How Old Is My Bridgeport Milling Machine?

How Old Is My Bridgeport Milling Machine?

Written by : Posted on April 17, 2010 : 29 Comments

I’ve seen this question asked on a number of users groups over the years, and thought a better question would be: “Where are the serial numbers that date my Bridgeport mill?”. It seems that most new owners try and look up the numbers on the head itself.

THIS IS NOT THE NUMBER THAT DATES YOUR MACHINE!
——————————————————

THIS IS THE ONE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
—————————————

The serial number for your machine is on the front of the knee, behind the bearing retainer for the cross feed screw. You may have to slide the saddle slightly to the rear of the machine, as the way covers may hide the serial numbers if the saddle is in the forward position.
If you plug the serial number into the chart below, it will give you the year of manufacture of your machine. Be advised; while most machines will spend their entire lives in one piece, many a milling machine has a later, or earlier head swapped onto it. This chart is to date the basic machine.

BH-1 THRU BH-39 Round ram 1938
BH-40 THRU BH-252 1939
BH-253 THRU BH-656 1940
BH-657 THRU BH-1549 1941
BH-1550 THRU BH-2943 1942
BH-2044 THRU BH-4105 1943
BH-4106 THRU BH-4997 1944
BH-4998 THRU BH-5930 1945
BH-5931 THRU BH-7235 1946
BH-7236 THRU BH-8814 1947
BH-8815 THRU BH-10381 1948
BH-10382 THRU BH-11378 1949
BH-11379 THRU BH-11379 1950
BH-12751 THRU BH-14489 1951
BH-14490 THRU BH-16700 1952
BH-16701 THRU BH-19367 1953
BH-19368 THRU BH-22732 1954
BH-22733 THRU BH-26962 1955
BR-26963-THRU BR-31618 Start of V ram 1956
BR-31619 THRU BR-37278 1957
BR-37279 THRU BR-42110 1958
BR-42111 THRU BR-46938 1959
BR-46939 THRU BR-52598 1960
BR-52599 THRU BR-58552 1961
BR-58553 THRU BR-64987 1962
BR-64988 THRU BR-71981 1963
BR-71982 THRU BR-79538 1964
BR-75939 THRU BR-88180 1965
BR-88181 THRU BR-98089 1966
BR-98090 THRU BR-108351 1967
BR-108352 THRU 118640 1968
BR-118641 THRU 131778 1969
BR-131779 THRU BR-138139 1970
BR-138640 THRU BR-143350 1971
BR-143351 THRU BR-149294 1972
BR-149295 THRU BR-157909 1973
BR-157910 THRU BR-167652 1974
BR-167653 THRU BR-174083 1975
BR-174084 THRU BR-180697 1976
BR-180698 THRU BR-188559 1977
BR-188560 THRU BR-196987 1978
BR-196988 THRU BR-206296 1979
BR-206297 THRU BR-216473 1980
BR-216474 THRU BR-227523 1981
BR-227524 THRU BR-231700 1982
BR-231701 THRU BR-235985 1983
BR-235986 THRU BR-241350 1984
BR-241351 THRU BR-245659 1985
BR-246660 THRU BR-248551 1986
BR-248552 THRU BR-250531 1987
BR-250532 THRU BR-252874 1988
BR-252875 THRU BR-255463 1989
BR-255464 THRU BR-257888 1990
BR-257889 THRU BR-259897 1991
BR-257898 THRU BR-262188 1992
BR-262189 THRU BP-264586 1993
BR-264587 THRU BR-267635 1994

I will update this list as info becomes available.

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29 comments

  1. chris holt on said:

    thanks for the info. I got a 1946 or 47 m head. my # is bh6919. any idea why mine was skipped?

