At present, the Cowles company is engaged mostly in the producing of aluminum bronze and aluminum silver and silicon bronze. The plant, were it run to its full capacity, is capable of turning out eighty pounds of aluminum bronze, containing 10 per cent. of aluminum daily; or, were it to run upon silicon bronze, could turn out one hundred and twenty pounds of that per day, or, we believe, more aluminum bronze daily than can be produced by all other plants in the world combined. This production, however, is but that of the experimental laboratory, and arrangements are making to turn out a ton of bronze daily, and the works have an ultimate capacity of from eight to ten thousand horse power. The energy consumed by the reduction of the ore is almost entirely electrical, only enough carbon being used to unite with the oxygen of the ore to carry it out of the furnace in the form of the carbon monoxide, the aluminum remaining behind. Consequently, the plant necessary to produce aluminum on a large scale involves a large number of the most powerful dynamos. These are to be driven by water-power or natural gas and marine engines of great capacity.
The retail price of standard 10 per cent. aluminum bronze is $1 per pound avoirdupois, which means less than $9 per pound for aluminum, the lowest price at which it has ever been sold, yet the Cowles company has laid a proposition before the Government to furnish this same bronze in large quantities at very much lower prices than this. The Hercules alloy, castings of which will stand over 100,000 pounds to the square inch tensile strain, sells at 75 c. a pound, and is also offered the Government or other large consumers at a heavy discount. The alloys are guaranteed to contain exactly what is advertised; they are standardized into 10 per cent., 7.5 per cent., 5 per cent. and 2.5 per cent. aluminum bronze before shipment.
The current available at the Cowles company’s works was, until recently, 330 amperes, driven by an electromotive force of 110 volts and supplied by two Edison dynamos; but the company has now added a large Brush machine that has a current of 560 amperes and 52 volts electromotive force. We shall, on another occasion, give some particulars of experiments in the reduction of refractory ores by the process.—Eng. and Mining Jour.
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[Footnote 1: Continued from page 8094.]
CRYPTOGRAPHY.—PRESERVATION OF TELEGRAMS.
Optical telegraphy, by reason of its very principle, presents both the advantage and inconvenience of leaving no automatic trace of the correspondence that it transmits. The advantage is very evident in cases in which an optical station falls into the hands of the enemy; on the other hand, the inconvenience is shown in cases where a badly transmitted or badly collated telegram allows an ambiguity to stand subject to dispute.