Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

SUGGESTIONS FOR THE PROTECTION OF MANUFACTORIES FROM FIRE. throughout the premises, stands a pail of bags are laid on a shelf in my countingwater, merely covered over with a loose house, with strict injunctions that they wooden cover. Any workman whose are never to be used for any other

pur: bench is deficient of this at any time is pose whatsoever, except that for which liable to fine or censure; in fact, the they are intended, namely, that in case order is peremptory, and is always of fire on my own or adjoining premises, obeyed (I think the plan should be the account-books and papers, or small adopted in Her Majesty's dock-yards.) articles, shall be instantly thrown into On one occasion my premises were saved them, and removed to a place of safety by this means. A large bag of tow in the neighbourhood. Ii is impossible caugbt fire, from a candle being placed to express the satisfaction you feel on too near it, in the presence of four per- having taken a precaution like this ; but sons, two of whom were paralyzed with what it is I know from actual experience. fear; the others caught up their pails of A very alarming fire took place next door water, and subdued it in a minute. Had to my premises, to the destruction of four this not effected the object, there is a houses. I was absent sixty miles from fire-pump in the yard, which would London at the time; and on a certain have been in action in three minutes morning, at ten o'clock, was surprised by more ; for it is so constructed, that by the appearance of my coachman, who had merely screwing on a hose, or various rode down express to inform me of what lengths of hose, one person can pump, had occurred; or, rather, to say that " and another direct the hose, I consider great fire was raging when he left, and this description of pump to be one of the it was feared my premises could not be most useful and desirable appendages to saved." My first inquiry was, if my a large manufactory, nobleman's man resident clerk was on the premises ? sion, or public building, that can be The messenger replied, “Yes; and seimagined. All buildings require a pump veral of the men.' My mind was then of some kind ; and wherever there is an immediately set at rest, because I knew opportunity of placing a pump outside all the books and papers would be safe; the house or building, it should be of and as the stock and premises were inthis construction. I have had my pump sured, no very serious loss could take eleven years. The care generally taken place. I was thus enabled to return in has made it unnecessary to have recourse quiet mind to London; where I found, to it, except for common purposes, on as I expected, the books and papers all my own premises; but the house of an taken to my residence, in the neighboureminent grocer, who lives within thirty hood, and not much damage done to the yards of iny premises, having caught fire premises, though the adjoining four in the basement story, where his car houses were burnt to the ground. At penter, who had just left work, had been this time the fire-pump was not erected, making packing-cases, my watchman, or the whole might have been easily who is on duty every night, screwed on saved : of this there is no doubt what. the hose, and breaking up the area grat ever. To solicitors, merchants, public ing, introduced it within less than five companies, and, in short, every person minutes after the alarm was given. In possessing papers of consequence, this about ten minutes more, and before any precaution, the cost of which will not other assistance arrived, the fire was so exceed 208., is invaluable. much subdued as to do very little da Your inestimably useful publication, mage, (401. covered the loss ;) whereas to which I have had the pleasure of subthe house being, in a very populous scribing for many years, appears to me neighbourhood, abounding in old build the proper medium of disseminating a ings, there is no knowing to what extent knowledge of these facts; and if you do the mischief might have gone, had the not think the article too long for publicafire not been stopped. Another pre tion, the insertion will be esteemed a facautionary measure I take is this: I vour by, Sir, have six strong bags made of common

Your humble servant, Russia sheeting, l} yard long, I of a

A MANUFACTURER. yard wide, with a strong tape run

P.S.-The late Mr. Russel, of St. through the mouth of each, my name John's-street, Clerkenwell, made my and address being stained outside. These pump, in 1830; but since his death, I

4 ON THE COMBUSTION OF COAL AND COKE IN FURNACES, BY MR. WILLIAMS. have permitted my neighbours, Messrs. you my sense of obligation which the peBailey, of 271, High Holborn, to take rusal of your most valuable book, “On the patterns from it, and authorized them to Combustion of Coal," has laid me under. exhibit mine when required. The ge.

“My object in writing to you now is, to neral efficacy of the thing consists in the draw your attention to the fact, that the reready, nay almost immediate application,

sult of your admirable and thorough inquiry in case of a fire, the hose being always at

into the theory of combustion has, for some hand to screw on in a minute.

time past, been in most successful operation on the continent of Europe ; and that, in fact, its application to practice, in the manufacture of iron, has already been pro

ductive of an immense economy of fuel, and ON THE COMBUSTION OF COAL AND COKE

most valuable improvements in that importIN FURNACES,-CARBONIC OXIDE.-BY

ant branch of industry. C. W. WILLIAMS, ESQ.

