I took a trip down Memory Lane the other day. The journey began at
and continued at
which is where these belt driven lathe images came from:
It was a trip down Memory Lane because this belt driven lathe is exactly identical to the multitude of lathes that I used back around 1960 in the machine shop class at Brooklyn Technical High School.
That shop had this one really large motor mounted up near the ceiling which was connected to an array of shafts with pulleys to which the lathes were connected with belts. The only difference I can recall is that those belts were a darker brown color than those shown here. Aside from that, the machinery is exactly the same.
Eventually, those jewels were replaced by more modern lathes having self contained motors. Sadly, those more modern lathes seemed to have no glamour at all. Still, there may be a parallel of these things to the evolution of computers over the course of time.
Motors were once technical, state of the art exotica. Big motors could be quite costly. Therefore, it made economic sense to have just one motor in a machine shop where mechanical output could be shared by a large number of users. Today, motors have evolved to being lower cost, widely distributed and are usually situated locally to the user.
Computers were once technical, state of the art exotica. Big computers could be quite costly. Therefore, it made economic sense to have just one computer in an air conditioned room where data output could be shared by a large number of users. Today, computers have evolved to being lower cost, widely distributed and are usually situated locally to the user.
I have often heard that history repeats itself.