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of miles of railroad now in operation, and run the amount of ironway to over 1,000 miles! The cost of these additional 385 miles will not exceed $4,000,000, and the enterprising citizens of Georgia can, and will pay the half, or even more than half that amount, if the State of Georgia, which hitherto has not given a dollar in aid of individual capital, will, now that individual capital and liberality have placed the State on ground so high, and made the outlets for the State's own road pay the residue."
ANDROSCOGGIN AND KENNEBECK RAILROAD. It appears by the American Railroad Journal, that the annual meeting of the stockholders of the Androscoggin and Kennebeck Railroad Company, on the 3d of July, 1849, was made the occasion for the opening of the road to Winthrop, 20 miles from Lewiston Falls, at which place the meeting was held for the election of Directors. The train left Portland at 7 o'clock, A. M., with eight large cars, and received a constant accumulation of people at each station until its arrival at Winthrop, 54 miles from Portland. The approach of the train was announced by the discharge of cannon, and the ringing of bells. The immense concourse of people assembled at the terminus greeted its arrival with enthusiastic cheering. There was no formal opening of the road, and the completion of the line to Waterville, 83 miles from Portland, is looked forward to as the occasion of a public demonstration.
The reports of the Directors and Treasurer were read by the Hon. S. P. Benson, the Secretary, giving a full statement of the condition of the company. By these, it appeared that the amount expended for the construction and equipment of the road to June 18th, 1819, was $927,780 77, and the money received into the treasury to the same date amounted to $937,754 75. Of this sum, $446,907 was received on account of the assessments on the stock, and the balance from loans. The length of the line is 55 miles, and the Directors estimate the entire cost of the road and equipment at $1,350,000. They require a further sum of $311,773 above the present means to complete it. The grading is nearly finished to Waterville, and the laying of the track is going forward with a view to its completion by October, 1849. The equipment of the road consists of 4 locomotive engines, 6 passenger cars, 10 box freight cars, 20 platform cars, and one mail car. The stockholders voted to reduce the number of Directors from 13 to 7, after full discussion.
THE “ MAY FLOWER," A WESTERN STEAMBOAT. JAMES T. Hodge, Esq., in charge of the mining and metallurgical department of the American Railroad Journal, left this city in June last, on an exploring expedition to the copper mines of Lake Superior. From some interesting notes of travel, communicated to that Journal, we extract, or condense the following account of the new boat, May Flower, Capt. Van Allen, in which Mr. Hodge had the good fortune to secure a passage to Detroit.
“We were so fortunate as to meet the new boat, May Flower, Capt. Van Allen, and secure a passage in her to Detroit. Though familiar with the magnificence of our eastern boats, and not unacquainted with the fine boats that have before plied upon these waters, we were not prepared to see one quite equalling the best qualities of all others, and in some respects superior to any thing we have seen elsewhere. She was built the last winter at Detroit, by Mr. J. Lupton, from New York, J. W. Brooks, Esq., superintendent of the railroad company, having general charge of her construction. Her marine timbers are bound together with iron bars, interlaced one with another in such forms as to give greater strength to her frame, than has ever been attained be. fore. Every stick put into her, and every bar is of the very best quality. Indeed, it seems with every thing on board that the question was not whether this and that will answer, but whether it is the most substantial and excellent of its kind. Her dimensions are, length, 290 feet, 35 feet beam, 134 feet hold, extreme width, 65 feet on deck. The engine occupies the center of the boat, and the machinery passes up through the decks, breaking the continuity of the long upper saloon, which but for this extends nearly the whole length of the boat. On its sides are the state rooms, about the middle of the boat, in a double row on each side, the berths arranged athwart-ship, and doors opening at each end of the state rooms, which stand in single row. Twenty-five stern rooms in the after saloon are furnished in the perfection of
neatness and good taste, as quite spacious bed rooms, with bedsteads instead of berths. The whole number of state rooms on the upper deck is 85; all are provided with hydrants for draining water, and escape pipes for conveying it off
, a convenience we have not seen in other boats. On the main deck is a smaller saloon aft, with six spacious elegantly furnished chambers, called bridal chambers, on each side. Under this is another cabin, with 150 berths, and aft of this a sort of nursery room, furnished with baby jumpers, cradles and such things, with which we do not profess much acquaintance, and, in fact, from this being associated with sundry disagreeable sounds, we think good judgment has been shown in locating the repository of these babies, no doubt the same good judgment has provided thick double walls between this room and the 150 berths of the lower cabin. Nor have the accommodations for the steerage passengers forward been neglected. Their cabin is spacious and well provided with beds, well lighted and well ventilated. Rooms for a variety of purposes are found along the main deck; each department, whether of cooking, of baggage, of lamps, of porters, having its separate quarters. There is even a room for the carpenters, one or more being attached to the boat, and constantly employed on her trip.
