From a personal inspection of the machine delineated in perspective on the following page, and from a careful perusal of the inventor's specification, it appears to us to be his design to construct flour-mills of the utmost simplicity and durability; in which, not only the grinding of the corn, but the dressing (sifting) of the meal into flour, pollard, bran, etc, are simultaneously performed. It is not, however, to be understood that these combined operations are effected by the mere annexation of a dressing-machine to a mill, and driving them both together; for in such an arrangement there would be neither novelty nor economy. But the combined operations of grinding and dressing are in this new patent mechanism so simplified, and so intimate, that they are continuously going on, upon one continuous surface. The essential members of the machine are thereby reduced to only two ! one stationary, the other rotative. This remarkable simplicity conduces to many advantages, which our mechanical readers will at once appreciate, without our entering upon the details. The inventor has shown in his specification, and has actually put into beneficial practice, several modifications of the principle so as to adapt the scale of their operations to any required magnitude.
We have selected for the present article what the patentee denominates his patent domestic flour-maker, which is adapted to the manual force of one man; but the power requisite to work this may be diminished or increased at the pleasure of the operator, by a corresponding reduction or augmentation of the feed, or quantity of corn permitted to pass under the operation of the grinders in a given time. In a subsequent number we purpose inserting a description of one of the same kind of machines, which is in use at the workhouse of All Saints, near Hertford, where it is worked by any number of men, from two to ten, (by a suitable alteration of the feed,) and is capable of properly grinding and dressing as much corn in a given time as other mills will grind only; the estimated power required to work it efficiently being that of one horse, whether worked by that animal, or by wind, water, or steam.
"We shall now proceed to describe the hand-mill, with reference to the engraving before adverted to. a is an axis, mounted in plummer-blocks b b, and turned by a winch c, assisted, if required, by a handle d, fixed to one of the arms of the fly-wheel e e. The axis a also carries a bevelled wheel f, which drives a pinion g, fixed upon a vertical spindle h, that revolves in the centre of a metallic hopper i, and carries at its lower extremity the upper grinder; and to the periphery of the latter is attached a series of brushes, that revolve together with it inside the circular case,j, cast in one piece with the hopper i. The lower grinder is fixed in the centre of the flat top k of the pedestal; and around the lower grinder, in the same plane as its superior surface, is an annulus of fine wire-gauze; over the area of which the brushes sweep in their revolution, continually scattering every particle of the meal, as the same is constantly projected in minute quantities all around the peripheries of the grinders, on to the wire-work; causing the flour to fall through the meshes into the drawer mm, below; while the brar and pollard, which cannot pass the wire-gauze, are continually being freed from their adhering flour by the action of the brushes, until they are driven through an aperture at the outer circumference of the wire-gauze, on to an inclined screen of coarse wire-work, where the offal separates itself, in the mere act of falling, into pollard and bran, both of which deposit themselves into separate compartments made in the drawer n.
At I is a screw for regulating the admission of the corn; and at o is a lever over an engraved plate, which directs the operator which way to move it, according as he may desire to regulate the grinding, whether coarser or finer than it was previously set. These adjustments are obvious to the sight, and unerring in their action.
"Amongst the advantages which this machine presents to the economist may be stated its convenience, portability, and perfect cleanliness, and there being no dust or waste of any kind. It is particularly adapted for the use of domestic families, who are desirous, not merely to make their own bread, but to be sure that the flour which they use is a genuine product of good wheat. As respects its utility to emigrants and distant settlers, we have reason to believe that its merits have already been very satisfactorily tested; the durability of the grinding surfaces being such as to render a renewal of them apparently unnecessary for a series of years. A mill of this kind may be seen at No. 20, Paternoster-row."
Since the foregoing account appeared in the Mechanic's Magazine, sever; 1 valuable improvements have been made in the machine. The wire gauze through which the metal is sifted, is now rendered capable of being easily withdrawn, so as to convert the machine into a simple mill, the whole or gross produce being at once deposited in the large drawer: its utility is thus much extended, as there are many substances that do not require sifting.
Owing to a mistake made by the draftsman, the pedestal of the mill in the foregoing cut is represented as disproportionally small. With reference to the larger class of machines constructed on the same principle, and alluded to in the foregoing extract, as being in operation at Hertford, we may be permitted to observe, that one of the prominent disadvantages of the working of mills and dressing-machines of the ordinary construction in a workhouse, is the necessity of employing a paid servant to superintend and direct their operations: . to which may be added the frequent stoppages in the work, for taking up the stones to recut, or dress their surfaces anew, a process which requires great millering skill and practical experience to execute in an efficient manner; and however ably it may be performed, it unavoidably entails a great waste of time, much labour, and wear and tear of tools and machinery. But the extraordinary simplicity of this patent machine, (which is now being introduced into several of the workhouses conducted under the new system of poor laws,) renders the management of it so easy and obvious, that the master of the workhouse can, without any difficulty or inconvenience, superintend its operation, or depute any unskilled labourer, in whom he can confide, to occasionally look to its performance; as the machine requires no active duty, but continues to perform, uniformly for months together, all its operations of grinding, dressing, and separating its various products of flour, pollard, bran, etc. without any interference, but that of keeping it clean and properly oiled.