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Pratt's Spring-less "Star" Chuck by Millers Falls Company

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The earliest available Millers Falls Company catalog from 1878 suggests that Pratt's Star Chuck is the first patented chuck used on hand drills made by the company.  There is no record or example of a chuck on Millers Falls drills that precedes this chuck.  Even the earliest Millers Falls drills are equipped with Star chuck.

This chuck was designed and patented by Henry L. Pratt.  The patent was issued on August 14, 1877 with number 194,109.

"Be it known that I, Henry L. Pratt, of Brooklyn, Kings County, state of New York, have invented a certain Improvement in Drill-Chucks, of which the following is a specification."   Full Patent

 


It is worth of notice the expediency with which chuck was announced in the 1878 catalog, immediately after the patent was registered at the end of 1877.

The catalog from 1878 shows this chuck being sold separately as Chuck No. 1 and No. 2, as well as installed on  hand drills No. 1 and No. 2.

The chuck is described as: 

"These Chucks are simple in construction, strong and durable, and are warranted to hold the Morse Twist Drills firmly without danger of breaking.  The shanks (or Mandrels) are centered so they can easily be fitted to any lathe desired.  The cut below represents No. 1 full size (except in length of Shank).

  • No. 1, with Shank 1/2 inch in diameter and 2 inches long, hold Drills from 1/64 to 1/8 inch.
    Price, $1.25 each.

  • No. 2, with Shank 5/8 inch in diameter and 3 1/2 inches long, holds Drills from 1/32 to 1/4 inch.
    Price, $2.00 each."


1878 Catalog - Image of the Star Chuck.

Pratt's chuck was also successfully used on many hand drills produced by Millers Falls Company.

The 1878 catalog shows a No. 1 hand drill with installed Pratt's chuck.

The drill description provides the following specifications for the chuck: "The jaws are of forged steel and will hold perfectly any size drills named above.  They are the only Drill Chucks in use which will hold such a variety of Morse Twist Drills."


 
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