Stratford inventor Alexander Walker Reid (1853-1938) was a forward thinking man who made a contribution in many different fields. An engineer and dairy farmer by trade, he helped establish Stratford's electric power scheme in 1900, making it only the second New Zealand town to have a public hydroelectric supply. He was also well known for his milking machines, caravans and steam powered cars.
This small metal lathe, manufactured by the Britannia Company in the late 19th Century, originally belonged to Reid and was used in his Stratford workshop. After his death the lathe was passed down through the generations of the Reid family. It was most recently used by his grandson, Ian Reid, to make model railway parts before it was donated to Puke Ariki in 2006.
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