||Millers Falls made many varieties of bevel-geared drills based on the No.1, which was their earliest known design. The series described on this page include the No.1, No.3 (my designation) and No.5. Also shown jumbled in the background are a number of clones and spinoff designs. At the far right is a lonely No.2 w. LRRCW whose type study is treated separately. It's a great user.|
||Here are two drills in my collection that may predate the No.1 that is in my earliest Millers Falls catalog. The upper drill below is a Whitney's Patent;the drill below it is unmarked, manufacturer unknown. I now am certain that the lower drill was indeed manufactured, because I have five of them - all nearly identical.|
||The early Millers Falls catalogs eventually provided a basis for attributing the designs of these drills. At left is the earliest documented type of the No.1 drill, readily identified by the circumferential lines incised into the main handle and its screw cap. Fifth from left is the first major variant in the design of the No.1, a longer hollow main handle, needed to accommodate the new, spiral-fluted twist drills. The earliest eggbeater drills were used with first, diamond-pointed bits with a common shaft diameter that fit a collet chuck, and later, straight-fluted bits, the earliest of which also required a collet chuck. Later straight-fluted bits were made with shanks the same size as the drilling diameter, necessitating chucks with wider ranges than collets provided. The Jacobs chuck appeared abruptly in 1902 in its fully developed form and found its way (as a demonstration piece ?) onto the fourth drill from the left. Actually, the geared chuck was invented by others; Jacobs merely figured out how to obtain a near-perfect fit between the two halves of the driven gear by fracturing the gear before tempering it. The fracture surfaces fit together only one way, so the two halves go back together inside the shell of the chuck without causing a "hitch" at the pairs of teeth that bridge the fracture plane. Note that the fifth drill from the left has a longer crank, also necessitated by the new twist drill bits and by the larger capacity chuck (missing in this example). These early No.1 drills came with the two-jaw, springless chuck patented on August 14, 1877.|
||With the introduction of the three-jaw, springless chuck (patented September 20, 1896) Millers Falls redesigned the No.1 drill as shown in the series below. The Star pattern, protected-spring chuck was patented on October 23, 1900, but it would appear that this new pattern was not applied to the No.1 drills until well after the 1896 patent had run its course; the last two drills on the right below bear this long-bodied chuck. Only some of the shorter bodied chucks below have the patent information stamped on the chuck shell. After the patent had expired, there was no longer any need. With the expiration of the 1896 patent, Millers Falls started stamping the cranks of these drills with the company name and logo. Before that, the drills were marked only on the chucks.|
||In the earliest Millers Falls catalogs, the No.1 drill could be purchased with either a single drive pinion or with two pinions, one acting to help keep the main gears in mesh. I have termed the two-pinion No.1's the earliest No.3's in this type study. These early No.3 drills also underwent a change in handle and crank length with the advent of the twist drill bit as shown below. I do not know of a physical example of the earliest, circumferentially scribed handle on a No.3 model drill, except that I do have a reprint of an early Jackson & Tyler catalog dated 1880 that shows a drill in exactly that configuration.|
|Early on, Millers Falls made a line of eggbeater drills for limited applications, namely, (1) Hobbyists who were part of the scroll saw craze making puzzles and fretwork; and (2) Manual training students in public schools who presumably couldn't be trusted with bigger and more powerful drills like the No.'s 1, 2, 3 & 5. These drills never graduated beyond cast-to-shape main gear teeth and chucks intended for small bits only, having capacities no larger than about 1/16th inch.|
||Here are three examples
of the early No.5 model, with the
earliest known Type 4 No.5 at left, below. This drill was found
at the New
Egypt flea market in New Jersey; it wasn't recognized until its
image was found in an
undated Montgomery & Company hardware catalog, printed about 1900,
mixed in amongst some Goodell-Pratt models. The two drills at right
(Type 10 at
far right, Type 6 in the center) were the first two dedicated No.5
types that had their own frame design.
