Sunday, August 16, 2020

Buffalo Bill - William Cody Museum's Simulated Shop

 I had a chance to visit the Buffalo Bill museum in Cody, Wyoming.  The best wings of the museum were the Native American wing and the Art wings - primarily because fewer people were there.  The saddle shop was good, the natural history wing was excellent, and the Buffalo Bill wing had some good stuff in it, too, such as Annie Oakley's guns, trunk, and an outfit.

They also picked up the Winchester collection of guns (from the gun manufacturer) in 1976 as a loan, but ended up with it changing ownership to the Museum in the late 80's.  Although the guns (all 4,000-displayed of the 7,000 gun collection) were cool, too, there WAS a gem in there.  Right in the middle of the wing was a simulated machine shop.  That's where we're going with this post today.

First up was a "double spindle lathe barrel driller" by Baush Machine Tool Company out of Springfield, MA (serial #5975, made around 1931).  Having "spindle lathe" between "double" and "barrel" is good because a lot of people probably thought it would make a double barrel - but it won't.  It was a production machine intended to allow two barrels to be drilled at once.  Those are long reamers on the machine - there wasn't a gun drill on it.  A drill bit for a barrel would have been a nice effect, really, but they just had reamers.

Sitting next to that was a lathe made by the Pratt & Whitney Company from Hartford, CT in 1930 (serial # 2953).  It's the one in the front.  For some odd reason, they labeled the one in the back as a turret lathe while it was the one in front.

In the back, manufactured by Builder's Iron Foundry out of Providence, Rhode Island, was what they called a turret lathe (serial # 2758 made in 1930).  Yes, those really are barrels sitting next to it on the floor.

On the other side of the simulated shop was this little gem.  It's a "multi spindle" drill press. It's missing a few quill handles (and other things).  Manufactured by the Henry & Wright Manufacturing Company out of Hartford, CT, it was serial number 15426 made around 1911).  You can potentially set it up with different drill bits in each spindle, and a single person could quickly drill out all of the necessary holes in a receiver without having to change bits until the drill bits were dull.  You guessed it, those are receivers sitting on the table.

The final piece of equipment in the "shop" was a Screw Cutting Milling Machine by Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Company in Providence, Rhode Island.  It was made in 1905.  This was one of the quickest ways to build the screws required to assemble everything.  Sure, you can cut a screw on a threading lathe, but the reality is this should be both faster and more accurate.

This was a great museum, simply for the machine shop.

No comments:

Post a Comment