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PREVENTION OF SPONTANBOUS COMBUS beg to inform you that, in the year 1827, I

TION ON BOARD OF VESSELS - MR. saw a pair of marine engines, constructed in WILLIAMS'S EXPERIMENTS.

London by Mr. John Hague, on the same Sir,-1 was very much pleased with principle : they were of 40-horses power, and the suggestion (p. 154) of placing pipes

were erected on board a vessel called the with small holes in them to admit air

Thames, which traded between London and through the bulk of coals in steam-ves

Yarmouth for a considerable period. The sels; but I think, if the upright pipes engines to which I refer were put into the

vessel in the place of, and same space prewere carried lower, and joined to other

viously occupied by, a pair of rotary engines, tubes running horizontally, it would be still

(which were made by some other party, and better. About eight years ago, I made a

were inefficient,) and they worked quite sa very complete model upon the same prin

tisfactorily, until the vessel, getting old, was ciple; but my idea was, to prevent the broken up. The only difference between the heating of corn and potatoes in vessels, engines made by Mr. Hague and the so. as it is a most remarkable fact, that a called Haddington engines was, that they large quantity of both articles is com had an intermediate shaft, and that the airpletely wasted, if the voyage happens to pumps were worked differently, taking up be a long one. I took some trouble to less space. I have documents and sketches show it to a few individuals whom I in my possession, made in 1827, showing thought it would benefit ; but no—it was

exactly the same arrangement of a drag-link all very well in its way, but the damaged to supersede the necessity of an intermediate food was no loss to them, and therefore

shaft, and also sketches of a plan for working they did not care about it. In carrying

the air-pumps, as described in the drawing out my plan, I made a large box, some

of the Haddington engine ; but these plans thing like the hull of a ship, with a double

were abandoned in order to bring in the old

air-pumps and working gear, (which had bottom pierced with small holes, with

belonged to the rotary engines,) without any tubes going through the corn to the space alterations. between, and by forcing air with a piston With respect to the stuffing-boxes, I can down the tubes, it rose upwards again speak from experience of their working, that through the grain ; and it was astonish.. there was no more difficulty in keeping them ing to see how soon wheat, well damped tight, than in engines of the ordinary conbefore putting into the box, was dried. I

struction; and the piston-rods, although proposed that

granary floors should also be working downwards, were lubricated easily done in this way, as it would save a good by a very simple contrivance. deal of turning; but the expense


I am, Sir, to be a complete obstacle to any improve

Your obedient servant, ment in that quarter.

ENGINEER. While writing, I cannot help congra

March 4, 1842. tulating Mr. Williams on the able manner in which he has detailed his several

FIRE-PREVENTIVE PLASTER-COL. MACEexperiments, proving to a certainty the

RONE IN REPLY TO MR. BADDELEY. old saying, that the three-legged pot boils a great deal sooner than one that has no

Sir,—In No. 967, our worthy friend and legs at all. Indeed, I have often ob

your most valuable correspondent, Mr. Badserved, when a boy, the steam rising up

deley, has poured out the phials of his wrath with great fury in three places perpendi

upon my poor bald head. Mr. Baddeley is

very much mistaken in his phrase " the decular to the legs. But it is not the man termined hostility with which Colonel Macewho sees such things and thinks no more rone has all at once attacked the fire prevenabout them that benefits mankind; it is tive plaster.” I, sir, have no cause or feel. he who turns them to real practical use, ing of " hostility" towards it; I have never and thereby adds new stores of knowledge seen their prospectus, and know none of the to the book of science.

parties concerned in it; and if I did, had I I remain, Sir, your most obedient, been injured or offended by any of them, I

J. W.

should deem myself " a false knare" to squeak my penny trumpet in depreciation of any useful invention. What I predicated

was, that our most flimsy trembling floors Sir,-I observe, in No. 968 of your useful could not sustain any kind of plaster withand interesting Magazine, a description of out its being cracked and destroyed by the an engine, (called the “ Haddington Marine said elasticity. I have seen plenty of foors Steam-engine,) by Mr. James White, and covered with stucco as hard and polished as



207 the finest marble, and walls of rooms also. it ought to do in a well-constructed chim. At Venice the floors are of beautiful sca ney). I called out for a wet blanket; they, gliola, often washed and rubbed with oil; with the fear of the icy roof before them, but then, the construction is so stiff and would not bring it; so as of old, as the mounsolid, that a troop of horse would not cause tain would not come to Mahomet, Mahomet a shake. The mansion of my uncle, Alex went to the mountain ; I crawled to them for ander Falconieri, at Tusculum, above Frascati, the wet blanket, stuffed it into the chimney, near Rome, had the walls of many rooms and the fire was extinguished. It shows how covered with a cement which has the white very little used to fires the Romans were, ness and polish of the finest marble. Some when this little incident of a chimney on fire are painted in fresco. Indeed, uncalcined was the topic of general talk for months marble powder is one of its chief ingredients. after, and I was decreed to be worthy of The floors were the same, and the only nothing less than an ovation for stuffing a inconvenience is of disposing an unwary wet blanket into a chimney! The only dawalker to fall incontinently on his or her mage I received was the breaking of almost back. So far from "determined hostility," every nail off my fingers in holding on to I am glad to hear from so very competent a the ice-covered tiles. gentleman as Mr. Baddeley, that this cement But I must not forget to say a word on is an accession to our means of security from Mr. Baddeley's sneer at my chemical anafire. But I must remark, as a practical man, lyzing knowledge. I do not pretend to an that the under surface of deal stairs is far operative dexterity in chemical analyzing more liable to be caught by the fire, than operations. It is many years since I posthe upper ; but I suppose the former will be sessed a competent laboratory or apparatus. plastered as well as the latter. The like may The instrument I used upon the little bit of be said of the floor of a room upon which I the patent cement, was my tongue. I may have overturned a large grate-full of bril have been mistaken as to that which I took hiant fire, which, without a drop of water, to be “ Roman cement ;' but, as to the has burnt itself dead, only leaving a barrel of size, I not only saw it open, but charred concavity in the boards. But all amply smelt it. I attach no blame or deceit these things will no doubt be duly borne in to this. As Mr. Baddeley most justly says, mind by the “ Fire-preventive Company, “ neither can the materials of which the fireto which I desire all possible success and preventive cement is composed, be of any prosperity.

great consequence, so long as it retains the I have no shadow of a cause for depre fire-resisting properties.” To this paragraph ciating the merits of the patent cement, al

I agree

" totiis viribus." It appears from though Mr. Baddeley hints that he could Mr. Baddeley's letter, that pounded slate is explain the "wherefore."

the basis of this cement. Now, we all know In Italy, the rooms are all stuccoed from that the base of slate is the earth called top to bottom, and the floors are either of alumina. My grandfather, the Marquis large tiles painted, or of scagliola. The Macerone, possessed the alum works of La window curtains are generally of silk—the Tolfa, near Civita Vecchia, six miles from beds have none; the staircases are all of Rome, where slate is superposed on a volca. stone; so I can vouch that from 1806 to nic crnst of our earth. The rising sulphuric 1815, there was not a single house burnt in acid penetrating the slate, produces sulphate a city of 500,000 inhabitants. The same in of alumina ; or, what in commerce is called Rome; the only "fire" during seventeen alum. The alum is extracted from the slate years, was that of a chimney in the house of by exposure to the air and aspersions with my cousin, the Marquis Lepri, brother-in water, which water is then boiled till cryslax to Torlonia, in whose mansion, next tallization of the alum ensues. 15,0001. door, a beam caught fire, or rather was worth of alum were thus produced from my charred by its stupid propinquity to the said grandfather's slate mines of La Tolfa every chimney. I shudder when I think of the year.

But it would take too much of your risk I ran on that occasion. I happened to valuable space to talk of alum, slate, &c. be in the room at the time. I instantly So I will conclude, by assuring Mr. Baddenailed a wet blanket before the fire-place; ley, that he is mistaken in his view of the then got on to the roof, and poured down sentiments of several buckets of water. It was in Feb.

F. MACERONE. ruary 1812, a hard frost. Part of the water P. S.-A friend has just told me, that a spilt, covered the sloping roof without pa gentleman to whom I am under many oblirapets, and formed a coat of ice. The lea gations, and whom, rather than injure or offend slip would have let me down into the street. I would cut off my hand, has an interest in The firemen urged me to come away, saying, this patent “Fire-preventive Company.” This that the soot would burn itself out, (and so intimation has just come in time to prevent

me from sending you a long comprehensive article, long since written on the subject. By the bye, Mr. Baddeley will not, I hope, deny that the day before the experiment in South Lambeth, I saw “ with my own eyes," an open barrel of size. I attach no importance to the fact, but merely speak in defence of my veracity. Why should I have said so, it not true? I have no rival patent or interest. It would be desirable if you, sir, or Mr. Baddeley, would invent or compound some English word to signify the burning of a house. “ Fire" applies to a pistol ; to the fire in the grate, or in a lady's or gentleman's eyes. But the French have incendie, which applies alone to tenements burnt. By the bye, I once heard an English lady in Paris, scold, the servant, and tell him, feu est allé dehors .!" The man stared, and was glad to see that the grate and chimneypiece had not gone out for a walk along with the fire.

