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education and authorship has a claim upon our | however much he might desire to do so. We there is no reason why he should not do so confidence. We allude, of course, to Mr. Chat- shall be pardoned, we hope, if we venture to again. If we are rightlyinformed, he lately underfield, who not only refuses to sign the Report of glance a moment at the position of this Mr. took the revision, not to say the composition, of his colleagues, but puts forth very cogent rea- Bowman. In an article published towards the a treatise on naval architecture; his plea probably sons for dissenting from almost every important end of April last we happened to mention this being that he studied shipbuilding under Mr. conclusion they have come to. They think the gentleman as one of Mr. Lindsay's foremen.” Fairbairn! He is not, therefore, a man to shrink

morning meetings” of the principal officers This hurt the pride of our Admiralty Committee- from large undertakings from any excessive have become mere_forms ; Mr. Chatfield says man, and he hastened to protest against the im- sense of modesty. There is, however, one conthey have not. They think the smitheries putation. In doing this he incidentally told us sideration which, one would have thought, might should be under the control of the Chief both what he is and what he has been. This have weighed with him, viz., that Sir Baldwin Engineer ; he thinks quite the contrary. They is what he says of himself :-In 1824 he ob- Walker, whose management of the navy is say the Cossack was a cheap vessel ; he says tained a patent for a chain cable stopper ; he deeply involved in the Report before us, is both £9,368, were expended in four years upon her was then manager of Messrs. Simson and Co.'s a gentleman and Mr. Murray's superior officer. after her so-called completion. They recommend engine works at Aberdeen. In 1838 he started We do not for a moment say this should have "day pay” with “proper supervision” instead | a firm, Bowman, Vernon, and Co., “engineers made him in the slightest degree unfaithful to of the task and job and other systems ; he "and iron shipbuilders.” He next "left that his convictions (although it ought, perhaps, to considers that to talk of “proper supervision” firm and went into Staffordshire"—the "firm” have kept him out of the Committee altogether), is to beg the question. They think the system turning out a bad speculation, we presume. In but it should have had a moderating effect upon of shipbuilding pursued in private yards should July and August, 1847, he contributed some his prejudices, and kept his proposals within be imitated in the Royal Dockyards ; he says, remarks on cast iron to the MECHANICS' Maga- bounds. But we waste words on this point if “ so far from imitating the system of private zine. He next "joined the firm ” of G. B. it be true, as some think, that Mr. Murray is yards, we should take great care to avoid it.” | Thorneycroft and Co. as superintending en not only a warm partizan of the late Admiralty, *They deem the resort to varieties of day pay gineer,” and on June 8th, 1850, Mr. Thorney- but a special instrument in the hands of Mr. advisable ; he deems it “very unadvised to croft mentioned him favourably in the Mining Corry, the late Secretary to the Admiralty. If attempt to reintroduce a system which has been Journal. Finally, in 1853, he “left that firm," this be so, we need not be surprised at even the tried and failed.” They advise the substitution and commenced his practice of consulting extremes of folly which are embodied in this of deferred annuities for the workmen's pre-engineer. This wandering gentleman, who has Report. There is, however, another considerasent superannuation ; he wholly disapproves made his way into so many“firms” and stopped tion which, although it has not occurred to Mr. of such a change. They urge the return to lead in so few, and who, even when he was the head of Murray, has struck many persons, and that is, ing men and quartermen ; he“ strongly advises his own firm, did not give satisfaction apparently the absence of all grounds for public confidence not returning to a system inferior,” in his opi- this gentleman modestly tells us that he should in his opinions. What has Mr. Murray ever nion,“ to the present.” They also urge the re not wish that either our mind or that of the public done to gain the respect, or even the attention, moval of inspectors, and a consequent decrease “should have the impression that one of the of public men? Will any reader tell us ! As in the amount of supervision exercised over the “ members of the late Dockyard Committee he has not scrupled to deliver himself of workmen ; he states“ it would not be advisable "was only a foreman of Mr. Lindsay's.” And opinions upon shipbuilding matters wholly adto reduce the amount of supervision,” which yet in the very same letter he tells us that “he verse to the master shipwright associated with he considers “to be already at its minimum.” did superintend the construction of five steam- him, we have a right to ask what he knows of They suggest certain changes in the position of "ships for Mr. Lindsay,” and adds that he no the shipwrights' trade, or of the naval draughtsmen ; he calls their proposals sug- doubt owes his appointment on that committee architects' profession. Has he ever built a gestions, the object of which he “cannot principally to that gentleman.” So that this ship? Has he ever designed one?

understand." They propose a reduction in high-mettled Committee-man, who would object he has, did she float upright? And if she did, the salaries of foremen ; he “should not re- to being employed as a foreman by Mr. Lindsay, how much “brick” ballast was necessary to keep "commend it.”. They would adopt a modifica- thinks it no disgrace to be patronized and pushed her so? There are old acquaintances of Mr. tion of the timber inspectors' position; he into office by him! The character of this person Murray who would like to see these questions deems their plan “the reverse of any change must be borne in mind hereafter, for as we answered. But, to say no more of the ship" that might be considered expedient.” Finally, shall show in future articles, his three colleagues builder's business, what has Mr. Murray done they desire to introduce a peculiar class of su- and he have the effrontery to tell us how gentle- to distinguish himself as an engineer even? He perior pupils ; he says, “if the plan proposed men should be trained for high positions, and has gained a good position at Portsmouth, it is

by the majority of the Committee were to warn us against giving too many opportu- true, but that is no proof of professional emiadopted my conviction is, that such a nities of rising in the world to the sons of nence. When he got that appointment, parti“ step would prove a total failure." We cannot working men.

