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HOLCROFT'S PATENT PORTABLE SAFETY BOAT OR PONTOON. 341 launched upon its native element with a and gunnel. IJ M are the stem and sternfacility equal to that of expanding an pieces, which are secured to the keelson by umbrella. The various uses to which nuts, M M, and connected to the nearthis invention may be turned, need only est ribs by the links KL, K L, which links be hinted at to render them obvious to turn on joints at K K, and are attached by the dullest imagination. Pontoon boats,

hooks and eyes to the ribs at L L. 00 whaling skiffs, wherries, punts, and all

are girders, by which one half of the ribs the various kinds of boats, whether used

(that is to say every other rib) is connected for pleasure, commercial or warlike

transversely at top; they are linked to the purposes, or in Polar voyages of dis

tops of the ribs by swivel joints, and are

jointed at the middle, but to support them covery (where a portable and easily

at the middle joints when extended, each stowed boat would be an invaluable aid)

rod has a short under-stay O', which is can be alike constructed upon the princi secured at one end to one-half of the rod, ple, and formed from the materials used while the other is made fast by a ring P, in these boats.

which slides on the other half of the rod, The means of providing safety for his and is just large enough to come over the crew and passengers, however numerous under stay,when brought forward to the centre they may be, are here provided for every of the rod. R R are the rollocks for the mariner in command of a vessel; and The parts before described constitute whether she be a majestic ship of 120

the framework of the boat or pontoon, and guns, or a mere chaloupe, the same may either be of wood, or cane, or metal, means are equally available ; whilst the or any other strong but light substance which stowage-room required for any number

will answer the purpose, excepting only of boats will be greatly less than that re

that the joints, links, and rings, should, in quired for the boats now in use. Inde

every case, be of metal. When the frame.

work of the boat has been thus put topendently, likewise, of this consideration, which in itself is of no mean weight,

gether, it is covered up to the edges of the is another of almost equal importance,

gunnel with any of the approved sorts of

waterproof canvas, or with thin sheets of namely, the the cost of each boat would

metal, protected from oxydation (as far as not amount to more than that of the fabrics

may be) by suitable coatings, which covering now in use; and when to these two fea is to be nailed, or otherwise secured to the tures is added a third, of far higher im gunnel. To the stem and stern and sides of portance than all the rest put together, the boat, floaters V V V, are also attached, namely, that the patent boat is incompa consisting of hollow air and water-tight cases, rably superior in point of safety to every made either of metal, or of some other imother invention that has yet been laid pervious material, or consisting of cases before the public,—it is conceived that

filled with cork-shavings, or other subthe invention has claims to the attention

stance of the like small specific gravity, or of the Government of this maritime

consisting of large pieces of solid cork; and nation which no other novelty in the way

these floaters, when consisting of cases

filled in either of the modes aforesaid, are diof the useful arts has ever yet possessed.

vided into compartments, two, three, four, H.

or more, so that in the event of one comDescription of the Engravings. partment being damaged so as to let in air (From the Patentee's Specification.)

or water, the injury may not extend to the Fig. 1 is a perspective view of an ex other compartments, and the boat still reploring party provided with one of the boats, main insubmergible. When the boat is not the details of the construction of which are required for use, it can be folded up so as shown in figs. 2, 3 and 4.

to carry on the shoulder, or under the arm, Fig. 2 is a longitudinal section ; fig. 3 a like an umbrella. For this purpose the nuts plan; and fig. 4 a cross section of the boat MM, which secure the stem and stern pieces or pontoon.

to the keelson, are to be first unscrewed, and A B is the keelson, C C C are ribs which then the eyes L L, by which they are conspring from the keelson to which they nected with the nearest ribs, unhooked, after are secured by the swivel joints H and i'. which the links K L are to be turned in their D E is a gunnel, to which the ribs are made joints K K, till they are in a line with the fast at top, and which is jointed at I I, just keelson; the stem and stern ends of the beyond the last rib at each end. GG G are gunnel doubled down at the joints I I, till side-pieces, which bind the ribs laterally to they are in the position indicated by the gether, being nailed, or otherwise secured to dotted lines J J, fig. 2; and the cutwaters them, about half way between the keelson J J brought round into the position indica

ted by the letters M M in the same figure. and station-powerful from the bull. The rings P P are then to be moved back, headed confidence which is ever natural so as to set free the under-stays, 01, which to ignorance-a faction able to give prac. will allow the transverse girders 0 0, to tical effect on a fearfully large scale to yield at their middle joints. By then press

its nonsensical preferences—and not very ing the ribs G G G together, the whole

caring (apparently) how much society apparatus will be brought into the folded.

may suffer from them. It is a fact box up position indicated by the dotted lines in

established beyond all question, that the fig. 4.

persistence by certain of the railway com.

panies in the use of four-wheeled engines FOUR AND SIX-WHEELED ENGINES. has been attended with a great sacrifice It is so very manifest a thing, that a

of human life. And it is also a fact, that, carriage running on parallel rails must be untaught by the past, and deaf to all resafer with six wheels than with four, monstrance, they still persist in the use of that one cannot help wondering that it

the same sort of engines, at the imminent should ever have been a subject of contro

risk of illustrating, by many more homi. versy among any considerable portion of cides (murders would perhaps be the a “thinking people," especially in an age more appropriate term) the prodigious so mechanical as that in which we live is evil which stupidity in office is capable said to be. It may serve however to diminish

of inflicting on the community. our wonder if we call to mind, that it is not The four-feeted—we beg pardon, fourlong since it was debated just as seriously,

wheeled wrongheads-would not prowhether such carriages could run at all

bably be so slow of comprehension, or so whether with six wheels or with four.

obstinate of purpose as they are, but for Indeed it would almost seem as if it the self-elected champions, that is, the were but of the order of things that

writers or scribblers of their party-men mankind should never hit on any really

who, from their literary or scientific aluseful discovery in art or science, with

tainments, would be of no earthly use to out hatching at the same time (by way of the right side of any question, and for that set off to their merit ?) some most extra very reason fasten with leech-like tena. vagantly ridiculous whim or project. The city on the wrong side of this. Writing same age which saw the lightning drawn only for the gratification of their perat the will of man from the heavens, saw sonal vanity, they seek nothing less than its learned circles divided into the knob to elicit the truth; and belonging to a and point factions, and royalty throwing public body more remarkable, perhaps, its weight into the scale of error and ab than any other in this country for its surdity. The same age which has seen

exclusion of men of literature and science the Atlantic bridged, as it were, by the from its ranks, they find it a matter of steam power of England, has heard of but small difficulty io make "the worse" our sinking hundreds of thousands of appear to those about them “the better pounds to bore a hole under the Thames, reason.” To be “a wit among lords" that we may cross it on foot rather than is proverbially easy ; but not more so, steam it over head. And now that we we fancy, than to play the part of a have by great good luck found out that seeming learned man among Railway Di. a steam carriage will run of itself on rails at the rate of from 20 to 40 miles an With what absurdities—what sillinesses hour, without the help either of ground -what fallacies-what misrepresentations diggers, drag-chains, or cog-wheels

--what downright false-hoods the cause now that this happy discovery is pro

of the four-wheel faction has been mainducing such vast and beneficial changes tained in the absence of all reason and on the face of society-behold our wise common sense,)-it would take more men and wiseacres engaged in a hot dis time and space to relate than we can afcussion, whether there is more safety in ford to so unprofitable a theme. We shall travelling at such prodigious velocities be the more readily excused for passing on four wheels or op six! Would that the them over without more special mention folly of the thing were all! The four when we state, that we have ourselves no wheel faction of our times is unfortu intention whatever of joining in the nately a very powerful faction-powerful fray. Our only purpose in now adveri. from the accidents of wealth, and place, ing to the subject, is to introduce and





