated the old "stuff" because my mom was an antique dealer. Man, I sure wish my little chicom 7x12 and milldrill could turn into an old SB/Atlas/Rockwell lathe and Bridgeport mill or any old shaper.

  11. #11
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    P+W shapers were either Potter+Johnson or Goulds+Eberhard,, something like that. I have scraped many over the years. Allways wondered about the steel, creamy yellow in color on the rams and gibs, is that wrought iron?

  12. #12
    D. Thomas Guest

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    P+W shapers were either Potter+Johnson or Goulds+Eberhard
    Do you mean the shapers had a nameplate that actually said Pratt & Whitney ~and~ Gould & Eberhardt ? Or are you just assuming G & E made them for P & W due to similar designs ? I have extensive G & E literature from the same time period as the above P & W ad and don't see any that look similar. Can't comment on Potter and Johnson regarding shapers, as I thought they only made turret lathes and (later) automatic lathes.

  13. #13
    D. Thomas Guest

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    Just found a Potter & Johnson half page ad from 1904, and even then they were specializing in automatic turret lathes. Seems unlikely a company specializing in high production machines at the turn of the century would have ever bothered making a shaper of any sort (?)

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    I know hat there was some kind of connection between Pratt & Whiney and Potter and Johnston. P & W sold the Potter and Johnston automatic turret lathes and eventually took over the manufacture of them.

    I have never seen any reference to Potter and Johnston shapers.

    At various times, Pratt & Whitney acted as sales agents for other manufactrers of specalized machine tools.

    Gould and Eberhardt was always a pretty big outfit, I have never seen P & W's name associated with them. They seem to have always sold their own machines.

    G & E was eventually split up, the gear machinery went to Norton's machine tool plant in Worcester, Mass. and Mitts and Merrill took the G & E shaper line.

  15. #15
    D. Thomas Guest

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    To further muddy the waters, I have an ad for the Pratt & Whitney vertical shaper that says the machine is made by P & W, Div. Niles-Bement-Pond Co, West Hartford, Conn

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    The water isn't too Muddy, P&W was a division of Niles Bement Pond they were still Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford. N.B.P. just bought them from their owners.

    Later P&W was a division of Colt Industries.

    It was all part of the Conglomerate Circus of the 1960's

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    apparently Potter and Johnston were PW engineers, and never got far from the tree and were absorbed by PW in 1955.


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