This is an improvement in that class of cotton presses known as the "jack-screw press," which is one of the simplest forms of the cotton press, and the improvement is intended to simplify its construction so that it can be worked by' the most unintelligent of workmen ; to render the follower self-lowering, and also to lessen the weight of the toothed rack bar which carries the follower, without impairing the strength at the point where the greatest strain comes upon it. How these points are attained we will proceed to describe. In the first place, the follower presses upward instead of downward ; and when it is elevated to its full extent and has pressed the bale, it can descend by its own gravity. In the second place, the toothed rack bar is made gradually tapering, so that it takes less metal, and requires less power to operate it than as ordinarily constructed, and the taper is graduated to the strain. This can scarcely be seen on so small a scale as our engraving, which is a sectional elevation of one of these presses, but in the actual press it saves a great quantity of metal. A A represents the framing of the press, B is the floor on which it rests, C the pressing box, and D the platen against which the cotton is pressed. E is the follower, furnished with guides that play in grooves in the box, C, and they serve to control the extent of the downward movement of the follower. F is a toothed rack bar, on which is a follower. This bar is of taper form on each edge, from top to bottom, being about eight inches broad at its base, and six at the top. It is guided in its 5 up-and-down motion by guides, c d, and can descend its full extent through an opening in the floor. G is a pinion wheel for gearing into the teeth of the bar, as shown. This wheel is arranged on a shaft, H, situated below the pressing box, and furnished with suitable bearing boxes, f, in the frame, A. I is a arge grooved pulley, arranged on the same that can be thrown up or down alongside the sweep, when it is desired that the follower shall descend. The horses, or other power, are attached to a whiffletree on L. By having the follower press upward, greater convenience is secured, as the pressing-box can be situated in the picking or ginning shaft with the pinion. J is a rope attached to, and wound around, the periphery of the pulley, and carried to, and attached to, a windlass, K, that is pivoted in the floor, and to a framing, as seen in the illustration. The windlass, K, has a horizontal sweep, L, attached to it, provided with a stop pawl, M, room, and thus time and labor used in transporting the cotton to the press are avoided. This useful machine is the invention of J. W. Bocage, of Pine Bluff, Ark., and was patented by him February 2, 1858. Any further information can be obtained by addressing the inventor.
This article was originally published with the title "Improved Cotton Press" in Scientific American 13, 38, 300 (May 1858)