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present high state of perfection. As a steam-engine, there is nothing new or striking in its form or construction; its power and success depend almost entirely on the boiler as a generator and a never-failing source of supply of steam. To this small vessel, 11 feet long and 3 feet 10 inches in diameter, with a square fire-box at the end, we are indebted for the almost incredible performances which we daily witness on every line in the kingdom. Few of our readers are probably acquainted with the simple yet effective contrivances by which this comparatively small vessel exercises such enormous power over a dead weight of two hundred tons, which it hurls along on its iron course with a velocity far exceeding that of the swiftest race-horse. This is the work of a machine mounted on six wheels, and contains within itself, at a pressure of 150 lb. per square inch, a force of 7,000 tons bottled up ready for use. А tithe of that force could not be generated in the same space but for two causes; namely, the large heating surface exposed to the action of the furnace, and the blast from the cylinders into the chimney. It is to the first, as the recipient of heat, and to the second, creating a draught through the furnace, that this enormous force is due. To the philosopher and engineer these principles are familiar; but to those who have not examined the parts, and made themselves acquainted with the principles on which they are based, they must ever remain an enigma.
It will not be necessary in this place to point out and describe the uses of the different organisms of this very tractable and powerful machine; suffice it to observe, that in so far as regards simplicity of design, quality of material, and sound construction, the English engineer is in advance of all his competitors; yet certainly not so far ahead but that he may be overtaken and distanced in the race, unless he maintains his position as a leader and trainer in the mechanical sciences and constructive art. It must be acknowledged, in justice to our foreign neighbours in France and Germany, that their engines are not only well made, but they combine several ingenious contrivances for the ascent of steep gradients, and the safe working of tortuous lines in mountainous districts. The only fanlt that can be urged against the foreign engine is the complexity of its parts, and a want of that simplicity of form which distinguishes the English construction.
In the locomotive department there is nothing new to record, excepting that the engines and tenders, as a whole, are superior in power and construction to those which were exhibited in Hyde Park in 1851, and at Paris in 1855. We must not, however, lose sight of Giffard's injector, for supplying the boiler with water; and a novel invention by Mr. Ramsbottom, the engineer and locomotive superintendent of the London and North-Western Railway, for supplying the tender with water when the engine is running. This ingenious apparatus consists of a dip-pipe or scoop attached to the bottom of the tender, with its lower end curved forwards, and dipping into the water contained in an open trough, lying longitudinally between the rails at about the rail level, so as to scoop up the water and deliver it into the tender-tank while running. The speed in practice at which water is picked up varies from a minimum of twenty-two miles
hour, By means of this apparatus, the size and dead weight of tenders for running a given distance are reduced, as also the time required on the journey. It has been in use on the Holyhead line since October, 1860, and since that time, about 2,250,000 gallons have been picked up. Another trough has lately been laid down on the Liverpool and Manchester line, and a third near Wolverton—the last being intended for the use of the fast trains which run between London and Rugby, a distance of eighty-two miles, without stopping. The picking-up apparatus was illustrated in the Exhibition by a working model. An engine, similar to that exhibited, has run from Holyhead to Stafford, a distance of 131 miles, without stopping, in 141 minutes : being at the average rate of 54} miles an hour. An engine of the same class lately brought the mail train from Holyhead to London, a distance of 264 miles, being the greatest continuous run ever made by one engine. The average speed was 42 miles an hour. *
The Machinery of Agriculture imports a new era in the history of mechanical science, and in this uncertain and precarious climate it is a desideratum that we should have the means, not only of preparing the soil, but we should avail ourselves of every favourable opportunity for gathering in the crops, and housing them with safety in wet weather. In tracing the history of our agricultural improvements, it will be found that they originated with a few distinguished men in the south-eastern parts of Scotland, and with the father of English farming, Arthur Young, the great breeder, and the most talented of English farmers. To these men we owe the first movement in agricultural improvements, and from their time up to the present there has been steady progress. It would not be too much to say that the produce of the soil of this country has been trebled within the last century, and the quantity of land reclaimed from sterility, and the improvement of that previously cultivated has been such as to excite the wonder of the past, and to stimulate the exertions of the present generation. Even as late as the beginning of the present century, although much had been
* Vide “ Practical Mechanics' Journal," p. 272.
done in draining, accompanied with the new system of rotation of crops, comparatively little had been accomplished in the shape of machinery as applied to the labours of the farm. The south of Scotland took the lead in a superior class of implements for tillage, and the thrashing-machine, driven by water and horses, was introduced about the same time by Andrew Mickle, of East Lothian; but steam as a substitute for animal
power had never been thought of, and until the last ten or fifteen years the great steam arm of science remained a listless agent, inoperative in the hands of the agriculturist.
