Every circumstance relating to locomotion on railways Having become of importance, nothing escapes investigation, nor attempts at amelioration. Amongst the many matters to which attention is necessary to enable a locomotive machine to work well, is that of the lubricating substance. The sagacity of Mr. Henry Booth, of Liverpool, has led him to effect an improvement in this respect, for which he obtained a patent on the 14th of April, 1835; which he has denominated "The Patent Axle Grease, and Lubricating Fluid." These, according to the specification, are chemical compounds of oil, tallow, or other grease, and water, effected by means of the admixture of soda or other alkaline substance, in such proportions that the compounds shall not be of a caustic or corrosive nature when applied to iron or steel, but of an unctuous greasy quality, easily fusible with heat, and suitable for greasing the axle-bearings of carriage wheels, or the axles, spindles, and bearings of machinery in general. The proportions of the ingredients, and mode of compounding them, are stated to be as follow:
"For the axletrees of carriage wheels, a solution of the common washing soda of the shops, in the proportion of half a pound of the salt to a gallon of pure water. To one gallon of this solution add three pounds of good clean tallow and six pounds of palm oil; or, instead of the mixture of palm oil and tallow, add ten pounds of palm oil, or eight pounds of firm tallow. The tallow and palm oil, or either of them, and the solution as described, must be heated together in some convenient vessel to about 200° or 210° of Fahr. and then the whole mass must he well stirred or mixed together, and continually agitated, until the composition be cooled down to 60° or 70° of Fahr. and have obtained the consistency of butter, in which state it is ready for use."
The patent-lubricating fluid, for rubbing the parts of machinery in general, is thus made: to one gallon of the aforesaid solution of soda, in water, add of rape oil one gallon, and of tallow or palm oil one quarter of a pound. Heat them together to about 210° of Fahr. and then let the fluid composition be well stirred about, and agitated without intermission until cooled down to 60° or 70°, when it will be of the consistence of cream. If it be desired thicker, a little addition of tallow or palm oil renders it so.