Washing-Machine in the common acceptation of the term, is an apparatus for cleansing linen, cloth, and various fabrics; there is a great diversity of them, but one or two that we shall describe will, in a great measure, afford an idea of the generality. In the annexed figure is given a section of Mr. Flint's Patent Machine for cleansing woollen cloths from dirt, and their excess of colouring matter, after having been dyed. a a is the section of a water trough, filled with water up to the pipe f, by which it is supplied; b is an inner vessel for receiving the dirt and the colouring matter, as it falls from the cloth between the two cylinders d d, when pressed by the action of the upper cylinder. These cylinders are made of wood, with reeds or flutes along their peripheries, and revolve upon their axles, in bearings fixed in the sides of the trough, which cannot be shown in this view. The cloth c is put over the two lower cylinders (as a round towel) in an endless coil; the cylinders are put in motion, by gear or by bands from any adequate first mover.
By this arrangement the cloth is gently pressed between the flutes or ribs of the revolving cylinders, passing through the soapy water below in easy folds, while the extraneous colouring matter and dirt falls and is collected in the inner vessel, preserving the water in the outer vessel from a great proportion of the foulness which it would otherwise acquire.
A few years ago, Mr. Bullman, of Leeds, whose patent mangle we have described, took out a patent also for a washing and wringing machine, combined in one apparatus; the principal arrangements of which will be understood by reference to the above diagram. Mr. Bullman justly states that the ordinary process of wringing is peculiarly destructive of linen apparel, especially such as are of a delicate texture; and, to obviate this defect, he causes the linen to be passed from the washing machine between rollers which squeeze by simple pressure the water out of them, so as to make them nearly dry.
a is the vessel holding the clothes and water, standing upon stout legs b b: it has a circularly curved bottom, to accommodate the action of an oscillating beating frame which is put in motion by the cross handle c, and turns upon a fulcrum at d. The lines at e are intended to represent some of the clothes, supposed to be washed, being taken up out of the vessel by means of the rollers fg, between which they are compressed as they emerge from the vessel. The axis of the roller g carries a toothed wheel h, operated upon by a small pinion i, by turning the winch k. The rollers are duly provided with apparatus to adjust their distance from each other, by which the pressure is of course regulated; and they are covered with two or three coils of flannel, to give elasticity to the pressure, and prevent injury to the fabric. We have seen the machine in action, and it seems to do its duty very well. The patentee says, that by the use of the wringing apparatus alone, linen will last twice as long as when wrung in the usual manner.
Washing machines for other processes are described under the subjects to which they relate.