Harper's Weekly 01/15/1876


REVIEW OF RECENT INVENTIONS.
By EDWARD H. KNIGHT.

[Fourth Article.]


Fig. 81.—Paper Box Machine.



All the usages of civilized life,” says Pliny, “depend in a remarkable degree upon the employ-
ment of paper; at all events the remembrance of past events.”


When we consider what paper was in his day, and what an inefficient substitute we should have
in a sheet of beaten pulp from a fresh-water reed for our paper of rags, we are struck by the ener-
getic way in which the statement is made by this indefatigable old man of eighteen centuries since.
We have retained the name, however, for paper is but a modification of the word papyrus.


The paper made from the papyrus was made of nine different qualities, differing in size, color,
and texture. It was made by splitting the successive folds of the stalk into thin laminæ, care being
taken that they should be as broad as possible. The inner folds made the finer
paper, and the coarser was on the outer wrapping of the stalk, much as we see it
in the successive layers of husk around an ear of corn. The different qualities had
specific names, but not such a variety as we use at the present day, when we have
terms signifying material, size, color, texture, thickness, finish, and purpose.


The flakes of papyrus were united at their edges, to form them into a sheet, by
laying them on a board and pressing them wet together; cross layers were laid on,

Fig. 82.—Inkstand and Gum Cup.

and the width of the sheet was determined
by the length of the stalk between the joints.
The sheets were then dried in the sun.


It was a great advance when paper was
made of pulp, which was first done in China.
It would not be easy to ascertain whether it
was first made of bark, in the manner yet
practiced in China and Japan, with the inner
bark of a species of paper mulberry, or of
pulped fibres of cotton. The great change
was completed when true paper was made of
rags or other vegetable fibre reduced to a pulp,
gathered into a sheet, felted in setting, and
dried.


This Chinese invention was introduced into
Europe by the Saracens. The hand methods
were universal till about eighty years since,
and are now practically discontinued in Eu-
rope and America.


Out of the abundance of paper and new
needs a great variety of machines have arisen,
and among them none more ingenious than
those for making paper bags, boxes, envel-
opes, and collars.


Paper Box Machine.—Fig. 81 is a ma-
chine for making rectangular boxes. The
machine consists of mechanisms for feeding
the roll of paper, pasting, cutting, folding, and
inserting the box into the drying receptacles, and discharg-
ing it therefrom, all of which operate automatically. The
paper web from the roll, g, passes between the rollers, f f, by the upper one of which paste from the
trough, d, is applied to its edges. It is then carried forward by the feed rollers, b b, and the neces-
sary slits cut by a vertically reciprocating cutter, after which it is subjected to the action of a plunger,
p, which shapes it by forcing it within one of a series of moulds on an endless chain, k, advanced
intermittingly by a pawl, l, operated by an oscillating lever from the driving-shaft. The boxes are
carried around by the endless chain until they successively arrive in a sufficiently dry condition at
a point over an aperture, where they are forced out of the moulds by a vertically reciprocating
plunger, p.Gates.


Inkstand.—Fig. 82 is an inkstand made up of three sections, containing black and red ink and
mucilage respectively, and held to their common base by a spiral spring and a cap plate.—Hall.


Scribing Instrument.—Fig. 83 is an instrument for drawing spirals. The bar of the compass
has a rack bar gearing into a pinion, causing the pencil to approach the centre at a uniform rate,
thereby describing a scroll. The density of the coils is changeable by the substitution of other
pinions.—King.


Type-Writer.—The race of fingers on keys in the type composing machine against fingers at
the printer's case has been adverted to in one of the earlier articles of this series. Another contest
has arisen, and that is fingers on keys in printing letters, against the fingers with the pen in ordi-

Fig. 83.—Instrument for drawing Spirals.

nary writing. It is claimed that a few
hours' practice will enable a person to write
as quickly as with a pen, and by continuous
practice a speed of five times that of ordi-
nary writing may be acquired. The writer,
using the fingers and thumbs of both hands,
depresses one piston after another on to the
paper, the surface of which always lies in the
centre of the writing ball, a (Fig. 84), and
each time a letter is produced on the paper
the table is caused to move one letter space
toward the writer, impelled by the double
action of the verge, v, caused by the closing
of the current in the depression of the piston
coming in contact with a spring, whereby
electro-magnets attract an armature, caus-
ing the movements of the verge, the recoil
of which is communicated through a crown-
wheel, shaft, another wheel, and a toothed
rack to the table. When a line has been
thus printed, as indicated by the signal bell,
the table is again pushed up to the stand-
ards, and a movable tooth affixed under the

Fig. 85.—Electrical Photometer.


