Blanchard, Thomas

Blanchard, Thomas

(1788–1864) inventor; born in Sutton, Mass. A clever tinkerer from early age, he devised an automatic tack-making machine and a lathe for turning gun barrels. Working at the U.S. Arsenal in Springfield, Mass., in 1818 he built a lathe that could automatically produce precision interchangeable parts—an essential step in the direction of mass production. He later designed a steam automobile (1825) and several types of steamboats.
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TEAM, above right: Alex Vickers, Thomas Blanchard, Thomas Smith, Curtis Johnson, Craig Duckling, Keaton Sturdy, Joe Charlton and George Brown.
Also present for the ceremony were Selectmen Mary Blanchard, Thomas R.