[Footnote: La Lumiére Electrique.]

In a lecture delivered by me on the 15th of last June in the amphitheater of the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, on the application of electricity to the production, transmission, and division of power, I operated for the first time an electric power hammer that I shall here describe. Its essential part is a sectional solenoid that I have likewise made an application of in an electric motor which I presented in July, 1830, to the Societé de Physique. Let us suppose we superpose, one on the other, a hundred flat bobbins of a centimeter in thickness in such a way as to form a single solenoid one meter in height, and that the incoming and outgoing wires of each of them be connected with the contiguous bobbins exactly in the same way as they are in the consecutive sections or a dynamo-electric machine ring. Finally, let us complete the resemblance by causing each junction of the wire of one of the bobbins with the wire of its neighbor to end in a metallic plate set into an insulating piece containing as many plates as there are bobbins, plus one. Over this species of collector, which maybe rectilinear or wound around a cylinder, let us pass two brushes fixed to an insulating piece that may be moved by hand.

Now, if we place these two brushes at a distance such that the number of the plates of the collector included between them be, for example, equal to ten, and we give them any degree of displacement whatever, after rendering them interdependent, the current entering through one of these brushes and making its exit through the other will always traverse 10 bobbins. Everything will occur, then, as if we caused the ten-bobbin solenoid to move instead of the brushes. This granted, and the brushes being in any position whatever, let us send a current into the apparatus, and place therein a soft iron cylinder. By virtue of a well known law, such cylinder will remain suspended in the interior of the solenoid, and its longitudinal center will place itself at so much the greater distance from that of the solenoid the more the current increases in intensity. It would even fall entirely if the current had not an intensity above a minimum value dependent upon many elements concerning which we have not now to occupy ourselves. We will suppose the current intense enough to keep the distance of the two centers much below that which would bring about a fall of the cylinder.

When such a condition is fulfilled, it is found that if we try to remove the iron cylinder from the equilibrium that it is in, we must apply a pressure that increases with the amount of separation, just exactly as if it were suspended from a spring. It results from this fact that if we displace the brushes a distance equal to the thickness of one plate of the collector, the active solenoid will undergo the same displacement, and its longitudinal center will move away from that of the iron cylinder, and that the attraction exerted upon the latter will increase. It will not be able to assume its first value, and equilibrium cannot be re-established unless the cylinder undergoes a displacement identical with that of the solenoid. Now, as this latter depends upon the motion communicated to the system of brushes, we see that, definitively, the cylinder will faithfully reproduce the motion communicated to the brushes by the hand of the operator. This apparatus, then, constitutes a genuine electric servo-motor in which the current is never interrupted nor modified in quantity or direction, no more indeed than the magnetization developed in the soft iron cylinder.

Everything takes place as if the iron cylinder were suspended in a solenoid ten centimeters in length that was caused to rise and fall; with the difference that the weight of the cylinder exerts no action on the hand of the operator.



These explanations being understood, there remain but few things to be said to cause the operation of the hammer to be thoroughly comprehended. The elementary sections constituting the electric cylinder, A B, of the hammer are 80 in number, and form a total length of one meter. Their ingoing and outcoming wires end in a collector of circular form shown at F G. The brushes are replaced by two strips, C E and C D, fixed to the double winch, H C I, which is movable around the fixed center, C. They can make any angle whatever with each other, so that by trial there maybe given the active solenoid the most suitable length. When such angle has been determined, the angle, E C D, is rendered invariable by means of a set screw, and the apparatus is maneuvered by imparting to the double winch, H C I, an alternating circular motion.

The iron cylinder weighs 23 kilogrammes; but, when the current has an intensity of 43 amperes and traverses 15 sections, the stress developed may reach 70 kilogrammes; that is to say, three times the weight of the hammer. So this latter obeys with absolute docility the motions of the operator's hands, as those who were present at the lecture were enabled to see.

I will incidentally add that this power hammer was placed on a circuit derived from one that served likewise to supply three Hefner-Alteneck machines (Siemens D model) and a Gramme machine (Breguet model P.L.). Each of these machines was making 1,500 revolutions per minute and developing 25 kilogrammeters per second, measured by means of a Carpentier brake. All these apparatus were operating with absolute independence, and had for generator the double excitation machine that figured at the Exhibition of Electricity.

In an experiment made since then, I have succeeded in developing in each of these four machines 50 kilogrammeters per second, whatever was the number of those that were running; and I found it possible to add the hammer on a derived circuit without notably affecting the operation of the receivers.

It results from this that with my system of double excitation machine I have been enabled to easily run with absolute independence six machines, each giving a two-third horse-power. The economic performance, e/E, moreover, slightly exceeded 0.50.