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World's First Electric Drill
Here's a photo of the world's first hand-held power tool, an electric drill made by the German company, Fein, in the late 1800's.
  The prototype was built in 1885 by two Fein mechanics who were faced with the task of drilling a large number of holes by hand. At the time, small electric motors were just beginning to arrive in Germany from England.
  "The two mechanics took one of these small electric motors, fitted it to the drill chuck shaft, and produced an electric hand drill that got the job done," a company historian wrote.
  Company founder Wilhelm Emil Fein saw the drill as an "opportunity to open up new ground in the field of electrotechnology," the story continues. Fein and designer Otto von Kellenbach worked together to produce the world's first production electric hand drill. It weighed 16 1/2 lbs. and could drill through steel 0.1 in. thick.
  The drill was so successful it was soon followed by improved models. For example, the first electric drill with aluminum components, which improved power/weight ration, was introduced in 1900. In 1901, a drill with reduction gear followed. In 1903, a drill with three speeds was produced. Between 1910 and 1914 high-performance drills with overload clutches were introduced.
  One of Fein's first production electric hand drills is on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fein Power Tools Inc., USA, 3019 West Carson Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15204 (ph 412 331-2325; fax 3599).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #2