Victorian Era Turner: Henry Stiles Savory

Rev. Henry Stiles Savory (1824-1877)

Savory's geometric design from his book Geometric Turning 1873

Reverend Savory lived at Cameley Rectory, Temple Cloud Bristol, UK. He first became interested in geometric turning after seeing a book written by William Henry Northcott (presumably A Treatise on Lathes and Turning.) After some deliberation he decided to purchase a geometric chuck from George Plant. He describes watching Plant use the chuck for a few hours at which point he began his own self-study.

Clearly, a considerable part of his pasttime was spent creating patterns for his book, published in 1873, entitled: Geometric Turning; comprising a description of the new Geometric Chuck constructed bv Mr. George Plant of Nelson Street, Birmingham; with - directions for its use and a series of patterns cut with it, with explanations of the mode of producing them and an account of a new process of deep cutting and of graving on copper.

Savory's geometric chuck made by George Plant

At the beginning of the book, Savory provides ample instruction on the proper use of a geometric chuck, followed by 570 patterns and the recipe for each detailed in an orderly table. The frontispiece of the book is a detailed engraving depicting a three-part geometric chuck made by George Plant (although the design draws largely from the William Hartley version).

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)