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Encyclopedia > American system of manufacturing

The American system of manufacturing involves semi-skilled labor using machine tools and templates (or jigs) to make standardized, identical, interchangeable parts, manufactured to a tolerance. The system is also known as the armory practice because of the history of its development by the United States Department of War in the Springfield and Harper's Ferry armories [1] Manufacturing (from Latin manu factura, making by hand) is the use of tools and labor to make things for use or sale. ... A machine tool is a powered mechanical device, typically used to fabricate metal components of machines by machining, which is the selective removal of metal. ... For other uses, see Stencil (disambiguation). ... The word jig may have different meanings: A jig is a type of folk dance. ... Interchangeable parts are components of any device designed to specifications which insure that they will fit within any device of the same type. ... Tolerance in Final Fantasy is an allowance, given as a permissible range, in the nominal dimension or value specification of a manufactured object. ... Line drawing of the Department of Wars seal. ... This is an article about the US Government Arsenal. ... Harpers Ferry is the name of several places in the United States of America: Harpers Ferry, Iowa Harpers Ferry, West Virginia There was also John Browns raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia as well as a Battle of Harpers Ferry in the American Civil War. ...


Since parts are interchangeable, it is also possible to separate manufacture from assembly, and assembly may be carried out by semi-skilled labor on an assembly line - an example of the division of labor. The system typically involves substituting specialized machinery to replace hand tools. Modern car assembly line. ... Division of labour is the breakdown of labour into specific, circumscribed tasks for maximum efficiency of output in the context of manufacturing. ...

Contents

History

In the late 18th century, French General Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval suggested that muskets could be manufactured faster and more economically if they were made from interchangeable parts. This system would also make field repairs easier to carry out under battle conditions. He provided patronage to Honoré Blanc, who attempted to implement the Système Gribeauval, but never succeeded [1]. Until then, under the English System of Manufacturing, skilled machinists were required to produce parts from a design. But however skilled the machinist, parts were never identical, and each part had to be manufactured separately to fit its counterpart—almost always by one person who produced each completed item from start to finish. Lieutenant General Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval (15 September 1715 - 9 May 1789) was a French artillery officer and engineer who introduced various technical improvements to French cannon, providing them with an advantage during the early years of the Napoleonic wars. ... Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk. ... Honoré Blanc was a French gunsmith and a pioneer of the use interchangeable parts. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The Lowell system is also related to the American system during this time.


Gribeauval's idea was conveyed to the United States by two routes. First, Blanc's friend Thomas Jefferson championed it, sending copies of Blanc's memoirs and papers describing his work to Secretary of War Henry Knox. Second, an artillery officer named Louis de Tousard who served with Lafayette was an enthusiast of Gribeauval's ideas. Tousard wrote two influential documents after the American Revolution; one was used as the blueprint for West Point, and the other became the officer's training manual [1]. Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... The Secretary of War was a member of the United States Presidents Cabinet, beginning with George Washingtons administration. ... Henry Knox (July 25, 1750 – October 25, 1806) was an American bookseller from Boston who became the chief artillery officer of the Continental Army and later the nations first Secretary of War. ... Lafayette, LaFayette, or La Fayette may refer to: // General Lafayette (initially Marquis de Lafayette until June 1790 when he abolished and permanently renounced nobility title), French general and revolutionary Marie-Madeleine Pioche de la Vergne, comtesse de la Fayette (Madame de Lafayette), French author James Lafayette was the pseudonym of... John Trumbulls Declaration of Independence, showing the five-man committee in charge of drafting the Declaration in 1776 as it presents its work to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia The American Revolution refers to the period during the last half of the 18th century in which the Thirteen... Alternate meanings: West Point (disambiguation). ...


