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US Patent: 749,683
Process of shaping gear-teeth
Hugo Bilgram - Philadelphia, PA

USPTO Classifications:
409/47, 451/147, 451/47, 451/900

Tool Categories:
metalworking machines : gear making machines


Hugo Bilgram - Philadelphia, PA

J. R. Parker
Isaac Thompson

Patent Dates:
Applied: Dec. 19, 1902
Granted: Jan. 12, 1904

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"Vintage Machinery" entry for Hugo Bilgram, Bilgram Machine Works
Robert S. Woodbury's 1958 monograph, "History of the Gear-Cutting Machine", identifies this Bilgram patent as an especially important one in the history of gear cutting. At the time of this patent, the automobile industry was motivating much work in improving machine tools. The challenge with gear design was that theoretically perfect gear teeth could be noisy in practice. This patent specification notes that existing gear-tooth designs have the force transmitting either evenly through two teeth or entirely by one tooth, alternating between the two states as the gears rotate. Bilgram's idea was a new tooth shape where a tooth gradually assumes a larger share of the force as the gears rotate, this force then gradually decreasing as the next gear-tooth engages. A separate patent covered an additional improvement that slightly relieved the points and bases of the teeth to allow for misalignment due to bearing play and shaft flex. Both of these patents are improvements to the inventor's earlier patents 294,844 and 656,166.

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