At the present day, the very reverse is the case : as steamengines, steam-ploughs, and other steam drudges of the farm, are not only appreciated, but they testify their value by their presence at the Exhibition.
In this display we recognize one of the most imposing sights in the world's fair, and it is not too much to say that the agricultural mechanician has equally distinguished himself for solidity of construction, simplicity of details, and economy in price, with his contemporaries, the marine and locomotive engineers. The steam-ploughs of Fowler, and the engines and machinery of Ransome & Clayton, may challenge competition in any department of mechanical science, and the implements generally in this important division are exceedingly well made and admirably designed for the purposes for which they are intended.
Reaping-machines of almost every description are well represented at the Exhibition, and there appears to be no end of cultivators, grubbers, and sub-soilers, all of which are carefully designed andwell made. Inthe construction of reaping-machines, considerable improvements have been from time to time effected by Smith, Bell, McCormack, and Crosskill; but the labours of the engineer are of little value, unless supported by the agriculturist in the preparation of the land, so as to render it available for the work of the machine. To make a reapingmachine work well, everything must not be left to it; the farmer has his duty to perform in preparing the land as well, as the machine, and that being carefully accomplished, the great problem of machine labour will soon be solved, and the farmer may then calculate with certainty upon securing his crops in the worst of seasons. In a variable climate, such as that of England, where a whole harvest may be lost or seriously damaged unless rapidly cut and securely housed, the machine reaper becomes invaluable, and cannot fail, when properly constructed and applied, to become the farmer's friend, and a great national benefit.
Miscellaneous Articles and Machines.-Our limited space will not permit us to enter into detail, or we should have noticed a considerable number of machines and objects well
VOL. II.-NO. VI.
entitled to consideration : we may, however, remark that amongst them is a splendid collection of tools of varied forms of construction; such as lathes and machines for boring, planing, grooving, and slotting, including steam-hammers, riveting, punching, and wood-cutting machines of every description. All these are well and ably represented by the first makers, and for these as well as for the paper and letterprinting-machine makers, too much cannot be said ; the ingenuity and skill with which these valuable and important machines have been produced surpass all description.
If we examine the state of society as it now exists, in comparison with what it was nearly a century ago, and observe the amount of work then done by manual labour without the assistance of machinery and the steam-engine, it will be found that the labour of one individual in those days was not more than one hundredth part of what it is at present; and this immense increase of work does not arise from any increase in the muscular strength of man, but from his having called to his aid that all-powerful and never-failing agent steam, and the beautiful organisms to which its power is applied.
We might instance innumerable examples by which the ingenuity of man has, by appliances and the adaptation of machinery, turned to account the natural products of the earth to supply his wants, and contribute to the social comforts of his existence. In the manufacture of cotton, one man will spin one thousand times more yarn than could have been done before the introduction of the steam-engine and machinery; and in the manufacture of iron, the work of one individual with the aid of the rolling-mill, is increased nearly in the same proportion. Other manufacturing processes have undergone the same beneficial changes, and we have reason to hope, from the exertions of an intelligent and well-conducted population, that the advantages thus gained will be preserved and increased throughout future generations.
Having thus glanced, however imperfectly, at some of the leading objects in the machinery department of the great International Exhibition recently closed, we may safely state in conclusion, that more splendid and more instructive examples of the useful arts were never at any previous time brought under the inspection of the public. There is no department of practical science which has remained unrepresented, and the student, mechanic, or engineer, had only to read in his own department of study the great page of nature and art which, at this Exhibition, was laid open for his perusal. It is a great privilege for the present generation to have had before their eyes the finest specimens of the manufacturing machines in operation in their day, and in the construction of which it is their ambition to excel. This is an advantage of which few countries can boast, and it is of a character that will leave its impress upon the public mind, and will raise the thinking and industrial portion of the community of this and of all other nations much higher in the scale of civilization.
must have struck all observers that in nothing was there
The effect of this attention has been very marked; whereas in 1851, with the exception of a few military men and sportsmen, no one took the slightest interest in improvements in rifles and such instruments, for the last few years there is scarcely a schemer with an idea, and a belief in his own ingenuity, who has not come forward with his inventions; scarcely a firm of mechanical engineers which has not dabbled in patents for guns, armour-plates, forts, and so on. People who had perhaps never heard of a rifle, and certainly did not know the precise difference between that and a smooth bore, are now well up in the latest performances of “Whitworths" and "Armstrongs (which the · daily papers publish in their most prominent columns), and are ready to give a decided opinion on their respective merits. This is enough to account for the great stride which has been made during the last ten years. To note all the instances of improvement, and to describe them, would require a much greater space than that at our disposal. A con