Pattern Maker, Wood Turner, Custom Built Dog and Cat Lathe, c1860
A truly one of a kind 19th century cabinet card. Photographed c1860 somewhere in the United States. This one is as idiosyncratic as it gets. The canvas backdrop indicates a traveling photographer. The turner's hair and garments alwo indicate U.S. Civil War period. Now to the good stuff.
The lathe looks to be a manufactured leather belt driven pattern makers lathe. Very heavy bed frame. This thing must have weighed a ton. What stands out are the head and tail stocks. Look carefully at the photo! I have no doubt these parts were made by the turner as patterns, then cast in the foundry connected to the commercial shop. The Head Stock is a Dog. The Tail Stock is a Cat, notably the adjustment wheel is, shall we say, the Tail, exiting through the cat's rectum.
If only I knew if this lathe still exists, somewhere in a collection of museum. To date I haven't found it.