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house on fire presents, is beyond their capa- HINT WHICH WILL BE USEFUL WHEN (?) bility.

MAGNETIC LOCOMOTIVES ARE IN USE, The stream of Braithwaite's Aoating-en

Sir,- 1 observed in your last monthly gine on the Thames is about the bigness of one's arm, and it is said to throw up a ton of

Number, among the “ Notices," that water a minute :* here, then, we have an Mr. Mullins, M. P. for Kerry, was conengine of efficient power; but it is only

structing a locomotive-carriage to be proavailable in cases of fire near the river-side, pelled by the power of electro-magand then not at low-water,—which was the netism. If he generates his power by cause of its not rendering such good service means of the action of diluted sulphuric at the fire in question. Deficiency or delay acid on alternate plates or cylinders of in the supply of water is the common com

copper and zinc, hydrogen gas is rapidly plaint at all fires; and the water-companies

evolved, which I should advise him to also complain of the enormous waste of water,

save for the purpose of lighting up the which they allege to be the cause of the deficiency, though it cannot be of the delay.

carriage if intended for night travelling. The quantity of water suffered to run down

And, again, the zinc and the copper deinto the sewers, is doubtless more than is composed by the action of the acid would used in checking the progress of the flames. be converted into sulphate of zinc and Surely there are other methods of supplying sulphate of copper, which, if formed in a an engine with water than by flooding the considerable quantity, would be well streets? A pipe screwed on to the main, worth extracting, and go a long way having branches communicating with the toward paying the expense of a new hose of several engines, would convey all the

generator. water withdrawn from the reservoir on to the fire; and such an increase of propelling force

I remain, Sir, yours obediently, might be supplied as would project a greater

TYRO MECHANICUS. volume of water to the requisite beight.

Chacewater, Sept. 13, 1836. Steam power is at present the most available for this purpose; and we used to hear mention made of a steam fire-engine, which performed AVERY'3 ROTARY STEAM-ENGINE.* wonders. What has become of it? The efficacy of a stream of water less than six

The re-invention in America of Hero's inches diameter seems to us to be inadequate engine, and the application of so old a to the quenching of a mass of fire: if a principle in the power of steam to useful whole cistern of water could be raised to the

purposes, has created soine stir on this requisite height and overturned on the flames, as well as on the other side of the a few repetitions of such a dose night suffice Atlantic. In both the old and new to extinguish them at once, with less labour

countries have the statements put forth and a far smaller consumption of water than

by its re-inventor, Mr. Avery, been met by the present mode. Should this not be

with disbelief and an unfavourable prepracticable, however, the column of water propelled by the engines ought at least to be

judice. These obstacles, however, seem greatly increased ; and some mode adopted

to be gradually diminishing in America, for preventing the waste of water, and secur

where the engines are becoming, by a ing a prompt supply. When the fire-insur- sort of reaction, great favourites; accord. ance companies suffer so largely as the Sun is ing to the American Railroad Journal, reported to suffer, we may reasonably expect " the demand for them is greater than can that the Directors, looking to their own in

be supplied, by the constant labour of terest, will cast about for some better pro- one hundred men !" One is about to be tection from loss, which will benefit the

shipped for the government of Russia, public generally. The first step to an im

and another for the government of provement of the fire-police has been effected

Prussia. by adopting the principle of co-operation : it

Will not some engineer put now remains to put an efficient mechanical

the thing to a working test in England? power into the hands of the Fire Brigade.

