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The shrinkage of the material

, and the consequent shaky condition of ordinary wheels exposed to a very dry atmosphere, are too well known to require elaborate remark, and the desirability of completely repairing a wheel damaged by a shot, or otherwise, without delay, is obvious.

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24 HOURS 3030 109 Certain parts of the wheels of gun carriages are frequently entirely destroyed by a shot from the enemy, while other parts are unaffected. By simply moving the carriage so much as will partially revolve the wheel and bring the injured part on the upper side, if it is not already there, I can, with the aid of a suitable wrench, remove the injured parts of my wheels and insert new parts, which, after a proper setting up of the bolts, make the wheel as complete as before. I have recently demonstrated, in a practical test before United States officers, that I can singly repair the wheels of artillery carriages, constructed according to my invention, faster than a man with an axe cạn destroy them.

The figure represents a side elevation and cross section of a wheel, çon structed according to this portion of my invention. Figure 45 is a cross section of the wheel in the line UU in figure 44. Figure 46 is a plan view of a portion, or more exactly a cross section, on the line VV in figure 44. Figure 47 is a cross section on the line WW in figure 44,

same.

A is the tire. It has seven holes properly countersunk to receive the conical heads of an equal number of tire-bolts, which pass through peculiar wedges B at the ends or joints of the seven felloes C. These tire-bolts are designated by D, and the nuts which are fitted thereon by d.

These parts constitute the rim of my wheel. The wooden felloes C are forced apart and stiffly maintained in position by the rim wedges B, acted. on by the bolts D and nuts d. As the tire. A becomes gradually stretched by use on a hard road, the wedges B' must be all operated outward to keep the parts in tight contact; and when the tire A is removed to be contracted by the blacksmith in the usual manner, it may be contracted more than with ordinary wheels, and by letting the wedges B back or inward, by slackening the nuts d, the wheel will be diminished to its minimum size, provided, always, that the spokes are correspondingly allowed to contract by the operation to be described below, so as to maintain the proper relations of the parts of the entire wheel.

MM are malleable iron castings, secured upon the ends of the felloes by screws or nails as represented. They are made in the form represented, and provided at each edge with a flange mm, embracing the wood B at the end of the felloe. This prevents the wood from splitting, and prevents the wedge from working itself into the wood, or in any manner distorting the

A flange or lip mi is also provided, which rests against the inner periphery of the felloe, and prevents the castings from being displaced radially. The wedges B are rounded both longitudinally and laterally as represented. The castings M are rounded to correspond with the lateral curvature, or the curvature exhibited in figures 46 and 47, and are not rounded in the radial direction, being straight in that direction, as previously shown.

The spokes are designated by E. There are two spokes inserted in each felloe in the manner represented. The inner end of each spoke E is tapered as shown, and each alternate one is perforated by a bolt F. These bolts are fitted with nuts f, and by operating the latter, the hub is contracted in the direction of its length. The figures show the construction of the hub, and the manner in which the heads and nuts of these bolts apply to the exterior thereof, to compress the same upon the tapering or wedge-formed ends of the spokes E. It will be observed that the húb is in two parts, G and H. · The part G includes the whole bearing upon the axle. The part A is a ring capable of sliding to a stifficient extent thereon to compensate for any shrinkage and radial motion of the spokes; long holes or slots are provided in the spokes E as represented, to carry the bolts F so as to allow a radial motion of the spokes.

The inner ends of the spokes E abut against the heads jl of bolts 1, which are inserted through wedges J and operated by nuts i. These hub wedges J fill the spaces between the spokes as shown, and complete the hub of the wheel. When the wheel is new the heads i of the radial bolts 1, rest against the casting G as indicated. When from an enlargement of the tire by use, or from any other cause, it is desired to slightly enlarge the wheel by moving the spokes radially outward within the hub G H, the bolts F and I must be first slackened by loosening the nuts f and i. The rim wedges B may then be operated to expand the rim in the manner above

described, until the felloes bear firmly against the tire. The bolts F and I are then again set up tight by turning the nuts f and i. The nuts f will return to their original positions and a little beyond that, because the radial movements of the spokes E, by withdrawing their wedge-like ends a little, will allow the part H to slide a little further upon the part G of the hub. · It will be observed that the form of the wedge B is such as guards the ends of the two adjacent felloes from getting out of line.

By the construction herein described, I am able to compensate for the enlargement of the tire and the shrinkage of the wood, and to readily make the proper substitution when a part is injured.

This removal and substitution of parts may be done on the field, while an action is progressing, and it is of very great importance, as it may very often be the means of maintaining a gun in a serviceable condition which would otherwise be useless, and, in other cases, may render it practicable to retreat with a gun, which, in the absence of this invention, would be lost. On motion, the subject was continued.

Enos STEVENS, Secretary pro tem.

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AMERICAN INSTITUTE POLYTECHNIC ASSOCIATION,

January 9, 1863.
The Chairman, S. D. TILLMAN, Esq., presiding.
The preliminary hour of the Association was occupied as follows:

Mr. Hoard exhibited a model illustrating the movements of a hydrostatic engine, which, on motion, was referred to a committee consisting of Messrs. Seely, Fisher and Bartlett for examination.

Mr. Wiard exhibited apparatus for heating water, which elicited discussion.

Dr. John B. Rich stated that Mr. Joseph Dixon, of Jersey City, a member of the standing committee of manufactures, science and arts of the American Institute, had constructed a musical instrument, on which much labor and expense had been bestowed, and suggested that it might not be inappropriate for a committee to be appointed to examine the same.

Whereupon, on motion of Mr. Bull, the Chairman appointed a committee consisting of Messrs. Rich, Bull and Rowell, to report thereon.