zanship was more regarded than ability, and compliment Mr. Chatfield upon the course he has We have thus seen that Mr. Chatfield is too at that time many a man who was never sustaken in this matter, because as a sensible and sensible, that Admiral Smart is too unin-pected of being skilful in his profession climbed educated shipbuilding officer, free from malevo- formed, and that Mr. Bowman is too puerile, to high. His promotion of itself

, therefore, affords lence and party feeling, he could not for a mo be held responsible for this Report. The Cóm- no mark of ability. Where, then, are his proofs ment have thought of committing himself to mittee is, therefore, reduced to two members. of eminence? Many an, echo will, we are conthe vagaries of his associates. We may, how- Of these Mr. Laws is a storekeeper, and before fident, answer “Where ?" ever, and hereby do, tender him our thanks for he became storekeeper was a clerk. It can The utter unfitness of this Committee for its taking the trouble to convict them .of much hardly be expected, therefore, that he would be work, and the foolishness which prompted its absurdity. His withdrawal leaves iis a Com- very dogmatical in deciding the purely profes-appointment, are abundantly evinced in the remittee of four only.

sional questions of the shipwright and the en-sult of its deliberations. Its sittings have been We shall do no violence, we presume, to any gineer; more particularly as certain crochets in prolonged for a year, and the expense occaone's sense of right if we next remove from connection with the keeping of accounts form sioned by it will be reckoned by thousands of this reduced Committee their gallant chairman, his peculiar hobby. If Mr. Murray would pounds sterling. And what is the fruit of all Admiral Smart. We need say but exceedingly yield to him on these points, he would this ? A Report which no Government would little in defence of his removal ; for he must be unquestionably yield to Mr. Murray on dare to act upon, except, perhaps, in some few an exceedingly smart Admiral ndeed who, other

minor matters. Mr. Chatfield's honourable and from a little superficial acquaintance with es Thus, by simply opening our eyes, and look- necessary dissent has, of course, rendered it tablishments like our Dockyards, could derive ing these Committee-men in the face, so to speak, utterly worthless, in so far as all the great the right to have a voice even in the subversion we have discovered that Mr. Andrew Murray, questions of economy discussed in it are conor transformation of those huge manufacturing Chief Engineer of Her Majesty's Dockyard, cerned. The present Admiralty—and the late establishments.

Portsmouth, is the man, and the only man, whó Admiralty also—know as well as we do that it Thus our Committee has dwindled down to has really put forth (in so far as manufacturing is everywhere esteemed as little more than Mr. three. May we let the trio remain ? Tell us, processes are concerned) the striking Report be- Murray's manifesto against the present manageMr. Bowman, may we? Alas! poor man, we

He it is who has undertaken to settle ment of the Dockyards, coupled with a daring believe he cannot answer, Yes! We know Mr. (or rather unsettle) of himself the whole ship- and monstrous attempt of his to fling as many Murray and we know Mr. Laws ; and we building and engineering establishments of the as possible of the shipbuilding departments of greatly fear from Mr. Bowman's autobiography Government Dockyards. Now, that Mr. Murray the navy under the feet of the chief engineers. (published in the MECHANICS' MAGAZINE for deems himself fully competent to execute the The Admiralty also know perfectly well that June 24, pp. 410--411) that he is not the man task which has thus devolved upon him, we do any attempt to give effect in the Dockyards to to set up an opinion of his own, if ho should not for a moment doubt. He has before tried to the devices and desires of Mr. Murray's heart, happen to have one, against two such opponents, I make a littio knowledgo go a long way, and would aroung ho strong a sense of Injustice

fore us.

and excite such wide-spread hostility, that number in each of the five different gauges now cond place is 0, as in the case of 1.50 inch, for failure would inevitably ensue.

in use, being No. 62 in the Lancashire wire the sake of simplicity and accuracy in adding We cannot now enter upon a discussion of gauge, No. 13 in the metal or plate gauge, No. up dimensions ; and drawings should be made the details of this Report. There are many, 18 in the music wire gauge, and No. 3 in the as far as possible to a decimal scale, such as very many, features of it which we shall have needle wire gauge. But in the new decimal one-tenth, or one-fifth of the full size. The to consider hereafter. All that we can at wire gauge all these different numbers are re- principle of the decimal system has been also present add is that we shall, in a future article placed by one No. 36, the actual size being adopted for weights and measures by the recent or articles, adduce from it stronger examples of 036 inch, or 36 thousandths of an inch, thus introduction of the "cental” of 100 lbs. for ignorance and absurdity-not unaccompanied denoting the exact size that it represents. weighing corn, flour, &c., in place of the clumsy by what we can only call snobbishness-than In order to obtain the degree of accuracy bushel

, the weight of which is different in have ever before astonished our eyes in any required in an engineering workshop, where the different localities. official report whatever.

