Machine tapping is a wonderful invention. Often using tap adapter, these are faster and more accurate than hand tapping, and eliminate human error. How did machine tapping and tap adapters come to be, though? To see, one must look at the millennia of progress in making machines.
All machine tools constrain workpieces and guide movements. The ancestor to the tap adapter and other devices, the screw cutting lathe, was invented in 1483. This machine tool used direct mechanical control of the path of the cutting tool. Over the 18th and 19th century, manufacturers of textiles, firearms and locomotives made their own tap and dies.
Machine tapping and tap adapters came of age in the 19th century. As industrial machining took off, manufacturers responded with ready made tools. Machine tapping and tap adapter were first invented, and rapidly accelerated the Industrial Revolution.
Today, tapping tools are largely made in the United States. While the manufacture of tapping tools is not labor intensive, the United States has a broad market for such equipment. As such, it will ensure a steady supply of tap adapters and other machinery for years to come. Helpful links.