Dividing Engine by Edward Troughton, detail 1.
18th c British Scientific Industrial Arts
(1753 - 1835)
In 1775 Jesse Ramsden produced a machine to scribe a scale on an instrument with equal accuracy to that which could be accomplished by hand calculation. The method made use of a 'worm gear' seen here between the two mounting posts at center left and driving the large hoizontal gear holding a blank plate. That plate, which would contain the scale, rotated with the large gear and by means of established positions of the worm gear allowed the operator to find the next position, mark the spot and go on to the next position. It is estimated that Ramsden's contribution reduced the price of scribing by more than fifty times. Taking ideas from Ramsden and from his brother John, Edward Troughton improved the design and produced this dividing engine, which was used until 1920. The worm gear mechanism, shown here, offered the user precise scribe positions to less than 10 minutes of arch on every turn of the worm gear.
THROUGHTON Edward | Dividing Engine by Edward Troughton, detail 1. | 1793 | British | Industrial
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