Brown & Sharpe was founded in 1833 in Providence, RI. Founded by David Brown and Joseph Brown, and later partnered with Lucian Sharpe, the company was name Brown & Sharpe in 1953. During its early years the company was known for several innovations and inventions including the first automatic machine for graduating rules, and the precision Gear Cutting and Dividing Engine. By the 1900s, Brown & Sharpe became the world largest manufacturer of machine tools. The company created instruments such as micrometers and indicators, machine tool spindle tapers, and more.
During the 1900s the company was responsible for the improvement and wider and dissemination of milling machines, micrometers, turret lathes, screw machines and more. During most of the 20th century, Brown & Sharpe machine tools were a staple in American metal manufacturing. Calipers and micrometers made by the company could be found in most machine shops and factories, used for machining products needing fine tolerances. In the 1980s and through the 1990s, the company shifted to developing coordinate-measuring machines (CMMs). CMMs are devices used for dimensional measuring, and are more modern and larger micrometers. Progressively the company began to shift away from machine tools and more to meteorology equipment; producing CMMs and hand tools.
In 2001, the company was acquired by Hexagon AB. This acquisition included all intellectual property, designs, trademarks, facilities and inventory. All tools are still manufactured until the Brown & Sharpe name; however, everything is manufactured by Hexagon Metrology’s TESA division in Switzerland
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