By a reference to the eighteenth volume of the Repertory of Arts, Second Series, we find the specification of an English patent granted to Mr. Joseph Warren Revere, an American, "for a new and improved method of splitting hides and shaving leather," dated 1810, in which the patentee declares his method to "consist in the use of a fixed or stationary knife, and in so placing and confining it as to meet the hide or leather before it escapes from the action of the forcing cylinders; and also in the construction of, and the manner in which, a powerful action is obtained from the forcing cylinders, whereby the hide or leather, as it passes through, has not room to deviate, but must necessarily be forced and proceed right onward to the knife, and undergo the splitting and shaving intended. By this machine the hides or leather are split or divided into any thickness required, and with gieat expedition; and when divided or split, are left with smooth surfaces, and free from any marks of the knife." Thus far saith the record of the patentee; but whether the motion of the knife can be dispensed with, and yet produce good work, is a point that may still be questioned.
We can conceive the possibility of its answering to split a skin, were it of uniform thickness; but it is otherwise, and the patentee has made no provision in his machine to accommodate that circumstance. He has a feeding roller set all over with points, which conducts the skin between a pair of inflexible rollers, "grooved or fluted longitudinally upon the surface of both of them;" and it is these that are said to force the skin so that it cannot deviate from passing on each side of the edge of the knife. But it seems to us evident that a sheep skin, varying as it does in its thickness, must be absolutely crushed in its thick parts before the thin parts can be compressed firm enough to be cut by a mere push, especially at that distance that a knife edge can approach a. fluted roller; and as the pressure must be unequal where the surfaces of the skin are not parallel and the rollers are, it seems to follow that the skin would be cut into ridges in the direction of the motion of the skin.
We shall finish our account of this curious branch of art by the description of a novel and recently patented invention for the purpose, which has been furnished to us by that eminent draftsman, Mr. C. Davy, of Furnival's Inn, London.