The War Department, which included officers trained at West Point on Tousard's manual, established the armories at Springfield and Harper's Ferry and tasked them with solving the problem of interchangeability. The task was finally accomplished in the 1820s. Historian David A. Hounshell believes that this was done by by Captain John H. Hall, an inside contractor at Harper's Ferry[1]. But historian Diana Muir argues that it is more probable that it was Simeon North, a Connecticut arms contractor manufacturing guns for the U. S. Army. North, not Hall, was the inventor of the crucial milling machine, and had an advantage over Hall in that he worked closely with the first industry that mass-produced complex machines from mass-produced interchangeable parts, the Connecticut clock-making industry.[2] This is an article about the US Government Arsenal. ... Harpers Ferry is the name of several places in the United States of America: Harpers Ferry, Iowa Harpers Ferry, West Virginia There was also John Browns raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia as well as a Battle of Harpers Ferry in the American Civil War. ... David A. Hounshell is the David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change in the Department of History, Engineering and Public Policy program at Carnegie Mellon University. ... John H. Hall was born in 1781 in Portland, Maine. ... Inside contracting is the practice of hiring contractors who work inside the proprietors factory. ... Simeon North (1763 - 1852) was a Middletown, Connecticut gun manufacturer, who developed Americas first milling machine in 1818. ... Endmills for a milling machine. ... Interchangeable parts are components of any device designed to specifications which insure that they will fit within any device of the same type. ...


Eli Whitney is generally credited with the idea and the practical application, but both are incorrect attributions. Based on his reputation as the inventor of the cotton gin, the U.S. government gave him a contract in 1798 for 10,000 muskets to be produced within two years. It actually took eight years to deliver the order, as Whitney perfected and developed new techniques and machines, but he did go on to produce a further 15,000 muskets within the following two years. Whitney never actually expressed any interest in interchangeability until 1800, when he was exposed to the memoirs of Blanc by Treasury Secretary Wolcott [1], but he spent far more time and energy promoting the idea than developing it. For other uses, see Eli Whitney (disambiguation). ... A cotton gin on display at the Eli Whitney Museum. ... The United States Secretary of the Treasury is the finance minister of the Federal Government of the United States. ... Oliver Wolcott Jr. ...


The idea migrated from the armories to industry as machinists trained in the armory system were hired by other manufacturers. Manufacturers thus influenced included American clockmakers, the Singer Corporation sewing machine manufacturer, and McCormick Harvesting Machine Company [1]. A clockmaker is an artisan who makes and repairs clocks. ... A Singer treadle sewing machine Singer Corporation is a United States of America manufacturer of sewing machines, first established as I.M. Singer & Co. ... Cyrus Hall McCormick, Sr. ...


Pre-Industrial Revolution

The idea of interchangeable parts and the separate assembly line was not new, though it was little used. The idea was first developed in Venice several hundred years earlier, where ships were produced using pre-manufactured parts, assembly lines, and mass production. The Venice Arsenal apparently produced nearly one ship every day, in what was effectively the world's first factory. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... For other uses, see Venice (disambiguation). ... Modern car assembly line. ... Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardised products on production lines. ... The Porta Magna at the Venetian Arsenal The Venetian Arsenal (Italian: Arsenale di Venezia) is a shipyard and naval depot that played a leading role in Venetian empire-building. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


See also

Manufacturing (from Latin manu factura, making by hand) is the use of tools and labor to make things for use or sale. ... Aaron Lufkin Dennison was inspired by the manufacturing techniques of the United States Armory at Springfield, Mass. ... For other uses, see Eli Whitney (disambiguation). ... Inside contracting is the practice of hiring contractors who work inside the proprietors factory. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Hounshell, David A. From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984. ISBN 0-8018-3158-X
  2. ^ Diana Muir, Reflections in Bullough's Pond, University Press of New England.
David A. Hounshell is the David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change in the Department of History, Engineering and Public Policy program at Carnegie Mellon University. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
American system of manufacturing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (471 words)
The American system of manufacturing, developed by Eli Whitney in 1799, involves semi-skilled labour using machine tools and templates (or jigs) to make standardized, identical, interchangeable parts, manufactured to a tolerance.
Since parts are interchangeable, it is also possible to separate manufacture from assembly, and assembly may be carried out by semi-skilled labour on an assembly line - an example of the division of labour.
In fact, the concepts of the American System originated in France, and were first proposed for the production of guns by Honoré le Blanc in the mid 18th century.
American System of Watch Manufacturing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (272 words)
Aaron Lufkin Dennison was inspired by the manufacturing techniques of the United States Armory at Springfield, Mass.
It meant that everything was made on the premises, not according to the plans of ideas or methods of work of individual workmen, but under the direct supervision of a company's foreman, according to gauges the company furnished, under conditions of time, cleanliness and care which the company prescribed.
There was probably no greater industrial challenge, no line of manufacturing in the world demanding such a high grade of business and mechanical ability, and such unremitting care and oversight, combined with technical skill and individual dexterity and judgment as is indispensable in systematic watch making.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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