The Mechanical Workshop
Together with the Technological Museum, the Officina Meccanica constitutes the driving hub of the Istituto’s activity. In part, it inherited the materials and the experience of the preceding technical schools of arts and crafts of Candeli (1846-1850) which were first advocated, desired and then directed, by Filippo Corridi.
The functions of the Officina Meccanica are described in the Istituto’s Statute as follows:
“The purpose of the Officina Meccanica is to supply the Physics and Mechanical laboratories, as well as that of Chemistry, with the models and equipment necessary for lessons. This Workshop will also help the School of Mechanics with its own machinery and with instruments that may be useful for studying the transmissions of mechanical movements and parts. The Workshop has a working director, as well as several apprentices who are trained under his direction in work processes involving metal and wood.”
The Officina “is well supplied with mechanisms and tools for constructing precision instruments and industrial machinery. Among these are a precision lathe with a stationary support and a complete set of tools for lathing, as well as chasers for making screws, a strong bench-top iron lathe, and another gear lathe that is also capable of oval lathe-shaping”.
The Officina developed rapidly, and in a short time built more than 200 machines and models for the Istituto Tecnicoa and also for other Tuscan and Italian institutes. In the 1860 the activity of the workshop slowed down and finally it was partially sold to some private instrument makers. Their company was the origin of the well-known Officine Galileo.
It was from this activity and from this Mechanical Workshop, which would be sold in part, that the Officine Galileo would originate.