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      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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      Rossbacher Lathes


      Based at 1516 Fernwood Avenue, Toledo, Ohio, the Rossbacher Machine Company manufactured a range of wood and metal-working machines including band,  jig and cut-off saws and drill presses. Advertised between 1928 and 1931, three metal-turning lathes were offered including a 9-inch swing by 18 inches between centres screwcutting model with what appears to have been a simple, reversible gearbox on the leadscrew. The lathe, listed at $55 in 1930, seems to have been bereft of backgear, lacked a swivelling tool slide and, with its splayed bed feet and an open casting beneath the spindle of its tailstock, was of obviously light construction. A second screwcutting lathe, at just $30, was also available, this appearing to have been made in two versions, one with just a plain cross slide the other - more usefully - carrying a swivelling top slide.
      As making wood-turning versions of these lathes would have been a simple job, it's likely that they too would have been offered.
      1929 to the mid-1930s was a time of economic depression and it seems likely that Rossbacher either did not survive beyond 1931 - or ceased lathe production when faced with competition from the mass-produced, more complete and hardly more expensive 9-inch model from Atlas and "Craftsman" that came on to the market in 1932.
      Rossbacher were not the only maker of lathes in Toledo, the Toledo Machine & Tool Company made a range of large industrial models while an assortment of other much smaller concerns (rather like Sheffield in England) all offered a range of wood and metal-working machinery intended for amateur or light professional use. The Watson Mfg. Co. listed (possibly amongst others) the neat but plain-turning Baby Grand; AR-Con Tool Co. of 500 Fassett Road produced the multi-function wood-working "Utilitool"  and the Sypher Manufacturing Company (later merged in 1930 with AR-Con as Syper-Arcon) a range of simple, plain-tuning models able to be fitted with a range of accessories including a jig saw and saw bench. Born in Toledo, in 1877, was Mr. Walter C. Guilder, designer and manufacturer of the interesting multi-function Guilder "Model Builder".
      Do any Rossbacher lathes survive? As it's likely that no maker's mark or badges were attached some may exist unrecognised by their owners. If you have such an example - or advertising literature from the company, the writer would be interested to hear from you..



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