This article should be read in conjunction with that about the 1950s and 1960s Student and Master
In the early 1950s the Colchester company of England introduced three new lathes, the Student, Triumph and Mascot, all styled to closely resemble each other and with a common and easily used control system but few interchangeable parts. The lathes were assembled in what was, during the 1950s and early 1960s, Europe's largest plant devoted to the manufacture of lathes with two 300 feet-long moving-floors and a system of "flow-line" production based on automotive practice that aimed to produce a consistently high standard of quality and accuracy to "American toolroom limits of accuracy". However, like all production process, hidden factors contrived to make some lathes more accurate than others, a fact that Colchester turned to advantage by offering a special model, distinguished by black micrometer feed-screw dials, to an improved "toolroom" standard of accuracy - however, these lathes were not specially built but just those that inspectors had classified as the most accurate of a batch .
Although the new design had its origins in earlier Colchester Triumph models, and had very similar-looking geared headstocks and apron controls, each of the new models was individually engineered and constructed for a particular class of work; the Student (which was to prove immensely popular during the next two decades in training establishments and small workshops) had a swing of 12 inches and a capacity between centres of 24 inches; the Triumph, with a relatively modest increase in swing to 15 inches and a capacity between centres of 30 inches/48 inches was a very much more massively constructed machine and weighted, at 19.5 cwt/20.5 cwt (2184 lbs/994 kg/ or 2296 lbs/1045 kg), almost exactly twice as much; the 17-inch swing by 54 (or 78) inch capacity Mascot was a further significant step up in mass, turning the scales at between 4620 lbs (2100 kg) in short-bed form and 5160 lbs (2345 kg) as a long-bed machine. Of the three models the Triumph is the most useful all-round machine: it takes up little room yet has a capacity and speed range that enable it to tackle most of the jobs that a repair and fabrication shop, garage, car racing team or similar outfit would be likely to undertake.
All three models evolved steadily during the period 1950 to 1980 with the Triumph becoming first revised as what is sometimes jokingly referred to as the "Mark-one-and-a-half" and then, completely redesigned, as the Triumph 2000 together with a variable-speed drive version the VS2500 (there was no Mk. 2 Triumph).
Although most Triumphs, especially those destined for the home market, were fitted with a bed having a detachable gap, T-slotted apron wings and an oil-bath screwcutting gearbox that was able, at the flick of a lever, to cut 36 English pitches from 4 to 60 t.p.i. and 11 metric pitches from 0.5 to 6 mm, another, cheaper model, the "Dominion 15-inch" was also manufactured. This lathe lacked the T-slotted wings, the gap bed and was fitted with English screwcutting only, although with two additional pitches of 11.5 and 23 t.p.i.. On both lathes 36 sliding feeds were available from 0.0033" to 0.048" per revolution of the spindle with the same number of surfacing feeds but at exactly half the rate (0.0015" to 0.024"). A set of extra changewheels was available to extend this range in both directions, though in some cases, when large changewheels were fitted, the otherwise inconvenient stud-mounted cast-aluminum gear and belt-drive cover had to be left off to avoid fouling the gears. Later models, probably coinciding with the introduction of the Mk. 2 in 1964, had a choice of three different gearboxes (Standard, Continental and Dominion) and, for the first time, a metric pitch leadscrew: the Standard was an improved dual English/metric unit run in conjunction with an inch-pitch leadscrew and gave 45 English pitches from 120 t.p.i. to 4 t.p.i. and 12 metric from 0,25mm to 6mm; the Continental was combined with a 6mm pitch leadscrew and generated 31 metric pitches from 0.3mm to 12mm, 32 English piches from 2.5 to 60 t.p.i. and 16 Module pitches from 0.3mm to 3.0mm. The Dominion gearbox, as before, produced only English threads but this time with the number increased to 45 and the range set from 4 to 112 t.p.i..
The lathe beds were seasoned outside for an unspecified length of time and could be ordered with induction-hardened ways at extra cost; lathes with gap-beds could turn a piece of metal 24.5 inches (620 mm) in diameter and 6 inches (150 mm) thick on their (optional-extra) 21-inch diameter faceplate and were also fitted with T slotted saddle wings, so allowing them to be used as a boring table or to accept toolposts and supplementary slides for special jobs. For the Mk. 1 and Mk. 2 models (both Triumph and Dominion) just two between-centres capacities were available of 30 or 48 inches (765 mm or 1220 mm).