To successfully manufacture bricks, a lull recognition of the chemical, as well as the mechanical character of the process, is necessary. The clays employed for this purpose vary greatly in character ; not only in different beds, but in the same bed, much difference in quality is often met with at different depths. Without at this time entering into details, it is perhaps safe to say that most of the failures in methods adopted with a view to produce better and cheaper bricks than those made by the original method have arisen from subordinating the chemical principles involved to the mechanical part of production. To produce a smooth, even, and regular surface, to turn out bricks rapidly, to avoid the necessity of hacking, and to give the bricks sharp and clear-cutangles, amount simply to nothing, if the other essentials of good bricks are wanting. The principal es sentials of good bricks are that they should, in addition to the qualities above enumerated, not-crack or fall in the kiln, not be liable to break and crumble in handling or in transportation, that they should be uniform in quality, not only throughout the body of individual bricks, but approximately so throughout all those made from the same material, thai they should not be difficult to cut with the trowel, nor liable to disintegration from the action of the weather. It needs no argument to prove that a machine, no matter how perfect and beautiful it delivers the bricks, is—if in its operation it so influences the subsequent process of drying and burning that these can only be done imperfectly—worse than useless. Such, unfortunately, has been the effect of many costly machines, which have had their day. The fact, however, that so many worthless devices have been tried, and that, while there have been many failures and few successes, brick makers are still anxious to try new devices in the hope of getting the right thing at last, shows the importance of a machine that answers all the conditions required. Such a machine it is claimed is the one which we this week pro-sent to the consideration of our readers, and which is illustrated in our engraving. The machine is a steam-boiler, -, engine, and brick machine com- ? bined, the whole made porta- j ble by being constructed upon wheels, and can be easily moved upon a track. The machine is constructed entirely of iron, and in the most substantial and durable manner. The clay mill, ! to which is attached the pressing or molding arrangement, is I placed upon the boiler, and at each side of it are two engines | or steam cylinders, of 8-in. bore by 14-in. stroke, running 40 I revolutions per minute. I The capacity of the boiler is 20-horse power. The clay mill, J in which the clay is ground and tempered, is built of heavy ! boiler-plate iron, of the same quality as the boiler, and is of ? cylindrical form, constructed with two shells or walls, with ! a,n annular chamber between the two shells of two and three | fourths inches space. This space contains a coiled pipe, I through which steam circulates and heats the water which j occupies the annular chamber, and used in supplying the i boiler as well as in tempering clay. By this arrangement | the boiler is supplied with hot feed water, and the clay is j regularly and evenly tempered, the water for the purpose being taken from the annular chamber above the clay, inside the mill, by means of a perforated horizontal pipe extending over it, and the supply regulated by a cock which is adjusted by the pit shovelers. There is also an arrangement for tempering the clay by Steam direct from the boiler, by which it is claimed most j clays may be thoroughly tempered without previously soaking in a pit. Two perforated pipes, passing through the clay mill direct from the boiler, admit high-pressure steam. This steam is condensed by the colder clay which absorbs the water produced by condensation and the latent heat of the steam given off while condensing, so that the clay becomes thoroughly wetted as well as uniformly heated. The bricks are delivered from the molds hot. Of course they dry much more rapidly than could be the case with cold-molded bricks ; 50 per cent being the saving in this respect claimed over any other processs, attained without the expense of fuel and fixtures required in other artificial methods of drying. Besides being advantageous in working tenacious clays, the use of steam is particularly beneficial in winter. It is claimed that by its use the manufacture may progress as profitably in winter as in summer, provided a market for the bricks can be secured. The steam extracts all the frost from the clay, and the bricks are laid on the floor at a higher temperature than can be attained by the expensive method of arches and flues with superimposed floors ; the bricks in cooling becoming so dry that they are no longer liable to injury from frost. In good weather, when the yard is in good drying condition, there is no particular advantage in tempering with steam, and the cock may be closed ; but in cloudy, misty weather, when the yard is damp, or from any other cause the drying of the bricks is too slow, the steam is turned on and the water partially shut off, and the clay is heated as much or as little as desired. Or, if the clay is tough and tenacious and does not properly temper, the steam is used. For making brick during the winter season, tho uso of the steam is indispensable, and the bricks may be delivered from the molds or machine at any temperature desired up to 212 degrees. The advantages claimed for this machine may be summed up as follows : It is combined with its own motive power. It is portable, and requires no foundation other than two sticks of timber, which serve as a simple temporary track for the wheels. It can be set in operation in twenty minutes. It is both powerful and durable, made of the best iron and in the most workmanlike manner. Each part and movement is adjustable, and the pressure may be instantly regulated and changed without stopping any of its moving parts. It cannot be broken by any stones or sticks, whether they are in the clay by accident or design. It is extremely rapid in its work. It may be used for motive power applied to other purposes when not used for making bricks. It is ; further claimed to be the cheapest machine of any now used in the United States, and driven by steam power, both as regards original cost and the maintenance of repairs. Patented, through the Scientific American Patent Agency, June 2, 1868, by C. A. Winn, whom address for further information, at Lock Haven, Pa.\ Work for Women We learn that a novel institution for women is to be opened in the neighborhood of Boston, as soon as the requisite funds are obtained. It is to be a horticultural school, and is designed not as a charitable institution, but a high-class school where thorough instruction in horticulture will be given to young women for such compensation as will, in the end, make it self-supporting, or nearly so. The working plan of the school comprises a farm, to be procured in the vicinity of Boston, containing about twenty acres, five acres to be used for the cultiva tion of small fruits, flowers, salads, and such vegetables as are suitable for culture by female labor, the restiu be devoted to mowing and pasturage ; a good ? lain dwelling house capable of accommodating about thirty inmates ; a barn large enough lor the farm stock, and an experimental plant house for growing flowers and early vegetables, and the forwarding of plants for field crops. The control of the institution is to be vested in a president, secretary, treasurer, and twenty-four managers—one half of whom will be ladies—who will be aided by a competent instructor, an ??? perienced fanner, and the necessary assistants. The pupils i will be instructed in plain sewing, the use of the sewing ma-! chine, and in all kinds ot housework, as well as in horticul-j ture ; and lecturers and teachers in kindred branches of labor ? and service will be employed from time to time, ? It is intended to receive pupils to the numbe r of twenty-five, who are from the age of sixteen upward, of good character, fair education, and able to work as may be required, ? The course of instruction will extend through two years. The j estimated cost of procuring the farm and outbuildings and I maintaining the school for three years, is $30,000. t No MOKE SHEARING OF PLATES.—By means of their patent i " Universal Mill " the Union Iron Mills, of Pittsburgh ? (branch office 19 Broad Street, New York,) arc enabled to fur-l nish plates, with the edges formed, by the action of vertical rolls, remarkably straight, solid and uniform throughout, so j that no re-shearing is necessary, even when great exactness lis required. Workers in iron will do well to give this improvement a trial, as the prices are said to be as low as for plates manufactured in the ordinary manner.
This article was originally published with the title "Improved Portable Steam Brick Machine, Work for Women" in Scientific American 21, 21, 321 (November 1869)