Friday, June 24, 2016

#138) 1950's Machine Shop Tooling Acquired On e-Bay

We continue to get interesting inquires from people who never worked at Librascope. The following email, from a Matthew Helton, is the most recent. My email response to Matt follows his.

Last week, I won an auction for some old machine tooling (KDK Quick Change Toolposts) on eBay. When I received the package today, I noticed the Librascope name was engraved on the quickchange body and one of the tool holders... so I ran a Google search on the name, idly wondering what would come up. I was quite surprised to find out what the name meant.

So, I have a couple of questions to ask, if I might: Just how large was Librascope's machine shop? The tooling I received were fairly old (The KDK nameplate refers to "Lorain 7 2197" in Southgate instead of Area Code 213...which puts the tool holder's vintage somewhere in the 1951-1957 timeframe). Old as these tools are, they do appear to be well cared for and the quickchange body is still tight, some 60 years after it was built. I bought the tools as part of a lot from an outfit in Hesperia, California.

Attached is a photo of the tooling.

Hi Matthew,
Thanks for writing. I started at Librascope in 1958, and the Company was growing rapidly. At that time the machine shop was a very important part of the Company, since it was still producing high-precision electro-mechanical products. That being said, during the 1950’s period, I would guess there were easily 100 workers in the machine shop. Total employment was probably about 10x that number.

Hope that helps,

PS I’ll post this on our Librascope Memories - News Blog, and we’ll see if anyone can tell you more about your interesting find.

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