Steam Carriages 497

W, H. James's Steam Carriage

Patent 1824.

In 1832 Mr. James took out another patent, the chief features in which were a high pressure boiler of a novel descripti n; being formed of a horizontal tier of cast-iron plates ingeniously cast with tubular cavities in the body of the metal, and throughout its area. These cavities hold the water to be vaporized, which is constantly made to flow throughout the tier, by a hydraulic apparatus, which the inventor denominates a "heart-pump." The fire operates upon the entire bottom surface of each water-plate, and the steam is collected in the highest plate, to which, in addition to the usual appendages of a steam carriage, is a steam pipe leading to a trumpet, which is sounded by the motion of a lever operating upon a valve at the induction orifice.

The performances of Messrs. James & Co.'s carriages were not much dissimilar to those of other locomotionists of like extent of experience. The practicability of the scheme in a mechanical point of view, we had many demonstrations of; and on one occasion we were propelled at the rate of fifteen miles an hour for several miles together. But the undertaking was (commercially speaking) unsuccessful, and was therefore discontinued.

In 1824 the late Mr. David Gordon obtained a patent for steam carriages to run on common roads.

Mr. David Gordon's carriage ran upon three wheels; one in front to steer by, and two behind to bear the chief weight. Each of the wheels had a separate axle, the ends of which had their bearings upon parallel bars, the wheels rolling in a perpendicular position.

In the fore part of the carriage were placed the steam engines, consisting of two brass cylinders, in a horizontal position, but vibrating upon trunnions: the piston rods of these engines gave motion to an eight-throw crank, two in the middle for the cylinders, and three on each side, to which were attached the propellers; by the revolution of the crank, these propellers or legs were successively forced outwards, with the feet of each against the ground in a backward direction, and were immediately afterwards lifted from the ground by the revolution of another crank, parallel to the former, and situated at a proper distance from it on the same frame. To the lower ends of these propelling rods were attached the feet, of the form of segments of circles, and made on their under side like a short and very stiff brush of whale-bone, supported by intermixed iron teeth. These feet pressed against the ground in regular succession, by a kind of rolling, circular motion, without digging it up. The guide had the power of lifting these legs off the ground at pleasure, so that, in going down hill, when the gravity was sufficient for propulsion, nothing but a brake was put into requisition to retard the motion, if necessary.

If the carriage was proceeding upon a level, the lifting of the propellers was equivalent to the subtraction of the power, and soon brought it to a stoppage; and in making turns in a road, the guide had only to lift the propellers on one side of the carriage, and allow the others to operate alone, until the curve was traversed.

Steam Carriages 498

David Gordon's Steam Carriage

Patent 1824.

The above engraving represents a side elevation of the machine; the front of the carriage being cut off as useless to our object, and as occupying valuable space. At a is the end of the boiler; b the flue: c an apartment for the engineer to attend the fire and regulate the machinery, which apartment contains a store of water, coke, etc.; d external connecting rod ( one on each side of the carriage), by which the driving cranks of the propellers actuate the small lifting cranks within the carriage; e being the axis of the driving cranks, and f the axis of the lifting cranks; p p are the propellers; s s straps by which the propellers are lifted from the ground by the alternations of the crank.

It was in the year 1825, that Mr. Goldsworthy Gurney, a medical gentleman of London, commenced his career in locomotion; and being liberally supported by capitalists, he built a number of steam carriages; which during several years were occasionally brought out of the factory, and experimented with on the public roads; but without attaining that degree of success, in an economical point of view, which the public were at first led to believe had been effected. The first attempt made by Mr. Gurney was, properly, that of producing a steam generator of superior efficacy, which our readers will find fully described and illustrated in the Boiler. The specification of his patent is thus reported in the London Journal of Arts and Sciences.

"The mode of propelling carriages on roads and railways, proposed by the patentee, is by the agency of moving legs, or crutches, striking outunder the carriage, the lower ends of which legs are intended to bear against the ground as a resistance, and, being forced backwards by the power of machinery, cause the carriage to move forward in the opposite direction. Similar contrivances to this have been repeatedly suggested. The patentee, therefore, is to be considered as merely adopting this plan as one that he considers most convenient; and claims as his invention simply the guide rollers attached to the legs, upon which the carriage moves forward. The annexed figure represents the side of the carriage running upon ordinary wheels, with the steam-engine by which its propelling legs and other mechanism are to be moved; a a is the perch or main beam of the carriage; b the working cylinder of the steam-engine, which in this instance lies nearly horizontal, and is supported in standards upon pivots; c is the piston rod of the engine, with a small guide roller running upon the stationary block d.