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Mystery Lathe Identification

Feb 22, 2021
Stratford CT
I see so many related discussions on here that I’m hopeful someone will recognize this old beauty. I saved it from going straight into a dumpster after it was left behind after an auction in Stratford CT about 2015. Something about it sparked an interest in old lathes that has stayed with me.
I have 35+ photos of it, but I realize I’ve got to keep it reasonable. At least at first.
Some ideas and clues: The casting is extremely fine and finished, with a lot of ornate, crisp detail in the bed. The headstock is very light, looks like a treadle type. There is not a single marking anywhere on it that I can make out. It has a 3rd bearing (thrust)on the headstock. It came with a poorly adapted tool slide, but this accessory is also very old, likely came with the lathe. The lathe is quite long, given it’s 5” center height. 25” between centers, Morse Taper #1 head and tailstock, bed is 42” long.
What to call it ? A pattern lathe? A plain lathe? Hand or Foot Lathe? Brass Turner’s Lathe? Variety or Speed Lathe?
I’ve been to both ends of the internet to try and find something that looks related to this. It looks American to me, and it looks very early, like <1870.
I can post more photos but I don’t want to come on too strong here… I’ll post more if someone needs to see some detail.
Thanks in Advance to anyone who cares to discuss- to me it's a beauty, I wish I had the treadle part.
J. Thompson
Stratford, CT


  • detailed casting.JPG
    detailed casting.JPG
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  • headstock.JPG
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  • slide rest n faceplate.JPG
    slide rest n faceplate.JPG
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  • whole lathe with dimensions.jpg
    whole lathe with dimensions.jpg
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  • wholle thing.jpg
    wholle thing.jpg
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I forgot to mention, looks like babbit bearings, and I don't have the flatbelt cone pulley that apparently was on the spindle. I thought it would be kinda cool to turn a triple pulley for modern round belt. Cady, Wilkinson, Wright, Ames Chicopee, and a plain Baldwin all seem slightly related to me. I've seen terms like 'Gentleman's High Style Lathe' kicking around, and 'Variety Lathe', which probably meant shop 'utility lathe'.