The 1751 Machine that Made Everything


In this video I look at what I consider to be the world’s first modern lathe – Vaucanson’s 1751 all metal lathe.

If you want any of the historical photos I’m happy to share. They are all from the Library of Congress with edits to make them more attractive.



  1. Chùnsiâng


  2. David Gulley

    I honestly expected to see pages of comments on this video. It makes me sad to see that is not the case. Anyway, I agree with you that this machine has completely changed our lives, our world, and our future.

    As a historian and educator, I am often faced with the task of determining what to teach my students so they will understand our journey through time, with all its seemingly minor and inconsequential events, and be able to succeed on college entrance exams. (Unfortunately the two are, at best, only loosely connected.). I have watched several of your videos and appreciate the unique way you approach the subjects. Thanks for doing such an excellent job uncovering a machine that nearly all history books ignore, even though it was a major contributor to the industrial revolution and our modern way of life. In my opinion, Vaucanson’s impact on the industrial revolution is the equivalent of the Steve Jobs’ impact on communications. Keep up the great work!

  3. Pingback: The 1751 machine that made everything – #Logic Wins

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *