Information Age Turner: Alan Bugbee

Alan Bugbee (1927-2019)


Alan Bugbee was introduced to ornamental turning by none other than the venerable Frank M. Knox (pioneer of ornamental turning in America). He met Knox while working in New York and, through Knox, got his first exposure to ornamental turning. Alan's interest in OT blossomed and he was first in line to get a Lawler lathe, serial number 2.

Over the following years Alan served a long term as Treasurer for OTI and he was always a devoted ambassador for OT wherever he went. Besides Ornamental Turners International, he was a member of the New England Model Engineers Society, the International Wood Collectors Society and the Cruiser Sailor's Association. He is known to have collected over 4,000 samples of rare woods from all over the world. His genial nature and contagious enthusiasm won him many friends.

It is sad to think that a group supposedly interested in the history of these fine machine tools would knowingly take part in artificially driving up the price to the point where even senior fellows in the field of O.T. can no longer afford to acquire the tools of their beloved calling, putting them in a terrible bind. Unfortunately narrow profit seekers, who know next to nothing of the history, traditions, and quality associated with Holtzapffel lathes, continue to menace the future of O.T.

Warren Green Ogden, Jr., from "Notes on the History and Provenance of Holtzapffel Lathes" (1987)

Toolmakers of the Information Age
  • Walter Balliet
  • Ray Lawler
  • Paul Cler
  • Fred Armbruster
  • Al Collins
  • Lindow-White
Exhibitions in the Information Age