Providence, Rhode Island, was home to many makers of machine tools including at least four (and possibly five) lathe-manufacturing companies: E.A.Eddy, E.A.Adams, Adams Bros, the Diamond Machine Co. and E.B. Bosworth; unfortunately, apart from Diamond, little is known about the background to any of them , the historical record being, for the moment, blank.
While the novel and individualistic E.A.Adams would have been made in the two decades spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, the very simple, plain-turning Adams Bros. dates from around 1870 to 1880 - and, although intended just for wood turning, the maker's did offer a compound slide rest to enable basic metal jobs to be tackled.. However, although a simple machine, it was well made, the bed having flat and V-ways (a more expensive undertaking than the usual flat type used for this class of lathe) and with both the hand T-rest and tailstock fitted with robust, quick-release-and-tighten tighten lever-operated clamps. When slackened, the hand T-rest could both be slid along the bed and swivelled, its loose upper section being fastened to the lower by a bolt sliding in a T-slot - a common arrangement now for well over 120 years.
Fitted with a 3-step cone pulley to take an unusually wide flat belt, the headstock spindle ran in plain bearings - the fit and finish of the components looking to be of a high standard. It's highly likely that the makers would have offered a compound slide rest for light-duty metal turning. The style of bed, together with the provision on the tailstock of a socket to take a dipper rod to apply a white lead lubricant onto its centre, offer clues that the maker might have offered other, better-specified models possibly incorporating backgear and screwcutting.
Should any reader have an Adams Brothers lathe the writer would be interested to hear from you.
With thanks to George Langford in the U.S.A. who supplied the photographs