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No. 21. The culture and care of flowers has caused full attend. ance of ladies at the meetings.
No. 22. Labor-saving machinery and implements have not been neglected; for, in addition to the discussions on this subject, many new implements have been exhibited and explained before the Club.
Three of these have been placed under the charge of special committees, who have practically tested their value, and their reports now form part of the record of the Institute.
The new seedling strawberries of Mr. Fuller have been closely watched by the Club, committees frequently visiting his grounds, and their reports have fully satisfied the members that we shall have a few new varieties of improved qualities.
Many new varieties of potatoes have been presented to this Club, and some of these are now in the hands of members for testing, and will doubtless form an interesting portion of future reports.
The Board of Managers having offered 25 premiums for machines and essays, and referring them to the Farmers' Club for their decision, the time for receiving applications for the same not having expired, they cannot report on them before the meeting in February.
Your committee are fully impressed with the belief that the gen. eral usefulness of the Farmers' Club fully warrants a more extended advertisement of its meetings, so as to cause a more numerous attendance, and in pursuance thereof would ask an appropriation
to be placed at their disposal for that purpose. They ivould further suggest that the transactions at their meetings should be more widely published, the New York Tribune being now the only paper in which they appear, and the space there devoted entirely inadequate to full reports. For the manner of inducing such reports they would ask the advice and co-operation of the Institute, at least in the exercise of the personal influence of its members.
The quality of the reports of the meetings of the Farmers' Club
JAMES J. MAPES,
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MANUFACTURES, SCIENCE AND ART OF
THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE.
The Committee on Manufactures, Science and Art, in compliance with a resolution of the Institute, respectfully report:
That at their first meeting, on the second Wednesday in March last, they were organized by the selection of Prof. Renwick as chairman, and Samuel T. Tillman as secretary for the year; at the same meeting Prof. Chas. A. Joy, of Columbia College, was appointed chairman of the Polytechnic Association, and Thos. D. Stetson its secretary.
During the summer Prof. Charles A. Joy visited Europe, and since his return his college duties have increased so as to prevent his attendance. In tendering his resignation, he expressed great interest in the welfare of this branch of the American Institute.
The association having been several months without a regular chairman, the committee thought it their duty to accept the resignation of Prof. Joy. At the November meeting, Samuel D. Tillman was selected as chairman of the Polytechnic for the remainder of the year.
The proceedings of the association have not been as fully reported as when a reporter was specially employed for that purpose; but the able abstracts from the discussions, which have regularly appeared in the Scientific American, show that the association have devoted much attention to all mechanical and chemical improvements directly connected with the great military movements now going on, while they have not overlooked the progress of the useful arts in other directions.
During the present year your committee have not been directed by the Institute to examine any invention or improvement; they have had, however, before them several novelties, upon which they will make reports whenever authorized to do so. The committee cannot close without alluding to the devotion which their chairman has uniformly shown in the welfare of the Institute. Previous to his present illness, his frequent attendance at their rooms was a'sure guaranty that the interests of such manufacturers and artisans as might require the action of this committee, would not be overlooked. Respectfully submitted.
JOHN D. WARD,
S. D. TILLMAN,
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON J. WYATT REID'S PLANS AND
MODELS, ILLUSTRATING HIS MODE OF CONSTRUCTING FORTS AND STATIONARY DEFENCES.
The plans and models exhibited to your committee by Mr. J. Wyatt Reid, illustrate his mode of constructing forts and stationary defences, which consists essentially in the substitution of cast iron blocks for stone and brick. The model blocks of wood shown to your committee are about the size intended to be used. They are, cubes of nearly two feet, and, if made of iron, would weigh about one ton each. The blocks have corresponding elevations and depres
. sions of their surfaces, so that the elevations of one block will fit into the depressions of another. When laid in .place they overlap each other, so that one block has a bearing on several others. It is intended to make the surfaces compact by the use of bitumen.
Walls constructed on the plan of Mr. Reid would be vastly stronger than those of brick or stone, but the brittleness of cast iron is such, that repeated blows would chip off the corners and edges of these blocks; where this action would be arrested must be decided by experiment.
A correct estimate of the power of resistance in these blocks, can only be made by repeated trials on an extended scale.
Your committee cannot, therefore, form an opinion as to the value of the alleged improvement, but they would not hesitate to recommend that targets be constructed of blocks as proposed by Mr. Reid, and tested by the General Government. Respectfully submitted.
JOHN D. WARD,
JAMES L. JACKSON,
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON WARREN ROWELL'S IMPROVEMENT
ON THE RECIPROCATING PISTON STEAM ENGINE. The mechanical arrangement shown to your committee by Mr. Warren Rowell, is claimed to be an improvement in the reciprocating piston steam engine. Mr. Rowell assumes that there is a loss of power in the application of steam to the piston during the first quarter of the stroke. To obviate this, he has constructed a cylinder with double heads; the inner two are movable, and each is so arranged as to move with the piston through about one-quarter of the stroke, when it stops, and the steam then enters between it and the piston, by which means the steam required to fill that portion of
the cylinder traversed by the movable head is saved. The movable heads are connected by parallel rods on the outside of the cylinder, and are held at their stationary points by a ratchet arrangement. The object of the inventor is to apply the steam to the piston only during the half of the stroke when it has the quickest motion; it is evident that this arrangement would require the momentum of a heavy fly-wheel to carry the crank through a portion of its path, even when the engine was doing no work; to remedy this defect, the inventor proposes to use two cylinders of the kind described, having their cranks at right angles. The movable heads being packed, and having connecting rods passing through stuffing boxes, may be regarded as pistons in estimating the friction of this engine. Admitting that the machine can be made to work practically, a plain statement of the proposed improvement is, the substitu tion of two cylinders and six pistons for one cylinder and one piston.
The crank is admirably adapted to the reciprocating piston, the dead points being precisely where the piston must change its direction, and the leverage of the crank increasing and decreasing directly as the velocity of the piston, there is no loss of steam; consequently no loss of power except in friction. That the sum of friction is less in the Rowell's complicated arrangement is not demonstrated. Your committee, therefore, while admitting its ingenuity, cannot commend it as a useful improvement. Respectfully submitted.
JOHN D. WARD,
JAS. L. JACKSON,
The following is the financial condition of the American Institute on the first day of February, 1863 : Balance in the treasury Feb. 1, 1862
$84 26 The RECEIPTS of the year have beenFrom rent of premises No. 351 Broadway and No. 89] Leonard street...
$7,111 00 Admission fees and dues, viz: initiation fees,
$45; annual dues, $497; life membership, $40
582 00 Duplicate medals.
41 00 Certificate of award..
2 00 Sales of duplicate volumes, &c.
10 86 Transactions
4 00 packing cases.