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mediately before the accident, testified that the train was then moving with a degree of rapidity that excited in their minds the most serious alarms. Opposing witnesses, how. ever, affirmed that the train was not going at any greater rate than it usually ran when going direct, that is to say, without having to stop at the intermediate stations, as was the case in the present instance; and others deposed that a much greater velocity is constantly kept on many railroads without increase of danger. Upon the whole of the evidence it should seem that this deplorable disaster was occasioned by the breaking of the axle-tree of the hind wheels of the Mat. thew Murray, but the cause of this breakage could not be accounted for, and most certainly did not arise from her being overrun by the Eclair. The Court deferred giving its judgment till Saturday the 10th of December.—Abridged from the T'imes.

[The decision of the Court has been in favour of the defendants. The proceedings have not thrown any new light on the subject; and, strange as it may seem, the most correct and intelligible explanation of the causes of the accident which has yet appeared, is one to be found in the pages of an English Journal. The reader will perceive at once, that we refer to the excellent letter of “A Practical Engineer,” published in the Mechanics' Magazine, page 341 of our present volume.- En. M. M.]

free use of well known and familiar materials in particular ways is prohibited. The patent referred to is a case in point: for what is better known or more commonly used than hair soles for putting within shoes, &c. ? and except perhaps in the application of a coat of India rubber on the under surface, there does not appear to be anything new in the preparation of the material. The principle, or real merit of the improvement, is due to the earlier patentee of 1824; and consists in placing a layer of some material which resists the transmission of moisture between the inner and outer soles of shoes, &c. The first patentee used a layer of whalebone; and Mr. Baker, out of the large assortment of materials suitable for resisting moisture, has selected a layer of felted hair similar to what is used for false soles. This is the difference: but if the simple substitution of felted hair for whalebone form a just ground or claim for a patent right, why may we not, on the same principle, have patents for India rubber itself, cork, mackintosh, and other waterproof cloths, and similar articles, alone or in combination, to be used in this way, until the whole range of materials suitable for resisting moisture might come to be monopolized by patent rights ? I am, Sir, yours, &c.,

N. N, L. December, 1842.

BAKER'S PATENT FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN

THE MANUFACTURE OF BOOTS AND
SHOES.

Sir,-In No. 23 of the Mechanics' Maga. zine, 31st January, 1824, (vol. I. page 367,) appears the following communication from a correspondent:-

“ A friend of mine has obtained a patent for the insertion of a thin lamina of whalebone under the inner sole, which completely excludes the wet, even though the sole may be nearly worn through, the beneficial effects of which I have experienced by two years' trial."

S. D." “ Skinner-street."

The above appears to me to contain as clear an exposition as words can convey, of the principle of a recent patent for improvements in the manufacture of boots and shoes, an abstract of which is given in No. 995, 3rd Sept., 1842, of your Magazine. In fact, except in the materials used there is obviously not the slightest difference between the two.

The public have just cause for complaint, of the shadowy yrounds on which patents are often nowadays obtained, by which their

RENEWAL OF PATENT. Judicial Committee of the Privy Council,

Dec. 8. (Present-Lord Campbell, Mr. Justice

Erskine, the Judge of the Prerogative
Court, the Judge of the Admiralty Court.)

SINISTER'S PATENT. Mr. M. D. Hill and Mr. Webster appeared in support of the petition, which was opposed by the Solicitor-General and Mr. Cowling on the part of the staymakers. This was

an application under Lord Brougham's act for the renewal of a patent granted on the 18th of Dec., 1829, to Mr. James Sinister, of Birmingham, staymaker,

an invention of improvements in weaving, preparing or manufacturing a cloth or fabric, and the application thereof to the making of stays and other articles of dress, which improvements are also applicable to other purposes." The petition stated, that before this invention the cloth used for stays (sateen) was woven according to the usual and well-known methods of weaving, and stays were made by placing two surfaces of such cloth together, and sewing or stitching by the hand in such manner as to leave the requisite spaces for the introduction of the

for "

September 13.

whalebone, steel, wood, cotton, or other arti. cle or material with which stays were filled ; and that in stays so made the work was not performed with so much regularity, the stays in the process of making became soiled, and they did not fit so easily or pleasantly to the wearer.

The petitioner, after bestowing nuch labour and expense in devising means to obviate these defects, had succeeded in discovering a method of weaving whereby the cloth or fabric might be formed into stays, consisting of two surfaces united together in a proper manner, the requisite open spaces to be filled with whale. bone, so being left or made at the time the cloth was woven, and the method so discovered was applicable to other articles of dress, such as braces, purses, bags, or reticules, &c.

The extension of the term of the patent was moved for on the ground of the invention being of public utility, and on account of the expense the applicant had been put to in perfecting it, and in law proceedings.

