Our illustration represents an apparatus invented by Clias. A. Shaw and James Clark, of Biddeford, Me., and patented by them Jan. 26, 1858, for the purpose of giving the operator a more perfect control over the skins in the process of tanning, and for obtaining many other advantages which will be seen as we proceed in our description. In the accompanying eugraving, a is a strong framework or false vat, having two open sides, and made to fit exactly the real vat, j, in which the hides or sides, 5, to be tanned are -firmly secured in the sticks, c. These sticks are supported at each end by the horizontal rests, d, which are strongly bolted to the inside of the ends of the framework, a, at a sufficient distance only from the side of the frame to freely admit the sticks, thus keeping the sides fully extended while in the frame. E is a frame, soconstructed as to be easily removed from one vat to another upon the trucks, /, shown in dotted lines, having a windlass g g', on the top, by means of which and the ropes, h, and hooks, i, the false vat, a, can be raised from or lowered into the tanning vat, j, in which the tanning liquors are contained. K is an adjustable' axle or pole passing through the center of the frame, a, longitudinally, and supported by the cross-pieces, L, on the frame, E; this axle is used to support the frame, a, whon it is raised entirely above the vat, j, and is that on which a is rotated to change the position of the hides, b, after they have been in and out of,;'; it is removed when a is again lowered into j. Toothed projections, n, are attached to adjustable bars, so fitted between the side bars of the frame, a, which make its longer axis, that the teeth, n, pass between and keep at an equal distance the sticks c, just as well, whether the hides are in a vertical or horizontal direction. These bars are adjusted and fastened in their places by the hasps, p, after filling the frame,-a, with hides, completely securing the sticks, c, at" such a distance from each other as to freely admit the tan liquors to the hides, and at the same time keep them all in a proper position in the frame, a, when it is rotated on the axle, K. The hides are prepared for the frame by being spread upon a large table perfectly smooth, and on it they are attached to the \ sticks, c, which are kejitthe proper distance apart by stationary upright pins in the table. The back of the hide is first firmly fastened with small nails to one 6tiek, and then laced to the other. In this manner the operator has perfect control of his work, and the hide can easily and quickly be prepared in the frame, a, where they are kept fully stretched and an equal distance apart, in the best shape to receive the full action of the tanning liquors, when the false vat, a, is full of hides properly arranged, other and from one vat to another, a is drawn up and the frame, E, moved to the desired vat by means of the runners,y. In order that the frame may be equally balanced, in filling it, sides are put in alternately with a neck and a butt at each end. Among the peculiar advantages of this mode of tanning may be noticed, tho improved appearance of the grain of the stock produced by keeping the hide perfectly smooth and extended while in the liquors ; also the great gain in the weight by preventing the destruc- the axle, K, is withdrawn, and the frame of hides allowed to descend into the vat, j, where it assumes the position indicated by the dotted lines. When it becomes necessary to reverse the position of the hides, a is drawn up by means of g and', and the axle, 1c, inserted; the hooks, i, aro then unhooked, and the frame rotated on To until the position is reversed, when the frame is again attached to the ropes, h, and lowered intoj. When it is desirable to move the hides from one solution to an- tion of the gelatine, and saving of time in producing stock, due to having the hides constantly and perfectly exposed on all sides to the liquors, and to subjecting all portions of the hide successively to the action of the strongest liquors at. tho bottom of the vat, and lastly, the ease and facility with which a whole pack of hides can be handled at one time or changed from vat to vat. Messrs. Shaw & Clark will be happy to furnish any additional information that may be desired on being addressed as above. Harness trees which have to bear the weight of the shafts mutt be made sufficiently strong to hold up the shafts, and at the same to so adjust the weight as not in any way inconvenience or chafe the horse. The harness tree we are about to describe fulfils these conditions, but is applicable only to light carriages and coaches, and not to saddles of any kind. It is the invention of Thomas Demp-sey, of the firm of 0. Macfarland & Co., harness-makers, Newark, N. J., and was patented by him Jan. 12,1858. In our engravings, Fig. 1 represents a light carriago harness tree, having the improvements attached. These improvements consist in forming a metallio tree, A, with its center raised an inch and a half more or less from the top of tho horse's back, in order to allow sufficient room for the spring pads, B B', to move up or down when operated by the horse's back, and not its sides. The springs in the pads, B B', can be operated only by a direct vertical pressure, and thus any strain or sudden jar coming upon the tugs, CC, operates the springs, B B', and thereby relieves the horse. Fig. 2 shows the metallic tree, A, and the spring of the pad, B, the other spring being removed to show the tongue, d, more fully. The tongues, d, are cast upon the tree, A, and serve to prevent the pads from getting out of place, and yet leave them perfectly free to move up or down by means of slits or openings, e, seen enlarged in Fig. 3, which shows the spring enlarged. Those flat plates or springs are tempered from the terret nut, K, to the points, n, only. * The terret nut, K, is attached to tho flat pad or spring as seen at Fig. 2, and the spring is secured by the terret to tho tree in such a way that the tongue, d, cannot get out of tho slit, e, until the terret is unscrewed, however flexible the springs may be. The arrangement of the pad springs, B B', secured by means of the combination of the terrets and tongues, and the tongues forming a part of the metallic tree, and arrangod as in this invention to give to the motion of the horse's back, is new, and altogether it is a very good and easy harness tree. Any further particulars will be furnished by Mr. Dempsey, on being addressed as above.
This article was originally published with the title "Improved Apparatus for Tanning" in Scientific American 13, 26, 204 (March 1858)