Messks. Editors—As every one now looks to the Scientific Ajikrican for improvements and discoveries in art or science, I will give you the result of a series of experiments which I have just completed to dispense with the usual method of drying bricks by exposure to the sun—substituting in its stead a proper application of artificial heat. The process is so simple that it will ere long, I think, revolutionize the business, at least in the large cities, or whore there is a market for a large quantity. Imagine a tunnel one hundred and fifty feet long, four feet wide and five feet high, fitted with a railway and train of cars extending its entire length. The cars descend by their own gravity, having declination sufficient to give motion with a slight exertion of force. Near the mouth or entrance is a smoko stack, communicating through the floor, and near the opposite end or exit is a furnace. As the bricks are molded they are placed on the cars, each containing 180 bricks, which, when filled, are shoved into the tunnel, and thus pu%h each other along, requiring seven or eight hours to make the passage. I have taken them out perfectly sound, and as dry as if they had been exposed to the sun for a week. It will be seen that this method meets all the requirements. The stack being at one end and the fire at the other, a strong current of air is created running the entire length of the tunnel. The bricks first need the air rather cool—if otherwise, they would crack— and as they advance, the moisture is liberated and carried off. In two or three hours, they begin to feel the heat, but they are then partially dry, and able to bear it, and so on until they emerge from the tunnel perfectly dry, and are borne off to the kiln. Every brickmaker will appreciate the importance of this. The business may now be carried on under cover, and free from the vi- cissitudbs of weather. Instead of being limited to five or six months in tue year, ten or eleven may be secured. There is nothing to prevent operations on this day (December 15), or, in fact, whenever the temperature is not down to the freezing point. This, of course, requires the molding to be done by a machine, as the cold clay cannot be handled. Drying floors being no longer needed, brickworks may now be established in many a spot hitherto impracticable, as you only require room for the kilns, and a shed one hundred feet long. About twenty feet of the tunnel must be of brick; the remainder, with the smoke-stack, may be of lath and plaster, or any other cheap material. The cost of a tunnel, with the cars, &c, to turn out 25,000 bricks per day will be about $1200 or $1500, which is much less than the floors, sheds and other requisites of a yard in the present mode. I have here given the mere outlines. Those wishing further information can address me by mail. Francis II: Smith, Baltimore, Md. [If this improvement secures all the objects speqified by our correspondent, it is certainly of great importance to brickmakers. During the early part of last summer, the weather continued cold and wet, preventing many of our brick manufacturers from carrying on their usual amount of business. In one case known to s, the weather disabled an extensive manufacturer from fulfilling a large contract, and he was thereby subjected to a considerable loss. Had he been in possession of the above information furnished by Mr. Smith, he would have been enabled to meet his engagements with profit instead of loss to himself and others.
This article was originally published with the title "Drying Bricks by Artificial Heat"