Physics Department Workshop Upgrade 1898
Report of the School of Physics, University of Texas
The Physical Workshop
“The rapid development of laboratory methods of instruction in the natural sciences, has rendered it imperative that every institution should possess a well equipped workshop for the construction and repair of the large amount of apparatus required.
Recognizing this necessity, it was determined by the Regents to establish such a workshop in connection with the School of Physics, for the use also, of the other schools of science. During the summer of 1897, a beginning was made, a few tools being purchased and a competent mechanic being engaged. The large room on the north side of the west wing basement was set aside for this purpose. The equipment, however, proved quite inadequate to the demands made upon it, and early in 1898 additional appropriation were made for its extension, these being further increased by a gift of one thousand dollars from Regent George W. Brackenridge, of San Antonio.
Owing to the character of the work demanded, it was decided to purchase tools of the highest grade only, and to carry out the details of equipment and arrangement as far as possible on the lines of a model workshop. At present there are in daily use the following machines:
14” Hendey-Norton lathe complete with all attachments
No. 0 Waltham milling machine, specially designed for the University.
15” Hendey shaper.
Challenge wet and dry emery grinder.
13” Dwight Slate sensitive drill.
7” Stark watchmaker’s lathe with numerous attachments
Two polishing lathes with a large amount of polishing supplies.
12” Egan wood turning lathe.
Colburn patent saw bench with cross-cut and rip saws and all attachments.
Hall and Brown buzz planer
The above tools are driven by a 5 HP. Westinghouse motor through the medium of lines of shafting arranged to cause as little noise and vibration as possible.
In addition there is a very complete line of the most modern machinist’s and carpenter’s tools, arranged in artistic cases, with the usual workbenches, etc. A large amount of supplies of various kinds in also kept on hand in order that work may be handled in the most economical and rapid manner. “
Written by Associate Professor of Physics William Tyler Mather 1898. Published in The University of Texas Bulletin.
The photo below shows this shop and machinist Louis Gruber in 1932, a number of these tools are likely in the photo. Note the overhead belt drive system alluded to in the report. For illustrations of the equipment purchase see pictures below Gruber photo.
Physics Workshop Photo and Document Album