Fig. 84.—Type-Writer.

table engages be-
tween two pins on
the beam, causing
the frame and ta-
ble to move lat-
erally a distance
equal to the dis-
tance between
two lines, and
the apparatus is
ready for the sec-
ond line, and so
on continuously.
Hansen.


Photometer.
—Fig. 85 is an
application of the
well-known Bun-
sen photometer
for ascertaining
the illuminating
quality of any il-
luminating gas tested thereby, and the object of this invention is to render the apparatus automatic
in its operation, and absolutely correct and reliable in showing the quantity of the gas consumed,
the weight of the consumed portion of the test candle, and the time occupied in the consumption.
A standard candle supported on a balance arm carries a sliding weight. The consumption of a
predetermined amount of the candle allows the arm to tip; its dipping into a mercury cup and
closing an electrical circuit to magnets controls devices which cause the candle to be blown out,
the gas to be shut off, the meter and a clock to be stopped. The operator is enabled to arrive at
the exact quantity of the gas and of the candle consumed by nothing, in the first case, the change
in position of the gas pointers from that of their positions at commencement, and, in the second
case, by placing the balance lever in equipoise by moving the pointer weight 23 from “zero,” and
noting the number of grains indicated thereby on the scale. If a test for quantity of gas consumed
be desired—say, in ten minutes—he changes the switch to “gas,” balances the candle, places the
dog indicator at “zero,” notes the clock time, and when the said dog indicator has made one
complete revolution, which indicates ten-twelfths of a cubic foot (the standard for ten minutes'
consumption), the same results follow as in the former test, i. e., the cessation of all the movements
in the photometer.—Goodwin.


Fig. 86 is an instrument used to determine approximately the illuminating value in sperm candles
of coal gas and other hydrocarbon gases by burning the same while being forced through an orifice
of specific area by a pressure varying from four-tenths to seven-tenths of an inch, the height of the
jet flame being adjusted exactly to seven inches. A candle-power scale is spaced and numbered
from end to end from 11 to 22; the number and fractions of the candle power of the gas are pointed
to by an index bar; motion is given to the index pointer over the face of the candle scale by means
of a gas holder in communication with the tank in a well, and connected by a weighted cord with
an enlarged pulley fixed to the index bar.—Hopper.


Telegraph.—Fig. 87 represents on a small scale a general view of the American fire-alarm tel-
egraph system, embracing the signal station, the central station, the signal circuit, the position of
which is shown by the lines i í, k , and the alarm circuit, the position of which is shown by the
lines d , The drawings also show the connection and mutual dependence of the said several
parts. The different stations are shown almost close together for convenience of viewing, but the
lines i í, k ' must be imagined of indefinite length, reaching from the suburbs, for in-
stance, to a station near the geographical centre of the city. The object of the American fire-alarm
telegraph is to give an instantaneous and definite alarm, either general or local, in a city or town,
indicating the locality of a fire. The object of the signal station is to indicate the existence and lo-
cality of a fire in its neighborhood to the central station or to other signal stations, or to both. The
number of signal stations should therefore be multiplied in proportion to the size of the city or town,
in order to place one within a suitable distance of every house, and such stations are to be organized
to give signals differing from one another, so that each shall indicate uniformly its own location by
signalizing its number or other designation, and for fire-alarm purposes it is essential that the sig-
nals be either recorded or audibly sounded. The object of the central station is to receive intelli-
gence of the existence and locality of a fire from a signal station in the neighborhood of the fire,
and to give a correspondingly public alarm through the alarm-bells, and, if desired, also communi-
cate with the signal stations by means of machinery operated or controlled by telegraphic action or
influence emanating from the central station. The object of the alarm-station, which is usually a
belfry or bell tower, is to give a public alarm by means of blows upon a bell struck by machinery,
the action of which is controlled from the central office or station by telegraph. Instead of a
bell, other suitable

Fig. 86.—Jet Photometer.

mechanism for pro-
ducing sound may
be substituted.
The function of
the signal circuit
is to connect tele-
graphically several
signal stations with
the central station
and with each oth-
er, or simply to
connect several
signal stations with
each other for sig-
nalizing alarms of
fire. The function
of the alarm circuit
is to connect tele-
graphically one or
more alarm sta-
tions with a cen-
tral station and
with each other so
as to combine such
stations into an
alarm system for

Fig. 87.—Electro-Magnetic Alarm Telegrph.

giving public alarm in case of fire. These are the general features, and, in working, seem to leave
little to be desired.—Channing and Farmer.


