Victorian Era Toolmaker: George Plant & Son

George Plant & Son, Ltd. (Fl. 1880-1970)

Plant geometric chuck, 1883.

George Plant was firmly rooted in the height of Victorian Era Ornamental Turning. He was especially inspired by William Hartley's geometric chuck and set out to produce one for himself. He went on to create a few geometric chuck designs, making improvements with each iteration.

By 1880, he was advertising all manner of cutting frames, chucks and OT instruments from his location in Birmingham, UK. He is also known to have made rose engine and ornamental turning lathes, a few a which survive today.

Advertisement from Henry Savory book, 1873.

His son Richmond Plant, a highly skilled craftsman, continued the firm into the Machine Age.

Read about the George Plant & Son later years.

Additional details about the Plant Firm can be found in Engine Turning 1680-1980, by Martin Matthews.

If you want a tool to be the centre of all manner of tinkering and mending, or for exercise that is gentle and cheap, or for calling the mind off from anxiety or hard thinking, or for healthful and artistic creations, I know of no instrument to be compared to the Lathe. It is easily kept in order, and the results are so quick, so varied, and so beautiful, that you never get tired of it.

Reverend John Todd (1870)