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First Milling Machine by Eli Whitney




Defining "Milling" according to the most basic description could be as follows:

Milling is the process of grinding, cutting, pressing, or crushing a material in a special machine.

Milling is the process of cutting away material by feeding a workpiece past a rotating cutter with many teeth

What is Milling used for?

A milling machine is used to shape a product by the use of drilling, cutting, and boring strong, solid materials usually metal through the milling process. This means removing chips of material through a high-speed rotation.

Eli Whitney the same inventor who produced the first "Cotton Gin" is also credited not only with the development of the first Milling Machine in 1818 but is considered, if you will  "The Father of Manufacturing". He developed the concept of "mass production" of interchangeable parts. Parts that could be made by unskilled labor to turn out a product that would be of the same quality of a highly skilled machinist. Armed with a concept only, he took on the massive task of producing 10,00 firearms for our Government within a 2-year period. whitney did not reach that goal, only 500 were ready at the end of the contract, and in fact, it took him 8 years to fulfill his obligation.

Determined not to see his dream die; the inventor produced the first milling machine. The machine literally had an iron wheel with teeth cut into the circumference so that it looked like a gear, the edge of the teeth curved slightly, sharpened, and hardened. As the wheel rotated, each tooth made a steady cut that was identical. Whitney produced his own machinery and finally by 1811 could produce 17,000.00 firearms in a two-year period. The milling machine was born out of necessity to complete Whitney's concept of mass production and in the process advanced America well beyond any other country in manufacturing. Today Mills are a crucial part of the manufacturing industry throughout the world.

sources: Oxford Dictionary, Encyclopedia Britannica, and The Eli Whitney Museum website.

If you need help with your Milling Machine, contact The Werks C&C Inc. we can help you maintain, repair or replace your Milling Machines.