Fig. 88 is Sir Charles Wheatstone's perforator for telegraph paper, designed to be used in connec-
tion with the automatic or fast-speed telegraph formerly invented by him, and which comprises
three distinct apparatuses indispensable to each other—I, a perforating machine, for preparing the

Fig. 88.—Sir Charles Wheatstone's for
Telegraph Paper.


messages to be sent on strips of
paper or other suitable material;
2, a transmitter, or apparatus for
receiving the strips of paper so
prepared, and for transmitting
the currents produced by a vol-
taic battery, magneto-electric
machine, or other rheomotor,
in the order corresponding to
the holes perforated in the strip,
the direction and sequence of
these currents being governed
by pins so disposed as to enter
the perforations, and operating
in a manner analogous to that
in the mechanism of a Jacquard
loom, and the strip being ad-
vanced intermittingly by the ac-
tion of the pins; 3, a recording
or printing apparatus, adapted
to print or impress marks on a
strip of paper, such marks cor-
responding in their arrangement
with the currents transmitted to
the telegraph line and with the
apertures in the perforated pa-
per. On the 28th of January,
1867, a patent for Great Britain
and Ireland was granted to Sir
Charles Wheatstone for various
improvements in the constituent
parts of this system, the object
of which was to effect the print-
ing of the dot and dash alphabet
by means of positive and nega-
tive currents, which are trans-
mitted alternately in opposite
directions, the arrangement being such that the current, whether positive or negative, produces a
mark, of which the length varies according to the time that elapses before the current is reversed,
such reversal producing an interval or blank space, the length of which continues to increase until
the current in the first direction is renewed. In this system to reacting springs, and conse-

Fig. 89.—Sir Charles Wheatstone's Transmitter For Automatic
Telegraph.


quently no adjust-
ments, are required
in the printing ap-
paratus, as the alter-
nate opposite currents
produce the to and fro
movements of the marker, and lines of various lengths may be printed, even when instantaneous
currents are employed.


Fig. 88 illustrates the perforator or punching apparatus suitable for his system. It has three
keys, each of which acts simultaneously on a series of punches, so that one key makes the perfora-
tions corresponding to a dot, another those corresponding to a dash, and a third those requisite

Fig. 90.—Sir Charles Wheatstone's Receiver
for Automatic Telegraph.


merely to advance the paper. The upper
portion represents a vertical section of the
instrument, the lower portion a horizontal
section, showing the positions of the three
keys. The punches are five in number, and
are arranged in two lines, three punches be-
ing in one transverse line. The plan of
the punching plate of the instrument is rep-
resented in the small figure, the exterior and
larger apertures being intended to receive
the pins of the transmitter, which determine
the transmission of positive and negative
currents, and the middle and smaller aper-
tures for the continuous and regular move-
ment of the paper. The strip of paper thus
prepared with suitable perforations is then
ready to be passed through the transmitter.—
Wheatstone.


Fig. 89 is the transmitter suitable to this
system. After the strip of paper has been
prepared by means of the perforator just
described, it is placed in the transmitter,
shown in elevation in Fig. 89 The trans-
mitter regulates the passage of the electric
currents along the telegraphic line from a

Fig. 93.—Leg-Fracture Apparatus.

voltaic battery or magneto-electric machine in accordance with
the arrangement of the perforations in the paper strip. The
rotation of the axis, which may be effected by means of a weight
or any other motive power, actuates the mechanism that gives
motion to the paper strip, and that makes the contacts according to the perforations on the paper.
It has a rocking piece, m, with a groove, q, to receive the paper strip, a spring clip, w, which holds
the paper firmly during the recession of the rocking piece, and three wires or pins, x, y, z, placed
transversely to the paper strip, which, by entering the external apertures thereof, or by being pre-
vented from entering the paper by the absence of apertures, regulate the succession, frequency, and
direction of the electric currents sent into the telegraphic circuit.—Wheatstone.


Fig. 90 illustrates the printing receiver suitable to this system. This printing receiver is provided
with an improved method of marking lines by means of ink upon moving strips or bands of oaper,
the characteristic distinction of which is that the inking disk and tracing disk are both independent-
ly kept in action by the maintaining power, and are not in actual contact with each other, and that
the ink is retained on the circumference of the inking disk by capillary attraction. The printing
apparatus consists, first, of a trough of fluid ink; second, a vertical disk, grooved at its circumfer-
ence, which takes the

Fig. 92.—Arm-Fracture Apparatus.

ink from the reser-
voir, and holds it in
its groove by capillary
attraction while it is
kept in motion by the
maintaining power;
and third, of a small-
er disk, called the tra-
cer or marker, which,
touching the ink re-
tained in the groove,
without coming in
contact with the larger
disk itself, is also kept
in motion immediate-
ly by the maintaining power. The marking or tracing disk is so mounted that its axis, while rotating,
is capable of being moved by the action of the electro-magnets, so as to bring the disk in contact
with the paper. A current in one direction causes the marking disk to move toward the paper and
trace the line, and the current in the opposite direction removes the disk to form the intervals, the
residual magnetism of the electro-magnet retaining the magnetic armature, and consequently the
tracing disk, in its position until a contrary current inverts the magnetism, and causes the armature
to move from the opposite side and the tracing disk to recede from the paper.—Wheatstone.


