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possible Hendey salesman sample???????

stef.

Aluminum
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Location
michigan
I recently found this lathe at an estate sale. The sale was being hosted by a local estate sale company. I asked if they knew of any history of the lathe. All that they could provide was that the gentleman whose estate was being sold died at 90 years of age and that he sold tools in his younger years. Also, there were no surviving relatives. After I got the lathe home I began to think , what could it be. It resembles a Hendey, so is it a salesman sample or possibly a dedication piece? On the inside of the box on the wooden platform that the lathe was secured to were two holes where a plate of some sort was. I wish I had the plate to solve my mystery. Could it be a dedication piece or maybe a salesman sample?

Looking for opinions, George[/ATTACH]hendey box.jpghendey1.jpghendey.jpghendey6.jpghendey2.jpg
 
I have only seen a couple salesman samples and this looks like the ones I have seen. But it could just be a cool model, great find whatever it turns out to be.
 
Sure looks like a Hendey miniature. What is the accessory just to the headstock side of the steady rest in the middle picture?
 
Hello Earl,

The only attachment besides the steady rest is the taper attachment.

George
 
If anything other than just a model, I'd say its an award of some sort. What use would there be for a "salesman's sample"? All of Hendey's lathes were sold to industrial concerns where the people buying them knew exactly what they were buying. I seriously doubt they would have cared at all exactly what it looked like... they'd have been interested in swing, distance between centers, available accessories etc... all with a specific job in mind. These things cost as much as a good car or even a small house... there probably was no uninformed market for them.
 
Salesman samples were huge all the big machine tool makers had them. You cant fly people in and moving machines just to look at them would be crazy. I have seen smally vtls and horizontal boring machines just like this one in cases just like this one. They were made by G and L.
 
Forget the darn lathe.....

Where did you pick up that giant quarter?!!!!!


Nice first post and welcome to the forum.

I wouldn't be surprised if the lathe was a retirement gift to a honcho. Our toolroom made several mini machines over the years as retirement gifts for engineers and supervisors. I recall a Cincinnati OD grinder in about 1/20 scale. Another engineer got a mini feedall. I seem to recall a couple of lathes and a mill or two.

What part of Michigan was the sale in? The machines that I am talking about were built in Grand Rapids.

Big B

edit: the rank and file toolmakers and diemakers got a mini vernier height guage until we got so LEAN that we didn't have time to make anything for the retirees. When I retired, I got a wall plaque. It was a great job though.
 
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11 years have passed and I'm the new owner of this jewel. I'm sure it's the same one, the picture of the wooden box has the same scratch marks near the two hooks as the one I have. I bought it on eBay from one of the dealers that sells stuff from estate sales. Paid more for it that any tool I've ever bought. (almost $3K total) That's OK. I'm strictly a hobby machinist (retired mechanical engineer) so any full size machine tool that costs more than this beauty would be a waste for me. I've turned into a collector of sorts of old small lathes. (And a big one, a real 14x30 Hendey Torrington cone drive tie bar machine). So it now has a little brother. I'm wide open to talking about this if anyone is interested. The seller I bought from sounds like a good guy. I can pass along his eBay name. He showed me pictures of three other beautiful scale models of old machine tools of more recent build (1980's) from the same estate source. I can't anywhere near afford another purchase like this one. But if you're feeling crazy or controlling the sales advertising budget for your own business .......... Ed Weldon
 
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The Henry Ford (museum) and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI has several transplanted buildings associated with Thomas Edison circa 1879, including a machine shop. The museum was opened in 1929, the 50th anniversary of Edison's light bulb. A few years later, as some sort of project, maybe by Ford apprentices, a very fine model of the Edison machine shop was created. Note that the boiler has a plate with Edison's name, just as the full size one in the Village.

I have been a regular visitor to the museum since around 1954 and have seen a lot of changes in how the artifacts are displayed over the years. I took some pictures in 2009, by which time they only displayed a small number of items from the model machine shop to make them more visible or maybe it was just bloody mindedness on the part of new museum staff. Anyway, the models are extraordinarily finely detailed, comparable to the Aschauer collection at the American Precision Museum in Windsor, VT.