“ Mr. Faber, director of the royal mines at Sir,- The facts communicated in the

Wasseralfingen, in the kingdom of Wirtemenclosed extracts from a letter which I

berg, has for some years been engaged in a have just received from New York, and series of experiments upon the combustion from a gentleman who is a stranger to of the large quantities of carbonic oxide gas, me, are so satisfactory, and involve so which is generated in blast-furnaces, and important a feature in effecting perfect which generally escapes unconsumed out of combustion of the fuel in air-furnaces,

the mouth of the furnace, where it may be that I hasten to give it the benefit of

seen burning with a blue flame. He has your extended circulation, and of point

now succeeded in collecting this gas, and ing out its connexion with the subject on

conveying it in a pure and uninflamed state which I have lately addressed you.

to other furnaces or ovens requiring to be In

heated ; and there, by a proper admixture my

Treatise on the Combustion of Coal," I have dwelt on the loss occa

of atmospheric air, its complete combustion,

(or conversion into carbonic acid gas,) is sioned by the escape of a large quantity

effected, and consequently an intense temof the carbon of the coals, in the form of

perature is produced in the furnace. a gas, called carbonic oxide. I have “ The mode of mixing the gas, and the shown that this gas, which is a com whole process of combustion, as practised bustible, is formed from the carbonic acid, by Mr. Faber in his furnaces, is in beautiful which is an incombustible: that it there harmony with the theory which you have so fore requires its due portion of atmospheric conclusively established ; and it is truly inoxygen; and that this portion is precisely teresting to observe the exact coincidence of the same as was originally required for

your scientific investigation with the actual the carbon, in the carbonic acid pre

results of a long course of practical experiviously produced in the furnace. I ments made on a large scale by M. de Faber. showed that, because this was an in

“ According to Mr. Faber's method, the

air is forced into the furnace, which is to be visible gas, we were in the habit, in

heated by the carbonic oxide gas, through a practice, of neglecting its effect, and

series of blow-pipes, after having been preproviding it with the due quantity of viously heated in the furnace itself to a high air; and that because its imperfect com

temperature. To afford the air and gas bustion was not visible in the form of

sufficient time for an internal mixture and black smoke, its very existence was even incorporation, before they are burned in the denied by many practical men.

In the main chamber of the furnace, the fire-bridge following communication, however, this is made very long, thus complying with all question is set at rest; as we find this the conditions necessary to a complete comvery neglected gas, carbonic oride, ac bustion ; which is, in fact, effected in the tually collected, and made the instrument main chamber of the furnace. This being of very extensive purposes, and produc

the case, there is of course no smoke, and ing intense heat. Here is no theory, but

consequently no chimneys are required in the best practice, namely, that on a large

the furnaces employed by Mr. Faber. scale. The letter is as follows :

“ In furnaces of that construction, Mr.

Faber employs the otherwise lost carbonic “ New York, November 25, 1841. oxide gas, for the purposes of refining, “Sir,-I have not the honour of being puddling, reheating, and forging the iron ; personally acquainted with you, yet I feel and to various other operations, requiring a myself entitled to the liberty which I take in high temperature, with the most perfect addressing you, were it only to express to success : so that nearly all the large iron



establishments in Germany, and many in and expanding process,) in opposite diFrance and Belgium, are adopting the in rections, until they become loosened in vention of Mr. Faber. This invention has

the rivet-holes, and the boiler becomes been secured by patents in all those coun

leaky. tries; also in England. It has also been

Now, Sir, the whole of this ingenious applied to steam-boilers, for the purpose of burning the gases that are generated in boiler

crudity is utterly at variance with fact; furnaces, and escape unconsumed with smoke

for at the very moment when the fire is out of the chimney.

in this clear red hot state, and the fuel * I am very desirous of knowing how your

on the bars highly ignited; and when it patent furnace is operating in practice. I is alleged there is no gas to be consumed, should take it as a great favour if you would or to require a supply of air, at that communicate to me some information on the very moment the largest quantity of carsubject, as I take the liveliest interest in its bonic oxide gas is generated, and a large success.

supply of air required for its combustion ; “I remain, Sir, with the highest respect, thus increasing the heat, rather than " Your obedient servant,

producing a cold effect, and preventing “ C. DETMOLD, C. E."

this same gas escaping by the chimney “To C. W. Williams, Esq.,

unconsumed, or of being consumed at Liverpool."

the top, as we frequently see from the The facts communicated in the fore.

tops of our steam-packet funnels. going letter are of the last importance to

That such silly and unfounded theories the entire manufacturing interests in this as above alluded to should be uttered or country, and I feel much indebted to Mr.

