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Unknown Lathe No. 156
- a "front-way" lathe from France -

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Found in France - so more than likely built there - this very unusual, heavily-built and "stubby" machine has its carriage ways formed on the front, rather than the top of the bed. Clearly a machine of quality - witness the surviving domed and slot-headed screws and the collet set - as the lathe is fitted with V-belt drive, it must have been made from the early 1930s onwards. If it was indented for general-purpose use is doubtful; it appears to lack a slow-speed backgear and has hardly any capacity between centres. The cross slide looks, from the machining marks on its top surface, to have been fitted, when new, with a swivelling top slide. The currently-fitted 'rotating toolholder' is bolted on with modern cap-head screws - and intended to turn the lathe into one for simple production work.
Other interesting examples of the front-way type include:
Spencer, Rivett, Wade, Pearce, Cook, Birch, Toyo, Rolls Royce, Unknown 100, Unknown129, Porter Cable (though that might be better described as a "back-way" lathe) and the possibly unique Fulswyng.