one-thousandth of an inch is distinctly apprecia

ble by the workman in making the fitting parts THE DECIMAL SYSTEM OF MEASURE- of machinery, a measuring machine has been


constructed by Mr. Fernie, on a similar princi- ONE thing we have a perfect right to demand At the general meeting of the Institution of ple to the delicate measuring machine invented of the gentlemen who next undertake to lay Mechanical Engineers held in Birmingham on by Mr. Whitworth, in which a screw is ad- down a long and costly telegraph cable, and the 27th ult., Mr. John Fernie, of Derby, a vanced very slowly by means of a large wheel that is, à careful testing of the cable itself before gentleman of distinguished merit as an engi- having a graduated rim, and the required it leaves the manufactory. Had this precaution neer, read a very encouraging paper on the ap- length is measured by end or contact measure- been taken with the whole of the Atlantic cable plication of the decimal system of measurement ment instead of line measurement. This the bells would not have been rung, the to mechanical engineering work—a paper de machine affords the means of supplying exact Bible quoted, and gold medals distributed in serving all the prominence which we can afford standards of size for all portions of engines or vain. it. The subject has been brought forward at other machinery, whereby perfect accuracy of

Our attention has been specially directed to previous meetings of the Institution by Mr. fit can be ensured, and the exact amount of this matter by the performance of some exWhitworth, who proposed the inch as the clearance or exact degree of tightriess required periments which we lately witnessed at the standard of length for mechanical engineering is obtained, while the original standards can be works of Messrs. Reid and Co., the telework and metal manufacturing purposes gene- at any time repeated or verified.

graph engineers of University-street, London. rally, the inch being subdivided decimally into We may mention in this connection a very | These gentlemen are not content with simply 1,000 parts. The application of this system admirable instrument, the invention of Mr. submerging the cable, nor even with subjecthas been already commenced in the locomotive James Cocker, of Liverpool, which was lately ing it while submerged to considerable presshops of the Midland Railway, at Derby, in submitted to us for inspection. This consisted sure ; but they think it necessary to first whích Mr. Fernie labours professionally, and he of a disc with a spiral or eccentric circum- exhaust the air from the vessel containing the is satisfied from the experience already gained ference, the successive points of which were, of cable, and then force in water until a pressure of its working that its general adoption would course, at increasing distances from the centre. of about 200 lbs. per square inch is attained. be attended with much less real difficulty than at the centre an arm is loosely pinned, and For this purpose they employ a vessel strong might appear at first probable, without involv- this arm carries a pin, which, as the arm is enough to resist the pressure of the atmosphere ing any objectionable changes. By taking the moved round, gradually approaches to or re- when exhausted, and also the hydrostatic presinch as the standard of length, all difficulty at- cedes from the circumference of the disc. By sure to which the cable is intended to be subtending the adoption of a new standard is varying the form of that circumference any dejected. This vessel is made with a cover, to avoided; for many dimensions common in me- gree of measuring sensitiveness may be obtained. allow of a coil of insulated wire being introduced chanical engineering work are already expressed The instrument which we saw (and which was and inclosed therein. One end of the covered in inches, and the inch is the unit of measure from two to three inches in diameter) readily wire is conducted from the interior, through a ment in culculations of steam pressure, strength detected differences as small as one-thousandth stuffing box, to the outside of the vessel ; the of sections, &c. ; while even in larger dimen- of an inch ; it therefore showed very sensible other end of the wire is coated over and well sions, as in bridge girders, &c., no more figures differences in the size of hairs taken from the insulated. The vessel containing the wire is then are required in most cases for expressing the heads of different persons, or from the crown exhausted of air, and a vacuum formed by dimensions in inches alone than in feet and and beard of the same person.*

means of air pumps. The stop cock of the air inches. With respect to the metre, adopted as For the coarser measurements in the work- pumps is then shut, and the passage for water the standard of length in France, the extreme shop the common rules now in use are replaced is opened in order to fill the vessel ; or a quandifficulty of its introduction in this country by decimal rules, twenty or thirty inches long, tity of water may be introduced into the vessel, would amount to an indefinite postponement of jointed for convenience at every ten inches, each so as to fill or nearly fill it, before exhausting the whole question, if it did not render it abso- inch being divided into tenths, and between the air. One end of the wire of a galvanometer lutely impracticable ; and the inch has an ad- each tenth a small dot or short mark is made, is connected with the outer end of the wire vantage as a standard in the present case from representing half a tenth of an inch ; the work- which has been brought through the vessel. its decimal subdivision affording a finer division man is then soon able to subdivide this again Pressure is next exerted by pumping water into for line measure than is obtained by the decimal by eye, so as to measure to two-hundredths or the vessel, and then, on connecting the two subdivision of the metre, and with one place of even one-hundredth of an inch, and one-tenth poles of the battery with the galvanometer and decimals less. With the metre the smallest di- of an inch upon the rule is divided into the water in the vessel respectively, if the inmension of line measure is the millimetre, ‘001 hundredths of an inch for reference. These de- sulation be perfect, no action takes place in remetre, or one-thousandth of a metre, requiring cimal twenty-inch rules have been already gard to the needle of the galvanometer, no comthree places of decimals, and equivalent to about adopted by Mr. Whitworth throughout his plete electric current being formed; but if there *04 inch ; whereas with the inch the smallest works, and no difficulty is experienced in the is any defect in the coating of the wire, howdimension of line measure is .01 inch, or one- change. In figuring drawings, the only alter- ever small it may be, it is indicated by the dehundredth of an inch, requiring only two places ation to be made consists in writing all dimen- flection of the needle of the galvanometer, which of decimals, while it is only about one quarter sions in inches and decimals alone, which has shows that a circuit has been formed by the the length of the millimetre. The inch is more the advantage of preventing mistakes in reading water in the vessel getting in contact with some over in effect the present legal standard in this off or adding up dimensions ; writing the figures part of the wire which is being tested. It is country, the yard or parliamentary standard with two places of decimals, even where the se- recommended by Mr. W. Reid, the patentee of being fixed at 36 inches, of which the seconds'

the process, that the exhaustion should be as pandulum is 39·14 nearly.