343 commend to the notice of our readers an Mr. stated, about 20 per cent in favour extract from the Report of the last month. of the former; but this difference arises ly meeting of the Liverpool Polytechnic chiefly from the outside framing and the copSociety, which appears to us to compre.

per fire-box, and does not materially depend hend in a few words the whole pith and

on the number of wheels. He would not say marrow of the question at issue. " A long anything as to the comparative cost of repairs, paper had been read by a four-wheeler

but would leave this subject to the directors "On the comparative merits of four and

of railways. He might, however, state it as six-wheeled locomotive engines" and it

his decided opinion, that the first considera.

tion for directors is, which plan will insure was thus well replied to on the instant by the chairman of the meeting, pectingly place themselves under their pro

the greatest safety to those who unsusJohn Grantham, Esq., C. E.

tection." Mr. Grantham concluded by ex“ He would reply to Mr.

-'s argu

pressing his conviction, that as a separate ments in the order in which they were intro question, the principle of six wheels was duced, but he must first explain a very com superior to four. mon error into which the public are led while discussing the comparative merits of four and six-wheeled engines. Inside' bear DR. NORMANDY'S SOAP PROCESS. ings and round fire-boxes are by many per

"How are you off for soap ?" sons supposed to be alone applicable to the

Popular Sayings. former, while outside bearings and square Sir,-in a late Number of the Mech. fire-boxes are supposed to be essential to the Mag. (No. 975) I observed in the list of latter. He need not say how erroneous “ Abstracts of Specifications of English this opinion is, but till men divest their Patents Recently Enrolled," a notice of the minds of this impression the subject must invention of " Alphonse René Le Mire remain undecided--till this distinction is De Normandy, Doctor of Medicine, for made all the lengthened papers in the certain improvements in the manufacture Railway Journals stand for nothing. There of soap,” which improvements appear to

reason why the square fire-box consist in a very liberal admixture of “the and the outside framing might not be ap salts of potash and soda." I must confess plied to the four-wheeled engine, or the I am not much of a chemist, and certainly round fire-box and inside framing be adapted never was a manufacturer of soap, but it to the six-wheel engine. Such changes had does not, I fancy, require a great deal, either been made, but were not general. For his of chemical knowledge, or of manufacturing part he was inclined to prefer the round practice, to see that these alleged improvefire-box and inside framing. The subject, ments are altogether fallacious. It is stated however, for discussion at the meeting was that " these substances are introduced simply as to the comparative merits of loco. into the soap (when the saponifying process motives having four and six wheels. He had is complete, and it is ready to be cleansed) been engaged in the construction of several either in the solid state, in pulverised masses, of each description, and had of course fre in the state of crystals, or in the state of quently travelled on them; and from his crystals melted in their water of crystalizaown observation he was led to the opinion tion, or else dissolved in steam or water." that engines with four wheels were more un But if the process of saponification is to be steady than those with six wheels, and that first complete, where is the good of the adthis defect more than counteracted all the dition? Where the saving? I hate being advantages to be derived from the saving in uncharitable, particularly towards that class friction of the extra wheels. He thought of soi-disant public benefactors yclept inthe appearance alone, as exhibited by the ventors ; but really, Sir, it will require the drawings, even to an unpractised eye, would explanations of some one whose lot has been strengthen his arguments in favour of six cast in a much more fortunate die than wheels. Some serious accidents had hap mine, to disabuse me of the idea that this pened to four-wheeled engines, that he be Doctor Normandy's invention consists of lieved would not from similar causes have any thing more than a patent mode of selling occurred to six-wheeled engines. He did cheap neutral salts for a price at least ten not allude to the collisions that had taken times more than they cost in their original place on various occasions; all engines were state. I am strongly impressed with a noalike endangered from those casualties, but tion that by the Doctor's admixture of them he alluded to those cases in which no with soap, the public would be defrauded in satisfactory reason could be assigned. The two ways, viz : first, by paying ten times comparative cost of four and six-wheeled the proper value of these sulphates, which I engines of the ordinary construction is, as conceive to be a useless addition; and,

secondly, by again paying for carbonate of P.S. The adulteration of common soda is soda (or common washing soda) the price of practised to a monstrous extent. In a future soap, when every washerwoman knows that communication I will explain an easy, cheap, that material may be had in retail for 1fd. and infallible mode by which the public may or 2d. per lb.

detect the fraud. My interest in the soap market goes no

S. farther than my business demands, being, April 21, 1842.




Fig. 4.

