Richard K. LeBlond

Machine Tool Builder

Machine Tool Hall of Fame

Richard K. LeBlond (1864-1953)

A machinist apprentice for five years in Covington, Ky, while studying drafting and mechanics at night, he then worked in a type foundry in St Louis while attending Washington Univ. In 1887, at 23, he started his company in Cincinnati with three employees to make type and small tools and gauges for the printing industry. In 1891, he contracted to produce lathes for Lodge & Davis. The next year he began producing the first lathe of his own design, a 14-in. engine lathe. He followed with designs for single and multiple-spindle drills, chucking lathes, bicycle crank lathes, cutter grinders and milling machines.

He developed his first gear-driven headstock in 1903, and then began to develop crankshaft lathes for the automobile industry. During the Depression he developed the Regal, a low-cost, high-performance engine lathe produced in volume using an assembly line. During World War ll, he produced gun boring, rifling, turning, and breech milling machines for gun tubes. He was working on a series of new lathe headstock designs and a range of milling machines at the time of his death at age 89.

Elected 1990