Lucian I. Yeomans designed concrete machine tools that were used to produce most of the American cannon shells in the First World War. His techniques have been almost forgotten since then.
“An unusual type of single-purpose lathe was designed by Lucien I. Yeomans, of
the Amalgamated Machinery Co., Chicago, for which he was awarded a medal
by the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia. This type of lathe was intended for
making large shell of from 6 to 16 in. in diameter. The head-stock and body of
the lathe were cast in one solid piece, with holes cored out for the spindle and
ways. The ways were merely accurately ground lengths of round steel shafting
so placed that the ends projected through the cored holes in the bed. They were
properly located by means of huge master jigs, and then type-metal was poured
into the cored holes and around the ends of the shafting. This held them securely
in place. The carriage and cross-slide guides were made and located in the
same general way. The lathe spindle turned in a machined bushing which was
set into the cored hole in the head and secured with type-metal. This method of
construction saved an immense amount of machining, as there was no work put
into its construction except such as could be turned or bored. The makers were
enabled to turn out a large number of machines in an astonishingly short time."