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US Patent: 45,294
Milling Machine
Improved Cutter for Cutting Gear-Wheels
Patentee:
Joseph R. Brown - Providence, RI

USPTO Classifications:
407/29

Tool Categories:
metalworking machines : milling machines : milling machine cutters

Assignees:
Joseph R. Brown - Providence, RI
Lucien Sharpe - Providence, RI

Manufacturer:
Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co. - Providence, RI

Witnesses:
Isaac H. Brownell
Charles H. Willcox

Patent Dates:
Granted: Nov. 29, 1864

Patent Pictures:
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"Vintage Machinery" entry for Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co
Description:
From “Studies in the History of Machine Tools” by Robert S. Woodbury.

At the time the involute method of determining gear-tooth shapes had been shown (by mathematicians) to be superior to the epicycloidal method, but practice lagged far behind as “practical men” stuck to the traditional epicycloidal approach. The first version of that Brown & Sharpe gear-cutting machine, introduced in 1864 or ’65, had available sets of 24 cutters for epicycloidal gears, sufficient to cut all gears of a given pitch, from a 12-tooth pinion gear to a rack. In 1867 they introduced cutter sets for involute gear teeth, each set requiring significantly fewer cutters than the equivalent epicycloidal set, and was therefore less expensive. As the only maker, at the time, of gear-cutting machines, Brown & Sharpe’s introduction of involute cutters was vital to the move away from epicycloidal gear designs.

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