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OCTOBER 6th, 1838-MARCH 30th, 1839.
“ Our needful knowledge, like our needful food,
PUBLISHED FOR THE PROPRIETOR BY W. A. ROBERTSON,
MECHANICS' MAGAZINE OFFICE, PETERBOROUGH-COURT.
ON FIRE-ESCAPES-REPLY TO MR. J.
cockS'S MACHINE FOR MAKING LONG
AND CIRCULAR BLOCKS OF INDIA
Sir, I take the liberty to transmit for your publication a sketch of an iron box for making long, and circular blocks of india rubber. The rubber,when prepared, is pressed into the box, and kept there until porperly hardened. It is then removed and cut into circular slices three quarters of an inch thick by a common saw, without teeth; a sharp edge is given by means of a file; these pieces are then cut into tapes and finally into threads.
Since the completion of this box, I am told that it is an infringement of a patent granted to a Mr. Keen; if this be the case, or if a patent has been granted to any other person for the same invention, or for a similar purpose, the fact was altogether unknown to me when I designed the before-described machine, which is certainly original as far as I am concerned. If I have been preceded by Mr. Keen or any one else, I shall be obliged by being so informed in your valuable Journal, I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
W. P. Cocks. Tottenham, Sept. 6, 1838.
Fig. 1. The box, composed of two halves, a a. bb, ears on each side through the bottom of which bolts are put to secure the iron cross piece, fig. 5, h. c, interior of the box; d d, iron hoops to keep the halves firmly together.
Fig. 2, a a, sides of the ear; b, bottom of the ear with a bolt hole ž an inch in diameter.
Fig. 3, a a, iron hoops 1] inch broad, 1 inch thick: b, an hinge joint; c c, ears; d, a thumb screw passing through the ears, to lighten the box.
Fig. 4, a circular piece of hard wood made accurately to the bore of the box, a, with a stop b on its top for the cross bar of iron 24 inches broad, and I of an inch thick ; C, the holes in the bar d correspond with the holes in the ears. When properly pressed the top is secured by means of the screws and nuts. Vide Fig. 5.
Fig. 5; a a, section of the box; bb, ears; cc, knobs of an inch thick, to prevent the slipping down of the hoops; d, space occupied by the rubber ; e, the circular wooden top ; f, the bottom of the plunger shod with copper; 9 9, screws; h, bar of iron for securing the top.
Sir, — With every disposition to give Mr. J. D. Parry's description of “an excellent fire-escape, ” kind and judicious consideration, I must be permitted to observe, that his ideas upon the subject generally, are somewhat crude, and that he might peruse the numerous articles on fire-escapes which have appeared in your last 20 volumes, with manifest ad. vantage.
The parish of St. Pancras has certainly attained most unenviable distinction for the number of its fatal fires. One life has been lost in Mr. Parry's immediate neighbourhood in the interim of his writing the communication dated Sept. 4th, and its appearance in your 787th Number, and
is only a few months since two lives were lost at a fire in the same district.
With respect to the particular invention alluded to by Mr. Parry, I beg to inform him that these escapes were made (and I believe invented) by a rope and twine merchant, living, up to within a recent period, in King-street, Snow-hill; who had a print for many years exhibited in his window, showing the application of the canvass trough escape.
Although this escape might have passed for
an excellent one” 20 years ago, it is at this time superseded by many better contrivances, most of which, have at different times been described in your pages. The canvass trough is somewhat expensive, it is bulky and cumbersome; it also demands considerable dexterity and presence of mind in the parties employing it, and after all, its real efficiency depends very much upon external assistance —for Mr. Parry's plan of a steadying-weight is altogether impracticable. This escape is wholly inapplicable to all houses having deep shops run out over what was originally a garden plot in front, or such as are surrounded by iron spiked railings-objections which are equally fatal to the new mode of affixing the canvass trough beneath a ladder.
As an internal or domestic fire-escape, the most conveniently deposited, and most simple and efficient in use, is the plain belt and rope running through a pulley, the hook of which is attached to an eye-bolt previously provided, in a few seconds. A communication is thus instantly formed, the parties in danger may