Messrs. W. G. and R. Heaton, of Birmingham, built several steam carriages, under a patent-right dated 1830; but their mechanism was too complicated to be understood without the aid of drawings, which our space will not admit: and as the patentees had the remarkable candour to acknowledge publicly the failure of their scheme, a very brief notice is all that we are called upon to give: and for this further reason; because the Messrs. Heaton did not pretend to have invented any of the separate or distinct parts of their machine, but merely the general combination of the entire structure, which is a claim of scarcely any value to the most successful inventor; the identical combination being so easily destroyed. Their boiler was of the tubular kind, with a cylindrical arrangement, like James's; their steering apparatus was also like that of the same person; their engines after some other locomotionist, and so on throughout most of the parts. In the annexed condensed extract from the specification, descriptive of their mode of applying the steam power to the vehicle, they have availed themselves of the plans of the renowned progenitor of steam coaches, Trevithick.
Motion is communicated to the driving wheels by a double set of spur wheel gear, arranged to give different powers or velocities, by having both a large and a small wheel fixed on the driving as well as the driven axis. By shifting the large wheel on the driving axis into gear with the small wheel on the driven axis, speed is obtained; and by shifting their relative position till the small wheel on the driving axis comes into gear with the large wheel on the driven axis, power is obtained at the expense of speed. These two axes are kept at the same distance from each other by means of connecting rods, notwithstanding the relative position may be changed by the motion of the carriage on rough roads. Messrs. Napier describe their improvements in steam carriages to consist:- First, in communicating the power of the engines for propelling the carriage to the wheeis, by means of a belt, strap, or band, which works upon two pulleys, the one fixed upon a shaft connected with the engine or engines, the other fixed upon, or connected with, the axle or wheels of the carriage.
This will be better understood by reference to the annexed cut. a is a horizontal steam boiler, with an hemispherical end; at b are the two cylinders of the engines working horizontally, and fastened upon the boilers; c c is the framing of engines, which is also fastened to the boilers and engine cylinders; d connecting rod of engine; e the crank shaft of engines, upon which is fixed the pulley or drum /, from which pulley the strap g communicates the power of the engine to the pulley or drum h, which in the present case is fixed on the middle of the wheel axle, i; k k the hind wheels of carriage; l fore wheel of carriage, which turns on a circular plate for the purpose of guiding the carriage on the common roads. The boilers and engines being firmly fastened together, thus form one entire piece, which is suspended by springs n n n, from a frame work o o, resting upon the wheel axles of the carriage, and having no connexion with the said carriage or frame-work, but by belts, straps, or bands, which are designed to free it from jolts and concussions.
Rawe And Boase's Steam Carriage
Napier's Steam Carriage - Patent 1831.
A patent, for a variety of improvements in locomotion, was granted to Mr. W. H. Palmer in 1831; but the specification is so extensive and elaborate, that we can do no more than state his claims to invention, and refer the reader to the Inrolment Offices for the details. These are as follow:-
First, The self-regulating blast apparatus, by which the quantity of fuel to be ignited in a given time is governed, in order to insure the generation of a volume of steam, suited precisely to all the variable speeds and powers of the engine.
Secondly, The steam calorific self-adjusting apparatus, which acts in conjunction with the blast regulator, and is so contrived as to lift the weight from the lever of the safety valve, and permit the steam to escape from the boiler should the aforesaid apparatus fail of instantly checking its evolution.
Thirdly, The self-acting safety apparatus, by which the security of the boiler is insured, should the apparatus for supplying it with water fail in its effect, so that in the event of the water in the boiler being reduced below a determined level, the process of combustion will be instantly suspended, and the boiler protected from injury.
Fourthly, Making the products of combustion evolved from the furnace escape into the atmosphere below the level of the furnace bars, which will most effectually prevent the admission of atmospheric air into the furnace, excepting that portion which the blast and calorific regulating apparatus permits the blowers to project upon the fuel undergoing combustion.
Fifthly, The pipes leading from the opposite ends of the horizontal part of the boiler are designed to convey the water (which must be distilled) most remote from the direct action of the furnace, to replace that portion which may be carried to the upper part of the boiler by the great volume of steam generated between the two concentric cylinders.
Sixthly, To insure a length of stroke in high pressure engines, and that without increasing the diameter of the piston rods beyond that which is required to withstand the alternate tug and thrust; and without resorting to the very objectionable short stroke and piston rod of so large a diameter.
Seventhly, The slide valves, with their various modifications, requiring neither casings nor stuffing-boxes, the patentee claims as perfectly novel; the action of these being seen, admit of mathematical adjustment, and enables the engineer instantly to reverse or stop the engine at pleasure.