From the above-mentioned source into Spectator.

which they are copied from a pamphlet),

we abridge the following testimonials # The writer labours here under some mistake.

in iis favour. In the Railroad Journal, Mr. Braithwaite has no floating.engino on the Thames; he did submit to the associated tire.

copies of the letters are given verbatim; offices the plan of one which would have thrown,

they have a genuine appearance, and are not a ton, but a ton and a half of water a minuts from known persons, and as such we are -to a height of some seventy or eighty feet-but it was declinej, for reasons which we must leave the gentlemen whose characters are implicated by

* Described in No. 637. the refusal to explain.--Ed. M. M.

he says,


413 bound to give credence to the statements drive two pair of 31 feet stones, so as to grind contained therein.

wheat or corn, well and fast. I remained After describing the rotary. engine as

two days after they commenced grinding, and working a saw-mill, it is said that, left every thing operating to the entire satis

faction of all. Mr. Dupuy was much pleased “Saw-mills of this description are in com- with the engine, and unhesitatingly paid mon use in the western and south western 400 dollars, and gave good security for the states, driven by Avery's rotary engine, remaining 500 dollars. which is now coming much into use, for

“ Having all my machinery ready to drive fouring and saw-mills, cotton-gins, and other

the stones by bands when your plan arrived purposes, as will be seen by the accompany. (to drive them with gear), i could not, withing extracts of letters to Judge Wilkeson, of

out much expense and delay, make the altera. Buffalo, who has the agency west of the Lakes

tion. The large wheel is six feet, its shaft is and Alleganies. These are only a few of the nine feet long, upon which is a drum, and very numerous letters, which might be pub- from which drum-bands pass to pulleys on lished, commendatory of the engine; yet the spindles which drive the stones; bands they are, with others herewith given, suffi

also pass from the drum to drive the force and cient to place it in its proper light before the

cold water pumps, elevators, bolts, screen, community.

fan, and hopper boy, all of which perform A candid perusal, and unprejudiced ex. their office well and sufficiently fast to convert amination of the engine, will satisfy those 10 bushels of wheat per hour into flour.who desire to be convinced. This engine speaks, by its silence, its own praise, to those On the 13th of November, he acknowwho witness its operation.

ledges the receipt of one engine, and “ The gentleman, Mr. Kinney, who wrote mentions the shipping of another. Havthe letters from which the following extracts ing erected the former for a Mr. Henry, are made, resides at Louisville, Ky., and has a machine-shop there, in which the first rotary engine was put up west of Pittsburgh. The

“Mr. Henry's engine is in successful engine operated so much to the satisfaction of operation. He is fully satisfied with its per Mr. Kinney, and his partner, that they un

formance, so far as he has had an opportu. dertook the putting up of engines in the

nity of testing it. * * I have put two run south western States.

of 32 feet stones in operation for him, and “It will be observed, that it was with diffi

believe the power is sufficient for three run of culty introduced into use, in the south-west,

3} feet, or even 4 feet. I put up three as there were but few who dare trust their

boilers 20 feet long and 22 inches diameter, eyes when its operation was so directly in the

say exactly by that size. More pains should face of previous theories, and especially whilst

be taken to have the large engines accurately every machinist and man of science opposed it.”

balanced, and the pulley also should be put

on the shaft before the arms are, and exactly The principal facts mentioned in Mr. balanced-if the pulley is not balanced, it Kinney's letters are as follows:- On the produces a vibration between the end of the 15th of August le put up an engine for

shaft and the centre, against which it runs. Messrs. E. Grover and Co., of Rich

I am more pleased with the operations of all mond, which he left in complete and

parts of this engine than any rotary I have successful operation. He says, “I met

yet put up; and I believe it will be so ma

naged, by those who have the care of it, that with no difficulty the first time I raised

it will continue to perform well. * * The the steam in making the engine operate

stones have 135 revolutions per minute, and to the entire satisfaction of its owners, grind at the rate of seven bushels per hour.” and the admiration of multitudes who came to see the far-famed rotary steam

In February, in the present year, Mr. engine.” On the 23rd of September, he

Kinney states, acknowledges the receipt of three en- “ I have put in operation for Judge M'Ghee gines. One of these, a large one (he two cotton.gins and one pair of mill-stones does not state the size), he put up at a 34 feet diameter, and I find that the engine mill at Shelbyville ; and on the 28th of has an abundance of power, although I have the same month he writes as follows :

been under the necessity of using very poor

wood, but have no doubt that if I had “The mill at Shelbyville operates admira- another cotton-gin to put on, it would drive bly well; I put up the three 18-inch boilers the three, with the mill. The boiler is 23 which I received from Pittsburgh, and find feet long, and 26 inches diameter. I expect that there is a superabundance of power to to attach to this engine a saw mill-saw, as