INLAND NAVIGATION. In October, the attention of the Polytechnic Association was called to the subject of canal lock gates by Major R. Taylor, who presented models, and explained their operation 'apparently to the satisfaction of the Association, when an evening was set apart for the discussion of the subject of inland navigation, on which occasion Major R. Taylor read a paper on canals, of which the following is a synopsis:

He said his attention had been called to the subject in consequence of having been interested in an improvement for operating the gates of locks,

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which led him to reflect still further, resulting in an improved plan of gates, which he desired to have tested by the State, and thought the attention of those interested in the success of our canals might be sufficiently awakened through the voice of the Institute to cause it the more rapidly to be brought into notice. His mind, also, was so occupied with canal matters, that it led him to examine into their history. It appeared, from all the information that could be gathered, that all countries have, at an early period in their progress, considered the matter of so much importance, that it was one of their chief objects to render internal communication by water as general as possible.

Long before the Christian era canals existed in Egypt, originally for purposes of irrigation, and subsequently for the passage of boats. The importance of eanals was early appreciated by the Chinese, with whom a complete system of them has long been in operation. Unacquainted with locks, they, and European nations as well, used inclined planes to raise or lower their boats from one level to the other, by means of the capstan.

In the twelfth century canals were introduced into the Netherlands. Their adaptation to the flat country of Holland caused them to be rapidly extended through that country until they connected nearly all their villages, and were used as the principal means of communication.

Canals were not, however, introduced into European countries generally until the invention of locks occurred, which was in the fourteenth century. From that period to the present all countries have paid particular attention to creating a system of inland, or inter-water communication, which embraces various modes, either by canal, lake or river, or all combined, as we have it in this State. The system of inland navigation is, perhaps, as well developed in this as in any State or country of the world, yet it is not what it should be, by any means.

Previous to the introduction of railways into England there had been made over two thousand miles of canal, besides slack-water navigation. Canals were first introduced into this country by Massachusetts, in 1792. In 1795 the James river and Kanawha canal was projected by General Washington. The object of this canal was to connect Richmond with the great northwest, which the statesmen of that day clearly saw would be the great agricultural region of this continent

...lar A canal was commenced on a small scale and extended for a few miles only. It has undergone several enlargements, and now reaches Covington, some 200 miles from Richmond. Whether the dream of the projectors of this canal will ever be realized, it is now impossible to tell, but if, in the mutations of time, Virginia shall be regenerated, it is not improbable. Nearly every State of the Union has built canals to connect the rivers or lakes within their borders, in order to expedite transit, or render parts heretofore shut out, more accessible to and from the seaboard.

It was left for the State of New York, however, to perfect the most important chain of inland navigation ever known. Not that the Erie was the longest or largest canal that had been built, but the conception and completion of it in so brief a period, and the evidence of its success being 'witnessed by its projectors, makes it the grandest work of modern times. : Witnessing the progress this State was making, Pennsylvania undertook

a course of internal improvement, and her greatest work was a canal extending from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, a distance of about 400 miles. This and other projected canals were finished, and after a number of years of varied success they were sold to private companies, which now control them.

Thirty years' trial proved the Erie Canal a success; and while it answered the purpose of its projectors, its capacity was not adequate to the demands that were being made upon it, therefore an enlargement was determined upon, and in 1862, the first year of its completion, the receipt of five million dollars demonstrated that its enlargement was not completed any too soon, and that its capacity should have been as large again as that determined on, for already thousands are clamorous for its further enlargement. To meet the demands upon its capacity, Major Taylor has invented a plan of gates which, by their adjustment to the present locks, will give a length of chamber of 140 or 150 feet.

Such an improvement could be immediately availed of, that is, they could be adjusted to all the locks on the Erie and Oswego canals in one winter season of suspended navigation. Such an alteration would accommodate the business of the canal for several years to come; at any rate until either the canal could be enlarged to double its present capacity, or a new canal be made on another route, which Major Taylor thinks is practicable from the Erie canal, at Macedon, to Seneca lake, at Geneva, using Seneca lake to its head, thence to Owego on the Susquehanna river, which river could be made navigable to Great Bend, thence by a new canal to Stockport, on the Delaware river, using the Delaware, when practicable, and a canal on its bank, and also a canal from Port Jervis to the Hudson, at Haverstraw.

The Susquehanna, at Owego, is 382 feet above the level of Seneca lake, between which points the distance is some forty miles. From Great Bend, on the Susquehanna, to Owego, the river has a gradual fall of less than 100 feet in a distance of seventy miles, showing that it can easily be used by means of dams and locks. From Stockport to Port Jervis, the Delaware descends some 400 feet in a distance of seventy-five miles. This could easily be overcome by a canal on its banks. From Port Jervis to the Hudson, at Haverstraw, the descent is 450 feet. At Haverstraw the land for a mile or more on the bank is quite level, and is only about ten feet above the level of the river.

A plane extends back from Haverstraw a number of miles towards Port Jervis. Several things can be mentioned in favor of such a route for a canal.. There is plenty of water. It would be nearly one hundred miles nearer than by the old Erie, and the overslaugh, near Albany, would be escaped.

Major Taylor gave the quantity of grain that had been received at Chicago ending with the year. It was something like 58 million bushels; also, the tonnage of the boats employed on the canal, which was about 500,000 tons--the number of boats at about 4,000; the speed of the boats as 14 miles the hour, and the average passage as 14 days from Buffalo to Albany. He also gave the length of the boats as 98 feet and their width 17 feet, and that the largest of the recently built boats could carry about [Am. Ins.]

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