University of Texas
Physics Department Workshop Upgrade 1898



William T. Mather wrote the report below.


Physics Department Workshop Upgrade 1898
Report of the School of Physics, University of Texas
The Physical Workshop

“The rapid development of laboratory methods of instruction in the natural sciences, has rendered it imperative that every institution should possess a well equipped workshop for the construction and repair of the large amount of apparatus required.

Recognizing this necessity, it was determined by the Regents to establish such a workshop in connection with the School of Physics, for the use also, of the other schools of science. During the summer of 1897, a beginning was made, a few tools being purchased and a competent mechanic being engaged. The large room on the north side of the west wing basement was set aside for this purpose. The equipment, however, proved quite inadequate to the demands made upon it, and early in 1898 additional appropriation were made for its extension, these being further increased by a gift of one thousand dollars from Regent George W. Brackenridge, of San Antonio.

Owing to the character of the work demanded, it was decided to purchase tools of the highest grade only, and to carry out the details of equipment and arrangement as far as possible on the lines of a model workshop. At present there are in daily use the following machines:

14” Hendey-Norton lathe complete with all attachments
No. 0 Waltham milling machine, specially designed for the University.
15” Hendey shaper.
Challenge wet and dry emery grinder.
13” Dwight Slate sensitive drill.
7” Stark watchmaker’s lathe with numerous attachments
Two polishing lathes with a large amount of polishing supplies.
12” Egan wood turning lathe.
Colburn patent saw bench with cross-cut and rip saws and all attachments.
Hall and Brown buzz planer
The above tools are driven by a 5 HP. Westinghouse motor through the medium of lines of shafting arranged to cause as little noise and vibration as possible.

In addition there is a very complete line of the most modern machinist’s and carpenter’s tools, arranged in artistic cases, with the usual workbenches, etc. A large amount of supplies of various kinds in also kept on hand in order that work may be handled in the most economical and rapid manner. “
Written by Associate Professor of Physics William Tyler Mather 1898. Published in The University of Texas Bulletin.

The photo below shows this shop and machinist Louis Gruber in 1932, a number of these tools are likely in the photo. Note the overhead belt drive system alluded to in the report. For illustrations of the equipment purchase see pictures below Gruber photo.

Physics Workshop Photo and Document Album

The photo below shows the shop and machinist Louis Gruber in 1932, a number of these tools listed in the report above are likely in the photo. Note the overhead belt drive system alluded to in the report. For illustrations of the equipment purchase see pictures below.
Hendey-Norton Lathe
Waltham Milling Machine
Hendey Shaper

Challenge Wet and Dry Grinder

A machine designed for both wet tool grinding and rough dry grinding recently has been developed by the Challenge Machine Co., Philadelphia. It has a single spindle supported by a heavy cast iron pedestal, the two wheels being carried on the ends of the spindle in the usual manner, as shown in the accompanying illustration. The water is carried in a pan which may be removed permitting the use of a plain wheel in place of the wet wheel. The supply of water is controlled by a foot treadle. A light pressure on the treadle raises the front end of the pan, bringing the surface of the wheel in contact with the water. The water carried up by the wheel is returned to the pan through the open bottom ol the apron. The guard for the dry wheel is made up of channel steel forged to shape. It is open underneath the wheel and the upper member may be easily removed to permit grinding on top of the wheel. The guard may be adjusted vertically and horizontally close to the wheel. The eye shield is detachable and is fitted with a wire glass screen. From "The Foundry" January 1915, p. 39

Dwight Slate Sensitive Drill

Stark Watchmaker’s Lathe
Egan Wood Turning Lathe
Colburn Patent Saw Bench
Hall and Brown Buzz Planer


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