• Since the above was written we have observed, in the perfect as possible, and that the pressure to An important step has been already effected present) that this instrument was exhibited on the occa- which the coated wire is thus subjected should in carrying out the decimal system, by the sion. It is thus described - A decimal measuring instru: for submarine telegraphs exceed the pressure decimal wire gauge introduced by Mr.

Whit- mentuwine shown Sixes Mo James Csaker of Liverpool for which the depth of water in which it is to be worth, in which no alteration is made in the sisting of a tlat graduated disc, the edge of which is formed submerged can ever offer to such wire. For sizes ordinarily used, the names only being in an spiral shape, with an abutment placed at a definite subterranean and similar electric telegraphs a few changed to one uniform series representing the sion the disc is turned round into the proper position, and pounds on the square inch will suffice; but as exact value of each size in thousandths of an the space between the spiral and the abutment gives the

excess of pressure over that to which it is likely inch. Thus in the ordinary or Birmingham ment was also shown by Mr. Alfred Knight, or Birming to be subjected when laid down does not injure wire gauge the No. 20 conveys no idea of the ham, in which small dimensions are indicated to one- the wire, or cost much, while at the same time size it is intended to denote, and the same size thousandth of an inch by an index upon a graduated dial; it more certainly insures detection of defects, is represented by a different and unconnected | pinion.

or what are likely to become defects, it is

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recommended that the pressure even for these making good their repairs by the appointed | furnace was requested of the Committee in should be at least 20 lbs. on the square inch. time, being constantly before him, caused him order to ensure a full trial (which the Com

The process above described needs but little great anxiety. His reflections, coupled with mittee itself admits in page 37 of their Report), * to recommend it. Properly carried out it is those of Mr. Blaxland, gave rise to the patent the Committee, who could so clearly see the certain to reveal any fault that may occur in boiler, which, as the projectors believe, fully advantage, refused the request, alleging, as a the manufacture, and thus guard us against lay- | answered their expectation ; and when the result reason, they would not take the responsibility ing down a cable until it is found to be perfect. was made known to the Admiralty, an inspec

“ of an alteration.” “As if the responsibility With the best modes of constructing cables we tion of the model was directed, and subsequently of the result of the addition was not cannot avoid the risk of some defect or other, the application of the invention to a boiler of mine, instead of theirs !” says the Admiral. and it is surely incumbent upon us to detect one of the gunboats, and a trial of the patented By that refusal a fair trial was of course altosuch defects as may exist before the repair of boilers in comparison with a multi-tubular gether prevented, nor can the Committee justify them is put beyond our power.

boiler to be made in Sheerness-yard. To the their having reported that "the patent boiler

trials, which were conducted by Mr. Langley was in heating power 25 per cent under the MARINE BOILERS FOR THE of the Sheerness Steam Ordinary, the Steam "multi-tubular," after having refused to the ADMIRALTY.

Committee allude. But it is against the par- former that which they admit would have proWe have already said* that Mr. Nasmyth and tiality with which these trials were made--Ad- portionably increased its heating power, thereby his colleagues of the Admiralty Committee on

miral Tucker being himself at that time abroad preventing such a boiler as the patentees insteam machinery decided contrary to the

that he has frequently complained to the Ad-tended for competition from being tried at all.

experience of abler men than themselves when they miralty. “As, for instance, that all the leakage The permission refused to the inventors of the pronounced an opinion adverse to the merits of

“of the multi-tubular boiler, and all its priming new boiler was such as is daily accorded to the Sheerness steam boiler patented by Admiral

were registered in favour of that boiler as for other inventors. Tucker and Mr. Blaxland. These gentlemen

“steam which it had generated ; for, indeed, to Again, to a second application for another the one the Superintendent and the other the

"produce a fictitious report of the desired eva- furnace being inserted, the Committee say in Chief Engineer of one of Her Majesty's Dock

poration, its fires were so urged as to blow off their letter to Admiral Tucker of the 12th yards-observing the grave defects of the tubu

“ heated cinders, which without doubt would of July, 1858: “ The Committee, without lar boilers of !I. M. gunboats and other

vessels, and was considered so dangerous to the dock-sible to introduce another furnace, as you now

have set fire to any ship had it been afloat, "giving any decided opinion how far it is posdid precisely what good and efficient servants of "yard as to compel the Superintendent's inter; the Crown should have done, viz., suggested a

propose, into such a small boiler, must decline “ference, who ordered the fires to be drawn." remedy for the evils before their eyes. They

to make any request_grounded upon your invented a boiler without tubes, of cheap con

Again, notwithstanding that the issue of the “ proposed alteration. But they will be most struction, and altogether free from the well-comparative merits of the two boilers was,- happy to witness any trial and give their unknown defects of the gunboat boilers. To the which could work the longest without the loss biassed opinion, when they go to Sheerness, merits of their invention we have already borne of power ?-the steaming of the multi-tubular“ upon any boiler constructed under your direc

“tion, that they may find ready for inspection strong testimony, but the apathy of some and could only be continued for a few hours at its the hostility of others are preventing its adop- lower

tubes, and from its making a deposit of conduct after having done me all the injury

" and use." full duty, from the constant choking of its

“A very proper promise of fair tion. The sapient Committee above referred

they could. The only question is,- Did the of whose abilities we long since had astounding live cinders in the smoke box, causing its deevidence, dismissed its consideration with a

struction during the trial by its own fire. “Committee keep their promise ?” remarks the rapid sentence or two "signifying nothing." This mode of proceeding being, as Admiral Admiral.