The engine was built at the West Point Foundry, and was put up by Messrs. Hogg. & Delamater, of New York. The steam cylinder is 72 inches diameter, length of stroke 11 feet. The wheel is 36 feet diameter, and its buckets 11 feet long. There are 3 boilers 94 feet diameter, and 30 feet long, weighing over 65 tons. This heavy machinery works with great smoothness and power, propelling the boat with greater speed than any other boat on the lake. In a late trip, she made the distance from Buffalo to Long Point, 75 miles, in three hours and twenty-seven minutes, which is at the rate of twenty-two miles per hour.
The boat, we suppose, was named for the May Flower of 1620—not certainly for their resemblance in convenience and comforts—perhaps because each is employed in transporting emigrants to a western shore. A painting hangs in the saloon representing the landing of the Pilgrims, on what poets and painters will persist was a rockbound shore;" but which all who have seen it know was a sandy beach, with a few scattered boulders, on one of which our Pilgrim Fathers stepped from their boat.
BRITISH RAILWAY STATISTICS.
A return lately printed by order of the House of Commons, states that the total number of passengers conveyed on all the railways in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland during the half-year ending 31st December last, amounted to 31,630,292, of whom 3,743,602 were first class passengers, 12,191,549 second class passengers, 7,184,0324 third class passengers, and 8,450,6234 parliamentary passengers. The gross total receipts from passengers amounted to £3,283,301, of which sum £1,033,516 was received from first class passengers, £1,360,468 from second class passengers, £320,862 from third class passengers, and £597,071 from travelers by parliamentary trains. The receipts arising from goods, cattle, carriages, parcels, and the conveyance of the mails, amounted to $2,461,662, making an aggregate receipt for the half year of £5,744,964.
REGULATIONS OF THE NEW ENGLAND RAILROADS.
We learn from the Pathfinder Guide for the Naw England States, that at a recent meeting of the New England Association of Railroad Superintendents, which was fully attended, it was unanimously voted, that in future, all new arrangements in the time and manner of running trains, be made so as to go into operation on the first Monday of each month. In order to secure a general concurrence in this plan, a circular has been addressed to all the railroad superintendents in New England, not present at the meeting, inviting their co-operation, and assistance in the establishment of this important regulation. The plan will, without doubt, be adopted, and thus enable the publishers of the Pathfinder Railway Guide to issue their publication on the first Monday of each month, containing the most accurate information of the hours of departure, and all other changes that may have been made up to the time of its publication. The Railway Guide, as we stated in a former number of the Merchants Magazine, is the organ of the New England Association of Railroad Superintendents, and may, therefore, be regarded as an authority. It is under the editorial supervision of Silas W. Wilder, Esq., a gentleman singularly well qualified for the labor.
JOURNAL OF MINING AND MANUFACTURES.