February 20, 1842.

i Le

VOTES AND NOTICES. The Smoke Nuisance.- We are glad to find that this important subject is at length beginning to be seriously entertained by the authorities of the disferent manufacturing districts, and the practicability of its prevention as generally admitted; the Lighting and Watching Commissioners of Bradford, a short time since, appointed a committee, consisting of Messrs. Broadbent, Smithi, and Walker, to examine the various patent rights, &c., and to report the result of their labours.

These gentlemen appear to have been most assiduous in their inquiries, and their report must be highly satisfactory to Mr. C. W. Williams, in particular, to whose invention they pay this tribute--"By this apparatus the consumption or prevention of smoke is complete, and a saving of 25 per cent, in coal effected." The apparatus of Mr. Hall is also well spoken of, as well as those of Mr. David Cheetham and Mr. Billingsley; and the committee, in concluding their report, state their unanimous opinion to be, that the nuisance of smoke can be entirely prevented, and that attended by a considerable saving of fuel.---Mining Journal.

Safety Beacon erected in the Goodwin Sands.The following interesting account of this structure is contained in a letter from Captain Bullock to Captain Beaufort, hydrographer to the Adiniralty, published in the Athenæum: "In carrying on the survey of the Thames, it was found expedient as the work proceeded seawards, and the receding landmarks grew indistinct, to erect fixed marks on the ditlerent sands. The first of them was nothing more than an iron bar da ven into the sand, with a flag-staff affixed to it. This stood but a tide or two, and was succeeded by various modifications of the same simple plan, stays being added to support the shaft: but in vain; the marks erected in this manner all yielded to the first gale of wind. It then appeared that some foundation was wanted to enable them to resist the force of the waves. To remedy this defect, the bar was fixed in a broad cross of wood, from the extremities of which chains were attached to the staff, and after many trials success was attained by this means. The results of the experiments above related, joined to the knowledge of the lamentable loss of life annually taking place on the Goodwin Sands, induced the persuasion, that since it was found practicable to fix a Beacon on them, it was an imperative duty to erect one calculated for the preservation of life. The

Safety Beacon now standing upon the Goodwin Sands, may be thus described: - The Shaft, or Mast, -40 feet in height and 12 inches in diameter, is sunk into the sand, through a strong frame of oak, in the form of a cross, firmly secured by four long bars of iron, and laden with several toas of ballast, chalk, &c. The mast is also sustained by eight chain shrouds, in pairs, and attached to iron piles, 17 feet long, which are driven close dov into the sand, and are backed by mushroom anchors, to prevent their coming home, or towards the Mast. On the Shaft is fitted an Octagon Gallery, capable of holding thirty or forty people, and never less than 16 feet above high-water mark; beneath the gallery there is temporary safety for twenty peso sons more. The Mast is also fitted with a tight topmast, on which a blue flag (always at hand) can be hoisted, when aid is required from the shore, but which is kept struck, or down, to give the whole an appearance of a wreck, thus answering the double purpose of a Beacon of Warning and a Place of Refuge. Directions are given in eight languages, and bread and water with a small supply of spirits, are left upon the Beacon, properly protected from the weather. To the Beacon is also appended a chain ladder of easy ascent, as well as cleats to the Mast, and a large basket chair is kept in readiness, with ropes and blocks to succour the exhausted."

Cooking Carnelians.- The carneliaz is a beautiful illustration of change. This beautiful gem embraces every colour, from the pale fine yellow of sulphur to the deepest crimson ; its opacity raries from the dull and coarse texture common to other stones, to the exquisite fineness of garnet. Bot what is it in its state of nature, before it is dragged to the light of day? A dull, worthless, fiinty substance, similar to the agate, varying in its colour, and, sometimes in its material. The ignorant native of India, who is no geologist-who knows not what philosophy means—but, simply excited by his cupidity alone, abstracts the worthless stone from the earth, and, placing it on some elevated spot, suffers it to remain on the surface of the earth for three years, at the expiration of which period, he boils the stone for several hours, in order to expedite the result, and to check its fur. ther changes. In the cutting we acknowledge Carnelian, one of the most becoming and beautiful ornaments of the female sex, although, from its abundance, but held in light esteem. AguD to anticipate the slow operation of natural causes, these uncultivated people inclose the unripe stones in a vessel of carth, and, in this state, expose it to artificial heat; thus, in a few days, the like result is obtained.-Correspondent of the Mining Journal.

Adams's Boro Springs and Spring Bufers are stated in a Hamburgh paper to have been adopted in the Hamburgh and Bergsdorf railway, and with great advantage as regards both " case of motion and absence of noise."