Admiral Tucker, however, is an officer of Tucker says, neither satisfactory nor just, he The size of the boiler under trial, into which some spirit and patriotism, and refuses to ac

obtained from the Admiralty an order for a the patentees desired to insert two furnaces, cept their decision without comment. He has trial of 144 consecutive hours. “The patent was large enough to have admitted two of accordingly drawn up a paper bravely entitled " boiler worked through the period without one fifteen inches in diameter. In order, therefore, “Observations on part of a Report by the Com

single interruption, while the multi-tubular to show that they had not made an ill-considered mittee for investigating the Steam Navy ; con

“ broke down five times, nor ever collectively application, the patentees caused a new boiler tradicting its statements, and questioning its

steamed through the appointed time." of four feet long and one foot in diameter to be fairness ;" to which paper we would draw atten. This trial having proved that the patent prepared, and into that boiler two furnaces tion. “It appears at page 36 of the report,” boiler could steam certainly for 141 con

were introduced of only four inches in diameter. says the author, “ that a boiler, of which I am secutive hours, while the multi-tubular fell This boiler was shown the Committee with the patentee, was submitted to the Commit

so far short, it was to be inferred that the steam up to 30 lb. pressure, but to give an untee's attention ; and had the report of the re

invention had at least some_merit worthy biassed opinion, or any opinion at all about it, sult of the trial of that boiler, as was but fair

, the attention of the Steam Department of the Committee altogether omitted. In perfect and as had been promised, and given by the the Admiralty, and the more so, because the keeping with that omission, the Committee, Sc preceding Board of Admiralty, been submitted patent boiler could be so much more economi- although they allude in their report to certain

to me before printed, the errors in it, to which cally constructed, and that the novelty could be trials which they did not see, are altogether “I shall hereafter advert, might have been, if applied to the boilers already afloat at a much silent on the trial of 144 hours, during which " not avoided, certainly pointed out. But as that, less expense than repairing them with tubes. the patent boiler steamed uninterruptedly, "nothing more than the fair course of proceed

“So far as I have heard,” says Admiral Tucker, while the multi-tubular so often broke down. “ing, was not in good faith, nor even in

nothing of the kind has been yet attempted The Committee further report of the patent "courtesy accorded, I resort to this method of by the Steam Department.”

boiler, “it yet required forty-eight minutes “making known, first, -How it happened that However, on the 28th of June, 1858, he was “ more time to raise steam than in the ordinary “the boiler was tried in Sheerness-yard, of ordered to put himself in communication with “ boiler." The truth of the following table “which I had been the Superintendent; and, the Steam Committee, that the boiler might be Admiral Tucker offers to prove by undeniable “ secondly, -What the proceedings and facts of tried : and he next proceeds to show that so far evidence. The trial took place September 1st, " the trials in reality were ; and I shall venture from fairly testing its merits, it was the mem

1858. to suggest, why the expenditure of so compa-bers of the Steam Committee themselves who “ratively small a sum as £300 should not deter prevented a fair trial being made on that oc

Patent Boiler...... Lit fire at 5 25, Steam up to 74 at 6 40=1 15

Multi-tubular " a Board of Admiralty from irrefutably testing casion. Early in the month of June, 1858, (and

ditto ditto 10 57=1 7 “the merits of a boiler which eminent and not the last day in August, the day of inspection, The foregoing figures speak for themselves, and “practical men have considered to be superior as would seem by the Committee's report) be- they prove the Report of the Committee widely “ to the multi-tubular boiler by a saving of 20 fore the patent boiler was taken in hand, in at variance from the truth. The time required "per cent. in first cost, more than 23 per cent. preparation for the Steam Committee, he (Ad- to get up steam by the patent boiler (prevented,

in fuel, a greater production by 30 per cent. miral Tucker) had applied to the Vice-Admiral be it remembered, by the Committee from " of steam, besides being, by very far the more W. F. Martin at the Admiralty to have a making its best efforts) did not exceed that re"durable, and the less liable to repair.” second furnace inserted in the patent boiler to quired by the multi-tubular by 48 minutes, but

Admiral Tucker next tells us that as Captain increase its heating power. That request was only by 8, while it is certain that the trial then Superintendent of a naval yard during the late made on his own responsibility to show the made of only three hours, congenial enough to war, he became painfully aware of the constant proper working of the patent in the size a tube-choking boiler, was in reality utterly inbreaking down and necessary repairs of our boiler then under trial. It was forwarded significant as a test of the best boiler for the gunboats. Their defects, and the question of by Admiral Martin to the Committee before • MECHANIOS' Magazine for May 20, 1859, No. 21, the boiler went into the workshop, notwith

* That as both the grate and heating surfaces would by

that means be increased, the power of the boiler to supply standing which, and that the insertion of the steam would be proportionably increased.

