Back-geared slide lathe, 1817.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This lathe, built by Richard Roberts (1789-1864) has a self-acting saddle which slides directly upon the lathe bed, and is able to traverse its whole length. It also has a compact form of back gear, giving increased range of speed, which was probably originated by Roberts. Roberts, a Welsh engineer, invented many machines including a power loom and a self acting spinning mule as well as making improvements to Henry Maudslay's (1771-1831) screw-cutting lathe.