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IMPROVED OIL MILL.
The old and cumbersome methods of crushing oil seeds by mechanical means have during the last few years undergone a complete revolution. By the old process, the seed, having been flattened between a pair of stones, was afterward ground by edge stones, weighing in some cases as much as 20 tons, and working at about eighteen revolutions per minute. Having been sufficiently ground, the seed was taken to a kettle or steam jacketed vessel, where it was heated, and thence drawn—in quantities sufficient for a cake—in woollen bags, which were placed in a hydraulic press. From four to six bags was the utmost that could be got into the press at one time, and the cakes were pressed between wrappers of horsehair on similar material. All this involved a good deal of manual labor, a cumberstone plant, and a considerable expense in the frequent replacing of the horsehair wrappers, each of which involved a cost of about L4. The modern requirements of trade have in every branch of industry ruthlessly compelled the abandonment of the slow, easy-going methods which satisfied the times when competition was less keen. Automatic mechanical arrangements, almost at every turn, more effectually and at greatly increased speed, complete manufacturing operations previously performed by hand, and oil-seed crushing machinery has been no exception to the general rule. The illustrations we give represent the latest developments in improved oil-mill machinery introduced by Rose, Downs & Thompson, named the “Colonial” mill, and recently we had an opportunity of inspecting the machinery complete before shipment to Calcutta, where it is being sent for the approaching exhibition. As compared with the old system of oil-seed crushing, Messrs. Rose, Downs & Thompson claim for their method, among other advantages, a great saving in driving power, economy of space, a more perfect extraction of the oil, an improved branding of the cakes, a saving of 50 per cent. in the labor employed in the press-room, with also a great saving in wear and tear, while the process is equally applicable to linseed, cottonseed, rapeseed, or similar seeds. In addition to these improvements in the system, the “Colonial” mill has been specially designed in structural arrangement to meet the requirements of exporters. The machinery and engine are self-contained on an iron foundation, so that there is no need of skilled mechanics to erect the mill, nor of expensive stone foundations, while the building covering the mill can, if desired, be of the lightest possible description, as no wall support is required. The mill consists of the following machinery: A vertical steel boiler, 3 ft. 7 in. diameter, 8 ft. 11/2 in. high, with three cross tubes 71/2 in. diameter, shell 5/16 in. thick, crown 3/8 in. thick, uptake 9 in. diameter, with all necessary fittings, and where wood fuel is used extra grate