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Oscar Ehrlich Lathes - Germany

Oscar Ehrlich was a well known, long-established and prolific manufacturer of lathes with premises at Chemnitz, in Germany. Although the Company exported widely, it appears to have been common for them to leave off any identifying marks from their machines and instead market them though distributors, one such being Tyzach in Great Britain who sold them using both their own and the IXL brand names Other British distributors also handled the make, with larger tool dealers branding them with such names as "Olympia" - obviously to disguise their German origins. Fortunately Ehrlich were a conservative company and the design of their lathes, and many small details of construction -  are easily recognisable on machines constructed from the late 1800s until the late 1920s.
Of utterly conventional and contemporary design, most of the lathes shown below were built during the 1920s and 1930s and made in two centre heights of 130 and 155 mm - and with 6 between-centres' capacities offered of 500, 750, 1000, 1250, 1500 and 2000 mm.  Available with or without a feed shaft to provide power sliding and surfacing speeds independent of the leadscrew, the lathes could also be supplied fitted to either plain cast-iron legs or a more substantial plinth with storage for a large set of screwcutting changewheels. Being designed in the early years of the 20th century, the lathes were also offered on treadle stands for locations where there was no electricity supply or convenient stationary engine to drive them.
Ehrlich lathes were often badged as though made by Berlin-based
Schuchardt & Schütte, one of the largest German-based tool and machinery dealers of the time and, consequently, a company with sufficient buying power to dictate terms to manufacturers. During the 1930s Ehrlich became "Union-Werk" (still based at  Mittweida, near Chemnitz)- under which brand the company prospered further with the name used in post-war years by the communist East German Government to market a wide range of machine tools (see picture at the bottom of the page)
If any reader can provide further details of Ehrlich-branded machine tools of any kind, or photographs of machines, the writer would be delighted to hear from you..

Ehrlich with power sliding and surfacing from a separate powershaft.  This lathe is almost identical to an examined IXL, with the same power feed-shaft, an identical pattern of controls with interlock to prevent engaging lead-screw and feed-shaft simultaneously - and same overall appearance. However, the IXL was fitted with traverse T-slots in the front saddle wings with another parallel to the ways in each of the short wings to the rear.

The ordinary Ehrlich lathe but mounted on the maker's cast-iron plinth with changewheel storage.

Distributor's nameplate

Neatly-arranged treadle drive with over-hung flywheel-cum-pulley - a typical and long-lasting Ehrlich design. Note the arrangement and shape of the treadle foot plate and the sweep-up of the underside of the bed - both east-to-spot Ehrlich recognition points.

Simple backgeared and screwcutting Ehrlich lathe on the basic cast-iron legs and without power cross feed

A larger and rather more robust Ehrlich (circa 1928) with screwcutting gearbox and a separate power-shaft to drive the sliding and surfacing feeds

The same 1928 Ehrlich but with a geared headstock and  spindle clutch.

At least two designs of apron were used on contemporary models - compare this arrangement to that used on the type at the top of the page

Dividing attachment to link headstock rotation to carriage advance

Another unusually complete and useful Ehrlich accessory - an auxiliary carriage arranged to carry an elevating boring table with a compound screw feed.

A rather complex factory conversion of treadle to power drive with the motor pulley - probably bound in leather or a composite leather and fabric disc - pressing directly against the rim of a flat pulley. In this example the drive then passed by flat belt to a large-diameter pulley at the tailstock end of the bed and hence by the central drive shaft to the flywheel. . 

Another involved drive arrangement with the motor driving directly onto the rim of a flat pulley by the application of a friction wheel. This and similar efforts to engineer a compact drive system were the subject of continuous experimentation by most manufacturers between 1890 and 1940. 

From Leipzig Machine-tool Exhibition catalog of 1936

Typical example of an  Ehrlich lathe as found in the UK

Badge as attached to an Ehrlich lathe found in the UK

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Oscar Ehrlich Lathes - Germany