Virginia State SealDHR logo

Pipe-Making Factory Machine.

Calvin Merrill, of Ohio, invented in the early 1840s the pipe-making machine installed at the Pamplin factory. It was foot powered (note the pedal, left photo) and used interchangeable metal molds to form a variety of pipe styles. It is thought that eight to ten of these machines were used in the factory, which had anywhere from ten to forty employees at a given time depending on how many orders the company needed to fill. In the top-right image, the mold is in a closed position; the center image shows clay being pressed into the mold, and the bottom reveals the formed pipe in the opened mold.