Eventually the No.5 model replaced the cast iron frame No.3 model, which was transformed into a wrought-steel-frame design that is not covered in this type study but is shown in a page linked on the last line of the table below.
|No.1 - The earliest No.1 had no support for the main gear, other than the good fit between the gear wheel and the shaft upon which it rotated. Except for the new models which sprang from the No.1's plain design, the only significant change in the design of the No.1 was the addition of a screw-adjusting wiper at the rear of the main gear that bears on a flat shoulder made integral with the gear. This was done at about the same time as the No.2 Millers Falls eggbeater drill (the subject of another type study on this website) sprouted a small, flanged roller that bears on the outside rim of the main gear. The No.2's "Little Rail Road Car Wheel" (as I have termed it) provides a means of obtaining nearly exact coincidence between the pitch lines of the main gear and pinion. On the other hand, the No.1's behind-the-main-gear wiper allows the gears' mesh to be adjusted "close enough" in engineering terms. The No.'s 105, 85 and 77 are included with the No.1 because they share most of the later features of the No.1.|
This model has a unique technological development of its own.
improvements (at first) were followed by many changes to reduce
cost. The drills may even be still manufactured for the US
military in order to maintain an onshore capability. The No.2
Type Study is treated separately in this domain.
|No.3- At first, extra support for heavy drilling was added to the No.1 by simply extending the main spindle towards the handle and using it to hold a conical roller. Later, the roller was replaced by a second pinion. This may have seemed clever at the time, but the positive effects of the extra support for the main gear were negated by the extra friction caused by the opposing rotations of the roller/second pinion and spindle shaft. This two-pinion No.1 eventually became the No.3 and then the No.5 with a proper mounting for the second pinion, so I have split the No.3 from the No.1 sooner than did Millers Falls. The No.3 was eventually given a wrought steel bar main frame, which removed the No.3 from this type study, leaving but two types with malleable iron frames in the 1-3-5 series.|
This model was never intended for serious use, and so only a few
versions have been found. I have shoehorned them into the present
study so they won't be lost.
|No.5 - Quite early on, someone had the bright idea of making the No.1/No.3 more versatile by widening the rim of the main gear so that it could be grasped with the thumb and forefinger for delicate drilling tasks. The new main gear was added to the No.1's frame, and the gear ratio was changed at the same time. Later, a stronger frame was substituted, making the No.3 into the No.5 and heavier as well. I would term the No.5 a machinist's drill and the No.'s 1 & 3, woodworker's drills.|
you might ask, "that justifies the transition from one stated type to
next ?" Rather than force you to wade through endless mug shots
and overly detailed tables summarizing the features of all the proposed
the No.'s 1, 3 and 5 eggbeater drills and their offshoots, the 105, 85
and 77, here's a narrative explanation of the transitions. Click
the image numbers to see the actual drills; then use your browser's "BACK"
button to return here. The "Return to Main Page" link on the
subsidiary pages of this study should bring you back to the group of
drills on this page where you started.
The type numbers in this study were selected according to the common features between the different models, so models with the same type number share many characteristics in spite of the differences in the numbers of teeth in their gears, in the method of gear support, and in the design of the main gear.
|Descriptions of the new features|
point, with a single pinion and a gear ratio of 52/12; collet
Millers Falls markings anywhere. Main gear has plain, flat
exterior. Nice magazine handle; cap has too strong of a helical
spring. Since these two were found, three
more have surfaced; clearly, these are manufactured items.
||Like the No.1, Type 0 drills listed above, this one has an
unknown maker. However, its 44/14 gear ratio matches that of the
other No.4 drills in this short series. This example's chuck may
not be complete ... or it was intended for use with bits of a special
shape. The main gear has a flat casting with unmachined teeth
like the No.1, Type 000 below.
||ChuckZ||Here's the original of the
drill that Art DeKalb found below. Before his untimely death in
November, 2005, Chuck Zitur
noticed a similarity of outline between his drill and a patent
granted to Jonathan Hammond on October 11, 1875. I am
indebted to Chuck's memory for permission to display these images in
competition with his former
fine webpage, toolchuck.com,
by the Wayback Machine.
|No.1||00||ArtDeK||Immediate precursor to the Type 1, using an unmarked two-jaw chuck later patented as for Type 1 below. Unique frame. Images & permission to publish by Art DeKalb; edited for this format. Randy Roeder has reproduced an illustration of this drill, found in Scientific American, June 23, 1877.|
||The very first No.1 clearly made by Millers
Falls, this one had an impractical flat main gear casting which would
have been troublesome in the foundry and during machining of its teeth,
if the teeth had been machined. Later main gear castings have a
conical or dished shape that makes them much stronger &
stiffer. Gear ratio 68/17; the tooth count was later reduced,
albeit at the same integral 4:1 ratio, not good from the point of view
of wear. The main handle is solid & unlined.
