The process of metal spinning dates back to thousands of years. The earliest pictorial proof is in the tomb of Petosiris who was the Egyptian pharaoh of the fourth century. It showed a drawing of a couple of men working on an ancient lathe. Literature also pointed to proof of the earlier development of the metal spinner when the Egyptians chronicled settings where they used hand bows to spin metal, wood and stone.
Moving east, ancient Indian and Chinese sources disclosed a familiar awareness of hand bows for spinning and lathe work. Archaeologists faced challenges in finding specific lathe proof because several of these materials didn’t survive. Nevertheless, literary accounts undeniably indicate spinning as a globally accustomed process.
The lathes of the Ancient Egyptians were quite simple, and it needed a couple of people to make them work. They used two wooden posts as the support for a spindle horizontally arranged. The spindle had a rope coiled around it that they pull in two directions that resulted in clockwise and counterclockwise movement. They then affixed the workpiece to the spindle, and someone else would then chisel it as the spindle turned.
The Middle Ages brought the first development in lathe and spinning work. They introduced technology that permitted workers to rotate materials continuously. They were able to achieve this technology be removing the bow and using pedal in its place. The worker was now able to free his hands to manage the speed of rotation and concentrate on precision and accuracy.
Meanwhile, other societies including the Vikings also used the pedal-driven lathes, but they were only able to improve the technology later on.
Finally, they were able to construct iron lathes that they use for denser materials. The lathes had different sizes, but it functioned the same way to the former copper and wooden lathes. These iron lathes could be extremely accurate as these could create gentle watch and clock parts.