- Lyon, France -
The Sugges, or possibly "Succes" lathe - the cast-in letters on the bed are of an indistinct typeface - was an absolutely conventional backgeared and screwcutting machine that would have been made from around 1916 until, perhaps, the early 1930s. The design and execution are obviously copied from the American Dalton lathe, probably a Lot 2 or 3 or even a very early Lot 4, these models having their tumble-reverse lever located by a spring plunger rather than the bronze-handled "spring trigger" of later versions. Examples of this early type are shown on the Dalton page here, with one particular lathe (of only two known in the United States) being the entirely original, stand-mounted model painted grey shown towards the bottom of the page While no two parts of the Sugges and Dalton were identical - and the bed of the "Sugges" was of the simple and easy-to-machine flat type while that on the Dalton used a V and a flat - obvious features shared between the two included the shape of the headstock casting, the arrangement of the twin-bolt, cap-retained bronze headstock bearings, the design of the top and cross slides (especially the lower casting of the top slide, this being cut away to allow access to the securing bolts), exactly the same location for the apron-mounted controls, the distinctive rectangular-shaped bolt-on bed feed, the mounting of the leadscrew and the tailstock - the latter being almost identical.
It is known that numbers of Dalton lathes were sent to the United Kingdom during WW1 and when the Lusitania, a passenger liner, was torpedoed off the Irish coast by a German submarine, there were two-hundred of them in the hold. Most Daltons found in the UK are of the earlier type and, once the conflict ended, demand for the machines fell away abruptly and, so far, apart from one suspected Lot 6 example, no later Daltons have been discovered in the UK. It is very likely therefore that some Daltons were also sold in France, and may also have been in left-behind American Army mobile workshops. Here was a small, well-built lathe with up-to-date features - what small manufacturer in the straightened times after the Great War could not resist taking a shortcut and adopting the design as their own? Following production of the first examples, Sugges introduced a Mk.2 version, this having the bed and its feet cast as one, a slightly modified headstock casting - though from the scant evidence available, few if any other changes..