||This is the first No.4 shown
explicitly in the Millers falls catalogs. It was intended for
the many hobbyists who were doing fretwork with those little
treadle-operated cast iron scroll saws, as piercing of the thin wood
required drilled holes through which to thread the saws' tiny
blades. Gear ratio 44/14.
|Lined rosewood handle with lined lignum screwcap, two-jaw chuck patented on August 14, 1877. Gear ratio now 56/14. Millers Falls, Mass. marked on the chuck.|
Ralph Stump found & photographed this smooth-roller No.3 drill;
edited to fit this format. This example has a solid, unlined handle
like that of the Type
000 above. Thanks, Ralph, for permission to present your
pictures of this rare drill.
||First No.3 model, with a smooth idler added to the handle the side thrust of the main gear. This is one of five such drills of which I am aware. Later supplanted by the toothed idler, of course. Lined rosewood handle & lignum cap. Found & photographed by Randy Roeder; edited to fit the present format. Thanks, Randy, for permission to publish here.|
example of the first No.3 model, with a smooth idler
added to the handle the side thrust of the main gear. Lined
rosewood handle & lignum cap. T. Ralph Stumpe found and photographed this
fine example; images edited to fit this format. Thanks, Ralph,
for permission to publish.
now it must be clear that these aren't
user-made smooth idlers. This one came to me by way of Sandy
Moss, whose braces
study is becoming legendary. The short, lined rosewood handle
with its lined lignum vitae cap, plain main gear, riveted side handle,
and 56/14 gear ratio firmly fix this example among the first commercial
models of the of small eggbeater drills Millers Falls marketed.
here comes a fifth example, this one showing substantial wear, which is
even more evidence that these aren't user-made smooth idlers.
This one was in the collection of Mike Urness, who graciously allowed
me to capture and edit the images in his
eBay listing for the drill.
pinion added to the Type 1A, No.3.
Gear ratio still 56/14. Flat main gear rim. Lined main
handle & lignum cap. Replacement jaws from pieces of
Images &permission to publish by Scott Grandstaff; edited to fit
the present format. It's now in my personal collection; thanks
again, Scott !
|Lining dropped from the handle and screwcap. Gear ratio increased to 56/12. Main gear now has a thin bead on the outer rim.|
|No.3||2||628, 361||Second pinion added; Millers Falls listed this as an option of the No.1 model. Ratio: 56/12.|
|No.1||3||616||Probably a prototype made to show off the Jacobs chuck, patented in 1902. Gear ratio 61/13. Brass main gear and fancy steel crank handle. Maker of the new parts unknown.|
|No.1||4||622||Longer main handle & a tapered crank arm added to deal with longer & larger drill bits. Gear ratio back to 56/12.|
|No.3||4||638, 051||As for the No.1, now has a longer handle and tapered crank arm. Gear ratio 56/12.|
||Gear rim widened and tapered crank let into gear rim; first No.5, designed for delicate drilling; not seen in catalogs; August 14, 1877, two-jaw, no-springs, chuck patent. Gear ratio: 56/12.|
rim as for 533
above; gear ratio still 56/12. New, three-jaw, reeded,
spring-type chuck that conflicts with the Lanfair
patent of August 13, 1895, used
on the Goodell-Brothers and Goodell-Pratt drills. Consequently,
it was never patented. Compare to the later reeded chuck of Type 4B with the September
29th, 1896, patent date. This is a new chuck compared to Type 4. Images and permission to publish by
Randy Roeder, author
Millers Falls Page."
rim as for 533 above; gear ratio
still 56/12. New
design 3-jaw, springless chuck, marked with the patent date, September
29, 1896, with reeding; compare to
later chucks with this patent having diamond knurling. Millers
Falls, Mass. marked on the chuck. Note that this is a new chuck
compared to Type 4A, even though it has the
same shell outline.
gear rim as for 533 above; gear ratio
this model to 54/12 and left that way through Type 14. New,
three-jaw chuck, patented on September 29, 1896, added to all
models. This No.5 model is shown in my Montgomery
&Co. catalog, ca. 1901. Millers Falls, Mass. marked on the
chuck. Note the diamond knurling compared to Type 4B's chuck.