Several witnesses were heard in support of the application, which was opposed by

The Solicitor General, on the ground that the described fabric was not a new invention, and because the applicant had failed to prove that the invention (if it were one) was of public utility, or that he had not derived that emolument from it to which he was fairly entitled.

After a short deliberation,

Lord Campbell said, that in this case their Lordships were of opinion that no sufficient case had been made out to entitle the applicant to a renewal of his patent.

Henry Clarke, of Drogheda, in the county of Louth, linen merchant, for improvements in machinery for lapping and folding all descriptions of fabrics, whether woven by hand or power. September 13.

William Newton, 66, Chancery-lane, in the county of Middlesex, civil engineer, for certain improved machinery for excavating and dredging earthy and stony matters, in the construction of railroads, canals, cleaning of rivers, harbours, and redeeming of marshy and alluvial soils ; also for boring rocks, indurated clay, and other earthy matters, for the purpose of blasting and remoring the same; the whole to be worked by steam or other power. (Communicated by a foreigner.)

William Henry Kempton, of South-street, Pentonville, in the county of Middleses, gentleman, for improvements in the manufacture of candles. October 6.

Alexander Johnston, of Hill-house, in the county of Edinburgh, Esq., for certain im. provements on carriages, which may also be applied to ships, boats, and various other purposes where locomotion is required. October 6.

Charles Augustus Preller, of 16, Eastcheap, in the City of London, merchant, for improvements in machinery for preparing, combing, and drawing wool and goats' hair. October 6.

William Geeves, of Old Cavendish-street, in the county of Middlesex, gentleman, for improvements in machinery for cutting cork. October 6.

William Baker, of Grosvenor-street, Grosvenor-square, in the county of Middlesex, surgeon, for certain improvements in the manufacture of boots and shoes. October 8.

Thomas Banks, of Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, engineer, for certain improvements in the construction of wheels, and tires of wheels, to be employed upon railways. October 14.

John Anthony Tielens, of Fenchurchstreet, in the City of London, merchant, for improvements in machinery or apparatus for knitting. October 14. (Communicated by a foreigner.)

PATENTS GRANTED, IN IRELAND, FROM

AUGUST 6, TO SEPTEMBER 13, 1842. James Warren, of Montagu-place, Mileend, Middlesex, gentleman, for an improved machine for making screws. Sealed September 3.

Thomas Cuthbert Cockson and George Ball, of the city of Dublin, merchants, for certain improved machines which facilitate the drying of malt, corn, and seeds; also the bolting, dressing, and separating of flour, meal, and all other substances requir. ing to be sifted. September 5.

William Handcock, the younger, of Am. well.street, in the county of Middlesex, gentleman, for certain improvements in combs and brushes. September 5.

NINTENDING PATENTEES may be supplied gratis with Instructions, by application (partpaid) to Messrs. J. C. Robertson and Com 166, Fleet-street, by whom is kept the only COMPLETE REGISTRY OF PATENTS EXTANT from 1617 to the present time).

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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Sir,-When reflecting on the state of the valve by the joint I; J, the four-way perfection which mechanics have arrived (or steam) cock; K, the handle of the at, I often wonder that a more simple same, with its rod L, passing along the plan has never been devised for reversing interior of the boiler, and firmly fixed in Locomotive engines than the present im the centre of the plug, at m; N, the perfect one, of using four eccentrics with steam-pipe from the receiver, O, to the forked rods, (two of which are always four-way cock; P, the exhausting or working to no effect). In one of your blast-pipe; Q, the pipe to admit the recent volumes, there was a method by steam to the top of the slides, to give the Mr. Charles Pearce, for working the engine a forward motion. The pipe for valves of locomotive engines with two admitting the steam under the slides is fixed eccentrics, with a double set of not shown in this figure. forks, which is, so far, a great improve Fig. 2 shows the interior of the smokement on the common plan. I now beg box, and the arrangement of the steamto lay before your readers a method of pipes.- A, the four-way cock, with the reversing the action of locomotive engines plug in the position for the steam to pass with two eccentrics, the rods of which are down the pipe B B, under the slides, and without forks or coupling-rods of any move the engine backwards, whilst the kind, and are connected immediately waste steam will pass through the valvefrom the crank-shaft to the valve-rod by boxes, along the pipes C C, to the blasta mere joint, (see fig. 1, Description of pipe D D, into the chimney. Now, if Engravings). In reversing an engine we suppose the four-way cock-plug to be on my plan, the engine-driver has only moved by the engine-driver a quarter of the handle of the steam-cock to attend a revolution, the now steam-pipe will to, the same handle serving the double become the exhaust-pipe, and the exhaustpurpose of reversing the action of the pipe the steam-pipe; and, consequently, engine, and letting on or shutting off the the motion of the engine will be instanty steam from the cylinders, (see figs. 3 and reversed, with the least possible amount 4). I effect this by substituting a four

