Another method of cutting paper of great merit was patented by Mr. Edward Newman Fourdrinier, paper maker, of Hanley, in Staffordshire. It consists of a series of receiving rollers placed one over the other. The several webs of paper to be cut pass over these, are then brought together, and passed over the collecting roller equally distant from the others; and thence, by the aid of an endless felt or blanket which passes about a series of guide rollers, they are conveyed under the main cylinder of the machine, and delivered to the cutter at the opposite side to which they entered. The cutter consists of a machine which acts on the principle of shears; the lower blade being fixed, and the upper attached to an arm which vibrates upon a centre, and placed to meet the stationary blade at an appropriate angle, so as to produce the best clipping action. When a sufficient quantity of the paper has passed over the lower blade to constitute the length of a sheet, the upper blade begins to descend; but previously to the blades coming into contact, a holder, consisting of a bar extending the whole width of the paper connected with the same vibrating arm, is made to press down and hold the paper firm on the lower blade, while the cutting is performed.
During the operation of cutting, the main cylinder, as well as the guide rollers, remain stationary, while an actuating rod returns to bring another length of paper. This vibrating rod gives motion to a sector, which has on its upper side ratched teeth, that are acted upon by the rod as it moves in the direction from right to left, but which remain stationary while the rod moves in the contrary direction. The sizes of the sheets cut by this machine are regulated by an expanding crank, which gives motion to the actuating rod, and through that means to the main cylinder, and other parts of the apparatus.
A great many materials as substitutes for rags in the manufacture of paper have been at different times proposed; the bark of the willow, beech, hawthorn, and lime, the stalks of the nettle and thistle, the bine of hops, indeed almost every vegetable substance capable of yielding easily an abundance of strong fibre, have been suggested, and excellent paper has been made from some of them; but the introduction of the bleaching process, and the improvements made in the mechanism for forming the pulp, having enabled the coarsest linen and cotton fabrics to be brought into use, the supply of rags is at present found equal to the demand for paper, immense as that is. The rapidly increasing knowledge of the people in most parts of the world will probably create an increased demand for books, and the stock of rags may again become inadequate to supply the paper manufacturer, who must again have recourse to other materials: we propose therefore to describe three patented processes for this purpose; namely, one for making it of straw, another for the employment of moss, and a third for the use of solid wood.
Mr. Lambert's process for making paper of straw is as follows: - Having collected a quantity of straw, all the joints or knots are to be cut away, and the remainder boiled with quicklime in water, for separating the fibres, and extracting the mucilage and colouring matters. (Instead of quicklime in this part of the process, caustic, potash, soda, or ammonia, may be employed.) It is then to be washed in clear water to get rid of the colouring matter and lime, and afterwards subjected to the action of an hydro-sulphuret, composed of one pound of quicklime, and a quarter of a pound of sulphur to every gallon of water, for the more effectual removing of the mucilaginous and silicious matters. After this, the material is to undergo several successive washings in different waters, to get rid of the alkaline and other extraneous matters, which may be conveniently effected by beating in the ordinary paper-mill. When no smell of sulphur is left, the water is to be squeezed from the fibrous material by mechanical pressure, and then to be bleached by chlorine, by exposure on a grass-plot, or any other convenient and well-known means: it is then to be washed again, to get rid of the bleaching ingredients, next to be reduced to pulp by the common apparatus for the purpose in a paper mill, and then moulded into sheets.
The subsequent operations are, in other respects, similar to piper made from the usual substances.