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Navy. "It will be asked,” says Admiral Tucker, | anchors fall the height of sixteen feet on the None of either sort, however, gave way till “ Have I made the Admiralty acquainted with centre of the links and shackles between the after they had stood a much greater strain than " these proceedings of the Committee, and have anvils ”.

ever is, or can be, put upon implements of the “I challenged investigation? I have. It has In 1787 was published "A Brief State of same kind in real use;

and four only of the s not yet been awarded.” Were the Report of Facts relative to the New Method of making Swedish iron, but five of Mr. Cort's remained the Steam Committee only a statement, signed Bar Iron with Raw Pit Coal and Grooved perfect after those against which they were reas nothing more than the opinion of the indi-Rolle Discovered and brought to Perfection spectively tried gave out. It was one of these viduals whose names appear, the document by Mr. Henry Cort,” containing the particulars five, the hook of a double top swivel block, that would be altogether unimportant, but “ An and results of the experiments on Cort's iron at stood against one of the same dimensions made « Official Committee” is clothed, as Admiral the dockyards.

of the Swedish iron, which broke, they being Tucker says, with so much consequence that The following extracts will be read with much equally drawn against each other from opposite their doings should not only be investigated, interest :

capstans, with thirty men heaving at each, a but exposed; for a decision affecting the interests of an individual being confided to their

“Mr. Cort's process of refining iron from the purchase before which both sorts of iron had judgment, it behoves the Committee to be heated by common coal or any other fuel, has pig or cast state, in a reverberatory furnace, yielded in the immediately preceding experi

ment. scrupulously fair and just, “ and if it be of any, the effect of separating from the metallic par- have driven equally well, and two p bolts of

“Two eye-bolts of each sort of iron appear to “and who will deny that it is of the greatestimportance to our Steam Navy, that it shall charged in the common methods of rendering Mr. Cort's also drove without injury; but

of two i be supplied with the best boiler, which in the iron malleable ; and thereby a manifest differ- perfectly similar made from the Swedish, alproduced, it is imperatively necessary that in ence of quality is occasioned in favour of the though both drove, one broke in the stump.

Upon the whole, it is presumed not too much examination of comparative merits, the com; by the mode, also invented by Mr. Cort

, and to assert that in this course of experiments, Mr. petitions and the reports be complete and used in manufacturing the iron, when malleable, Corts iron was proved to be in every respect impartial." We need not add to these remarks. They by rolling it in a welding heat through rollers with the Swedish iron.”

into bars, and even into bolts, and many uses, equal, at least in quality and substantiality, show clearly enough, not only that the Steam with grooves accurately formed, instead of EXPERIMENTS MADE AT WOOLWICH DOCKYARD. Machinery Committee appointed by the late working it under hammers. This iron has a Admiralty were a miserably incompetent set of

"Mr.Cort's anchor was indubitably the stronggentlemen, but also that there yet exists at theless so effectually disentangled from impure anchor was the heaviest of the two, yet that was

peculiar appearance in its grain, but it is never- est ; and it may be observed, that although this which even the Superintendents and other chief scoriæ, and the texture of it is so uniformly owing to the largeness of the palms, for the officers of our Dockyards cannot quite break perfect, that it may be pronounced superior, shanks and arms were considerably less in cirthrough. Is it too much to ask for a fair and upon the whole, for body, strength, and tough- cumference throughout than those of the anchor open settlement of this boiler question, which less even to the best of Swedish Orgrounds made from the Swedish

iron, as appeared by involves financial considerations of great moment of this iron under the inspection of two Master tionate distances.

measures taken at a great number of proporto the country ? Smiths belonging to the King's dockyards, And

upon the whole of the trials made here, from old ship ballast delivered to him out of Mr. Cort's iron appears to have stood completely THE CASE OF HENRY CORT, the dockyard at Portsmouth for that purpose. in five instances, the Orgrounds only in one;

The bar iron so made by Mr. Cort was after- his gave way partially in three, the other in four HIS INVENTIONS IN THE MANUFACTURE wards distributed to all the Royal dockyards, instances ; and although that broke also in four OF BRITISH IRON.

and being there wrought into anchors and other cases, his broke only in one. His, therefore, by THOMAS WEBSTER, M.A., F.R.S., &c., Barrister-at-Law. naval implements, underwent a series of ex: the comparison of these particular instances

periments against the like instruments wrought may be pronounced superior in strength to the The naval authorities appear by the correspond

from the best Orgrounds iron, the marks of first sort of Orgrounds iron ; and workmen in ence to have prosecuted the inquiry as to the which were P L and crown, double bullet, hoop, general who have tried it, declare that it is at success of Cort's invention with becoming zeal

. and L, whereby its qualities were put to the least equal in all respects, especially that it is On the 1st of March, 1784, the following order severest test.”

rather more malleable, retains its heat longer, was issued :

The particulars and result of these experi- welds, and bears punching, turning, and being “Navy Office, 1st March, 1784. ments are as follows:

wrought in the most severe manner to the full “ GENTLEMEN,—These are to direct and re- RESULTS OF THE EXPERIMENTS AT PORTSMOUTH.

well." quire you to demand from Messrs. Cort and “An anchor of 67 cwts. 2 qrs. 14 lbs., manu- EXPERIMENTS MADE AT SHEERNESS DOCKYARD. Jellicoe such a number of links and shackles factured from Mr. Cort's iron, and tried in the “Mr. Cort's anchor was the strongest ; and of from mooring chains made of neutral iron, ac- usual way, was found equal to an anchor of the the rest of the articles, two of his stood and two cording to their own process of working the like size made of Swedish Orground iron. broke; three of the Swedish stood and one iron, for an experiment against a like number "And P and eye-bolts for ships' caps, tackle straightened. prepared of the best iron, and to make a trial hooks, and hinges for doors, also made of this “In all these experiments there was a much and report the result of the strength of that iron, and top-tackle and snatch-blocks bound greater strain as well upon those articles which made from neutral iron compared with the with it were equal to the like articles made of were not either broken or injured as upon those other. You are to supply them with neutral the first sort of Orgrounds iron.”

which were, than is ever applied in the actual iron for it if they are in want thereof; for


use of such instruments on board of any ship.” which this shall be your warrant.