||Now here we have a serious No.4, not just for
hobbyists, but for ambitious trade-school students. The two-jaw,
"somewhat-protected-spring" chuck is well made (patented ?) but the
gear ratio is still 44/14. Also shown in Randy Roeder's
catalog study. Hard to fit into the types in this study
because of the chuck design. Maybe a patent will surface.
with screw-adjusted wiper on back of main gear. Gear ratio
56/13 and left that way through Type 15 for this model as well as for
No.'s 105, 77 & 85. Side handle added, with doorknob
Second example has a long knob seen only in Montgomery & Co.
another new frame design as the screw-adjusted wiper model's
development continued. This example also uses the long side
handle only seen in Montgomery & Co. catalogs. Steve
Richardson found this one near his home in
Australia and helpfully sent me these images with permission to
publish. What's new is the beefier inboard spindle housing; Type
6's is even more robust.
||653||New frame & fatter main handle.|
|No.5||6||055, 059||New, heavier frame for this double pinion (54/12) model. Side handle added.|
stamped on machined portion of spindle housing. Shown with late
no-springs, three-jaw chuck and with type 15 protected-springs chuck
and either a new type of crank or a very old, well fitted user-made
|No.1||7A||659||"No.1" stamped on machined portion of spindle housing.|
||"No.5" stamped on machined oportion of spindle
housing. Patent date & MF manufacturer's ID stamped on chuck
only. Ted Sodt found this drill and graciously allowed me to
publish his images of the drill.
|No.1||7B||670, 259||As for No.'s 1 & 3, Type 7A, but chuck no longer marked with patent date.|
Stumpe found this drill and sent me the pictures. As for the No.1's
directly above, but with the main
gear painted red like Type 9 below. Thanks, Ralph, for permission to
|No.5||7C||TSodt02||"No.5" stamped on machined oportion of spindle housing. The patent date & MF manufacturer's ID are stamped, not on the out-of-patent-protection chuck, but instead on the straight-sided crank. The triangular logo is the same as that on the Type 10 drills, below. Ted Sodt also found this drill and again graciously allowed me to publish his images of the drill.|
unmachined spindle housing, but the patent date is still on the
Rounded flare on main handle. This type is a mixture of various
types, with an earlier chuck and a later main handle.
370, 375, 556
(Millers Falls, Mass) stamped on straight-sided crank; no patent
chuck. Five of these are among the first that have the main gear
painted red; the rest, earlier ones, are all black. This is the
most common type of the No.1 drill.
|No.5||9||904, 271||As for the No.1 model, Star logo on crank. Ratio: Still 54/12.|
|No.01||9||070||Oddly, this drill has a hardwood main handle with the early shape. O/W like Type 9.|
(still Millers Falls, Mass) on straight crank.
|No.5||10||892, 898||As for the No.1, Type 10, triangular logo, etc. Ratio: Still 54/12.|
|No.105||11||820, 697||Early, protected-spring, three-jaw chuck w/o any patent information, but Star logo.|
logo (Millers Falls, Mass) with the early protected-spring,
three-jaw chuck, patented on October 23, 1900.
|Steel insert added where side handle attaches to frame; later, longer protected-spring chuck.|
|No.1||14||845, 276||Wiper omitted, but the frame is still ready for it. Smaller, rounded side handle. Same main gear, but with machining of shoulder for wiper omitted.|
|No.77||14||316, 322||Solid main gear; one-pinion and two-pinion styles; the single-pinion style has a shorter crank than does the double-pinion one. Frame different from the No.5 model. Plain, hardwood main handle and rounded crank knob. Still uses the protected-spring, three jaw chuck. Gear ratio 56/13 for all No.77's.|
||Wiper omitted and main gear unmachined as for the No.1, Type 14, but there is no provision for any side handle. Plain, hardwood main handle with two examples having the older style, sharply flared nose and mushroom-shaped crank knob and the other one having a rounded crank knob and rounded flare on the main handle. Thanks to Jim Schmitt, who noticed the groove between the inner spindle housing and the central boss for the main gear's shaft. Jim's example (below) has the groove, but it also has an unmachined rim cast into the inside of the main gear, formerly intended as the bearing for the No.1's adjustable wiper. That marks it as an earlier version of the No.85, compared to the Type 14B's, which have neither that groove nor the extra space on the inside of the main gear rim.|
Schmitt's example deserves a row of its own because his crank has
unique markings. It is marked "No.85" in two places, and the
Millers Falls company name is stamped directly above the triangular
logo rather than being centered on the crank's affixing screw.
