For better or worse, the Bridgeport mill They are extremely flexible equipment with several applications. They are incredibly versatile (the head tilts in both directions and the ram pivots around the body) and perfect for model construction! They should not be used for hogging large amounts of material, especially steel or stainless steel. Those materials need molars or cone crushers instead.
The main advantage of the Bridgeport mill is its ability to produce different shapes at very high rates. It can cut almost any material including metal, plastic, wood and more. That's why they are widely used by hobbyists and professionals alike.
Also worth mentioning is that they are fairly easy to maintain. The main components can be cleaned and lubricated without too much effort. Overall, these mills are quite reliable which makes them appropriate for small businesses as well as individuals who want to use advanced technology but don't require a lot of power or cutting capacity.
The Bridgeport knee mill is back, and it is still built in the United States. Hardinge Inc. continues to manufacture the Bridgeport knee mill in the United States. Members of the Bridgeport-area crew pose with the first machine to roll off the Hardinge assembly line. By incorporating its own lathes (B) into the operation, Hardinge was able to eliminate three machines. The company now employs about 70 people.
In the United States The Bridgeport knee mill is back, and it is still built in the United States. The photograph was taken in 1951.
Before the advent of international trade, quality mills were manufactured only in small quantities and so were prized possessions. The Bridgeport mill was designed by William H. Harrison and built by the Hardinge Company in 1946. It was the first mass-produced knee mill in the world that was capable of producing threads from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) material used in medical devices such as artificial joints.
The Bridgeport mill was an immediate success and within a few years almost all of Hardinge's sales were related to this one model. In 1951, Hardinge introduced a second version of the mill called the "Bridgeport Ultra-Torque" mill. This mill had a helical gear drive instead of a bevel gear drive, which allowed it to operate at high speeds without overheating. It was also available in white coloration instead of black.
In 1954, Hardinge introduced another new model called the "Super-Torque" mill. This mill included several improvements over the original Bridgeport mill including larger bearings for greater speed and torque capabilities.
These "operatives," as they were known since they ran the looms and other machinery, were mostly women and children from rural families. The Lowell mills were the earliest sign of the coming industrial revolution in the United States, and their success brought two opposing perspectives on manufacturing. On one hand, they demonstrated that large-scale industry could be run economically. On the other hand, they showed that the new industries were no place for people to work or live.
The first mill owners made their money by charging workers rent and supplying them with food and drink. This meant that workers never saw any return on their investment. Mill owners also used their power over employees' lives - such as denying them employment elsewhere - to extract payments from them. In addition, they often sold their products at prices below cost, which only served to drain even more money from employees.
Lowell became the world center for textile manufacturing because it had access to great waterpower and a skilled labor force. But the city's leaders knew nothing of this when they welcomed the investors. They wanted the commerce and jobs that came with having a large factory operation, so they provided the entrepreneurs with electricity free of charge and reduced taxes on their equipment.
In the end, the workers lost because the employers got what they wanted - a low-cost workforce - while the city gained something else: a reputation as the home of cheap cloth.
Why did the river have so many mills? To employ water power, the earth must "fall" to a lower elevation throughout the distance the water is channeled, such that the water enters at the top of the mill wheel and exits at the bottom. This requires a source of energy to start the process moving. With a stream or waterfall as an origin for power, there is no need for any kind of engine to drive the machinery. The falling water is itself a natural engine capable of turning wheels and grinding corn.
Where there is water power available, it is usually enough to power only one or two small devices. So we find that almost all mill sites are along streams or other locations where there is enough precipitation to supply continuous electricity from raindrops splashing into ponds or lakes. Even then, it is not much power; typically less than 100 horsepower.
The first mills were probably built by early humans looking for ways to extract grain from its kernel without using a lot of energy. They would have needed something to swing on a pole or rope and hit the kernels hard enough to break them open. Since there was already water nearby, they would have had no reason to go far from it. As humans began to build larger and larger settlements, they needed more food than what could be provided by just one or two crops per site. They started harvesting several types of grain at once, which required more processing time.