Most popular of the company's repetition lathes, the Murad 3Q capstan remained in production from World War 2 until the 1970s. For its capacity it was a heavy machine - though notably compact in comparison with competitors - and featured the use of foot-operated electrical speed-control switches that significantly reduced the number of occasions when the operator had to stop the lathe, open the cast-iron cover over the motor to drive run and change the belt from pulley to pulley. It small footprint had the advantage, where several dozen were employed, of allowing an extra one or two machines to be squeezed into the same space demanded by a Ward or Herbert "0" or "1" Models - and so some extra "free" production obtained from the same floor area..
Murad 3Q capstan lathe as manufactured during 1947
The standard bar-feed attachment relied upon a weight, held by a chain running over a sprocket. It could be moved downward to allow a manual feed through the headstock.
The complex and expensive-to-manufacture "eccentric" toggle-operated collet opener allowed even lightly-built females to operate the lathe for several hours without fatigue.
Ready for dispatch - a finish 3Q is taken to the dispatch department
As late as the 1960s it was still common to find women employed as capstan operators on lighter tasks
Two rows of Murad capstan lathes in the works of Reyolle Ltd. of Tyneside, at the time, with over 7000 employees, Britain's largest manufacturer of heavy-duty transmission-line switchgear and associated products . These lathes were making components used in instruments and relays used to protect circuits against electrical faults.
The Murad-made components being assembled into induction pattern relays
More Murad capstans at work in the factory of Fry's Diecastings Ltd. More than 50,000 components were machined daily on these lathes. Nothing is cheaper than daylight and, while the deep, steel-framed windows indicate this to be a factory almost certainly erected in the 1920s or 1930s, the high-intensity overhead lamps show that the photographs were almost certainly taken in the late 1940s or early 1950s.