My Ideal lathe
My Old Iron
Old Machine Pic's
Fenn Ornamental Turning Lathe
This is going to be a very brief outline as there are many places on the internet that will explain this far better than I can, but as an outline here goes.
A quote taken from somewhere else " Joseph Fenn was another Holtzapffel employee who left the firm to start his own toolmaking company. The Reverend G. A. Grace, a member of the Society of Ornamental Turners, reported, "I have a very nice Fenn lathe, the workmanship of which is in every way of the Holtzapffel standard."
I cant be completely sure of what came first here as an advert from an old book of mine from 1880 gives a starting date for Fenn as a company as 1665 which would be prior to the beginning of Ornamental lathes as made by Holtzapffel.
But it is with a fair degree of certainty that Fenn like a few others, was an ex disciple of Holtzapffel, what perplexes me is the manner in which all these competitors used each others ideas and perhaps patents with total immunity. Something that today would cause major legal cases.
Below is an extract of a history of the Fenn family from an old SOT bulletin, note it doesnt cover the first 46 years until the birth of Daniel, which would most likely be two missing generations.
Daniel Fenn, Samuel Fenn, & Joseph Fenn
1711 Possible date of birth of Daniel Fenn
1725 Dec 6. Daniel apprenticed to Henry Thornton.
1737 Daniel - Fellow of the Clockmakers Co.
1742 Oxford Arms Passage, Warwick Lane (Daniel).
1753 Newgate Street, Daniel
1763 Newgate Street. Seller of watchmakers tools & materials,
junior warden of Clockmakers Co.
1766 Daniel - Master of Clockmakers Co.
1767 Samuel Fenn admitted to Clockmakers Co, son of Daniel.
1771 Daniel Fenn & Sons, 105 Newgate Street,London, watchmakers
and dealers in watch tools. Note plural "Sons".
1780 Daniel & Samuel Fenn, 105 Newgate Street Watchmaker and
dealers in watch tools.
1791 Daniel Fenn, Master of clockmakers Co (age about 80)
1793-4 Samuel, Master of C.C. thru chairs from 1790 son of Daniel.?
1805 Samuel Fenn 105 Newgate Street, watch & tool mfgr.
1821 Probable year Samuel died, Uncle to Joseph, and son of
celebrated tool maker Daniel.
1842 Joseph Fenn, 105 Newgate Street, mechanical tool & file mfgr
grandson of Daniel, nephew of Samuel.
1843-4 Joseph Fenn, Master Clockmakers Co.
1860-64 Joseph Fenn again went thru all chairs to Master of Clockmakers Co.
1870 Joseph Fenn 105-106 Newgate Street.
1873 Joseph Fenn 105-106 Newgate Street. (At least 120 years at this address)
1874 Fenn & Co, 10 Railway Approach.
My Fenn has been dated very approximetely between 1840 and 1870, whichever is the case we will most likely never know, but like G. A.Grace I think this machine is beautifully made and it is very fortunate to have survived. It has been through quite a few battles in the past and has now won a place in history never to be abused again.