The annexed engraving represents a new plan of crushing ore by gunpowder, invented by Capt. Shrapnell, London, and recently pa tented in England, ft has been illustrated and described in the " London Mechanics' Magazine," from which we have derived our information respecting it. The invention consists of a chamber about 10 feet long, 8 feet high, and 6 feet wide, the back of which is made of inch and a half wrought iron, and the sides of sheet iron.— The sides are rivetted and strengthened with ribs. The whole rests upon a bed of timber strongly framed. A short railroad track is placed in front of the box for the cannon to run upon. The gun is charged with powder and a wad rammed down upon it, and all above the wad is charged with broken pieces of ore, and the whole covered with another wad. It is now moved forward on the rails, against the front of the chamber, in which there is a circular hole rather larger than the muzzle of the gun. The muzzle is just intro duced within the thickness of the plate, the piece is primed and fired, when the charge is projected against the strong thick plate forming the back of the box. To relieve the sides of the box from the concussive force, the root is formed in doors upon hinges, which suddenly fly up when the explosion takes place, and act as safety valves, after which they immediately fall. The reduced ore is acted upon by a gentle blast which sends off the lighter particles and allows the heavier metallic to Jail. A perforated false bottom allows the reduced ore to fall down into a drawer, which is withdrawn with the dust, to submit the latter to the winnowing pro cess. The method of reducing ore by powder is cer tainly a novel one,and naturally enough it comes from a man whose business lies in the shoot ing line. The " London Mechanics' Maga zine" asserts that masses of California quartz, and the hardest granite were reduced to pow der at one charge, in presence of the editor. We introduce this invention to the considera tion of our quartz companies in California. Along with the process tor making gun cot ton described in the Scientific American of last week, we suppose that our gold miners may consider themselves in a fair way of re ducing all the rocks of California into powder. Every invention of this kind should receive a fair trial, as the economy of any machine or invention is determined by experience alone. Although quartz may be thus reduced to powder, it strikes us that the mode of separa ting the earthy and metallic dust, by winnow ing will not be easily accomplished. If we had the opportunity of a personal inspection of the operations, we would be able to give a candid and decided opinion; in the meantime the invention is illustrated and described, so that our readers may know what it is, as no small amount of curiosity has been excited respecting it, by the numerous paragraphs which have appeared in various periodicals, some of which have described its action very accurately while others have not. The English Government have come to the decision that the public interests would be best consulted by allowing chicory to be sold in a state of mixture with coffee, provided it was so described in labels attached thereto.
This article was originally published with the title "Artillery Ore Crusher" in Scientific American 8, 28, 224 (March 1853)