THE SHEATHING METAL MANUFACTURED AT TAUNTON. The editor of the Boston Daily Journal has been furnished, by Messis. Henry N. Hooper & Co., of that city, with the following statement of the average wear of the yellow sheathing metal manufactured at the Taunton Copper Works, for wbich they are the selling agents in Boston. As it is a subject of considerable importance to shipowners, we transfer the statement to the pages of the Merchants' Magazine :
Messrs. Hooper & Co. have, for nearly six years, kept a register of every suit of this metal sold by them, in which are entered the names, class, and ownership of the vessels; the number and weight of sheets required by each; and the average weight of the sheets per square foot. Also, when it could be ascertained, the date of the sheathing being stripped, and the weight of the old metal. They have been able to obtain all these details in fifteen instances, and from these the following tabular exhibit is prepared, by which it will be seen that while the average duration of a suit of the yellow metal, compared with copper, is nearly as 29 to 24, the latter costs almost 50 per cent more. Hooper & Co. consider it also but justice to the manufacturers, to state that could the duration of a suit and weight of old metal have been obtained in a greater number of cases, the average time of wear would probably appear considerably longer, and the average loss per cent in weight by service considerably less, as a large proportion of the vessels, from which the table is made up, are of small size, sheathed with light metal, and were frequently in port, imbedded in dock mud, the destructive chemical action of which on such metal is well known to every person conversant with the subject. The average weight of the yellow sheathing metal, it will be seen, is much lighter than the ordinary copper sheathing. Several of the suits, moreover, were stripped while perfectly good, in order to repair the vessels :Weight of suit Average weight per
Weight of the Loss per cent
old metal. by wear.
$ Average. 4455 21.78 28 22-30 2820
37 By the aid of this table, Messrs. Hooper & Co. have arrived at the following results, which are worthy the attention of every ship-owner in the land.
In 15 suits of yellow sheathing metal, averaging 21 78-100 ounces per square foot, the mean duration was 28 months and 22 days, with a loss by wear of 37 per cent of the original weight.
The average wear of copper sheathing of ordinary weight does not exceed 24 months at best.
On the 14th of June, 1849, at which date this statement was drawn up, the cost of yellow metal was 18 cents per pound new, and the value of old 12 cents in exchange.
The cost of copper was 214 cents per pound for new, and the value of old 17 cents in exchange.
$826 28 The wear of 1,000 sheets of copper for 24 months, costing, as above shown, $826 28, it follows that for 28 months and 22 days, the duration of a suit of yellow metal, the expense will be equal to $989 12, being 49 per cent more than this last.
No comment can add to the force of these statements of unquestionable facts, which must commend themselves to the earnest consideration of every merchant and shipowner under whose eye they fall.
THE MANUFACTURE OF ENVELOPES FOR LETTERS. The recent change in the post office regulations, has enabled letter writers to make use of the desirable facility and guard of an envelope. It may seem a little thing to manufacture this article, but on the contrary, the machine employed is of the most complex and ingenious character, and the various stages of the operation are highly interesting
We had the pleasure of spending an hour or two recently in the establishment of Messrs. Colman & Jones, South Fifth-street, and of viewing the processes through which the paper passes before being converted into its destined form. The manufacture is as yet in its infancy, and all its departments have scarcely yet been fully organized; but they will be completed in a short time, and then it will be, perhaps, the most extensive establishment in the country. But four folding machines, and one cutting press, were in operation while we were present; yet from the rapidity with which they turned out the finished envelopes, we could easily conjecture, that when all the contemplated improvements are completed, the daily manufacture will be immense.
A pile of paper is first laid under the cutting press, and the flat forms of the envelope are cut out at once. These are then taken to the folding machine, which is one of the most singularly constructed and beautiful pieces of mechanism we have
It requires but one person to feed it, and performs all the rest of the operations itself; for the paper, cut in proper form, being placed in a fixed position, is seized by nippers, and drawn forward to a bed, where it is held firmly by an overhanging plate of metal, which covers just so much as marks the size intended to be made, leaving the parts to be folded over loose. The sides are then, by means of plates advancing toward each other, folded over, and as they retire, a roller covered with gum passes under the surface of a double curved piece of brass, which instantly falls upon the paper, and, as it rises, another plate turns over the outside fold, while, at the same time, a roller presses on it and causes adhesion. This being done, the bed on which the envelope rests falls to an inclined position, and being caught between rollers, the finished article is passed through a trough into a receiving basket. The only remaining labor is to gather the envelopes up, and sort them into packages of twenty-five each. The whole is done with great rapidity, and so various and contrary are the motions of the machine, that it appears almost to be, in some degree, sentient.
NEW PROCESS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF SULPHATE OF SODA.
