Of unusual configuration, size and design, the origins of the little 2-inch centre height Pennant lathe are, at present, unknown. However, all example so far discovered have been in the United States, though one has been found badged C. Stiefelmayer Esslingen a/N--so a possibility exists that it might be German..
Obviously designed with clock and instruement-making duties in mind, the lathe 12 inches long, stood 7 inches high and admitted around 6 inches between centres. It was constructed in cast iron, the finish of which, for a small precision machine, left something to be desired, as did the overall appearance which one owner described as ugly. However, in use he found it commendably accurate and, equipped with a range of collets and other accessories, achieved some excellent results. Flat-topped with a central slot to locate the tailstock and other fittings, the bed was cantilevered from a single foot under headstock - on which both it, and the headstock, could be independently swivelled.
Able to accept only 8 mm collets and collet-mounted fittings (the nose not being threaded), the spindle carried a 3-step pulley in hard fibre, intended to take a round leather "gut" belt, guarded at the front by a simple hinged cover that simply swung up and hooked over the top of the headstock. Instead of the usual method of drilling a ring of holes in the face of the largest headstock pulley, on the Pennant the 60-hole plate was fitted to the outside of the spindle and retained by a nut (presumably to allow alternatives to be easily fitted). The head of the indexing pin passed through the headstock casting from the inside, the pin being supported on a small lug on the inside of the casting and protruding through the headstock's front cover.
The type of spindle bearings used are not known, but likely, given the relatively thin front and rear faces of the headstock casting, to both have been of the ball-race type. Unfortunately no surviving examples so far discovered are complete with a countershaft but, should one have been available, it would probably have been a simple affair lacking any form of quick adjustment for belt tension. Also missing are details of a compound slide rest assembly; again, if one was offered is not known - but a flip-up T-rest was supplied, together with a range of collets and other fittings.
Two versions of the tailstock have been found: one with rounded styling locked to the bed by an eccentric T-bolt controlled by a lever protruding from the end face of the casting and fitted with a simple "push" spindle; the other with more rectangular lines locked down with a direct-acting screw-operated a knurled nut beneath what appears to have been a screw-driven spindle. The "push" spindle, with its fixed centre, was locked by a simple, direct-acting screw that impinged on it at an angle from beneath the casting at the right-hand end.
Should any reader have a Pennant lathe or any literature about them, the writer would be interested to hear from you..