Brown, Joseph Rogers

Brown, Joseph Rogers
b. 26 January 1810 Warren, Rhode Island, USA
d. 23 July 1876 Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire, USA
American machine-tool builder and co-founder of Brown \& Sharpe.
Joseph Rogers Brown was the eldest son of David Brown, who was modestly established as a maker of and dealer in clocks and watches. Joseph assisted his father during school vacations and at the age of 17 left to obtain training as a machinist. In 1829 he joined his father in the manufacture of tower clocks at Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and two years later went into business for himself in Pawtucket making lathes and small tools. In 1833 he rejoined his father in Providence, Rhode Island, as a partner in the manufacture of docks, watches and surveying and mathematical instruments. David Brown retired in 1841.
J.R.Brown invented and built in 1850 a linear dividing engine which was the first automatic machine for graduating rules in the United States. In 1851 he brought out the vernier calliper, the first application of a vernier scale in a workshop measuring tool. Lucian Sharpe was taken into partnership in 1853 and the firm became J.R.Brown \& Sharpe; in 1868 the firm was incorporated as the Brown \& Sharpe Manufacturing Company.
In 1855 Brown invented a precision gear-cutting machine to make clock gears. The firm obtained in 1861 a contract to make Wilcox \& Gibbs sewing machines and gave up the manufacture of clocks. At about this time F.W. Howe of the Providence Tool Company arranged for Brown \& Sharpe to make a turret lathe required for the manufacture of muskets. This was basically Howe's design, but Brown added a few features, and it was the first machine tool built for sale by the Brown \& Sharpe Company. It was followed in 1862 by the universal milling machine invented by Brown initially for making twist drills. Particularly for cutting gear teeth, Brown invented in 1864 a formed milling cutter which could be sharpened without changing its profile. In 1867 the need for an instrument for checking the thickness of sheet material became apparent, and in August of that year J.R.Brown and L.Sharpe visited the Paris Exhibition and saw a micrometer calliper invented by Jean Laurent Palmer in 1848. They recognized its possibilities and with a few developments marketed it as a convenient, hand-held measuring instrument. Grinding lathes were made by Brown \& Sharpe in the early 1860s, and from 1868 a universal grinding machine was developed, with the first one being completed in 1876. The patent for this machine was granted after Brown's sudden death while on holiday.
Further Reading
J.W.Roe, 1916, English and American Tool Builders, New Haven: Yale University Press; repub. 1926, New York and 1987, Bradley, Ill.: Lindsay Publications Inc. (further details of Brown \& Sharpe Company and their products).
R.S.Woodbury, 1958, History of the Gear-Cutting Machine, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press ——, 1959, History of the Grinding Machine, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
——, 1960, History of the Milling Machine, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Brown, Joseph Rogers — born Jan. 26, 1810, Warren, R.I., U.S. died July 23, 1876, Isles of Shoals, N.H. U.S. inventor and manufacturer. He perfected and produced a highly accurate linear dividing engine in 1850, and then developed a vernier caliper and also applied… …   Universalium

  • Brown, Joseph Rogers — (26 ene. 1810, Warren, R.I., EE.UU.–23 jul. 1876, islas de Shoals, N.H.). Inventor y fabricante estadounidense. Perfeccionó y produjo una máquina de graduación lineal muy precisa en 1850, y luego desarrolló un calibrador nonio, aplicando… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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