Pratt & Whitney
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For Over 150 Years, The Standard of Accuracy
Pratt & Whitney Measurement Systems, Inc.
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History
History

History


History

Founders

Amos Whitney (1832-1920), U.S. mechanical engineer and manufacturer, organized Pratt & Whitney in 1860 with Francis Pratt. He employed W. A. Rogers and G. M. Bond in 1879 to develop the Rogers-Bond comparator, credited with rescuing mechanical science and industry from inconvenience. He also established policies leading to successful training of apprentices there and eventually became president, he retired at age 69 in 1901 when the company was acquired by Niles-Bement-Pond Company. He was born Oct. 8, 1832, Biddeford, Maine, and died Aug. 5, 1920, Portland, Maine.

Francis Pratt (1827-1902), U.S. mechanical engineer and machine-tool manufacturer. Francis Ashbury Pratt was the founder of Pratt & Whitney. He founded the company with Amos Whitney in 1860 in Hartford, CT. He is credited with being first to permit production of fine gear work. He manufactured machine tools and tools for gun making and sewing machines. He promoted interchangeable parts and the adoption of standard system of gages for the United States and Europe. Among several machine-tool patents, his most important was for planing metal (July 28, 1869). He was born Feb. 15, 1827, Peru, NY, and died Feb. 10, 1902, Hartford, Connecticut.
History of Pratt & Whitney - American Made Precision Machinery Since 1860
1860 Pratt & Whitney Company is founded by Francis Pratt and Amos Whitney.  The founders started the company in Hartford, Connecticut.
1861 American Civil War starts, and Pratt & Whitney begins manufacturing guns and gun making machinery. Pratt & Whitney put into practice the concept of interchangeable parts that had been pioneered by Samuel Colt, Elijah Root, Amos Whitney’s cousin Eli, and others. Their method depended on the use of accurate gages. At this time, there was no standard for the commercial inch.
1869 Francis Pratt and Amos Whitney hire Worcester Warner to design cutting gear machines and Ambrose Swasey to build telescopes  {Warner & Swasey eventually left Pratt & Whitney to form their own company}.  Pratt & Whitney is formally incorporated in the State of Connecticut with $300,000.
1879 William Rogers and George Bond begin development work on a machine that later would establish the ‘standard for the inch’.
1880 A set of master bars accurate to millionths was made at Pratt & Whitney under the supervision of Rogers and Bond.
1882 The famous device known as the Rogers-Bond Comparator was perfected {machine is currently displayed at Smithsonian, in Washington, DC}.
1885 Pratt & Whitney introduces the Standard Measuring Machine, making accurate measurements possible.
1889 The first coin-operated telephone was invented by William Gray, an employee of Pratt & Whitney.
1890 Mark Twain finances the development of the Paige Typewriter.
1893 The "inch" is legally defined as a fraction of the International Meter of the metric system.
1898 Francis Pratt retires.
1901 Amos Whitney retires.
1902 Francis Pratt dies. The U.S. National Bureau of Standards (NBS) is established.
1903      The Wright brothers successfully fly for the first time.
1910 Machine tolerances to 0.001 inches (0.0254 mm) are achievable.
1914 World War I begins.
1918 Major William Hoke, US Army, perfects a process to produce gage blocks; Pratt & Whitney secures the rights and starts research for mass production.
1920 Amos Whitney dies.
1925 Frederick Rentschler approaches Pratt & Whitney, looking for funds and a location to build his new aircraft engine. Pratt & Whitney loans him $250,000, the use of the Pratt & Whitney name, and space in their building. This was the beginning of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company. Pratt & Whitney's first engine was called the Wasp, completed on Christmas Eve 1925. The Wasp developed 425 horsepower on its third test run. It easily passed the Navy qualification test in March 1926, and by October the Navy had ordered 200 engines. The Wasp exhibited speed, climb, performance and reliability that revolutionized American aviation.
1926 Pratt & Whitney introduces the Supermicrometer product line.
1929 Pratt & Whitney and General Electric introduce the Electrolimit circuit for gage control.

Frederick Rentschler, ended his association with Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool and formed United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, the predecessor to today's United Technologies. His agreement allowed Rentschler to carry the name with him to his new corporation.
1930 Machine tolerances to 0.0001 inches (0.00254 mm) are achievable.
1938 World War II
1939 Pratt & Whitney moves from Hartford to a new site in West Hartford.
1957 U.S. National Bureau of Standards and Pratt & Whitney begin a series of projects, including the Standards Gage Block Program, to improve precise measuring.
1963 The Model "B" Supermicrometer is introduced.
1974 The Model "C" Supermicrometer and Internal Supermicrometer introduced with digital operation.
1988 Pratt & Whitney acquires the Laseruler division from GCA Corporation.
1991 Pratt & Whitney acquired by Moore Products Co (which is later acquired by Siemens Energy & Automation) and relocated to Plainville, CT
1992

The LabMaster Standard & Universal Model 175 product line is introduced with 0.051 micrometer (2 millionths) accuracy utilizing laser interferometry. 

1996 The Labmicrometer Model 200,900,1600 product line is introduced for long-length measuring applications utilizing laser interferometry.
1998 Universal Supermicrometer Model 501 & 504 product line introduced.  A high accuracy internal & external bench micrometer.
2003 Pratt & Whitney Measurement Systems, Inc. relocates to a larger facility in Bloomfield, CT.
2006 The Labmaster Universal Bearing Measuring Instrument is introduced.
2008 Pratt & Whitney is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 by A2LA.
2009 Pratt & Whitney Measurement Systems introduces the PC Supermicrometer bench micrometer system with 1 micro-inch resolution.
2011 Pratt & Whitney introduces the long length Labmaster Universal Model 1000A (Automatic).

2012

2013

Pratt & Whitney Measurement Systems introduces the long length Labmaster Universal Model 1000M.

Pratt & Whitney Calibration Laboratory expands scope of accreditation of ISO/IEC 17025 by A2LA.

 

Pratt & Whitney History

The history of the company from 1860 to 1930 is detailed in the book Accuracy for Seventy Years 1860-1930.
Some blank pages have been omitted.

Pages 1 to 19  (1.00M)
Pages 21 to 53  (4.54M)
Pages 55 to 71  (4.21M)
Pages 73 to 93  (4.15M)
Pages 95 to 118  (4.69M)

ISO 17025 Accredited