of trouble. way cock, (placed in the smoke-box of Figs. 3 and 4 represent enlarged secthe engine,) for the ordinary steam-cock. tions of the four-way cock, as fixed to The four-way cock is employed in the the engine, with the regulating lever atfollowing manner, that is to say, one of tached to it, and shown in the following the passages serves for the blast-pipe, positions: in fig. 4, the lever is in the one for admitting steam from the boiler, perpendicular position, with the steam one for giving the engine a forward mo shut off from the cylinders; but when it tion, and the fourth for giving the engine is in the position of fig. 3, the steam is the reverse motion, (see fig. 2). It will directed down the pipe Åover the slides

, be seen that the steam from the boiler is and propels the engine in a forward die admitted both above and below the valve rection; and when it assumes the posicup (or slide); but, to prevent the slide tion as shown by the dotted lines, the from rising when the pressure of the steam is directed down the pipe B, under steam is on its under surface, I have in the slides, and propels the engine backtroduced a small roller, running in two wards. Thus moving the handle of the supports on the top of the slide, the four-way cock out of the vertical posiroller working against a smooth project- tion, either to the right or left, we have ing piece of iron or rail, cast to the top a backward or forward motion, (as the of the valve-box, (see fig. 6.)

case may require,) thereby obtaining the

most complete control over the maDescription of the Engravings. chine. Fig. 1 represents an outline of a loco Figs. 5 and 6 show the method by motive engine, with my method of re. which the valve-cup is kept in immediate versing attached to it. A, the boiler; contact with its seat, when the steam B, one of the cylinders; C, the valve pressure is on its under surface. A, the box ; D, the slide ; e, the piston-rod; cup; B, the roller, turning in two small F, the connecting-rod; G, the crank; brass steps, C C, the steps sliding freely H, the eccentric, with its rod attached to upwards and downwards in the supports,

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DD; F F are two slightly inclined iron and vice versa. Though the slidingwedges, which slide under the two steps valve is in every other respect greatly that support the roller; G, a strong steel superior to the four-way cock, yet it does spring, fixed to the valve-cup by a pin not of itself possess this property. through its centre, and pressing with it3

I remain, Sir, yours, &c., two ends against the wedges F F; so

ROBERT HINDLE. that, in the event of the valve becoming

Preston, December 5, 1842. slack by use, the spring G will force the wedges under the brasses that support the P.S.-I find I have omitted to menroller, and bring it into close contact with tion, that the plug of the four-way cock the projecting rail H, fig. 6, and thus is so constructed, that when the engine prevent the escape of steam.

is going down an inclined plane, and the The four-way cock, when applied to steam shut off, the exhaust-pipe may the cylinder of a steam-engine instead have a free communication with the atof the slide-valve, possesses the advantage mosphere. Also, by a slight alteration of reversing the motion of the engine by in the eccentric, the valves may be made applying the steam to the eduction-pipe, to have the lead both ways.

LIGHTNING CONDUCTORS.-WIRE-ROPE RIGGING, Sir,—Had I the honour of a few years' Cæsar his due, or to heap honours on one personal acquaintance with Mr. Roberts, individual at the expense of another, and I have not ihe slightest doubt but that I I regret that Mr. Roberts should have should have implicitly believed any state thought so. It appears to me that it is ment he might make, particularly if it only necessary for Mr. Roberts to inform bore the semblance of probability. Just the public of the ships he has fitted with so it is between myself and other parties wire-rope conductors, or of its serviceable with whom I have conversed on this application by him in any other way, and subject. I cannot learn that Mr. Roberts he will at once place himself in the hoever applied wire-rope conductors to ships nourable position of a useful projector, of the navy, or that his name is even and obtain all the merit due for such known to the Lords Commissioners of the services, and whatever may have been Admiralty. I am equally unsuccessful said by others will become as in my inquiries regarding ships in the before the sun.” merchant service, either in London or the In making allusion to lightning conoutports, though having no particular ductors, when describing the Great Brireason for pursuing such an enquiry, it tain steam ship, I had no idea of the exis quite possible that the mere accidental tent to which it had been carried, or of and limited information one person falls the interest it has occasioned in the pubin with, may be far short of, and totally lic mind. A pamphlet, put forth by Mr. disagree with, the result of a more ex Smith, has lately been left at my office, tended research.

by which I find that thirty-six ships of There is no person in existence less war, mounting in the aggregate 1411 inclined than myself to withhold from guns, besides smaller craft, have been

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