John Moses Browning's Workshop

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by denton, Apr 9, 2022.

  1. denton

    denton Member

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    The building where Browning did his work still stands in Ogden, and the name is still visible on the outer wall. This is a re-creation of his workshop at the museum a few blocks away. This is stuff that felt the touch of Browning's hands, back in the day.

    I haven't figured out what kind of grinder/mill the machine in the far right corner is. Maybe someone can fill in that information.

    workshop small.jpg
     
  2. SC45-70

    SC45-70 Member

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    Looks like a horizontal milling machine.
    SC45-70
     
  3. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    My guess is that it's a horizontal mill and that shaft on top is to support the outer end of a tool shaft. See above.
     
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  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Looks like a small lathe to the left of the horizontal mill, I'd like to see some better pictures.
     
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  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Everyone should make that pilgrammage. I did when I first moved out to Coloradostan. Spent a night around SLC so I could visit the museum the next day.

    Museum has the Browning Automobile Museum, RR museum and a few other things all for the admission of one ticket.
     
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  6. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    That picture makes me think of Robert Goddard's workshop that is set up at the Roswell, NM museum. It's amazing what was accomplished with the crude compared to today's tools of that time frame. Back then that was cutting edge technology though.
     
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  7. James Fonteneaux

    James Fonteneaux Member

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    They didn't have to update their software or change their passwords every five minutes. Agreed it's very impressive the shoulders we stand on.
     
  8. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    Actually, John did not do much of the machine fabrication, that was handled by his brother Matthew, who shares credit on most of the early patents. The Browning Sporting Goods Store was run by the Browning Brothers, of which John was the eldest, Matthew was the Vice President of the company, George actually handled the day-to-day running of the store, assisted by the younger two brothers Sam and Ed.

    For those that wish to learn more, I suggest "The Guns of John Moses Browing, The Remarkable Story of the Inventor Whose Firearms Changed the World," by Nathan Gorenstein
     
  9. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Very cool, seeing the space and tools used by The Great One. The museum in Raleigh NC has Carbine William's workshop, tools, unfinished projects, etc. on display.
     
  10. denton

    denton Member

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    Ask, and ye shall receive....

    browning machine.jpg
     
  11. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    I read that John could think in 3-dimentional terms of ideas, but needed someone else to create the blueprints for production. What a fantastic mind.
     
  12. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Allegedly, part of JMB's Brilliance was in the imagining of the tolerances, too. Of having an intuitive notion of the where and how much the parts ought "fit" together.

    Things like how a sear and a hammer need a solid lock-up, but not a rigid one that would preclude release.

    He was also a "flexible" thinker, too. Looking at all the changes the War Department wanted in the Automatic Pistol over the decade they wrangled the thing out. The went from two links to one; no grip safety, to having one; even adding the thumb safety was an afterthought. All to make a horse pistol, the backup to a cavalryman's sword and lance.
     
  13. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Yeppers, and the ticket is only $7.00 - pretty cheap for a whole day's worth of entertainment. My wife and I make the trip down to Ogden (it's only about 100 miles south of here) to go to those museums every couple of years.
    As a matter of fact, when I was in grade school my family lived in Clearfield (just south of Ogden) for a while. And I remember the museums being a favorite destination for the 4th and 5th grade "field trips" in the spring.:)
     
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  14. czhen

    czhen Member

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    Thank you, Denton for posting.
    It's the only vacation trip I have on mind lately, after watching a chapter of C&R Othais named an author of
    "The Guns of John Moses Browning: The Remarkable Story of the Inventor Whose Firearms Changed the World" by Nathan Gorenstein.
    Which I strongly recommend to ad to book the collection, it's a must have for JMB fans. Thus, more interest grew on me.
    How he made prototypes with the help of his brother on the shop, based on functional templates.
    Another subject on the book remarks how JMB trust his closest team (brothers and late his son) to manage production, business etc.
    He's modest origins, family issues and how he reacted toward WWII.
    JMB, Mauser and few others are my always lurking material.
     
  15. denton

    denton Member

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    Troy thought that the machine to the left of the large machine might be a lathe, and it is. Here it is from a slightly different angle.

    lathe small.jpg

    I now know what the large machine is. A telephoto lens and a little google-fu provides this insight:

    browne and sharpe number 2.jpg
     
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  16. TRX

    TRX Member

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    That's some equipment, but JMB would have had racks, bins, or drawers full of tooling, probably several milling vises, and all the other "stuff" it takes to make the milling machine do anything useful. That's a lot of stuff, and bulky.

    He would have had a drill press, a grinder or two, and at least one lathe, with its own set of tooling.

    That might be a room he worked in, with some tools he once owned, but it's not even close to being a useful workshop as presented.
     
  17. denton

    denton Member

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    It is a museum, housing tools from Browning's workshop.
     
  18. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    I’d love to jump in a time machine, walk in Brownings workshop, and show him a Glock 17.
     
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  19. czhen

    czhen Member

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    I wouldn't dare to show a glock, I would ask permission to work as assistant or scribe for free. Just learning how to re calculate Rockwell or steel material selection pay itself.
     
  20. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Not at all what I would have imagined... very cool, just looks a lil lean. I would imagine a drill press and a whole whack of files and vices, grinders, punches, etc..... It's cool that those are his actual tools, they just don't look staged the way I would imagine JMB would have them....
     
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