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The crank, which is represented by fording (the greatest possible facility in the accompanying drawings, is intended disconnecting paddle-wheels, which has for marine engines, with the view of af been found a matter of great importance



to steam frigates, especially when on a hand thread; by this contrivance, any cruising expedition.

tendency the large nuts may have to The principle is simple, and may be slacken, would instantly be checked by readily adapted to any marine engine the small nuts, and thus remove all without farther expense than a new crank danger of the pin getting loose after it and crank-pin to each paddle. wheel. has been properly fixed. This is an advantage which some of the We are now to suppose the wheel conother modes in practice do not possess, nected, and the pin a, as firmly secured where no previous preparation has been in the eye of the crank as bolts and nuts made for the improvement.

can make it. But then comes the quesIt will be seen by fig. 2, that a is the tion-is it as firm by the plan which has crank-pin ; and if we suppose the dotted been described, as if the eye of the crank line b c to be the face of the crank on had been shrunk upon the pin in the orthe paddle-shaft, the paddle-wheel, with dinary way? No; neither is it requithe pin so situated, would be discon site. By the latter mode there is no nected with the engine. The space shown elasticity in the grip, nor any way to rebetween the dotted line b c, and the end fix the pin properly in the event of its of the pin a, prevents the crank on the coming loose, which is a good reason for paddle-shaft touching the brasses of the the excess of metal in the eye of a crank connecting-rod when the crank is re that is shrunk upon a cold pin. The volving with the engine at rest, as would plan I propose is different in principle. be the case, were the vessel sailing with The pin is retained by an elastic grip from out the aid of steam; and when the the construction of the crank; and if paddle is connected with the engine, the properly made in the first instance, while space alluded to is occupied by the ring, that elasticity remains, no strain the pin fig. 4. The end of the pin a, which is exposed to will ever shake it loose, has the spiral upon it, fits a correspond and if, by any other chance, it were to ing groove within the eye of the crank, be so, the labour of a few minutes and by simply turning the pin once would suffice to refix it. round by these spiral planes, the paddle Fig. 3 is a view of the top of the crank, wheel is connected, or disconnected, as it showing the double nuts, and the two may happen. When the paddle-wheel projecting lugs through which the bolts has been disconnected by withdrawing pass. the pin a to the position represented by For engines of great power, three fig. 2, before the end of it can be re bolts may be used to each crank, and if placed into the eye of the crank on the 2 inches in diameter, they would be paddle-shaft, it will be necessary to fix found strong enough for the largest steamthe paddle-wheel at that point, which vessel in Her Majesty's service. brings the eyes of the two cranks quite

JAMES WHITE. fair. To effect this several plans might

11, East-place, Lambeth, and be suggested, but perhaps none is better

Haddington, N. B. than having a small portion of the outer rings of the paddle-wheel toothed, and provided with pinions of sufficient strength for moving and retaining the wheel to


When the pin a is being moved, the bolts and nuts d d are sufficiently slack GESTED, &c. to admit of its being turned round, by Sir,-I feel an apology is due from the leverage of a strong key, applied to me to yourself and the readers of your a hole in the end of it, as shown in fig. Magazine, for not having, ere this, con1, and when the paddle is connected with tributed my promised communication on the engine, these bolts and nuts are the action, &c., of the pianoforte, and I serewed up as tight as possible. To pre have only to plead in excuse the pressure vent the large nuts d d, which fix the of those daily avocations which, as all pin a, becoming slack during the con your readers engaged in business will tinued working of the engine, there are not require to be informed, afford little others, having a conical scat, which are leisure for any other pursuits. let into the former, and these have a left The following conditions appear to be


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