Makepeace Acquires Kinkead Manufacturing
This image is from the promotional booklet "The Aligning and Leveling of Shafting", issued by the Kinkead Manufacturing Company in 1912. Kinkead pioneered the use of optical tooling to align drive shafts which delivered power from a central plant to various production machines arrayed along the shaft line. Heavy leather belts connected equipment to the shaft. The greater precision obtained using the Kinkead method produced significant reductions in friction loads on the power system; The Kinkead system quickly paid for itself in power savings alone, and greatly shortened the time and manpower needed to align shafting via the traditional method using silk string and spirit level.
Despite this improvement, the use of industrial drive shafting to power equipment could not compete with the flexibility and efficiency of machines powered by their own electric motors, and with the abandonment of the central power plant in factories, the fortunes of the Kinkead Manufacturing Company quickly waned. Mr. Makepeace bought the Kinkead assets in 1921 to further enhance his surveying instrument manufacturing capabilities.
The above image shows the K&E surveying instrument shops at Hoboken, NJ. Photographed about 1908, this image shows the use of industrial shafting to power machine tools.