Fig. 91 is a machine for making pipe-incased telegraph wire. The wire is introduced into the
pipe simultaneously with the manufacture of the latter, being passed down an axial opening through
the core of the pipe press. As the ram of the press descends, the lead escapes at the annular open-
ing around the tubular core, and the wire is payed out from the reel at an equal rate. The wire is
loose in the pipe.—Honey.


Fracture Apparatus.—Fig. 92 is a splint for a fractured arm. The concavo-convex metallic
splints are made up of compound plates, which adjust upon themselves both laterally and vertically.
Clamping bands with set screws adjust along jointed rods, which sustain the apparatus. Additional
narrow pressure bars adjust so as to press between the two bones of the lower arm.—Bissell.


Fig. 93 is a pair of fracture boxes for the leg and thigh respectively. The bed-plates are adjust-
able laterally and vertically. The foot-rest also adjusts to the various positions required. Pressure
bars are added, which may be forced against the limb at various points desired. The upper and
lower parts of the fracture box are held at various angles to each other as required. An extension
of one side passes up and rests in the armpit to form a counter-extension. A peculiarly constructed
bandage secures the foot to its adjustable plate. Hooks connected in pairs hold the bandage when
required in changing parts of the apparatus and in bandaging.—Bissell.


Dental Apparatus.—Fig. 94, a, is a burring and finishing tool for dental engines. The bur-

Fig. 94.—Dental Apparatus.

ring wheel is arranged so that it can be set at
any required angle, and has wires attached for
holding a sponge to contain water for cooling
the wheel.—Hickman.


b is a flexible shaft for dental engines; it is
a chain covered with
rubber or gutta-per-
cha.—Starr.


c is a flexible
shaft for dental
engines; it has a
catgut core with
coiled wire envel-
ope.—Starr.


Fig. 95 is a clamp
for embracing the
crown of the tooth
so as to press down
upon it the rubber
which forms what
is known as the
dam, to exclude sal-
iva from the hole when filling a carious tooth.
Hickman.


Sugar.—For a thousand years sugar was
merely known to Europeans as a traveler's
wonder, and it was used for many centuries as

Fig. 91.—Machine for
Making Pipe-incased Tele-
graph Wire.



Fig. 95.—Rubber Dam.


Fig. 96.—Vacuum-Pan.

a vehicle for medicine before it was adopted as an article
of food. Its native home is the East Indies, and it was
first known by report to the Mediterranean nations as a
kind of honey obtained from a cane. The Arabs intro-
duced it into Europe, and it was grown in Sicily in the
twelfth century. In the sixteenth century the Venetians
invented clarifying and refining processes, and soon after
there became fairly known in Europe three great staples
of diet, sugar, coffee, and tea, articles which have never
been to any great extent naturalized in Europe, but have
always remained articles of foreign commerce. Sugar
was boiled in open pans till about 1813, when Howard, of
London, introduced the vacuum-pan, which has an air-
pump to make a partial vacuum and remove the steam
from above the boiling liquid. This makes it boil at a
lower temperature, and prevents the discoloration of the
result by burning. The vacuum is steam-heated by jacket,
coil, or both.


Fig. 96 is a plan and section of a vacuum-pan which,
instead of having a coil of pipes following the shape of
the bottom, has a hollow spiral band or volute whose
vertical depth increases toward the centre in such a man-
ner that the top is nearly or quite level, and the bottom
of the convolutions is nearly or quite parallel to the bot-
tom of the pan, so that the central portion of the con-
tained fluid, where the depth is greatest, has a greater
proportional amount of surface than the outer part, where
the depth is less.—Colwell.


The resulting magma has a quality depending upon the
comparative purity of the sirup of which it is made. It
may be so pure that it is ready for the moulds, or it may
be less pure and require a more energetic treatment to rid
it of the uncrystallizable portion. For this purpose the centrifugal machine is used. The peculiar
characteristics of the sugar filter will vary with the particular branch of the trade or the kind of
sugar required.


