On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 313 pages of information about On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures.

4.  Liverpool, though not itself a manufacturing town, has been placed in this list, from its connection with Manchester, of which it is the port.

5.  So sensible are the effects of grease in diminishing friction, that the drivers of sledges in Amsterdam, on which heavy goodsare transported, cary in their hand a rope soaked in tallow, which they thrown down from time to time before the sledge, in order that, by passing over the rope, it may become greased.

Chapter 2

Accumulating Power

20.  Whenever the work to be done requires more force for its execution than can be generated in the time necessary for its completion, recourse must be had to some mechanical method of preserving and condensing a part of the power exerted previously to the commencement of the process.  This is most frequently accomplished by a fly-wheel, which is in fact nothing more than a wheel having a very heavy rim, so that the greater part of its weight is near the circumference.  It requires great power applied for some time to put this into rapid motion; but when moving with considerable velocity, the effects are exceedingly powerful, if its force be concentrated upon a small object.  In some of the iron works where the power of the steam-engine is a little too small for the rollers which it drives, it is usual to set the engine at work a short time before the red-hot iron is ready to be removed from the furnace to the rollers, and to allow it to work with great rapidity until the fly has acquired a velocity rather alarming to those unused to such establishments.  On passing the softened mass of iron through the first groove, the engine receives a great and very perceptible check; and its speed is diminished at the next and at each succeeding passage, until the iron bar is reduced to such a size that the ordinary power of the engine is sufficient to roll it.

21.  The powerful effect of a large flywheel when its force can be concentrated on a point, was curiously illustrated at one of the largest of our manufactories.  The proprietor was shewing to a friend the method of punching holes in iron plates for the boilers of steam-engines.  He held in his hand a piece of sheet-iron three-eighths of an inch thick, which he placed under the punch.  Observing, after several holes had been made, that the punch made its perforations more and more slowly, he called to the engine-man to know what made the engine work so sluggishly, when it was found that the flywheel and punching apparatus had been detached from the steam-engine just at the commencement of his experiment.

22.  Another mode of accumulating power arises from lifting a weight and then allowing it to fall.  A man, even with a heavy hammer, might strike repeated blows upon the head of a pile without producing any effect.  But if he raises a much heavier hammer to a much greater height, its fall, though far less frequently repeated, will produce the desired effect.

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On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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