Larry

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Oh what we could build if our lifetimes were infinite!! I am a bit bothered by the statement about how dirty and dangerous machine shops were. I think this is framed from the perspective of the Great Depression years when so many machine shops ran at a bare survival level and then were simply left to be turned into material for WWII weapons. Housekeeping becomes an unaffordable luxury when one is in a survival mode. And as to danger. Many occupations have dangerous elements. But the level of danger depends a lot on the knowledge and practice of those exposed to it. Most of my views of America past show a place that is more "spiffy" clean than much of what surrounds our modern life. Did all that come at a cost unequally shared? Yes. Sadly inequality is the inevitable destiny of humanity. We have no immunity to universal entropy variations beyond ourselves.
 
Whilst definitely based on a Hendey cone head, I think it's a model someone made vs a salesman sample. There are details in the apron, taper attachment and left hand gearing that are not quite right. Same for shape of the headstock and bed legs. Plus there is no leadscrew and associated reversing gear - a patent Hendey feature that should have been represented in a salesman model. Salesman samples of tools and equipment I have seen tended to be very detailed and made much the same way as the real deal with castings in addition to machined parts.
 
What a cool unit , thanks for resurrecting this thread . My grandpa was a oil tanker captain after the war & I have several miniature things that we always thought they were marketing samples from those days . I have a miniature ships anchor all scaled down with the manufactures info cast into the body & I also have a real cool desk top flagpole that has a metal fence built abound the base with a old school Popeyes type anchor & a cannon inside of the fence . He had a room full of things like this when he died . I think that some manufacturers were into making miniature's of their product back in those days , they took a lot more pride in their company & product. Now a days they buy a couple thousand Swiss Army knifes & have their logo put in one of the handles .
animal
 
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Whilst definitely based on a Hendey cone head, I think it's a model someone made vs a salesman sample. There are details in the apron, taper attachment and left hand gearing that are not quite right. Same for shape of the headstock and bed legs. Plus there is no leadscrew and associated reversing gear - a patent Hendey feature that should have been represented in a salesman model. Salesman samples of tools and equipment I have seen tended to be very detailed and made much the same way as the real deal with castings in addition to machined parts.
But then why would anyone make a box featuring a handle to lift it? Seems to me it was meant to be moved around and/or carried by someone. I can't think of too many models that have cases other than salesman samples. I agree that factory salesman samples are highly detailed, so perhaps this one will remain a mystery...
 
I'm with Peroni that it's a very well made model, but not a salesman's sample. It lacks too many distinguishing features to be advertised and ultimately is "just a lathe." It has a tie bar which is what Hendey was know for, but is shaped nothing like Hendey's. Hendey even used their tie bar head-stocks in logos, so I doubt they would keep that specific design out of a sales sample. Models made for salesmen take a fair amount of investment, especially considering in 5-10 years they would be obsolete with improvement's made in the machines, so having a model only made sense if you could show off features that set your product apart from the competition. They didn't carry these things around because they were fun or even educational, but because they were trying to convince you to buy THEIR specific lathe.

That and the general design they followed for this lathe puts it no newer than the 1910's IMO, but the way it's built to me looks too new for that, like 1930's-40's at the oldest, when cone head lathes were becoming obsolete and gear head lathes were what they wanted you to buy. While it took a bit of investment to make sales models like this, at the turn of the century it would also have been cheaper to have a foundry make custom miniature castings rather than pay a machinist to spend days carving it out of a solid block of metal. It would look closer to what was for sale and cost less to make, provided you were the manufacturer with the casting connections (and Hendey was one of those manufacturers that fully utilized the pattern shop's ability to change patterns for every model every couple years, unlike the more modern approach of avoiding the pattern shop at all costs).

The other thing I've seen with sales samples is that the "patented" ones are rare, because they were property of the company and often destroyed as soon as they were obsolete. Most sales samples that survive today were given away to potential customers and simple or established enough that they could be made en mass, not one-offs or last-years obsolete model.

I could be wrong, but I wouldn't bet on it being a sales model. It's very well made though. Someone put a lot of time and effort into it and it would look right at home on a shelf of awards. A lot of these models were made just as a fun project, but also to be taken to shows like county fairs and such where they could be hooked up to model steam or hit-n-miss engines (like the museum picture above), so having a carrying case makes sense. Someone was proud of this and rightfully so.
 
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