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From Gears to Golf in scintillating Kodachrome! This promotional film by the Fellows Gear Shaper Company in Springfield Vermont has stunningly photographed footage of the processes and machinery for gear fabrication, and seems to have been intended as part sales pitch for machinery and part Rotary Club promo for Springfield. The age of the film is approximated by the new '64 Cadillac driving through one shot, but otherwise is undated. This reel was transferred from my own 16mm archive print using my Eiki Telecine. The Eiki projects a 24fps print at 30 frames per second for a flickerless NTSC transfer. A special diffusion plate eliminates the 'hot spot' of the projector, and the sound is pulled right from the optical track.
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13 thoughts on “Gear manufacturing: the precision line (1964)”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars otakujhp says:

    Wow, small world. My father retired from Fellows, and his brother retired from Bryant Grinder. I'm also related to the Cone family on my mother's side, with Cone Automatic Machine founder Frank Lyman Cone being my great, great grandfather.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars tvtoms says:

    Really great film! The sales pitch for Springfield is pretty fun too. The old boy wink wink nudge nudge bit was groan worthy. I wonder if that plant was ever run by East coast mega super villain, Scorpio?

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Samsung Television says:

    Longtime lurker never comment but love this video. Sure hope civilization doesn’t have to claw its way through this phase again after a fall. Under appreciated part of the “tech tree”

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars terrypussypower says:

    My uncle was a turner and I had the offer of an apprenticeship with his company and turned it down (no pun intended) to go to University! Wish I’d taken him up on his offer.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tamashii M. H. says:

    This video is awesome, I know that these promotional videos are created to swoon prospective clients and contractors, but the amount of detail in their processes is incredible, and I love how proud were they back then to be licensors of technologies by other companies. Also, loved that small detail about golf and skiing in the end.
    Keep them coming Fran and thanks for digitizing these little unknown gems!
    EDIT: It has been mentioned in other comments, but I find it amazing that some of the Fellows machines (some of the more modern ones) are still being sold and some even remanufactured by Bourn & Koch to this day!

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Abbott says:

    I just did a quick search to check on the status of Fellows. The company was bought by Bourn & Koch, Inc in 2002, and production was moved to Rockford, Illinois. New gear shapers are still being made under the Fellows brand, and Bourn & Koch, Inc also remanufactures older Fellows units, including bringing them under CNC control. The new units look drastically different, but the company does have a remanufactured unit for sale that seems to be of similar vintage to the units in this video.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Les Maybury says:

    This for me is fantastic having worked on gears for a time in my engineering career. First as an Apprentice, gear shaping (we had Fellows machines) , hobing and shaving. Then I worked for a tool company in Basingstoke, Hampshire during tye 1970s that made gear hobs and shaving cutters. I worked as an Inspector.
    Now retired my gear cutting is limited to odd jobs of small spur gears cut in my garage on a bench mill using a dividing head and straight involute form cutters.
    Most stuff is Mod gears (module, metric) but I can cut DP (imperial) if necessary it's only the maths and cutter that changes.
    Many thanks Fran, this great stuff for an old Brit bloke 😂😂😂.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars R Reese says:

    I felt compelled to look up the story of company founder Edward R. Fellows, and it's pretty interesting – at least I thought it was. It's definitely worth looking up. The Fellows Gear Shaping Company may be gone – thanks to a series of corporate acquisitions that began in the 70s through the early 2000s – but the Fellows brand and product line continues to live and thrive under the ownership of Bourn & Koch of Rockford, IL, since 2002. Thanks Again for the great film, Fran. <3

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars VideoMem says:

    My grandfather had an early version of these fellows's gear cutting machines on his shop. (The vertical alternating cutter/shaper version, made on Springfield)
    I remember the smell of the cutting oil.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Murray Pearson says:

    I'm a metal lathe operator, but in the same shop I work is a business that rents out hobs. I have often wondered how exactly they were used, as I sat by their stock-shelf eating lunch; and now I know. Those are seriously impressive machines!

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Evan A says:

    How are you digitizing your films, very well done 🙂
    Machining like this is definitely an art in to put it lightly, AVE might like this one.
    And how the host of the video talks with such confidants with which technical terms not stop !

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Catman FS says:

    Aha! I love old machine tools! You don't have anything about ~40's era South Bend Lathes do you? Or Perhaps Bridgeport mills? ANYTHING about manual machining is super interesting as there just aren't many sources of the kind of process and the ways they used to do things on these old machines. Kind of a lost art, modern automated stuff is SO boring.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Keri Szafir says:

    Awesome movie, both the video and audio quality is excellent. I bet it hasn't been played too many times. It covers an interesting aspect of mechanical engineering too – to someone unintroduced like me, it's all so complicated, but at the same time the basic principle of operation is quite simple. Devil is in the details, like always :).

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