This web site is a collection of as much material as possible about the
George Gorton Machine company; founded by George Gorton II in 1893, it was
initially named "Gorton and Graham", became
"George Gorton Machine Co." and eventually "Gorton Machine Corp.".
It includes biographical and genealogical information about George Gorton II
(and his family); many of the artifacts pictured here are courtesy of
his descendants and their families.
I hope to make it as comprehensive a web site about the company and its employees
as possible, as well as providing insight into the various (sometimes highly colorful)
characters/reprobates that were my ancestors.
How it came to be
My name is Richard Gorton, and
my great-grandfather was George Gorton II.
While I knew odds and ends about Gorton Machine, it was sold to
Kearney & Trecker of Milwaukee when I was a kid, so I really have
limited knowledge (except for family oral history) about it.
Once upon a time, while surfing the web ...
I was checking the US Patent
website trying to find out the status of a patent I had applied for; and
to browse some of the other patents where someone named Gorton was involved.
After all, it isn't that common a name. To my surprise, some of the references
were to machine tool inventions, and the timeframe put them in the era of
George Gorton II, the founder of Gorton Machine.
One thing led to another, and now I'm working on this web site.
My end goal of this is a combination partial genealogy project, company history,
and equipment technical reference web site.
As for a machine tools background, I believe I am the only descendant [of
George Gorton II] of my generation to actually have [re]built machine tools.
In college, I spent about six months working for Tree Machine Tool (no
longer in existance) wiring their Journeyman Mills and their (model name
now forgotten) CNC Lathe. I spent another 4-6 months rebuilding some Gorton
16-B swiss automatic screw machines for a small business. One summer in college
I was at Lars Machine doing some computer work and machine wiring.
I also worked part-time at Gormac during college, doing odd jobs including
rebuilding a fairly good sized Centerless grinder.
Some interesting things were learned through these jobs.
- At Tree, I saw large lead hammers used to (literally) 'finely align'
machine tools - smacking the castings to get them dead-on aligned.
- Machine tools which have been heavily used, and then sit for years are
nasty to try to clean. A steel bladed putty knife seems to work
best. Or a small gardening shovel. And epoxy-based paint is
amazingly resistant to removal.
- Don't even think about putting shop clothes in mom's
washer. I came home one day from cleaning out the insides of 16-Bs
and one arm (the one reaching inside the casting) was almost completely
pitch black from finger-tips to shoulder - and that was after
cleaning up. Needless to say, Mom was not impressed, and I was immediately
sent off to the laundramat...
- Fine brass shavings ITCH. I managed to rub my forearms in some fairly
fine shavings while doing some work, and brushed them off. Unfortunately,
they were small enough and I applied enough pressure that they got into
my skin. For a couple of weeks I had lots of very itchy small black
spots on my arms. Ugh.
non-computer 'stuff' learned while building this site
- Tricks and techniques...
A number of sets of sheets of paper were bound together by glue. It
seems that paperclips and staples post-date a lot of these documents.
Anyhow, a modern iron capable of steam, with a teflon base is a wonderful
tool to help weaken the glue which allows separatation of the sheets.
What seems (so far) to work the best is to heat the iron up, set it to steam,
and then hold the iron about 1/4" away from the glue 'joint' and
applying continuous gentle pressure to separate the sheets of paper.
Don't apply the iron directly, that seems to reset the glue. If this
happens, it will take extra steam to loosen that bond; if you don't
care about the full document, the extra heat does seem to make the
glue much more brittle (it fractures easily with bending).
Software which is so bad as to be worse than useless:
- HP's ImageZone software: a review
It's junk. crap. garbage. drivel. worthless.
cow-orker-esque. DEC marketing-like.
The development team seems to have been given their direction by
demented sadists with a Ninevites' slavish obsession with excessive
ornamentation. That is, the approach looks to have been:
'ooh - dot Nyet is cool - we can make a convoluted, pretty interface with it'
as opposed to 'customers might want to get work done'.
As implemented, ImageZone might be useful for someone incapable of
remembering how to use a scanner to load content, or who enjoys
spending 5 minutes to fiddle obscure and poorly laid out interfaces
in order to scan a single photo and then send it off to other HP photo
album tools (when 30 seconds will suffice).
Me, I prefer brevity. I have literally thousands of sheets of archives
which need to be scanned and cropped prior to posting to this web site.
5 minutes/image with ImageZone installed or 30 seconds without... a true
'no brainer' decision. Fitting, as common sense seems to have taken a hike
at HP for this product.
I made the major mistake of installing this when I installed a higher-end
photo quality printer (HP Photosmart 8450) on my system along with the
scanner. After an hour of fighting with it (trying to scan and crop
ten pages of text) I finally had to uninstall it. And since you are reading
this, it obviously really pissed me off.
How to help
If you find this site useful, were a Gorton employee, or have Gorton
content (either family or company) you wish to contribute to the site,
please contact me. I actively bid on Gorton machine items on ebay - most
of the brochures and technical manuals on this site were acquired via ebay.
My current 'shopping list' is:
Please contact me if you wish to use images or content herein
- Various personal content relating to the George Gorton II family.
- Gorton Machine documentation, such as brochures, advertisements, and
other marketing literature
- Gorton Machine equipment, artifacts, and memorabilia
- Gorton Machine Employee information
- Specific items of interest:
- Munitions Engraver brochure
- Gorton Employee badges
- "Gorton Tracer Control in Action", a 20 minute 16mm film
- A Gorton Machine "E" award pin (provenance required)
- Shop jackets, Bowling shirts, other clothing items
- Zippo lighter with Gorton logo (I was outbid for one on ebay May, 2006)
- 3E portable engraver
- Series 1 machinery (a 1-C or 1-D engraver was sold on ebay in 2005)
Copyright, 2004 - 2015 Richard Gorton - firstname.lastname@example.org