credited in our day is very discouraging Detmold for his valuable statement. It

to those who wish, by the application of will, I trust, satisfy (or silence) those

science to practice, to enlighten our who have so pertinaciously denied the

practical mechanics, and improve our statements made by me, (and for which

systems. I adduced the highest chemical au

The subject, thus strikingly brought thority,) as to the existence of this gas, (carbonic oride,) and the necessity of

forward by Mr. Faber's letter, is so im

portant, and its connexion with our everyproviding the due supply of atmospheric day practice, in the management of ordi, air for its combustion; and this behind

nary boiler furnaces, so direct, that I the bridge, in order to prevent its escape

propose returning to it in your next unconsumed. For insisting on the value

number. of a supply of air, in this way, I have

I am, &c., been charged with the “ grossest igno

C. W. WILLIAMS, rance ;" and the necessary effect of the

Liverpool, December 28, 1841. air so supplied is alleged to be, the destruction of the boilers, by the cooling effect it produces. Strange to say, that such absurdities are actually believed and

THE MODERN MECHANICAL MOLOCH. acted on, at a time when not only che- · The railway system has been productive mistry, but cominon sense and practical of another appalling accident—the most observation, should have rejected the deplorable, by far, which has yet stained idea, as unworthy a moment's considera its chequered annals. Eight persons in tion.

an instant dashed to atoms, and twice as It is asserted, and the alleged fact many grievously wounded! How many published, that, because I do not, by more such instances of horrid carnage some regulating and closing valve, abso must we wait for, before the legislature lutely prevent the admission of any air shall think it time to interfere for the behind the bridge, where the carburetted protection of outraged humanity ? It is hydrogen gases are all evolved, and the idle to talk any longer of the dependence fire is clear and a bright red, and the to be placed on the spontaneous exertions solid fuel on the bars highly ignited, of the Railway Companies—of their insuch air has the effect of cooling and terest in safety of conveyance being idencontracting the plates of boilers; and tical with that of the public-and so that this contraction will go on to such forth. The country has had several an extent, that the rivets will be dragged years of this dependence, and what has successively, (by this curious contracting been the result ?' One long, continuous,

endless train of disastrous accidents, nine Christmas, one of the trains on the tenths of which might have been averted Great Western Railway, consisting of by the exercise of due care and prudence an engine and tender, two (third class) on the part of these very companies, who passenger trucks placed next to the tenwould still have us place all our trust in der, a truck for passenger's luggage, them! Deodand after deodand has been and 16 luggage waggons" (Evidence imposed by honest and indignant juries of Hudson, the guard) "ran into some -deodands surpassing in amount any loose earth which had slipped from the previously known to our criminal history side of the (Sonning) cutting on to the -denunciation on denunciation has been rails " (Evidence of Reynolds, the fulminated from the press-and yet the driver.) “The carriages by the sudden companies have adhered as doggedly to stoppage came upon each other with their life-and-limb-destroying practices such a concussion, that the passengers as ever. Not one improvement, of any were thrown out in all directions among material consequence, have they ever the carriages.”(Hudson.) Eight were originated or adopted, in obedience to the killed and 17 more or less wounded. The public voice. Nay, so dead to shame are luggage trucks which were in the rear they, that, when heaped with obloquy, to do not appear to have been at all daa height which would have crushed any maged. Now the danger of this pracordinary body of public-disregarding tice of placing the passenger trucks next monopolists, they had actually the as to the tender and carriages, –

-a prac. surance to protest, by their representa tice common to other companies as well tives, at a late Public Conference, that, as the Great Western-had been times so far as depended on them, (the Di without number pressed on the attention rectors, Managers, and other chief exe of the railway companies, and was in cutive officers, there was no room for fact a subject of universal complaint. improvement whatever !

Several accidents had occurred from Be it ever remembered—it is for the it, and one of a very fatal nature not honour of the railway system itself that long ago on the Brighton. Indeed, it should be remembered – that the just before the starting of the very luggreater number of all the accidents in gage train which met with the disastrous question are traceable to circumstances accident now in question, the propriety which have no necessary connexion with of placing the passengers next the enthe system. The same mechanical in- gine and tender appears to have been a genuity and skill which have given us, in matter fully discussed between the three the modern railway, a swifter means of principal officers of the Great Western transit than the world ever before pos Railway, the Engineer, Secretary, and Susessed, could also, if allowed fair play, perintendant. * The passenger truck,” have rendered it as safe as it is swift;