  2. admin on said:

    Chris,
    Sorry, that was a typo on my end, and has been corrected. That would make yours a 1946 model. Looks like they were starting to increase production after the war. Good luck with it!
    Mick

  3. Roger on said:

    hi i have just bought a Bridgeport mill there is no serial No stamped on the knee in the location indicated but it is on an aluminium plate riveted to the side which also lists lubrication

    serial No is RM 02670195 Order No10098
    If you have any information on this it would be very usefull

    many thanks

    Roger

  4. admin on said:

    Roger,

    I think what you have is an Adcock & Shipley (UK division of Bridgeport). They had their serial numbers either on an aluminum tag on the knee, or near the access door in the base. It has been said the iron in these mills is better than the US versions.
    Th “RM” should be your model type (usually preceded by 9 or 12 to indicate Y travel), and the last four of the serial number indicate the month and year of production (Jan 1995 in your case). Its possible that your mill was built in Germany, after Bridgeport bought the state of the art Deckel Maho plant to help with a 44$ million backup in production. Good luck with the mill, hope that helps.

    Mick

  5. Laura on said:

    Could anyone tell me what a used Bridgeport Model # 39309 would sell for? It still works great!

  6. Laura,

    Its pretty much impossible to put a value on a machine “over the phone”. Your best bet is to get someone LOCAL to look at it. Prices vary from region to region, and condition is all important. Another factor affecting price is where the machine is located; a machine in a walk-out garage is usually worth more than on in a basement, because its easier to move. A local machinists group would be your best bet at getting a value on your mill, good luck with it.

    Mick

  7. So, I just picked up a Bridgeport and the serial number on the knee is “26789″ with no letters. The numbers are very clear so I don’t think the letters were worn off or anything. It is a J with V ram. Can I assume that they just forgot to stamp the BR and it is from 1955? V Ram retrofit?

  8. Hello; I’ve just purchased a Bridgeport mill which has no serial number on the knee.
    The only number I have found is on a aluminum tag with the #438081287X. This tag
    Also contains order #93309 also on the lubrication tag. It’s got a 1 1/2 HP, 2J head
    With a drive serial #2J-8738. It got a manufactured in Forest Road, Leicester, LE5 OFJ
    England. My question is it mfg. in 1987 if not what year was it mfg. Also who would you recommend to order replacement parts. For my auto Bridgeport X-Travel motor it wants to run but stalls.
    Thank You Very Much for your time.

  9. Karl,

    Most DRO dealers will have a standard size kit for most commercial sized tables. The BP mills have 9X36, 9X42, 9×49 and on up for the CNC versions. I called DRO PROS when I bought mine, and all they needed was the table measurement to supply the kit. DRO PROS know mills and know what to give you. I can’t say enough about their service, both before and after the sale. They talked me out of a couple of options that I just didn’t need, to save me a fair amount of money. They sell individual parts for their kits, for when you have that inevitable “woopsie”. Most cheezy importers will “have to” sell you a whole new kit if a scale gets broken.

    The short answer to your question is: You shouldn’t need to know what your travel is to order a kit. Just tell the seller you have a 9X42 inch table (or whatever size you have), and let them tell you what kit they have to fit it, or ask them what a replacement X axis scale will cost, and if they can’t answer either question, run away.

    If you really need to know; center your table, put a piece of tape on the knee and the table, and run you table all the way to the left (measure the distance between the marks), then run it all the way to the right (measure), and add the measurements together. Repeat front to back, and up and down for knee travel. Not exactly rocket science, but it will give you total travel. DRO PROS pointed out they would add one inch for adjustment and clearance (something I would never had thought of).

    Hope that helps,
    Mick

  10. admin on said:

    Pedro,

    I think you have an Addcock Shipley, the British equivalent of BP (actually made under contract with BP). The tag would indicate is has a Mfgs date of Aug 12th 1987 (possibly Dec 1987). Sorry I don’t have more info on the AS versions, but I keep looking. Try Mataco for replacement parts on Ebay (or the web), I’ve been pretty happy with price and service. My power feed is giving me some fits lately; I’m going to try cleaning the commutator on the motor first and see how that goes. I’ve been trying to find the time to get that fixed, and install the DRO kit I bought a while back.

    Regards,
    Mick

  11. admin on said:

    Mark,

    I’m betting you have a 9X36″ table. The “BR” designation (to the best of my recollection) started when the 9X42 tables went into production. Your date range might fit the retrofit theory, then again, it might be an owner retrofit. Wish I had more info for you, I’ll keep looking.

