Elson Watchmaker's Lathe
Other Lathes for Watchmakers
High-resolution pictures - may be slow to open
Little known and seldom found, the 8 mm Elson watchmaker's lathe was obviously either a badge-engineered German-made Leinen - or a copy. Examples of the lathe have only been found in the United States with one having a faceplate stamped Boley & Leinen - Leinen, and Boley & Leinen, being the same company - an explanation of that curious fact can be found here. Another lathe re-branded and sold in the USA was the Leinen WW80, this being marketed as the Paulson 8 mm "Supreme".
It appears that the Elson shown below is chrome-plated, where all genuine Leinen lathes were finished in a much duller, softer nickel plate. However, the possibility exists, of course, that it was refinished at some point in its life.
Of the very popular WW (American Webster Whitcombe) type, a design introduced around 1889, the Elson, in its handsome nickel-plated finish, would have proved to be a rugged and reliable little lathe. The centre height of all genuine WW-type lathes was usually 50 mm, though very occasionally 65, 70 mm and other figures are encountered. Of heavy construction, the bed was formed with a 37 mm-wide flat on the top and a 60-degree bevel along each edge, and carried a headstock spindle to accept 8, 10 mm or 12 mm collets (though again, exceptions exist and odd, in-between sizes have also been found).
In recent years a number of Elson lathes have come to light, all identical and all stamped on the end of their beds with the maker's name and a serial number.
Should any reader have an Elson lathe, the writer would be very interested to hear from you.