“ It

the power is sufficient. This engine has three lation to Avery's engine. We suhjoin feet arms."

what he says, therefore, as an answer to In various letters, engines are spoken

the various correspondents who have of favourably, as working at different asked us for further information, or our mills, upon a railroad (of which no par- opinion, upon the subject. The remarks ticulars are given), and in a boat. Cer- appended are from the Franklin Journal, tificates also, with numerous signatures, and are given in answer to a correattest its successful operation ; that it is spondent signing “Fair Play":the best engine for milling purposes,

so happens that 'Fair Play,' and the easiest of management, &c.; and

others, who desire information on the subthis after two and three years experience ject of Foster and Avery's re-acting steamof its working.

engine (commonly called Avery's), will, in Messrs. Lynds and Son, of Syracuse, the present number,* have a full opportunity engine manufacturers, having put up of seeing what constitutes the claim of these one for a saw mill, for a Mr. N. Feli, gentlemen to a patent for an improvement in addressed to him the following queries : this machine. They were fully informed re

specting what had been attempted with en“ 1st. Have you made any alterations in

gines similar in construction to their own, your boiler, in any form or manner, since

previously to their obtaining a patent; and it putting the rotary in use, so as to afford

will be seen that they have confined their more steam with less fuel ?

claim to improvement within very narrow “ 2nd. Is there any difference in the limits, and so far as we are informed, their amount of fuel required to perform an equal claim is a valid one.

It may be said that amount of labour with either of the engines ? their improvement is triling; that, howIf so, which requires the least, and what is

ever, is their own concern, as those whu do the difference in the quantity used ?

not need it are at full liberty to use the “ 3rd. Does the rotary engine do more or

machine in any of the various forms which less work, in the same time, than the piston had been previously given to it, or to devise engine? What is the amount of difference? others which are new, without buying from “ 4th. Which engine do you conceive to

them what may be deemed unimportant. be the most simple in its construction, and “ We are not sufficiently well informed in its application to any mechanical purpose respecting the comparative results obtained the most natural ? Also, which is kept in from Avery's and the reciprocating, or Avery's repair with the least expense ?

and other rotary engines, to make up our Mr. Felt returned the following Answers :

minds respecting its real value. Between

four and five years, however, have elapsed “ In answer to your first question, I would

since this engine was patented, and it has say I have made no alteration in my boilers

been at work at Syracuse, and various other or arches.

places, during the whole of that time, so “ 2nd. As to the amount of fuel required, that those who have seen it, and who possess I am not able to answer precisely, but am

a competent knowledge of the subject, have sure the rotary does not require more than had time enough to investigate it. Before two-thirds the quantity to put it in operation the patent was obtained, we expressed to Mr. the piston engine required.

Avery our general want of confidence in the “'As to the amount of the business per

real value of such engines, and our doubts formed, the rotary will do double the amount

respecting the importance of the improve. of the piston engine in the same time. So ments claimed ; and we did not suppose that far as I am acquainted with the two engines,

the career of the one in question would exI consider the rotary the most simple in its

tend to two years; a length of life greater construction and application to mechanical than has usually fallen to the lot of rotary purposes, and I think is kept in order with

engines; it still lives, however, maugre our the lvast expense. With the experience I anticipations, and all the reports which we have with the two engines, I should prefer have received relating to it, tend to show the rotary for any mechanical purposes what. that it has not yet exhibited the first sympever."

toms of decline." Dr. Jones, the editor of the Franklin

The following extract from the speciJournal, to whose pages we are so fre- fication shows the claim of the parenquently indebted, and in whose judgment we place great confidence, gives some very favourable testimony in re

* See extract from the specification annexed.

tees :