“Mr. Cort's anchor was manifestly superior ; J. HENSLOW,

“Mr. Cort's anchor stood, the other was the part which broke had been injured by some broken ; and, in eleven other experiments, Mr. E. HUNT,

accident in the heating to such a degree as to G. MARSH.

break short off with little or no strain, and the Cort's iron stood, four was injured in four, and To the respective officers of Portsmouth Yard.”

broke in three instances. The Swedish iron stood injury was visible upon inspecting the broken The following portion is all that has been part ; but in the second experiment with the in five, was injured in five, and in one broken ; arm which had not been so burnt, the anchor

so that there appeared but little inequality, preserved of the reply to that order :

opposed to it was torn asunder in a part which except in the anchor, in which the superiority “Portsmouth Yard, 1st June, 1784. had been extremely well manufactured, and of Mr. Cort's greatly overweighed the trifling " HONOURABLE SIRS, -In obedience to your where there was no appearance of imperfection inferiority of it in the aggregate of the other

articles.” directions of the 1st of March last, to demand or of the iron having suffered the smallest infrom Messrs. Cort and Jellicoe a number of jury, but very much the reverse appeared upon EXPERIMENTS MADE AT PLYMOUTH DOCKYARD. links and shackles for mooring chains made of a minute inspection.

"The superiority of Mr. Cort's anchor is suffineutral iron, according to their new process of “ The experiments upon the hooks and strap- ciently evident on this trial ; of his other working the iron, for an experiment against the pings of bolts, and upon the hooks, eleven in articles, two stood, three broke, and three gave like number prepared from the best iron in our number, were also favourable to Mr. Cort’s iron. way. Of the Swedish, three stood, three broke, smithery

Six of the articles made of the Swedish iron ap- and two gave way." “We are humbly to acquaint you that we pear to have been straightened, and only three The Master Smith of this yard expressed his have made the experiments of the links and of those made from his; and two of these three opinion that Mr. Cort's iron, used in the articles shackles on two anvils, and letting the large not to the same degree as the Swedish. Three which were the subjects of the above experihammer of four cwts. which shuts the arms of of his indeed broke, and but one of the Swedish. I ments is equal to any he ever made use of.”


No. VII.


refining furnaces, three men-two at work to- REPORT OF THE ADMIRALTY COMMITTEE “The iron made by Mr. Cort, and tried against gether, and the third taking his rest in turns

ON DOCKYARD ECONOMY. the best Swedish iron in the above experiments, can with ease refine 4 tons of pig a-week was made from old ship ballast, which is a very from one furnace, which being afterwards rolled The Report of the Committee appointed by the inferior sort of cast-iron. The Orgrounds iron, into bars at one welding heat, will produce bar late Admiralty to investigate the subject of Dockagainst which it was tried, is the best refined, iron of even the smallest dimensions (which yard economy has come into our hands. It has the strongest, and the toughest iron known or might, if required, be also slit into nail rods, at not yet been presented to the House of Commons, ever brought into use before Mr. Cort's dis- the same heat in which the bar is first formed, and it cannot therefore be obtained through the covery ; about 20,000 tons of this iron are an- and consequently without any sensible addi- ordinary channels of publication; but we have nually imported from Sweden, and paid for in tional expense) of the quality above described, contrived to secure copies privately, so to speak, money at a high price ; besides which, about in the proportion of upwards of a ton from and doubt not that our readers will be glad to learn 50,000 tons of bars and slabs are annually im- every 32 cwt. of pig, the quality generally used ported from Russia ; and about 30,000 tons of at the coke fineries, in making a ton of the their contents without questioning the means by

which we have possessed ourselves of them. As we bar iron are annually made in England. But largest size of mill bar iron. even if the whole quantity of a hundred thousand

“It may be further observed, that such bars as shall have occasion to discuss this strange prodactons, one year with another, brought to market are required to be feather-edged, for the laying.

tion elsewhere, it will be sufficient for us here to in this country in bars, slabs, rods, or other of shanks of anchors, are originally manufac- present the following “Recapitulation” of the shapes, could be made by our manufacturers tured of that shape, and of dimensions exactly substance of the Report, and the various recomwithout the aid of this discovery, still the best proportionate throughout, by means of Mr. mendations which the Committee make. The Comof their iron (not only that which is made at the Cort's rollers ; and å saving is thereby occa- mittee consisted of Rear Admiral Smart, K.H., coke-fineries, but also that which they refine sioned of the fire and labour necessary to pre- Mr. H. Chatfield, Master Shipwright of Deptford with charcoal, and of which the quantity sup-pare Swedish bars into that form, and of the Dockyard, Mr. Andrew Murray, Chief Engineer plied must always be limited) has not been es- waste in heating and hammering, in order to of Portsmouth Dockyard, Mr. Robert Laws, teemed of sufficient body, strength, and tough- fit them (though by far less perfectly) for the ness for anchors, tackle-hooks, the strapping same use.

