From a long-established machine-tool maker - probably best known for, amongst other items, their extensive range of industrial drilling machines, forge and automobile garage equipment - the Canedy-Otto "Master Mechanic" five-in-one multi-function machine was aimed at garages, small repair shops and possibly the keen amateur with limited space in his workshop. Probably sold for only a limited time - the only known press advertisements date from February, March and April 1929 - the machine consisted of five elements: a 6-inch swing (3-inch centre height) 2-speed, plain-turning, twin-bar-bed lathe that admitted just 14 inches between centres; a 3/8-inch capacity, 2-speed capacity drill press with both a quick-action, rack-and-pinion quill drive and a screw feed for fine feeds; a combined valve and off-hand grinder and a jig (probably pushed along the bed using the hand-driven carriage feed) to allow the undercutting of electric motor armatures. In addition, fastened to the right-hand end of what must have been a cast iron base plate, was a small vise.
Ingeniously, the drive came from a single electric motor, this being mounted on the drill press, the spindle of which it drove in a conventional way with a belt running forwards over two sizes of cone pulley. The spindle also protruded through the bottom face of the motor body, being formed with a slotted socket on the end that could be connected - by swinging the drill around its column - to the vertical drive shaft found on both lathe and grinder. From the illustration, it appears that the both the lathe headstock and grinding unit would have shared the same arrangement of internal gearing to turn the drive through a right-angle - but with different ratios, the lathe running at 500 and 1000 r.p.m. and the grinder at 1100 and 2200 r.p.m.
Although the new owner might have been pleased to find his $188, 200 lb, 38-inch long, 12-inch wide and 27-inch high unit complete with motor, lathe face and catchplates, a drive dog, a selection of cutting tools, drill bits and a chuck for the drill press, grinding wheels and the necessary all-in-one wrench - there were problems: the lathe was small, far too small for use in a garage or workshop on general repair jobs; it lacked a low-speed backgear, there was no screwcutting (not even a power feed to the carriage) and no swivelling tool slide - only a single, screw-driven cross slide. The drill, too, was of a barely acceptable specification, although the two speeds provided would, just about, have covered the use of drill bits from 1/8" to 3.8". The valve grinding unit - essential in the days when the valves in I.C. engines were made of inferior materials and need frequent attention to their sealing face - was rather better, with the valve-holding chuck being counter-rotated against the wheel direction by a round belt that passed over a pair of tensioning jockey pulleys.
Adjusting for inflation, the 1929 list price of $188 compares to a 2017 figure of $2654 - a rather expensive proposition for the functionality offered. In 1929 the cheapest Ford you could buy was the Model A 2-door Business Coupe at $490, making it 2.6 times as expensive as the Master Mechanic. Today (2017) the cheapest car on the US market is the Nissan Versa at $12,825, this being 4.8 times the inflation-adjusted price of the machine. Make of that what you will!
Do you have a "Master Mechanic"? If so, the writer would be very interested indeed to hear from you.