415 “ We find it to be a point of great import- arrived at after repeated and frequent meaance to give such a form to the revolving surements—I may also say that the result arms, as shall subject them to the least pos- has since been even more satisfactory-the sible resistance from the air; we therefore, work having been done with an average of 35 instead of making them in the form of round gallons of water per hour-a result


diftubes, which has been heretofore done, give ferent from what is usually estimated to be to them the form which results from making required for a piston engine. The estimate each half of the arm a segment of a large is, it I am not in error, from 7 to 9 gallons circle, so that, when the two halves are per hour per horse-power. Allowing these united, the edges of the tube present acute statements to be correct—and they are sus. angles. The tubes, however, may be made ceptible of the most satisfactory proof, -it elliptical, or oval, and the same end will be, does not require very profound wisdom to in a great measure, attained.

We use any

arrive at the conclusion that a less quantity of number of such arms on the same shaft, as fuel, as well as of water, is used for the rotury we may find best adapted to our purpose. than for the piston engine. Should it be also

“ We do not claim to be the inventors of found, on inquiry, that the economy is equally the re-acting steam engine, nor of the case,

great in the first outlay and in the cost of or drum, within which we intend the arms repairs and attendance, as it appears, by the shall, in general, revolve; but what we claim

above to be in the use of water and fuel, as our invention, is simply the giving the

there can be little doubt of its coming, and oblate, or flat, form to the revolving arms, so

immediately too, into general use. That such that, in proportion to their capacity, they

is the fact I am prepared to show to those shall experience much less resistance from

who desire farther information. the air than that to which they have been “ The arms of the engine are 30 inches heretofore subjected, thereby obtaining a long from the centre of the shaft to the greatly increased power.”

apertures, and the apertures are each the

to of a square inch-they are enclosed in a " In several articles published in other

circular cast-iron case—the shaft receiving papers alluding to 'Avery's rotary-engine,' the steam at one end, and having a pulley for

the main band on the other. information has been asked for; and in order to give an answer as satisfactory as possible,

“ The following machines are all attached I made personal examination and frequent

to, and operated by it, viz.:inquiry of gentlemen of intelligence and “) upright saw with 30-inch stroke, or character in this city, who are perfectly 15-inch crank-averaging 110 strokes per familiar with the daily operation of one of minute. them with 30 inch arms, or five feet sweep, I buz saw, 24-inch, cutting a kerf of and thei followng is the result of my inves- is of an inch, with 22 to 2400 revolutions tigation; and for its correctness I can give

per minute. the most satisfactory testimony if desired :- 3 24-inch circular vencering saws.

“ The engine alluded to is now, and has been for several months, in operation in

« 1 27 Attourney-street, in this city-where it has from 12 to 1500 revolutions per minute. been visited by hundreds of intelligent gen

1 15-inch buz saw, with 1200 revolutions tlemen, who have been not only delighted, per minute; and but astonished at its performance-and es

“ I whip saw for curves, with 9-inch sweep pecially with its quiet and modest behaviour and 250 strokes per minute. -if I may so speak. It is not uncommon

“ | grindstone. for gentlemen unacquainted with its appear

« 1 blower for the furnace. ance to go into the engine-room at the Astor And the pump raising water 30 feet into House, where there is one of eight-horse a reservoir for its own use. power, after looking at the boiler, pump, and “ These machines are not always all at machinery, inquire for the engine--notwith- work at the same time--as some of them restanding they may be within a few feet of it in quire repairing, or filing, or they are taking full operation. There is nothing in its ap- off or putting on logs; but this may be said pearance which indicates a steam-engine; and without fear of contradiction—they can all in the cost of repairs and attendance there is be driven at the same time by the engine now very little more resemblance.

in use, for 10, 12, or any number of hours “ It will be observed, that a statement is

that the superintendent and hands can tend given in the following extract from the

it; and that, too, with the evaporation of an (American) Mechanics' Magazine, of the quan

average not to exceed 40 gallons of water per tity of water evaporaled; and it may be

hour. proper for me to say that that result was The boiler now in use was made for a

« 1 26

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piston engine, and was intended for 15-horse power.

