Almost certain to have been constructed between the late 1800s and early 1900s,, this interesting triangular-bed lathe by Strubewas manufactured in the Paris district of Montrouge, just 5 Km SSW of the city centre - the brass badge on the bed of the lathe reading: H.Strube & Fils Ingrs. Constructeurs ?Montrouge (Seine) and the serial number N?974. (H.Strube & Son, Engineers) The example below has a centre height of around 3 inches (75 mm) and the capacity between centres of 10 inches (250 mm).
Appearing to be of solid construction - if not quite in the Bench Precision type as exemplified by the American Stark machines - the lathe has a bed that lacks a centrally disposed leadscrew making the lathe a simple plain-turning type, the only longitudinal tool travel being on the long, swivelling top slide. Instead of full-width covers, the top and cross slide feed screws are protected against the ingress of swarf by strips of flat brass - though these are so narrow as to functionally almost useless. A separate carriage is provided, able to be fastened either to the right or left of the slide-rest assembly, and machined to hold a hand T-rest.
Running in plain bearings with twin-bolt caps - and with the end thrust taken by a substantial bearings mounted outboard on a extension cast integrally with the headstock - the spindle carries a narrow 4 step pulley arranged for drive by a round leather "gut" rope. The pulleys are arranged in a slightly unusual way with two set at a small diameter for high speeds and two, very much larger, for low, the arrangement being not unlike that employed on the English EXE 2.5" (though on most other makes the more usual method was to machine these disparate diameters into the drive pulley/flywheel of the treadle stand or foot-motor assembly with which the lathe would have undoubtedly been equipped when new).
Fitted with a solid barrel bored at the front for a tapered centre, the tailstock is of the lever-action type, the lever carrying the maker's name stamped in and obviously original as there is an unnecessary but elegantly proportioned swelling of the width around the pivot hole. Unfortunately locking of the barrel is by a crude, direct acting screw.
Should any reader have a lathe by H. Strube & Fils the writer would be interested to hear from you.