Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 149 pages of information about Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891.

In most cases the system could be simplified.  The engine which works the dredge could, when not thus employed, be used to drive the pumps.  The propelling engine could also be used for the same purpose.

The results obtained at Suez indicate the appreciable advantages arising from the application of this system to the works of ports, rivers and canals, and ever, to the work of cutting in the construction of roads and railroads.

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Mr. T. Forster Brown, in his address to the Mechanical Science Section of the British Association, said that great progress had been made in mechanical science since the British Association met in the principality of Wales eleven years ago; and some of the results of that progress were exemplified in our locomotives, and marine engineering, and in such works as the Severn Tunnel, the Forth and Tay Bridges, and the Manchester Ship Canal, which was now in progress of construction.  In mining, the progress had been slow, and it was a remarkable fact that, with the exception of pumping, the machinery in use in connection with mining operations in Great Britain had not, in regard to economy, advanced so rapidly as had been the case in our manufactures and marine.  This was probably due, in metalliferous mining, to the uncertain nature of the mineral deposits not affording any adequate security to adventurers that the increased cost of adopting improved appliances would be reimbursed; while in coal mining, the cheapness of fuel, the large proportion which manual labor bore to the total cost of producing coal, and the necessity for producing large outputs with the simplest appliances, explained the reluctance with which high pressure steam compound engines, and other modes embracing the most modern and approved types of economizing power had been adopted.  Metalliferous mining, with the exception of the working of iron ore, was not in a prosperous condition; but in special localities, where the deposits of minerals were rich and profitable, progress had been made within a recent period by the adoption of more economical and efficient machinery, of which the speaker quoted a number of examples.  Reference was also made to the rapid strides made in the use of electricity as a motive power, and to the mechanical ventilation of mines by exhaustion of the air.


Summarizing the position of mechanical science, as applied to the coal mining industry in this country, Mr. Brown observed that there was a general awakening to the necessity of adopting, in the newer and deeper mines, more economical appliances.  It was true it would be impracticable, and probably unwise, to alter much of the existing machinery, but, by the adoption of the best known types of electrical plant, and air compression in our new and deep mines, the

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Scientific American Supplement No. 822, October 3, 1891 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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