“ It has been asked, and frequently, what is the power of this engine.

This is a ques tion easier asked by many than answeredyet most practical men form an opinion for themselves of the power required to carry this machinery-and it is, of course, in this way, estimated variously.

“ It cannot, however, be put down at less than the following estimate, viz. :-

Horse Power, The upright saw, sawing 110 feet

5 The large buz saw, sawing 120 feet The small do. do. The veneering saws The whip-saw, grindstone, pump, and blower


per hour


per hour





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“ But to avoid over-estimates, we will put the whole at 15-borse power,' to accomplish which 40 gallons of water were evaporated at an expense of fuel of one dollar for every ten working hours, and 1 dollar 25 cents for attendance on the engine and fire.

“ It should be borne in mind that these saws are all used in sawing mahogany-except the whip-saw, which is used for sawing all kinds of timber.

“ In addition to the above, a turning. lathe is to be put in operation in a few days.”

The following letter we extract in full on account of the interesting particulars it contains, with respect to the mode of operation in obtaining gold from the ore, as well as in relation to the engine. The writer is a Mr. Harris, superintendent of a gold mine, of Charloite, Mechlenburgh Co., N. C. The letter is dated July 121h, 1836, and is addressed to Mr. Minor, of the Railroad Journal:

“ Your note containing questions respecting the rotary engine has been duly received, therefore in compliance with your request I transmit to you the following answers :

“ Ist. The diameter of the engine, or length of arm, is 5 feet.

« 2nd. Its estimated capacity or power, was considered by the maker to be equal to twenty horses, which power it has generally performed since it has been in full operation, so considered by myself as well as others employed at the establishment. I am not prepared to say what power the engine would be, by an additional pressure of steam, but the highest pressure used by us, never exceeds 100 lbs. per square inch in the boilers, and frequently not over 80 lbs.

** 3rd. The machinery and apparatus used are of a very complex character,--six Chil

·lian mills, two Arrestres, one Hungarian washing-machine, four shakers (making two sets of shaking-tables), and one pump of six inches diameter, 110 feet in length, are the various kinds of machinery used and set in motion by the rotary engine. Perhaps a brief description of the nature of the machinery will better enable you to judge of the power required to propel such machinery. The Chillian mill is much on the same prin. ciple as that of a Bark mill; consisting of a large stone 6 feet in diameter, and 14 inches thick, which is made to revolve in a vertical position in a circle of 4 feet diameter, which circle is enclosed by staves in the form of a tub, and made so as to contain water; the ore is therefore regularly deposited by means of a shovel under the vertical stones, which revolve, crush the ore, and pulverise it to a powder, when it is carried off, by a constant stream of water passing through the tubs. Much depends on the attention paid, and the character of the ore ground in this kind of mill, as respects the power required to propel them. At our establishment they have always been considered equal to one and a balf horse power each. The Arrestre mill differs in its construction and mode of operation from the Cbillian mill. It consists, in the first place, of a large bed of solid granite rock, generally about 9 feet diameter, and from 12 to 18 inches thick, encircled by staves which form a complete tub, in the centre of which is placed a perpendicular shaft, and through which, about two feet from the bottom of the tub, pass two hori. zontal arms, extending the diameter of the tub; to these arms are suspended from four to six large rocks that will generally weigh from 200 to 300 pounds each, when the whole is set in motion by gearing-wheels from the top, and propelled to the speed of about ten revolutions per minute, and the ore mixed with water is pulverised to the consistence of paste. This process, as well as the one described above, depends much on the manner in which it is treated, and the character of the ore, as respects the power required, which has been considered at our establishment equal to power each mill. The otber apparatus used for washing, &c., require but little power, and therefore need no description. The pump is calculated to raise about 67 gallons of water per minute, with the present number and length of stroke, which, together with the washing apparatus, is considered to require about 5-horse power, making altogether, according to calculation, 20-horse


“ 4th. 'The engine, since its erection, has been kept in constant operation, Sundays and accidents excepted.

“ 5th. When in full operation, as all the

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