American Tool Works lathe, 1912 14" High-Duty "Larktide"


(all photos)

First Glance, 1/29/2005


My ATW Lathe Project Pages

Picture gallery of other High-Duty machines


Location is Baltimore, MD, USA

May 2006 - I visited Dave Sobel again and bought up his American Tool Works docs that were not already scanned- don't know what possessed me to not buy them last time. I scanned the documents and another ATW owner graciously hosted them on his webspace- see the ATW Documentation link below.

October 2005 - I called the company who owns the remains of American Tool Works; Bourn & Koch. The website has a list of contact numbers for the various companies they own, American among them. It turns out they have manufacturing records back to the early 1900's and some documentation as well. I discovered my lathe was built in 1912, and the High Duty series machines were built up until 1940. I also ponied up for the parts manual which includes detailed assembly info for the entire model line & some "official" setup instruction. A very good find! I would urge any ATW owners to give them a call- they were quite friendly and helpful.

In May 2005 I had the opportunity to look through a 1912 American Tool Works product guide and track down my lathe's serial number in a reference guide.  I discovered my lathe was constructed in 1926/27 (actually 1912- I must have misinterpreted Dave Sobel's documentation), and is a "High-Duty" model, codenamed "Larktide".  American Tool Works gave colloquial names to all their products, their lathes at the time all beginning with "Lark...", my lathe's configuration named with the "tide" suffix.  In the later 1920's, ATW began producing the "Multi-Production" series based substantially on the "High-Duty" models.  After some years of production, ATW began selling their new Pacemaker machines also under the Multi-Production name.

Sometime after the mid-1920's, ATW began coding the production year of each lathe as the last two digits of the serial number, before that time the last two digits signify something else.

I bought this lathe from the son of a tool & die machinist who bought it from the Philadelphia Navy Yard in the 1960's. If anyone reading this has any info on my model lathe or similar ATW models, I'd really appreciate it if you would send me an email. Thanks!

ATW documentation;

Related Links;

Dan's "The American Tool Works Company - Pacemaker Lathe"


American Tool Works Company Lathe

American Lathe Yahoo Group

I'm fairly sure this is a somewhat larger ATW doing some work at NASA Glenn Research Center in the 1950's.  The headstock shape and partially visible shifter are suggestive. This lathe has the motor and controls mounted on the top of the headstock. Mine has a mounting platform in the same location, supporting the big motor and geartrain visible in my initial pictures.

;;; eof