City Fire Escapes.-- At a Court of Common Coon cil held on Monday, February 28, Mr. Lott wished to know whether any opportunity had occurred, for putting the Fire-escapes ordered by the Corporation, to the test? He wished to hear something upon the subject, which, although of such immense import. ance, seemed to have dropped into oblivion. "Mr. Hicks, said that three escapes had been made, and the police con missioner and Mr. Braidwood of the Fire-brigade had been made acquainted with that fact. so much for Corporation progress!

+ Intending Patentees may be supplied gratis with Instructions, by application (postpaid) to Messrs. J. C. Robertson and Co., 166, Fleet-street, by whom is kept the only COMPLETE REGISTRY OF PATENTS EXTANT (from 1617 to the present time). Patents, both British and Foreign, solicited. Specifications prepared or revised, and all other Patent bwsiness transacted,

LONDON: Edited, Printed, and Published by J. C. Robertson, at the Mechanics' Magazine Office,

No. 166, Fleet-street.-Sold by W. and A. Galignani, Rue Vivienne, Paris;

Machin and Co., Dublin; and W. C. Campbell and Co., Hamburgh.

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WALKER'S HYDRAULIC ENGINB. Sir,—There is, perhaps, scarcely any been wholly unable to comprehend its matter in engineering science that has modus operandi. Some have even disengaged so large a share of attention as believed their own eye-sight, and denied the art of raising water. The diversified the possibility of raising water by the expedients resorted to for this purpose, mere use of a pump-barrel with a value prior to the invention of the pump by at its lower extremity. So strong has Ctesebes, and the attempts that have been the belief that there is some sort of been subsequently made to improve upon legerdemain at the bottom of the affair, this important instrument, would fill a that Mr. Walker has been compelled to goodly volume, replete with interest and prepare a machine composed entirely of instruction.

glass, to demonstrate that no deception is Without entering into any examination practised or intended. of the comparative merits of the present Mr. Walker's apparatus steps in as if most popular contrivances for this pur to settle the question which some years pose, I propose in this paper simply to since was so rife between friction and complete what I began in your 34th vo frictionless pumps* -to show the perfrct lume, (page 377,) viz., a description of inutility of both "scrape and go” and the novel and ingenious “ Water Ele "rolling pistons ;" to put them both out vator,” patented by Mr. Walker. In of court, by demonstrating that, in reality, that communication I briefly described no piston at all is required! If the Mr. Walker's apparatus in its simplest substitution of the rolling for the slidform, and noticed its extraordinary capa. ing piston effected, as has been stated, bilities--extraordinary, because, if that a saving of 73 per cent., dispensing description had appeared anonymously, with pistons of any kind may, of course, the whole matter would have been put claim the saving of the remaining 27 per down as a hoax! My plain unvarnished cent. tale, however, having a' name appended In my former communication I exto it that was at least a guarantee for its plained that Mr. Walker's apparatus deauthenticity, was received with some pends for its action upon the momentum degree of attention.

acquired by fluids when in motion, and So apparently mysterious, however, that the patentee was about to construct was the action of this novel apparatus, some machines upon a large scale, to be that curiosity was strongly excited re worked by suitable mechanism; several of specting it. In illustration of this, I these have been completed to be worked by may just mention a circumstance that manual power, or by wind, and forwardcame to my knowledge. A party of gen ed to climates where machinery for this tlemen, in Suffolk, entered into a sub purpose, constructed of less durable mascription to enable one of their number terials, has been found a subject of conto come to town to examine and report tinual annoyance and expense. upon this phenomenon. Accordingly, The accompanying engraving (see he waited upon Mr. Walker, who, in his front page) represents one of Mr. Walkusual candid and unpretending manner, er's Elevators in its complete form. A exhibited the machine in operation, and is a winch-handle on a shaft, which carexplained the nature of its action : fur ries a toothed driving-wheel B, working nishing satisfactory proofs of all that he into a pinion C; upon the pinion-shaft advanced. The gentleman saw, and won there is an eccentric, from which a condered; he was of necessity convinced : necting-rod d, passes up to the overbut, said he to Mr. Walker, "you must head beam E. From each extremity of please to let me have one of these ma the beam E, two pump-rods ff, pass chines to take back with me; my report

down to the two elevators, or water cylin alone will be unavailing-seeing is be ders, 99, which may be of any convenient lieving—but nothing short of seeing will length, say from 30 to 40 feet, and from carry conviction in this business."

11 3 inches in diameter; these So paradoxical is the performance of Walker's hydraulic apparatus, that skil. . By the bye, the expiration of Shalders's Patent, ful and intelligent engineers have been

three years since, does not seem to have tempted

any other manufacturer to adopt his wonder-workcompletely astounded by it, and have ing contrivance.

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