    Regards,
    Mick

  12. Gerri Zahnle on said:

    After searching the “web”, you seem to know it all, so maybe you can answer my question. Where can I find a user’s manual for my Bridgeport Milling Mahcine? It is stamped BR 59905, so it is a 1961 machine according to your listing. Any direction would be appreciated!

  13. Marty Majchrzak on said:

    Hi
    I’m selling a bridgeport and can’t find what year it is, maybe you could help.
    The number is BR266204.
    Thanks Marty Majchrzak

  14. walt antonik on said:

    just saw 32 inch table with old tumbler type feed bridge ,in local place is stored not being used ser # 10778 knee j head 7310 round arm,, guy got it for free if he moved it along with# 2 brown and sharp surface grinder and older clausing cholchester lathe, my first bridge that i bought in 1978 is 32 inch table ser# 26718 1955 same as the guy with26789 dovetail ram j head my head is j 15877 bought from man in rockaway nj for 500$ he paid 600$ and said nobody wants to give you whatpaid for anything today so we’ll take 500$ ,, without even asking ,, had trouble finding the word yes i’ll take it cause it was such a surprize,, they never used it , the head was still angled so it could enter garage, with 5 inch bridgeport vise included,, he gave me his reciept dated 1969 for 600$ from royal tool and molding in hanover nj,, frank carduchi owned the place, almost went to work for him before i went into navy in 1969 , machine was beat,, screw holding sliding plate on knee was missing so chips landed on y screw,, well i ran a big boreing mill in 1980 second and third shift in a job shop and in three nights i milled the knee ,table and saddle scraped them a little , added a good used y screw and ground and shimmed the gibbs, recut the table after assembly, added a quality 500 read out in 84 and it still works, have kept the ways protected by rubber aprons since then and i can say that the machine is still in very good used condt, also own ser #97741 1966 in very good condt, been running them off a rotary phase converter since 1979 with no problems

  15. walt antonik on said:

    also like to add that in the 70s one could not find a used bridgeport for any price, today i have seen them go for 350$ with readout and kurt vise at under attended auction and even seen a few at the local scrap metal dealer with auction tag on them because they didn’t bring a scrap iron price,, sad , in 1971 AMERICAN MACHINIST magazine ran a special insert in an issue HOW WE BUILD THE BRIDGEPORT with its history an many pics have the original article ,, very sentimental

  16. Mine is BR 197967. Looks like it was made in 1979, interesting that the first four digits of the serial number match the year built!

  17. Ebert Williams on said:

    Thanks for your info site my mill is BR/12 113664 and I’m reading it is a 1968 vintage. Runs perfect but a little noisy in low range. Thanks again , may need some parts.

  18. Ebert,

    Just so you don’t feel like the Lone Ranger; My Variable Speed (about 10 years newer) is a little noisy in the low range too. I think thats the nature of the beast.

    Mick

  19. tore wubbenhorst on said:

    any one interested in a late70s series 1 bridge port mill with a dana bandit controller, runs well except for a bad circuit board in controller. Machine is located on Long Island NY. Call 631 455 3071.

  20. Garrett on said:

    when looking for the serial number all i found was 4874 no letters our machinist thinks its from the mid to late 30′s. was wondering i you could confirm.

  21. Garrett,

    If you are looking on the numbers on the top of the knee, I would guess your mill is a round ram (M head model) dating from 1944. I don’t know why there is no prefix, but I am trying to put together a way to decode the prefixes. Sorry I can’t confirm the date for you, but thats my best guess.

    Regards,
    Mick

  22. John Dudley on said:

    I have a Bridgeport Series 2 mill with a 4J head on it and I want to know how to find the year of the machine. Any suggestions? Thank you, John

  23. John,

    I don’t currently have any info on that, but I’m constantly looking. I’ll post it here if and when I find any.

    Mick

  24. Dean Adams on said:

    I have a Bridgeport Series II w/ a S/N of 2471S. Can you help me w/ the year model? Dean

  25. Sorry, Dean, but I don’t have any info on the Series II mills. I am looking for any info I can find (you’re not the first one to ask), so if anyone can help, I sure would appreciate the help.

    Regards,
    Mick

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