John Sauter Jr. was born into a Tool and Die family in 1912 Brooklyn, NY. The year after he was born, his father John Sauter Sr., starting working for the Thomas A. Edison Laboratory which is now the "Thomas Edison National Historical Park” in West Orange, NJ. During his father's tenure at the Thomas A Edison Laboratory he worked directly for and with Thomas Edison while he invented some of his best inventions, Thomas Edison would invent the Gramophone, motion picture projector, stock ticker and nickel-alkaline storage batteries during Mr. sauter's tenure. The 1910 incandescent light bulb pictured below was given to Mr. Sauter Sr. by Thomas Edison.
Tools of the time period that were used by Thomas Edison, John Sauter Sr. and then John Sauter Jr. as well, are featured in the Southeastern Tool and Die museum at Southeastern Tool and Die, Inc.
Parts in this time period were measured with vernier calipers and height gauges and you used either the standard measurement system or the european metric system. Modern day calipers and height gages are digital and can measure in both standard and metric. During the turn of the center parts were hand made with machines like the 1895 Seneca Falls lathe, 1909 universal milling machines, 1940 belt driven hack saw, 1940 Walker Turner Drill Press, and 1940 AMMCO 7” shaper. The Machining industry constantly needed new and improved ways to measure and verify their work. Machinery at this time was still in it's infancy and just starting out. Tooling was left up to the Tool and Die makers to create for any new machinery that was needed. Tool and Die makers were highly sought for and if they could fabricate to improve tooling and machinery, they were even more valuable. Thomas Edison was quoted as saying “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” Tool and Die makers were the inventers of their time. If a tool, or part was needed, it was created then tested to make sure the results were as expected. Another of Thomas Edison’s famous quotes is, “"Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work.