A vessel of a vase or pitcher-like form. The vessels employed to keep water boiling at the tea-table, have thus been called tea-urns, notwithstanding every possible deviation has been subsequently made in their figure. The construction of ordinary tea-urns are too well known to our readers to require elucidation, but we shall here present to their notice one that possesses some claims to novelty, which must, however, be regarded rather as an elegant article of luxury, than one of great utility. This is Sharp's patent tea-urn, combined with a tea-pot in one vessel.
The engraving on page 832 represents a vertical section: a is the ordinary urn or vessel that holds the water; b the red-hot heater in its case; below the bottom of the case, the tube is prolonged so as to form a small chamber underneath, which is perforated at its sides with minute holes, through which the water passes by a tube d into the vessel f, when the valve (shown in the figure as closed) is opened by turning the lever e. The infusion is represented by the unbroken straight lines at f, and the tea leaves by dark looking masses, he upon a grating or perforated bottom, through which passes clear to the lowest chamber g, from whence it is drawn off, as wanted, by a tube and cock, seen only in section at h. The plain water is drawn from the vessel a by means of thelong tube k (which passes directly through the tea chamber) and a cock at l, also viewed only in section. It should now be observed that both the cocks h and l are inclosed in one tube or case, but they are united externally into one, but provided with two lever handles, the handle on the left applying to the tea-cock, and that on the right to the water-cock.
It is a common remark, that tea made from the water in an urn is never so good as that supplied directly from a tea-kettle, on account of the difficulty of keeping the water boiling in the urn. To remedy this defect, we submit to tea-urn makers a different arrangement. Let the vessel be placed above the water vessel, (not in it) and the metallic supports which connect the two vessels would conduct sufficient heat to keep the infusion at a proper temperature. Underneath the water-vessel burn a small spirit-lamp, instead of inserting the red-hot heater, which is a very inconvenient, and by no means an economical mode of heating.