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A History of the Growth of the Steam-Engine

Patented a boiler of such peculiar form


This seems to have been one of the best designs brought out at that time. The boiler, built to carry 70 pounds, was safe and strong, and was tested up to 800 pounds pressure. A forced draught was provided. The engines were well placed, and of good design. The valve was arranged to work the steam with expansion from half-stroke. The feed-water was heated, and the steam slightly superheated. The boiler here used has been since reproduced under new names by later inventors, and is still used with satisfactory results. Modifications of the "pipe-boiler" were made by several other makers of steam-carriages also. Anderson & James made their boilers of lap-welded iron tubes of one inch internal diameter and one-fifth inch thick, and claimed for them perfect safety. Such tubes should have sufficient strength to sustain a pressure of 20,000 pounds per square inch. If made of such good iron as the makers claimed to have put into them, "which worked like lead," they would, as was also claimed, when ruptured, open by tearing, and discharge their contents without producing the usual disastrous consequences of boiler explosions.

The primary principle of the sectional boiler was then well understood. The boilers of Ogle & Summers were made up of pairs of upright tubes, set one within the other, the intervening space being filled with water and steam, and the flame passing through the inner and around the outer tube of each pair.

One of the engines of Sir James Anderson and W. H. James was built in 1829. It had two 3-1/2-inch steam-cylinders, driving the rear wheels independently. In James's earlier plan of 1824-'25, a pair of cylinders was attached to each of the two halves into which the rear axle was divided, and were arranged to drive cranks set at right-angles with each other. The later machine weighed 3 tons, and carried 15 passengers, on a rough graveled road across the Epping Forest, at the rate of from 12 to 15 miles per hour. Steam was carried at 300 pounds. Several tubes gave way in the welds, but the carriage returned, carrying 24 passengers at the rate of 7 miles per hour. On a later trial, with new boilers, the carriage again made 15 miles per hour. It was, however, subject to frequent accidents, and was finally withdrawn.

WALTER HANCOCK was the most successful and persevering of all those who attempted the introduction of steam on the common road. He had, in 1827, patented a boiler of such peculiar form, that it deserves description. It consisted of a collection of flat chambers, of which the walls were of boiler-plate. These chambers were arranged side by side, and connected laterally by tubes and stays, and all were connected by short vertical tubes to a horizontal large pipe placed across the top of the boiler-casing, and serving as a steam-drum or separator. This earliest of "sheet flue-boilers" did excellent service on Hancock's steam-carriages, where experience showed that there was little or no danger of disruptive explosions.


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