Louden Brothers Lathe
Built in Glasgow, lathes by the Loudon Brothers Company appear to have been made circa 1880 to perhaps 1920 - all surviving examples so far discovered being distinctly "Victorian" in design and execution. Of the two examples shown below, one is in England, the other in New Zealand, hinting that the Company must have had, at one time, at least a reasonable export market.
Louden, established in 1877, was based at 9 West Campbell Street, Glasgow, and made a wide variety of machine tools. Obviously successful, in 1887 they acquired A.McArthur and Son and, in 1904, the toolmakers Sharp, Stewart and Co. While the Company's lathes so far found have been of the ordinary, general-workshop type, Louden manufactured many very much larger and more complex machines including double-headed shapers, a huge duplex-type facing lathe, combined horizontal boring and milling machines, radial-arm drills and planing and slotting machines.
Backgeared and screwcutting, both lathes shown below - they appear to have been badly neglected having reached the end of their productive lives - are of around 6 to 7-inch centre height and taking perhaps up to 40 inches between centres. Pointers to their age include a generally light built; a typically "English" flat-topped, angled-edge bed with an enormously deep detachable gap piece; a crank handle to turn the cross-feed screw; a lack of micrometer dials; the crank handle on the carriage driving direct to a bed-mounted rack giving a rapid, difficult-to-manage feed; spindle end thrust taken by a plate mounted on posts outboard of the left-hand spindle bearings; unguarded, very coarse-pitch backgears; no guarding over gears or belt runs and the changewheels very large in diameter and set in a single, rather than double, compound-reduction to drive the leadscrew..