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Who was Mr. Whitworth??

Joseph Whitworth and Co. Manchester, UK , Manufacturer

In order to facilitate mass production of interchangeable parts it is necessary to have standards of measurement so that parts made by one machine in one factory can be interchanged with a similar part made elsewhere. Without standards each part has to be custom made to work with the other parts that make up a manufactured item. A set of Whitworth gauges could be used to check the size of a shaft (using the ring) or the size of a bearing (using the plug) to ensure that they would work together.

Sir Joseph Whitworth was an English mechanical engineer who won international recognition as a machine toolmaker. After working as a mechanic for various machine manufacturers, Whitworth went to London in 1825 and at Maudslay & Company devised a scraping technique for making a true plane surface. Returning to Manchester in 1833, he opened his own toolmaking business. Between 1840 and 1850 he produced an original measuring machine and a system of accurate dimensional standards or master gauges to go with it. Even the common screw was not overlooked. In 1841 Whitworth's standard screw threads were adopted by the Woolwich Arsenal.

By 1851 Whitworth's machine tools had become internationally known for their accuracy and quality. By 1866 his factory employed 700 men and was equipped with 600 machine tools.