Storekeeper of Chatham Dockyard, and Mr. and hooks of blocks, bolts, and other ironwork

Robert Bowman, “Civil Engineer and Shipbelonging to the building, rigging, and naviga

“And, upon the whole, notwithstanding the builder," of 17 Paynton-terrace, East India Road. tion of ships, upon the perfect goodness of which expenses unavoidably incident to such a dis- Mr. Chatfield has refused to sign the report, and

in its infant state, iron can be the lives and safety of so many of His Majestys afforded at a cheaper price, to be paid and appended a lucid statement of his reasons for useful subjects, the seamen of Great Britain; circulated at home, than has hitherto been withholding his name from the production of his must depend; only the Orgrounds, imported necessarily paid to foreigners, for an article so colleagues:

For the succeeding remarks he is from Sweden, has been hitherto esteemed sufficiently good to be depended upon for these

uses; as the first sort of Swedish Orgrounds iron, and all the disgrace of them belong exclusively

very important to Government and the nation, therefore in no way responsible; all the credit, but Mr. Cort's iron has been now proved to upon which the preservation of His Majesty's to Admiral Smart, and Messrs. Murray, Laws, possess these qualities

in a super-eminent de- fleet hitherto depended, but to which the iron and Bowman. The recapitulation is as follows:gree ; and, therefore, the chief questions seems manufactured according to this discovery has

The committee recommend that a shipwright to be, whether it can be manufactured in suffi

been proved equal for use in all respects, and and an engineer officer attached to the Surveyor's cient quantities, and at a reasonable price. As superior in many particular instances. Among department should visit the Dockyards and facto the first of these points, although the bar these, it cannot escape observation,

that in ali tories more frequently* for the purpose of proiron at present made in England and Scotland, the five different trials upon large anchors, moting greater uniformity in the interpretation of after the former methods, is not more than weighing from 34 to 59 cwt., those made of the orders, and in the mode of carrying on the work about 30,000 tons, as above stated, yet the furnace-refined iron had a manifest superiority in the fitting and equipment of ships, and to exreason is , that there is no larger demand in the over those made of the Orgrounds iron. In all plain the desires of the Board and of the

Surmarket for iron so inferior in body and strength the two different sorts of iron were drawn these cases respectively, the anchors made of veyor, when not fully understood.

They recommend that the morning meeting of as much of this is found to be. The quantity of pig iron and castings annually made in Great equally against each other, with a purchase the officers should be conducted in a manner to be

which it is almost incredible that either should of more service for communication and proper Britain is not less than about 85,000 tons have borne, before either gave way; and not concert in carrying

on the business of the yard by increasing the number of blast furnaces. withstanding those made of the Orgrounds iron than is the case at present.

They have made some remarks on the sub. At present, they are but about eighty-five in did give way at last, in all the trials, yet it was

division of the supervision as at present carried out number in England, Wales and Scotland, but than any other iron could have borne, of than amongst the chief professional officers of the many more might be worked if the encourage the hardest actual service can be expected to those officers and those branches which can best ment was sufficient by a demand for pig iron equal to what Mr. Cort's discovery must occarequire.”

execute any work that is required, should be the *sion when it is brought into general use, for the These elaborate experiments and severe trials, parties to execute it, and that those officers who raw materials are in a manner inexhaustible. conducted under such varied circumstances and best understand the nature of the work should

“The second strong circumstance in favour of conditions (the details of which are fully stated) have the supervision of it. This will reduce the this iron is, that even now in the infant state of in all the royal dockyards, led to the conclusion number of petty branches, by doing away with the manufactory, it may be afforded cheaper that Cort, by his method of puddling and work-one wherever there are two separate workshops of than the Swedish iron. It is true that for the ing by grooved rollers, could make, out of the the same trade in the Dockyards and factories. purpose of having the iron made, upon which worst material (ship ballast iron) an iron equal; of the work, which is objectionable, but which the above experiments were tried, 60 tons of and in some cases superior, to the best Swedish has hitherto existed in the saw-mills, and other old ballast were delivered to Mr. Cort, and he iron.

branches where machinery is employed, is also returned no more than 29 tons 3 cwt. 0 qrs.

proposed to be done away with, by placing the 16lbs. in bars ; but the bad quality of that metal,


men, as well as the machinery, under the charge and the quantity of rust and dirt adhering to it, TO THE EDITORS OF THE “ MECHANICS' MAGAZINE.” of the chief engineer for the execution of any whereby the weight was increased, and some GENTLEMEN,— Perhaps you will allow me to work that may be required by the shipwright other circumstances disadvantageous to the state in your widely-circulated scientific mis- department. yield, afford ample reasons why this should not cellany, for the information of those gentlemen

The Committee consider that the shipwright be taken as a just criterion in that respect. For who are now proposing plans for the fortification officers have devoted their time and attention

too instance, some of the ballast was in large pieces, of London, that I can suggest, and have long exclusively to the execution of work of the best 5, 6, and even 7 cwt. and of such forms that it since made known to the Admiralty and the Go- quality, and within the shortest possible period, was impossible to break them ; so that it be- vernment, the means whereby all the central and and that they have too much overlooked the came necessary to melt and run some of them densely populated portions of London, Paris, St. question of the cost of the work produced. The down into pigs before they could be put into the Petersburg, or any other large town, or a fleet of fact that

upon some urgent and pressing occasions finery-furnace. Others, which were put at once

vessels in harbour, might, to a moral certainty, cost is no object whatever in comparison with into the refinery furnace, were unwieldly, and miles and upwards if required, and comparatively, away from the due consideration of cost for pro

be speedily destroyed from a distance of ten rapidity of execution, appears to have led them therefore were both melted and worked with as regards all other modes of warfare, at a very difficulty, and a very extraordinary waste. But trifling expense.

duction of ordinary work in ordinary times. added to these observations, the fact is ascer

• These italics, and others which follow, are employed tained, that in a regular course of working the

W. H. JAMES, C.E. to facilitate reference to this document hereafter,-Eps. London, August 2, 1859.


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