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Machine Serial Number Registry
Manufacturerd By:
Yates-American Machine Co., Inc.
Beloit, WI; Roscoe, IL; Liberty, NC

Registry Detail
Machine Information
Serial Number: J-170-1260
Machine Type: Lathe
Machine Description: J-170, oval columns
Owner: D.L. Felton
Manufactuer Date:
Notes: Detailed information on the history of J-170 lathes is fairly hard to come by - I think relatively few (a few thousand?) were produced. Many key documents are undated, so it’s not clear when they were first introduced. They have serial numbers, but there is no clear concordance list of those numbers with manufacture dates. There are a number of stylistic changes that can probably be dated, but that too will need more research. One major stylistic change is in the columns under the headstock and bed. Older J-170s are supported by oval columns on cast iron plinths (like this one), while later models had square or rectangular sheet metal bases. A 1958-59 edition of a Yates-American brochure shows a picture of the square-bodied version of the J-170 labeled as "New! 12" Lathe." With that information, I conclude this machine (serial # “J170 1260”) was made sometime prior to 1959. I also suspect it dates to only shortly before the switch to the square steel bodies. This is based on the fact that it has a simple red Yates-American name plate that seems identical to those used on the newer, square-bodied models. This name plate is distinctly different (and way less interesting) than the chrome plated, bass relief badges used on most of the earlier oval bodied J-170s.
Machine Picture
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