says Mr. Brunel, was put in the middle but owing to something or other faulty of the train," (a point, however, in which in the construction of these companies Mr. Brunel is flatly contradicted by that fair play they have not had--they Hudson, the guard, and is most assuredly have been superciliously repulsed, where in error,) "by my order, merely as a they ought to have experienced every concession to opinion which I knew had possible encouragement-rudely denied been frequently expressed. On the the opportunity of perfecting that which evening in question I discussed the matter they originated. Scarcely a single ac with the Superintendant, and Mr. Sauncident can be pointed out, which would ders, at Paddington. I thought it would not, by the adoption of some plan prof. have been better not to have sent down fered to, but slighted or rejected by, the any luggage train that night; but there companies, have been most certainly pre so many applications for places, vented. And for these reasons it is, that we though it better to place that we invoke the paternal interference the passenger truck in the middle, of the legislature, and deprecate any fur lest it should be considered a mere ther exclusive reliance on the companies. act of obstinacy if we adhered to the The case which has now immediately former practice."

How it came to pass called forth these observations furnishes after the decision thus come to, or preample confirmation of their truth. Early tended to be come to, that the passenger on the morning of the day preceding trucks (for there were two of them,)




were not placed in the middle of the train, the shock from concussions. Sir George but in their old place of imminent danger Cayley, Bart., has furnished the plan of next to the engine and tender, does not an air buffer of the former description, appear ; but when we consider that Mr. which he calculates would have a power Brunel tells us at the same time, that of retardation, without the least risk of his own “ decided opinion is, that near breakage or upsetting, of 39 tons, and the engine is preferable to behind the which might have its power increased to goods trucks," and that Mr. Saunders, any requisite extent. (Essay on the the Secretary, adds, that “if the con Prevention of Railway Accidents.) He trol remained in his hands, he should supposes the case of two heavy trains, undoubtedly,”-notwithstanding all that provided with such buffers, meeting each has occurred—the public opinion not other on the same line of rails at full withstanding and the tragical event by speed, and shows that "If the elasticity which the soundness of that opinion has of the buffers be supposed perfect, each been just illustrated notwithstanding train would rebound with the same velo" adhere to the practice of placing the city it advanced.” Dr. Mallet, of Dubpassengers' trucks in luggage trains in lin, following in the same track, has infront" (!!!)—it may not be difficult to vented a hydro-pneumatic buffing appaguess pretty correctly where the blame ratus, of great ingenuity and efficiency, lies. He is a dull officer who cannot in describing which, he lays it down as distinguish between an order given in an indisputable principle, that until railearnestness and sincerity, and one given way passengers sit in carriages either only to be disobeyed. Let the under protected by a general buffing apparatus stapding, however, of the parties con- placed in advance, or each of them so cerned in the present case, be as it may, constructed, that in the event of a collithese facts are certain : first, that the sion “they shall not only ease the blow accident from which such fatal conse to the utmost, but be competent to bear quences have arisen, was caused by ad the residual shock, railway travelling herence to a practice long denounced as must be always liable to frightful acciimminently dangerous by all the rest of dents.(Mech. Mag., No. 956.). An the world, save certain of the railway experiment was made with a buffer of authorities themselves (the value of whose this kind on the Dublin and Kingston reasons it is under the circumstances railway, which consisted “in bringing needless to discuss); secondly, that had the the carriage upon one of the lines, and unfortunate passengers been only placed causing ten or twelve of the railway where the goods were, they might all at porters to run it as fast as they could, this moment have been alive and well; full tilt against one of the stone walls of and, thirdly, that there are parties of the station-house, from which it renote and influence among railway mana bounded like a piece of Indian-rubber." gers, who, if they could still have all Sir Frederick Smith, ihe late able supertheir own way (“' if the control remain intendent of railways, has also, in more ed in their hands") would listen neither than one of his reports to the Board of to the exhortations of wisdom and huma Trade, strongly recommended that every nity, nor even to the bitterer lessons of railway carriage, of whatever descripexperience.

tion, should be provided with buffers. But this is not all. There are autho. Now we do not ask why the Great rities of great eminence and weight in Western Railway Company have not the scientific world, who consider that it adopted either Sir George Cayley's plan is by no means sufficient for the safety of or Mr. Mallett's, since it might possibly railway passengers, that they should be be pleaded in extenuation that no great placed at a distance from the engine and time had yet elapsed since they were iender, with luggage or other carriages first promulgated; but we think we are between, and who have strenuously urged in good reason entitled to ask whether that all carriages conveying passengers, all or any of the carriages in the train should be preceded by a separate car which met with the late unfortunate acriage, carrying a buffer of sufficient cident, were provided with buffers of power to save the whole train," and that any sort?

Whether any means whatevery carriage, whether carrying passen ever were provided for enabling the cargers or goods, should be provided with riages to sustain, without damage, any separate buffers, to assist in diminishing collision which might happen to them, in

« ZurückWeiter »