Steam Carriages 496

Burstall And Hill's Steam Carriage

Patent 1824.

"A is the place for fuel, and a a a are parts of the flue, as seen in section, the top being formed into a number of shallow receptacles for water in a state of being converted into steam. B is the chimney; at D are two cylinders, one behind the other, which are fitted up with pistons and valves in the usual way, for the alternate action of steam above and below the pistons. The boiler is suspended on springs; and the steam is conveyed from it to the engines, through the helical pipe c, which has that form given to it to allow the vibration of the boiler, without injury to the steam joints. E is the cistern containing water for one stage, say 50 to 80 gallons, and made to sustain a pressure of about 60 pounds to the square inch. At e are one or more air-pumps, which are worked by the beams F E of the engines, and are used to force air into the water vessel, that its pressure may drive out, by a convenient pipe, the water into the boiler, as it may be required. The two beams are connected at one end with the piston rods, and at the other with the rocking standards H H; g g are connecting rods attached to two cranks, giving a continued rotatory motion to the wheels, without the necessity of a fly-wheel. The four coach wheels are attached to the axles nearly as in common coaches, except that there is a ratchet wheel formed upon the back part of the nave, with a box wedged into the axle, containing a spring pall, causing the wheels to be impelled when the axle revolves, and at the same time allowing the outer wheel, when the carriage describes a curve, to travel faster than the inner one, and still be ready to receive the impulse of the engine as soon as it comes to a straight course.

"The patentees have another method of performing the same operation, with the further advantage of backing the coach when the engines are backed. In this plan, the naves are cast with a recess in the middle, in which is a double bevelled clutch, the inside of the nave being formed to correspond. The clutches are simultaneously acted upon by connecting levers, and springs, and which, according as they are forced to the right or left, will enable the carriage to be moved forward or backward. To the fore nave are fixed two cylindrical metal rings, round which are two friction bands, to be tightened by a lever convenient for the foot of the conductor, and which will readily retard or stop the coach when descending hills. K is the seat of the conductor, with the steering wheel L in the front, which is fastened on the small upright shaft 1, and turns the two bevel pinions 2, and the shaft 3, with its small pinion 4, which, working into a segmental rack on the fore carriage, places the two axles at any required angle, the centre of motion being the perch-pin I."

The patentees built a steam carriage upon the foregoing plan, but with numerous alterations and modifications. Their success in demonstration was but partial. Like other locomotionists who followed them, something was always requiring to be altered, to overcome new difficulties introduced by previous improvements; but they had the good sense to retire from the undertaking without very heavy pecuniary loss, and with undiminished reputation as machinists; the problem not having been solved, satisfactorily, by any succeeding inventors.

Mr. W. H. James, of Birmingham, gave the subject of steam carriages much studious attention for several years, in the course of which, and through the aid of Sir James C. Anderson, he constructed several in succession. The first of them acted as well, or nearly so, as those which followed.

Mr. James caused the engines and their frame-work to vibrate altogether upon the crank shafts as a centre, and connected these engines to the boiler and exit passages, by means of hollow axles moving in stuffing boxes, which, together with the body of the carriage, were suspended upon springs bolted to the axletrees.

Fig. 1, in the following cut, exhibits a plan of the machinery of a carriage, as applied to the hind wheels. At a is the boiler; which consisted of a series of annular tubes of equal capacity and diameter, placed side by side, and bolted together, so as to form by their union a long cylindrical boiler, as shown in the figure. A full description of this generating apparatus "having been already given under the article Boiler, we shall not here enlarge upon it. The frame b has four vertical supports e e e e connected to it, and from these beams are extended over the boiler, which is suspended to them; and they also carry by suitable bearings the body of the vehicle, which it is unnecessary to explain.

The axles of the running wheelsffare connected in one piece with each of the crank shafts g g, by which one wheel is made to revolve independently of the other. Each of these engines has two cylinders h h, which operate by their piston rods upon the cranks; to these separate engines steam is applied from the boiler a a, by means of the pipe k, which enters at the stop-cock l into the steam-box m; from this box the steam passes into the pipes n n, which move steam-tight through stuffing-boxes; from thence the steam proceeds through the pipes o o o to the slide boxes p p p, the slides being worked by eccentrics q q q, on the crank shafts, in the usual manner, and thence to the cylinders. The exhaustion pipes r r lead into hollow axles n n, in which there are partitions s s, to separate the steam from the exit passages, which pass through the said hollow axles to the boxest t, from which there are pipes u u leading to the chimney v, where it is thrown off to increase thedraughe, and combustion of the fuel.

The rods x x are attached to the fore axle of the running wheels, and also to the two handles of the cock l, so that the fore axie and the cock move simultaneously, and parallel to each other; z z represent part of the frame-work extended, for tying the engine together by means of a bolt, and so as to allow the body of the carriage to have a slight lateral motion upon its springs, independently of the engines, by means of the hollow axles sliding longitudinally through the stuffing-boxes.