To supersede the ordinary Russ paving fol' streets, a new arrangement by means of castiron blocks has heen invented by L. Col wel l, of New York City, who has taken measures to secure a patent. The above engraving is a perspective view of one of the blocks forming a section of the paving and displays the structure and arrangement of this new method Each of these blocks is bix.sided, being in shape a regular hexagon, so that they are easi ly fitted one to another. A represents one of these six side?? with a mortice or groove, C, let into it, into which fits a projection corresponding to the tongue, B, of another block, and in similar manner the tongue B, fits into a groove or mortice leb into the side of another block corresponding to the groove, C. Of these grooves and tongues there are three to each block, which thus make up the six sides ; F is the irOl1 plate on which there are several projections, D D, of a suitable size, as shown in the figure, and which, on the under side, are hollow, E E are semi-projections of the same kind along the sides of each block, so that when one block is fitted to another, E similar series of these said semi-projections unite with the others to form th3 same shape as in those already described. A pavement of this sort has many advantages over both wood and stone ; in the first place it forms a more compact mass, as from the arrangement of mortices and grooves a block cannot possibly be disarranged from its place ; then, in addition to the greater durability, the expense would be much less, for even when worn out the old material would be worth at least 50 per cent, of the original cost, and could be re-cast for the same purpose again. Moreover, the construction is so simple that no preparatory labor is required previously to laying the blocks, as is the case with every description of paving material now employed. All that is required to be done before laying the blocks, is merely to level the earth when the blocks are forced down, and thus imbedded in it without any need of all those preliminary steps which were required in the other plar.s of paving, and which torm so great an item in the cost. Contrast this with the Russ pavement, and the saving to the city would be incalculably vast. The expense for laying the Russ pavement is $6 per square yard, and the consequent inconvenience of stopping up the thoroughfare almost as detrimental to the traffic as the pecuniary outlay is large. Our principal streets, particularly Broadway, are for one-half the year entirely useles lor the purposes of transit in some part or other of their length, and we absolutely despair of ever seeing them well-paved. We therefore hail with satisfaction any improvement upon our present method which cannot be too much decried, as a most clumsy, unscientific, and costly mode of procedure. We have no doubt that iron will yet be generally used for paving the streets, not only of our own cities, but also those of London, Paris, and other capitals of European countries. Further information may be obtained of Messrs. Colwell amp; Co., West 27th st., near Eleventh Avenue, N. Y.
This article was originally published with the title "Cast-Iron Pavements" in Scientific American 8, 17, 132 (January 1853)