This burner is in the form of a cylinder made of a composition in which magnesium predominates, and gives a light of 210 candle power with a consumption of three and one-half cubic feet of gas per hour.
The cylinder to be heated to incandescence is firmly held in place on a metal spindle, which is slowly revolved by means of an ingenious clock-work in the base of the fixture. The arrangement is such that by turning off the gas the clock-work is stopped, and by the turning on of the gas, it is again set in motion. The movement of the spindle is so slow that a casual observer would not notice it, there being only one revolution made in twenty-four hours. The object of this movement is to continually present new surface to be heated, as that which is exposed to the high temperature wears away, similarly to the carbons used in electric lighting, though much more slowly.
These burners can be made of 2,000 candle power, down to fifty candle power.
Pure oxygen can now be obtained from the atmosphere at a cost of about twenty-five cents per 1,000 cubic feet, and the small amount required to supplement the fuel water gas in producing this light can be supplied under proper pressure from a very small pipe, which can be laid in the same trench with the fuel gas pipe, at much less cost than is required to carry an electric wire to produce an equal amount of light.
The oxygen pipe necessary to carry the gas under pressure need not exceed an inch and a half in diameter to supply 5,000 lamps of 2,000 candle power each. The only reason why this burner has not been further perfected and placed upon the market is because of the continual preoccupation of Prof. Lowe in other lines of invention, and the amount of attention required by his large business interests. Besides, the field for its usefulness has been limited, as cheap fuel gas has only just begun to be generally introduced. Now, however, that extensive preparations are being made for the rapid introduction of the Lowe fuel gas system into various cities, this burner will receive sufficient attention to shortly complete it for general use in large quantities. It is a more powerful and at the same time a softer light than is the electric incandescent or the arc light. The light-giving property of a burner of 1,000 candle power would not cost more than one cent for ten hours' lighting, and the cylinder would only require to be changed once a week; whereas the carbons of arc lights are changed daily. The cost of the gas required to maintain such a lamp ten hours would be six cents, allowing the same profit on the gas as when it is sold for other heating purposes.
The lamps complete will cost much less than the present electric lamps, and after allowing a large profit to companies supplying them, will not cost consumers more than one-fourth as much as arc lamps, and will give a much clearer and steadier light.
Since Prof. Lowe perfected his first incandescent burner great progress has been made in this line of invention, and it is no wonder that the attention of the whole gas fraternity of the country has been drawn to the subject of cheap fuel water gas, which is so admirably adapted to all purposes of heat, light, and power.
While there is no doubt that light can be more cheaply produced by incandescence obtained by the use of fuel water gas than by any other means, still a large amount of electric lighting will continue to hold its position, and the electric system will gain ground for many uses. But the electric light also can be more economically produced when fuel water gas is used as power to revolve the dynamos. Therefore, we believe it to be for the best interests of every gas company that would move in the line of progress to commence without delay to make preparations for the introduction of fuel water gas, if, at first, only as supplementary to their present illuminating gas business.-Progressive Age.