The triangular logo is stamped between that screw and the inner end of
the crank. Thanks are due to jim also for permission to publish
his images of the drill.
A and B versions of the No.85 drill are intermixed. The 282 example of Type 14A has features of both
types. The two examples in this row have the opposite combination
of features - no groove, but rimmed main gear. The main handles
are also of mixed type - rounded flare vs. sharp flare. Gear ratio
|No.1||15||088, 380||Triangular logo changed to Greenfield, Mass. Hardwood handles. Narrower main gear with no shoulder (for the omitted wiper to bear against).|
|No.77||15||327, 332||The hardwood main handle has a new, distinctive "No.77" shape. A couple of new generic, coiled-springs, three-jaw chuck shapes in the two examples seen here.|
|No.85||15||840, 304||Triangular logo, Millers Falls again. No wiper and narrower main gear as for the No.1 Type 15 drill; no provision for any side handle. Crank has rounded hardwood knob.|
|No.5||15||015, 010||Triangular logo, back to Greenfield, Mass from here onwards. Chef's hat side handle. Gear ratio now 61/14 for this and subsequent No.5's. "GB" cast into main gear of this type only. New frame with steel insert as for the Type 13 No.1.|
|Marked Craftsman 1071, but
identified as made by Millers Falls by the protected-springs chuck. The
64/14 gear ratio and the
designs of the main gear and frame castings place it after the
acquisition of the Goodell-Pratt Company. The front of the main
handle is fatter than usual.
|No.5||16||003, 094||Die cast pot metal frame with steel insert at the hub.|
|No.77||16||352, 347||New, diecast pot metal frame partially encloses the two pinions. Strangely, I've seen other Type 77's labelled No.77A with this enclosed frame type.|
|No.77A||16||337, 342||New die cast pot metal frame similar to that of the No.5, Type 16 drill. There are pegs cast into the back of the main gear of this type only that have no obvious function; they might be intended to intercept a locking pin placed where the wiper screw once was threaded through the frame of the No.1 model. In other words, a recycled gear design.|
|No.5A||17||020||Plain logo (Greenfield, Mass). Thinly lacquered hardwood main handle and round crank knob. Plastic side handle. Main gear has numerous characters cast into the rim. Coil-spring, generic three-jaw chuck. Main gear heavily chrome plated; still painted red on one side.|
|No.105||Untyped||027||This would be a Type 9 but for the early Type 7 main handle shape.|
|No.3||Untyped||309||Here is the "new" No.3 type that now has a wrought steel frame and a fancy main handle design, but only one pinion. About a Type 9, judging from the Star logo and chuck type.|
The development of the No.1 series (which in this study also includes the No.'s 3, 4, 5, 105, 85, and 77) proceeded rapidly from Type 1 until about Type 9. From there on, economic factors dictated a gradual reduction in the number of desirable features. The rosewood and lignum parts went first, then the carefully generated bevel gears, and then the cast iron frame. Oddly, the superior, protected-springs, three-jaw chuck appeared in this series in Type 11 after its patent ran out and after the peak in quality at Type 9, as though someone insisted on maintaining mechanical performance after tropical hardwood was abandoned for the wooden parts. However, the tropical hardwoods do affect performance; many of the later hardwood knobs and handles are now split or frozen in place by the rust whose formation they failed to inhibit. It will be seen here that the early, two-jaw chuck tended to lose (or to break) its jaws; the no-springs, three-jaw chuck was quite rugged; and the protected-springs chucks are virtually indestructible. Few gears exhibit chipped or missing teeth; the one example of a user repaired gear was omitted from this type study because too many other parts on that drill were also fixed or replaced. Oddly, virtually no drills in this series have lost their main handles; that was a weakness of the No.2 drills. The difference may lie in the greater capacity of the No.2's chucks and their longer crank handles. The cause of the loosening of cranks and knobs in all of these styles was season cracking of the brass ferrules (see 533); metallurgists did not discover how to keep brass parts from cracking upon exposure to urea and other nitrogen compounds until the World War. The solution was to anneal them at low temperature so as to relieve the residual stresses and strains generated by shaping of the metal.