Fig. 97 is one kind of centrifugal machine. Combined with the drum and its radial partitions is
a series of horizontal plates or partitions, by means of which the sugar is divided into a large

Fig. 97.—Centrifugal Filter.

number of cakes or lumps of con-
venient and uniform size in the
operation of draining. An an-
nular perforated vessel receives a
clarifying liquid, which, when a
revolving motion is imparted to
the drum, is expelled from the
vessel by centrifugal force in such
a manner as to penetrate all the
cakes, and clarify the sugar es-
caping at the circumference of
the drum.—Fesca.


Fig. 98 is another kind of sug-
ar filter, known as a bag-filter, a
number of bags being attached to
a series of nipples on the perfora-
ted floor of the sirup tank. The
particular point of improvement
in the apparatus exhibited con-
sists in an arrangement for si-
multaneously opening all the noz-
zles leading to the bags so that
they may share equally in the
sirup. When the filtering capacity of the bags is exhausted, and it becomes necessary to remove
by lixiviation the saccharine matters before rejecting the matters mechanically detained by the bags,
the bags are made to share equally in the flow of water.—Elmenhorst.


Soap.—Manufacturing soap by melting the fat in a separate vessel, then heating a strong lye of
from 30° to 36°Baumé to the boiling-point in another vessel, and mixing the melted fat and the
boiling lye in a third vessel.—Lehmann.


Aqua Ammonia.—The great industries of the world produce vast quantities of materials which
go to waste, until by new processes these rejected matters form the basis of again new industries.

Fig. 98.—Bag-Filter.

There is nothing really destroyed, but
there is much put in such form as to
apparently lose all economic value.
The heaps of slag and scoriæ which
were the waste of the old smelting fur-
naces of Britian in Roman times have
been worked over and proved produc-
tive under more precise modern proc-
esses within the past 200 years. The
immense heaps and banks of worthless
and intractable calx and slag rejected
by the Saxon miners for 1500 years
turned out to be rich in a metal un-
known till the time of Paracelsus—zinc.
The alloy called brass, which is a com-
bination of copper and zinc, had been
used for fifteen centuries, though not
nearly so long as bronze, which is an
alloy of copper and tin. The constitu-
tion of brass was, however, long un-
known, it being considered a sort of
yellow copper produced by smelting in
the presence of a peculiar stone, lapis
calaminaris.
These hills of the waste
of former generations of German miners
became productive under modern
scientific methods. The slag of

Fig. 99.—Apparatus for the Manufacture of Aqua Ammonia.

our smelting furnaces is to furnish building blocks; the offal of the slaughter-house gives us
valuable chemicals; coal too small to be conveniently utilized affords a wonderful
series of aniline colors; paraffine, the cleanest and most neutral of matters, comes from
bog-earth, and the list might be prolonged indefinitely.


Fig. 99 illustrates a process and apparatus for the manufacture of aqua ammonia
from the ammoniated liquor of gas-works. The great difficulty in utilizing
this has previously arisen from the cost and time expended in eliminating the
sulphureted hydrogen and various hydrocarbon impurities. The crude liquor
has to be made first into sulphate of ammonia by means of sulphuric
acid, all of which acid has been sacrificed, involving large outlay in
acid and lime for its neutralization. The invention illustrated is de-
signed to obviate this. The liquor is heated in a
close vessel, a; so long as sulphureted hydrogen
obviously escapes, the gas is conducted into a ves-
sel, b, charged with sulphuric acid; and, after
sulphureted hydrogen is no longer apparent, or
but slightly so, the gas is conducted through a
cold worm, e, into a closed condenser receiver, g.
The condensations of the gas accumulate in g in
the form of a crude liquor consisting largely of
concentrated aqua ammonia with hydrocarbon
and other liquid impurities and traces of sul-
phureted hydrogen. This liquor, without far-
ther treatment, is useful for various purposes,
such as the manufacture of illuminating gas, the
preparation of fertilizers, the production of arti-
ficial ice, etc., or it can be conveyed back to
tank b, and, in connection with sulphuric acid,
be manufactured at once into sulphate of am-
monia of commerce. For the production of a
chemically pure aqua ammonia the following
additional apparatus is employed: The liquor is
taken from the receiver g into the lower com-
partment of a filter, k, charged with alternate
beds of charcoal and caustic alkalies, from the
upper compartment of said filter into an oil
chamber, m, and from thence into an ascending
series of closed vessels, p p, containing water,
having communication from one to another con-
secutively, and also with a common branched
pipe, s, which conducts into one or more set-
tlers, t t.Fales.



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