BRITISH IRON-CLADS.—Laird, the notorious shipbuilder at Birkenhead, opposite Liverpool, has just launched a turret iron-clad steamer of 4,272 tuns, twin screws, strong ram, and two large turrets, armed with rifled 600-pounders. This model ship has been built by the Lairds on Captain Coles plans, in the most thorough and costly manner, to test the principle, and is intended to be the finest and most formidable war vessel in the world. Why the British Government is spending such large sums on its navy just now is not very apparent. It may be the Suez Canal; it may be to give Mr Laird the opportunity to atone for his fault in sending out the Alabama. Certainly, all things considered, employing him to build a large part of the British Navy is an act of singular magnanimity on the part of the government. IMPROVEMENTS IN STEAM VALVES.—A new self-adjusting plug cock or valve is at present being introduced, the Mining Journal says, which, it is claimed, is superior to those at present in use, both for economy and efficiency. By the employment of an outer shell, forming a heated chamber round the working shell of the valve, expansion and contraction are equalized; while by the use of two inlets and two outlets, the travel of the plug is reduced to one-half, thereby diminishing the friction and the wear and teaT. The plug is kept in its position by a spiral spring packing in the center of the cover inclosing the loose spindle. It is claimed that in first cost these valves are cheaper than any others in use, will last double the time, and will not get out of order. SOURCE OF PATENT OFFICE REVENUE.—The sum of one hundred and fourteen thousand, seven hundred and fifty-six dollars was paid into the patent fund from the New York office of Munn & Co., for the year ending April 13, 1869. This sum does not include several thousand dollars paid in through our branch office at Washington. The professional business of the Scientific American Patent Agency is the most extensive in the world, and keeps pace with the progress of invention. The above figures scarcely need to be commented upon. They point unmistakably to the fact that inventors know where their interests are most faithfully served. FIFTY MILES AN HOUR.—The great Runcora Viaduct, carried on ninety-eight arches, completes atlast the fast railway line between London and Liverpool, and the whole distance, 200 miles, can now be run in four hours. A saving of time ia effected by not stopping for water, which is scooped up from between the rails, when running at full speed, an operation so easy that it might be universally adopted. It is only to havo a long trough, let down a scoop, and the water will rush up a tube and fill the tank. DE-BRANNING WHEAT.—In answer to the inquiry of H. GK, of Maine, in our is3ue of 10th April, S. Bents, of Maryland, writes that the above process is in successful operation in Liverpool, Eng., and that arrangements are making with parties for its general introduction in this country. He also sends us a specimen of the de-branned wheat, which is a nice article. He does not, however, give any details relating to the process A. T. STEWARTS property on Broadway alone is worth about five millions. W. B. Astors real estate on Broadway is worth about three millions. The Lorillard estate has eight milliona-invested in that thoroughfare. 296 Improved Tuck Crcascr for Sewing machines. The device shown in the accompanying engravings is intended to be applied to the well-known Wheeler & Wilson sewing machine, but may be adapted to other machines. It is a device for forming the tucks necessary in making the plaits on mens shirt bosoms, and for similar work belonging to the intricacies of feminine habiliments. We profess but little practical acquaintance with tucks, gores, biases, gathers, plaitings, etc, and, therefore, leave these mysteries to those more competent—the feminine portion of the community. But it appears to be certain, that the little device represented in the accompanying engravings is valuable, judging from a merely mechanical point of view, and our lady readers will appreciate the improvement, it being an invention of one of their own sex. Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the arrangement, and Fig. 2 a vertical section of the drum, holding the pivot of the creaser arm, and a coiled spring with its attachments. The creaser proper is a needle-like bar, A, with a V-shaped crease in its lower end that fits on a ridge, B. The cloth passes over this ridge, being guided by the gage, C, and held up to the edge of the plate, D, by the serrated guide or pressure pad, E, held to the cloth by an adjustable spring, F, and guiding the goods by the inclination of its serrations. The creaser,A, is operated by the needle bar of the machine, which reciprocates the lever to which the creaser bar is attached, by connecting with it at the point, G, covered with elastic rubber. The power exerted by the creaser on the goods, between it and the edge, B, is adjusted to the thickness of the goods by means of a coiled spring, ratchet, and pawl, in the drum, H. This adjustment is effected by means of a knurled button, I, and the pawl, J, in combination with the ratchet that forms a portion ot the lever, O. This arrangement is seen plainly in Fig. 2. The device is attached to the bed plate of the sewing ma-chine by a screw passing through the slot, K. The width of the tuck or plait is regulated by the thumb-nut, L. By this device, the labor of laying plaits and tucks is much lessened, as the work is guided without the aid of the operator, and as the pressure of the cieaser may be regulated at will, there is no difficulty in starting the machine or in changing from one quality or thickness of goods to another. Patented through the Scientific American Patent Agency, January 12, 1869, by Mrs. Anna P, Rogers, who may be addressed, in reference to tho device, at Quincy, 111., care Rogers & Malone.
This article was originally published with the title "Editorial Summary" in Scientific American 20, 19, 295-296 (May 1869)