Eugene Hunt Exhibit
Detailed Engravings with Engine Turning Machines
Th, Fri: 10AM-4PM, Sat: 10AM-2PM
What Will You See at the Exhibit?
The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum showcases Eugene Hunt’s whole job shop. Hunt was an engine turner, taking items like cuff links or lockets and adding special engravings and other designs. After a long and successful career in Attleboro, his family gave us the items you see on display. You’ll find seven of Hunt’s fascinating machines, as well as many of his tools and some of his finished products.
Read More About the Life and Work of Eugene Hunt
Hunt created a wide variety of detailed engravings by hand and through the use of intricate machinery.
Eugene Hunt had a real knack for working with machines. As an engine turner, he created a variety of intricate engravings on cuff links, lockets, tie clasps, cigarette lighters, and larger items such as plates. Hunt completed work for the H.F. Barrows company in North Attleboro—eventually starting his own company in his own backyard in Attleboro.
His business, the Eugene Hunt Machine Turning Company, was successful and his experience of jobbing for larger companies (including Barrows and Tiffany and Co.) was common at the time.
After Hunt passed away in the late 1990s, his family generously gave the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum his whole workshop. Hunt’s family still visits the museum to this day and continues to add items and photos to our collection. In the exhibit, you’ll find documents, designs, tools, and finished products used and produced by Hunt. You’ll also find several machines used in his workshop.
Here is some more information about a couple of the machines you’ll find in the Eugene Hunt Gallery.
Hand Powered Shaper
Shapers operated by moving a hardened cutting tool backwards and forwards across the piece. On the return stroke, the ram of the tool is lifted clear—meaning the cutting action is only in one direction. Today, shapers have been replaced by milling and grinding machines.
Hand-Powered Brocading Machine
Hand-powered brocading machines are used to decorate jewelry items using straight lines. One of the main machines in our exhibit is set up specifically to decorate lockets. Operators would sit at the machine—decorating hundreds or thousands of jewelry pieces using only their muscle power! Another of our brocading machines still works today and adds a radial design to circular pieces of metal.
Fast Fact #26
Did you know? Hand-driven brocading machines use a sharp stylus to create their detailed engravings.
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