Showing interior of Carbide to Water Generator

Showing interior of Carbide to Water Generator.

The Moss Abingdon Generator

The Moss-Abingdon Generator.

The generators which permit of this being easily done are of two kinds known as the " carbide to water " and " water to carbide " varieties, and perhaps a word or two about each may help those who are considering which is better for their particular requirements. For small users in this country, where powdered carbide can always be procured, the carbide to water form is convenient, because immediately the light is turned out gas ceases to be made, and the mixed, dry and powdered carbide can be poured from its container back into its storage tin. One of the best patterns of such a generator is the Moss Acetylite. This is fashioned much as a small gasometer, the top of which contains a receptacle for the powdered carbide which falls through a funnel-shaped opening into the water. When this takes place gas is formed, the gasometer rises, and the valve in the centre of the funnel automatically cuts off the supply of carbide. These generators are made with both round and square water reservoirs,and the advantage of the square form is that,holding much more water, a cooler gas is produced and this keeps the burners in better condition. The No. 3 is the best size for use with two or three burners and the No. 5 where four burners are used. Particulars of these are as follows : -

Charge.

Height.

Diameter.

Will supply

No. 3

1 1/2 lb.

18 in.

6 in.

3 burners 2 hours.

No. 5 • •

2 1/4 lb.

20 in.

7 1/4 in.

4 burners 2 1/4 hours.

The " water to carbide " generators have the advantage that ordinary lump carbide can be purchased almost everywhere, and it is somewhat cheaper than the granulated form. The gas they produce is also cooler and not so likely to clog the burners. The chief disadvantage is that they are not so well suited for photographic-enlarging where the light is constantly being turned " on " and " off " and they are a little more trouble to use than the " carbide to water " variety.

Typical of this form is the Moss-Abingdon generator. From the point of view of the lanternist this has the very great advantage of automatically showing if he has sufficient carbide to suffice for his entertainment with all the burners at work, for the inner gas container does not rise and fall, but steadily sinks as the charge is used.

Sizes.

Charge.

Height.

Diameter.

Will supply.

No. 31

1 1/2 lb.

19 in.

8 in.

3 burners 2 hours.

No. 32 . .

2 1/4 lb.

20 in.

9 in.

4 burners 2 1/4 hours.

While both larger and smaller generators are made, I have mentioned those that are best for the lanternist. Instructions for the use of the various forms of generators are issued with them, and it is needless for me to mention details in this article. I would only impress upon users of such apparatus that mixtures of acetylene and air are highly explosive and that no naked light should be brought near the apparatus when either charging or cleaning it out, and more importance must be given to this rule than with ordinary coal gas and air, because acetylene and air are about the same weight and, consequently, an explosive mixture might conceivably remain in a vessel for a long time. It is a good thing to blow through all pipes and tubes after use to see if the air passages are quite clear for the next time of use. O

The lime-light is the best of all lights for general use, but to those whose sole knowledge about it is confined to a picture of two formidable looking gas bottles it seems " wropt in mystery." In the old days, the lime-light always meant cumbersome gas-bags, but these have disappeared, with the appearance of compressed oxygen, in all centres of civilization, and even when away from such centres special oxygen-making appliances, combined with ether or petrol saturators, render the gas-bag as extinct as the dodo.

The lime-light is caused through a blowpipe playing on a lime cylinder, and the great heat renders the lime incandescent at the point where the flame impinges. A lime cylinder is the most convenient for the purpose, but is not an absolute necessity. I remember being asked to work a friend's lantern at a country house, and,to my dismay, found that his tin of limes had not been kept properly closed, and they were all slaked and reduced to fragments. Fortunately, he had recently dismantled an old room and its marble mantelpiece was found in an outhouse. Breaking a chip from the mantelpiece,