James Nasmyth

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Nasmyth, James


Born Aug. 19, 1808, in Edinburgh; died May 7, 1890, in London. English machine builder.

Nasmyth received a classical school education; from 1829 to 1831 he studied under H. Maudslay. He established his own machine-building enterprise in Manchester (beginning in 1834). In 1839 he designed a steam hammer, for which he received a patent in 1842. He built shaping and milling machines for work on the side planes of nuts. In 1843 he traveled to St. Petersburg; he later supplied steam hammers and machine tools to Russia. He published a treatise in which he drew conclusions from his experience in designing metalworking machines (1841).

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You can also see 'lunar' photographs made by Scottish astronomer James Nasmyth in the 1870s when, undaunted by the fact that photography was not yet advanced enough to do the job, he made plaster models of the moon as he envisaged it and took photos of them.
Early japanned tinware's forms were limited by handwork, but after 1842, when James Nasmyth adapted the steam hammer, presses operated with a precision previously unknown to tinplate workers.
James Nasmyth, the 19th century engineer who invented the steam hammer, wrote: "The eyes and fingers are the two principal trustworthy inlets to trustworthy knowledge in all the materials and operations which the engineer has to deal with .
In 1870, Secchi presented drawings which remain respectable by today's standards and which far surpassed the illustrations which had made James Nasmyth famous only a few years before (see drawings reproduced in [13]).