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character, and will, with the diffusion of light and truth, under the blessings of Heaven, it may be hoped, effect the regeneration of our world. The exhibition attests in its every department the advance which has been made.
The models of the Steam Engines, afford nearly every various form of the Engine which has been found useful in its application, to Manufactures, to the Steamer and Locomotive. It would be gratifying to dwell on some of these—but in a report as limited as this must of necessity be, it cannot be done with propriety. An interesting incident, related of one of the gentlemen counected with this great work, came to my notice since I left England. The first Engine driver, Mr. Fox, now Sir Charles Fox, the acting and main contractor for the Crystal Palace, and who, by his energy and skill has so greatly distinguished himself—was the first person who guided the engine which Stephenson built, and aided to win the prize which Stephenson received. His energy of character thus early developed, under very trying circumstances, shadowed forth the successful and distinguished man of 1851.
Most of the Steam Engines, on exhibition, were from England. A large number of oscillating engines were exhibited, in operation. These were very compact, occupied but little space, and seemed to perform well. They are used on board many of their steamers. A Council Medal was awarded for a couple of Marine Engines, by Penn & Son, of Greenwich-and a Council Medal to a Belgian for a pair of vibrating cylinder engines, in connexion with other engines and boilers. Two Locomotive Engines, by S. R. Crampton England; very powerful ones, received a Council Medal ; they were designed for the London and North Western Railway. The admirable manner in which the engines were got up, was a subject of observation and remark.
The United States did not exhibit any Marine Engines--a drawing of a pair of Engines, such as are fitted in the steamer Pacific, was on exhibition and attracted much notice. Her rapid passages are well known, and regret was often expressed that the engines
were not present. That they would have reflected credit upon our country, none can doubt. Erricson, of New York, exhibited Dunn's Patent Caloric Engine-but as it was not in operation, no opinion was given by the Jurors. The invention consists in producing motive power by the application of caloric to atmospheric air, or other permanent gases or fluids susceptible of considerable expansion by increase of temperature; the mode of applying the caloric being such that, after having caused the expansion or dilatation which produces the motive power, the caloric is transferred to certain metallic substances, and again re-transferred from these substances, to the acting medium at certain intervals, or at each successive stroke of the motive engine ; the principal supply of caloric being thereby rendered independent of combustion of consumption of fuel. Accordingly, whilst in the Steam Engine, the caloric is constantly wasted by being passed into the condenser, or by being carried off into the atmosphere, in the improved engine, the caloric is employed over and over again, thus enabling the operator to dispense with the employment of combustibles, excepting for the purpose of restoring the heat lost by the expansion of the acting medium, and that lost by radiation also, and for the purpose of making good the small deficiency unavoidable in the transfer of the caloric.
A working model of this engine was expected at the exhibition, to be put in operation--but it did not arrive. If what is claimed for it shall prove to be correct, it will be a great advance on our present engines. Since my return I have heard that the engine intended for England has been put in operation, in New-York, and that its success, in the opinion of the operators, is placed beyond a doubt. Whether this be so or not, probably the public will soon be informed. If it succeeds, it will be another triumph for our engineers.
C. Starr, of New-York, exhibited two machines for book-binding-one for backing, the other for finishing the books. The machines are very powerful, a single stroke effects the embossing of the covers. They possess great advantages over machines heretofore in use for this purpose. A miniature engine, made by Master
Higginbotham, of Oneida, in this State, was exhibited, and was highly creditable to his skill.
In this class were exhibited Fire Engines and Annihilators, and Fire Escapes, to convey people from houses in flames—and systems of fire proof constructions to prevent the ravages of fire. There was nothing new in the Fire Engines exhibited, of special importance. They were shown of all sizes—a cabinet Fire Engine, resembling an article of furniture, in appearance, was in use in the exhibition, for watering the large trees enclosed within the building-an improved spreading jet, connected with the branch pipe, makes it applicable to garden purposes. The jet, by a simple contrivance, is spread out into a sheet of water, and in this form it was used in the Palace, throwing a stream of water to the highest trees. A very superior engine, from Canada, was exhibited, which, on trial, with the London Engines proved, as was claimed for it, that it could throw water nearly one third higher.
A great variety of Fire Escapes were shown-Phillips' Fire Annihilator, for extinguishing fires, by discharging incombustible gas against the flame, which is very soon extinguished, was shown. This machine was tried frequently while I was in England, and the success which attended its operation, on prepared buildings which were fired, seemed to secure the confidence of the public, so far, at least, as to satisfy them, that if the machine was at hand, when a fire commenced, it would be useful in extinguishing it. It was not pretended that it could be brought into successful use in a great conflagration, but that in the early stages of a fire, within enclosed walls, it could be made to operate with success.
There were several models for making houses fire-proof, but the most important improvement in this respect was the plan of building with hollow bricks. There were exhibitions of these brick, in both the English and French departments. Opposite the Crystal Palace a block of model houses was erected by Prince Albert, a contribution to the exhibition. The peculiarities of the building, which was designed for four families, were the exclusive use of
hollow bricks for the walls and partitions and the entire absence of timber in the floors and roof, which were formed with flat arches of hollow brick.work, which was secured by wrought iron rods connected with cast iron springers resting on the external walls and binding the whole structure together. The building is thus rendered fire-proof and much more durable than is built in the ordinary manner.
The most important advantages derivable from the use of hollow bricks, are dryness and warmth, as well as economy of construction. The evils resulting from the absorption of moisture by common bricks and other porous materials are obviated and the battening of the walls is unnecessary. Hollow brick may be made with any good tile machine, in the same manner as ordinary draining pipes, and at about the same cost in proportion to the clay used. They are more compressed, require less drying, and with much less fuel are better burned than ordinary bricks, even when waste heat, or that in the upper part of the kiln only, is used.
The saving in brickwork effected by the use of the patent bricks, when made at a fair price, will be from twenty-five to thirty per cent. on their cost, with a reduction of twenty-five per cent. on the quantity of mortar, and a similar saving on the labor, when done by accustomed workmen. The process of drying is much more rapid than in common brickwork, and the smoothness of the internal surface of walls built with the patent bonded brick renders plastering, in many instances, quite unnecessary, whereby a further saving is effected not only in the first cost, but also in the subsequent maintenance. If glazed on the outer face, as may loc done with many clays, a superior finished surface is obtainai: without plaster.
The annexed elevation and section show a wall nine inches thick ; the same principle, with some variation in the form of the internal bricks, will apply to any thickness of wall.
The dimensions of the bricks being unlimited, a size has been chosen which, with the omission of the headers, reduces, by about one-third, the number of joints, and greatly improves the appearance of the work, giving it more boldness of effect and resemblance to stone than that of ordinary brickwork-twelve inches in length, including the joints, three courses rises one foot in height; a size equally convenient for the workmen in the manufacture, and the use of the bricks—whilst less liable to damage in moving than bricks of larger size, their form admits of ready handling and stowage for transport.
Nine patent hollow bricks of the size before described will do as much walling as sixteen ordinary bricks, whilst the weight of the former but little exceeds that of the latter, an important consideration in reference to carriage, as well as the labour in using.
When passing through the machine, or in the process of drying, any number may be readily splayed at the ends for gables, or marked for closures, and broken off as required in use; or they may be perforated for the purpose of ventilation. If nicked with a sharp-pointed hammer, they will break off at any desired line
; and the angles may be taken off with a trowel as readily as those of a common brick.
A sufficient proportion of good facing bricks may be selected from an ordinary burning, and in laying them, a much better bond will be obtained than is usually given in common brickwork.