William L. Bryant

Machine Tool Builder

Machine Tool Hall of Fame

William L. Bryant (1875-1931)

Bryant was hired as an assistant draftsman at Jones & Lamson while in his third year of engineering at the University of Vermont and became head draftsman in 1900. He worked with Hartness on the design of lathes with the turret on a cross slide. He became interested in grinding and thought in terms of chucking the work as was done on the lathes so that operations could be combined. This could move grinding machines from the tool room to the production floor.

Bryant applied for his first patent in 1902, for other features in 1906, and started his own company in 1909 with the backing of J&L. The machine had three independent grinding heads: one small, high-speed wheel for internal grinding, a larger wheel for the outside diameter, and a cup wheel for the face. Cams and stops made the cycle automatic, except for loading and unloading, permitting the rapid production of bearing races for the growing auto industry.

Elected 1994