We learn from the “Comptes Rendus” of the 5th of February, that Messrs. Thomas, Dellisse and Boucard, civil engineers, have presented to the Academy the description of a new process for converting culinary salt into sulphate of soda, by means of the sulphate of iron. This would allow the pyrites to be turned to very good account. The dry and pure sulphate of soda would not cost more than 24 francs the 100 kilogrames, instead of 12 to 18 francs, which is the ordinary price. The new process would, moreover, avoid all the disadvantages attending the production of the vapors of muriatic acid.
IMPROVEMENTS IN THE STEAM ENGINE, Messrs. J. & G. Davies, of the Albion Foundry, Staffordshire, (England,) have just obtained a patent, the improvements sought to be secured by which are as follows:
1st. A mode of converting rectilinear into rotary motion, by supporting the crankpin in brasses, which slide in the cross-head of the piston. The brasses, as they wear away, are to be screwed up tightly, and the piston is made to pass through the crosshead, and give motion to the piston of a blowing machine.
2d. The rectilinear motion of the piston of a blowing machine is converted into a rotary one, and communicated to a shaft by means of a rod keyed loosely to the end of the piston rod of the blowing machine, and passing through a sliding stuffing-box in the side thereof. The other end of the rod is connected to the crank-pin.
3d. The steam induction and eduction ways, both at the top and bottom of the cyl. inder, are each worked by two valves fixed on the same spindle, which are constructed of slightly different diameters, so that the pressure to be overcome is that due to the difference in the diameters.
4th. The same principle is proposed to be applied to the construction of valves in the feed-pipes of steam-boilers.
5th. The apparatus for working the dampers consists of a pipe communicating with the boiler, and closed at the top by a valve, which is weighted at less than the safety valve. Above the valve is placed an inverted vessel, which is connected at top to the damper, and is fixed in aquilibrium, with the sides dipping into the water contained in the exterior casing of the steam boiler pipe. This casing is provided with an overflow pipe. It follows that when the valve is opened by the increased pressure of the steam, the inverted vessel will be lifted up, and the dampers partially or wholly closed. When the valve is closed, the inverted vessel will descend into its first position.
Claims. The mode of fixing the cross-head to the piston, so that it may pass through it and give motion to the piston of a blowing machine ; also the use of the brasses. The arrangement for converting rectilinear into rotary motion. The mode of working the steam valves. The method of working the feed valves of steam-boilers. The mode of working the dampers.
VENTILATION OF COAL MINES. Lord Wharncliffe's committee “on accidents in coal mines," in the British House of Lords, attended at the Polytechnic Institution on the 3d instant, to investigate, by experiment, the principle and practicability of high-pressure steam, for the purpose of ventilating coal mines, and to examine into its power for the prevention of the firedamp explosions. The experiments were made by Dr. Bachoffner, from the steam taken from the great hydrolectic boiler of the institution. They were explained by Mr. Gurney, who has been summoned from Cornwall on the committee, together with Mr. Foster, from Newcastle. The power of the high-pressure steam jets for producing ventilation, was shown to be almost unlimited, and that the largest mine might easily be swept of all fire-damp, or other noxious gasses. The meeting was appointed by their lordships with a view to the better examination of Mr. Foster before the Lords on the subject. Mr. Foster is one of the largest miners in the Newcastle district, and has had the high-pressure steam introduced in Seaton Delaval. His evidence, therefore, is looked to with the greatest interest.
GUTTA-PERCHA TUBING, A series of experiments have just been concluded at the Birmingham (England) Waterworks, relative to the strength of gutta percha tubing, with a view to its applicability for the conveyance of water. The experiments were made under the direction of Mr. Henry Rofe, engineer, upon tubes of three-quarters of an inch diameter, and one-eighth thick, of gutta percha. These were attached to the iron main, and subjected for two months to a pressure of 200 feet head of water, without, as we are told, being in the slightest degree deteriorated. In order to ascertain, if possible, the maximum strength, one of the tubes was connected with the Water Company's hydraulic proofing pump, the regular load of which is 250 pounds on the square inch. At this point the tube was unaffected, and the pump was worked up to 337 pounds, but, as we are informed, it still remained perfect.