As the operations of the sword have been so carefully recorded by the historian, it would seem that the history of the hammer, one of the first implements ever used by man, and one which cannot be dispensed with today in beating out the tracks or roads of the worlds progress, should be written. Our time and space would fail us were we to attempt any such review or record, hence we will give a brief description of the improvements claimed for the one presented in the accompanying engraving, one of the latest inventions of the hammer builders. The form of the frame is claimed by its builder, to be the best possible shape for the objects to be accomplished, namely, firmness of support, and resistance to the blows of the hammer upon the anvil. The frame is cast in two parts, with flanges at the upper end to clasp the cylinder, A, and with guides to control the hammer head, B. The base of the frame is mounted in the usual man-ier upon a bed plate which surrounds the anvil block, C, and is capable of adjustment by keys in the brackets, as shown upon the bed plate. The anvil block is formed with flanges at the bottom which extend downwards and at right angles to each other, in such a manner as to receive the ends of four large timbers, which are arranged in a pit and in the form of a pyramid. These timbers are firmly fastened together by cross bolts and the pit is flllea in ftrmty viti Bead and gravel stamped. TMs i cue Qi th best foundations for such anvils, as has been proved by several years of experience. The construction of the valves and valve gear, however, constitutes the prominent novelties and features of usefulness in this hammer, and their combination and arrangement are such that the blows are completely under the control of the operator, being instantly varied in length and intensity, or fixed to work at any point within the range of the length of the cyiinier- The ports are also constructed so that the action of the steam upon the valves and upon the piston prevents them from wearing away their seats and cylinders more on one side than the other. This will be easily understood by referring to the shape of the valves, which are simply cylinders working inside of chambers on the front side of the main cylinder, A, the center of which is in line with the valve stem at D. Openings are formed in this inner cylinder to communicate with the cylinder of the throttle at T, and all of these openings for the ports are made in the extreme ends of the cylinders, so that I the steam enters completely around the valves as they pass their seats. The throttle is operated by the lever, E, and connecting rod, F, and when the proper quantity of steam is admitted the I valve is fastened by the set screw at E, The steam valves receive motion from the connecting rod at D, and lever, J, one end of which lever is pivoted upon an eccentric shaft which receives motion by a worm gear at F, and which is operated by a crank at K, in close proximity to the throttle lever. The other end of lever, G, is connected with the hammer head by a light bar of wood, which travels up and down with the strokes of the piston. Motion being thus communicated to the valve stem, it is evident that by a change of the eccentric a change of the valves is easily produced, consequently the stroke of the piston may be quickly varied by simply operating the crank at K. The piston and piston rod are forged in one piece, and the packing rings are of the simplest form, but by following the same principle of having the openings complete ly around the cylinder, there is so great a freedom to the exhaust that each distinct motion of the piston is clearly indicated by the escape steam as in an engine with the most approved cut-off. As to the efficient working of such hammers, the manufacturer states that one with a cylinder of 6 inches diameter, and a hammer of 400 pound weight, will reduce a 8-inch ingot of steel in the same time that a Sheffield Davy Bros. hammer of 9-inch cylinder and 600 pounds weight would do the work. One of the latest improved of these hammers can be seen in operation at the steel works of William A. Sweet & Co., Syracuse, N. Y., to whom any application may be made for further information. Securing a Permanent Way Engineering talent, both in this country and in Europe, has been engaged for some years in attempts to reduce the expense of keeping railroads in repair and in saving thaftjlliiMr Btock. from rapid deterioration In these attempt very great attention naa been paid to the style and quality of the rails themselves; Bteel, or a combination of steel and iron, in their composition, being mainly the point to which these efforts have been directed. The supports of the rails, however, have not, we think, received the attention their importance demands. A certain degree of elasticity, of ability to recover from the depression and shock of the weight of a passing train, seems to be a desirable quality in the road bed and rails of a railway line-We remember, in the early days of railroading in this country, that stability, unyielding resistance, was thought and believed to be the desideratum for a railway. The Bos ton and Lowell road, one of the best built roads in the country, had granite sleepers instead of wooden ones; and, we remember well repeatedly passing on foot over a portion of the road and noting the many cases of broken sleep- 290 ers, and the continual work of placing shims of wood between the rail and sleeper, to receive, as cushions, the shock of passing trains. Some semi-elaptic material seems to be absolutely necessary to the life of the roadway and the rolling stock, experience proving that a really unyielding roadway is not economical. The device herewith represented is intended to secure a permanent way, to provide a secure means of fastening rails, give them a good support, provide for the requisite degree of elasticity, and afford a ready means of malting repairs and ad-j ustiny the line of the rails. Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the device, Fig. 2 a section, and Fig. 3 an intermediate support to be placed between the joinings of the rails. A hollow standard, A, with an ample base, is spiked to the sleeper, B. This standard is an iron casting. Over it passes a box, C, having a lip, D, for receiving one edge of the rail, with keys, E, passing through the usual slots in the rails near their ends, and seated in the box, C. Another lip, F, removable at will, is held in place by means of split keys, or similar devices, passing through slotted bolts, G, seated in cored square holes in the top of the cap, C. The two standards and caps are held rigidly by the bar, H, which acts as a tie or stringer. Between the top of the standard, A, and the inner surface of the caps top is inserted a diaphragm, I, of wood, or. of hard rubber, which may be removed through the doors, J, to place a thinner ojr thicker gland under the rail to level the railway. Through this aperture, J, the bolts, G, may also be reached. The whole is buried in the earth to the line K, Fig. 2, so that the sleeper, B, is not less than six inches under the sur-Jace, thus assisting in its preservation. Fig. 3 is a hollow standard of cast iron intended for intermediate supports between the ends of the rail. It is furnished with cap, as is that shown in Figs. 1 and 2, which are more especially intended for the points of jointure between the ends of the rails. The inventor thinks that by covering the sleepers to the depth of six inches they will last much longer than when exposed to the weather; in wet weather there is a tendency to throw mud from under the sleepers.and in dry weather the vibration of the sleepers raises a dust; both of which difficulties are obviated by this device. While sufficient elasticity is secured, the road is less liable to derangement. The rails may be taken out, and raised or lowered, and replaced without disturbing the sleepers or drawing spikes; this is a great advantage when adjusting the track in winter. The rails may be adjusted by this device a hight of three inches without interfering with the sleepers. No water can get between the chair and its support. The connecting bars are placed directly under the rail, thus affording the best means of preventing spreading. The spring of the rails under a heavy load will not cause the sleepers to roll and lift, as they now do when the rails are spiked direetly to them, and they are continually following the spring and working the ballast out of place. When once settled in place these supports are expected to be permanent in situ. With a broad base they may be used, on a good foundation, without the support of wooden sleepers. The joint chair weighs about 100 lbs. and the intermediate about 70 lbs. The device has been approved by eminent railroad men. Patented through the Scientific American Patent Agency, November 10, 1868. For further information address the patentee, Aaron Van Guysling, West Albany, N. Y. Evening and Morning Among the Alps Professor Tyndallis as felicitous in narrative as in scientific discussion. There is an original freshness and vivacity in all he says or writes. We do not recollect reading a choicer bit of description, in the narrative of any tourist, than the following, taken from his Odds and Ends of Alpine Life: Grindelwald was my first halting place in the summer of 1867; I reached it, in company with a friend, on Sunday evening, the 7th of July. The air of the glaciers, and the excellent fare of the Adler Hotel, rendered me rapidly fit for mountain work. The first day we made an excursion along the lower glacier to the Kastenstein, crossing, in returning, the Strahleck branch of the glacier above the ice fall, and coming down by the Zasenberg. The second day was spent upon the upper glacier. The sunset covered the crest of the Eiger with indescribable glory that evening, causing the dinner table to be forsaken while it lasted. It gave definition to a vague desire which I had previously entertained, and I arranged with Christian Michel, a famous old roadster, to attempt the Eiger, engaging Peter Bauman, a strong and gallant climber, to act as second guide. This crimson of the morning and the evening, and the blue color of the sky, are due to a common cause. The color has not the same origin as that of ordinary coloring matter, in which certain portions of the white solar light are extinguished, the color of the substance being that of the portion which remains. A violet is blue because its molecular texture enables it to quench the green, yellow, and red constituents of white light, and to allow the blue free transmission. A geranium is red because its molecular texture is such as quenches all rays except the red. Such colors are called colors o f absorption; but the hue of the Bky is not of this character, The blue light oJf the sky is reflected light, mi were there nothing in our atmosphere competent to reflect the solar rays, we should see no blue firmament, but should look into the darkness of infinite space. Tie reflection of the blue is effected by perfectly colorless particles. Smallness of size alone is requisite to insure the selection and reflection of this color. Of all the visual waves emitted by the sun, the shortest and smallest are those which correspond to the color blue. On such waves small particles have more power than upon large ones, hence the predominance of blue color in all light reflected from, exceedingly small particles. The crimson glow of the Al[ s in the evaning and in the morning, is due, on the other hs nd, to transmitted light; that is to say, to light which in its passage through great atmospheric distances, has had its blue constituents sifted out of it by repeated reflection. At half-past one oclock on the morning of the 11th, we started from the Wengern Alp to attack the Eiger; no trace of cloud was visible in the heavens, which were sown broadcast with stars. Those low down twinkled with extraordinary vivacity, many of them flashing in quick succession igljts of different colors. When an opera glass was pointed to such a star, and shaken, the line of light described by the image of the star resolved itself into a string of richly-colored beads; rubies and emeralds were hung thus together on the same curve. The dark intervals between the beads corresponded to the moments of extinction of the star through the interference of its own rays in our atmosphere. Over the summit of the Wetterhorn the Pleiades hung like a diadem, while at intervals-a solitary meteor shot across the sky. We passed along the Alp, and then over the balled snow and broken ice cast down from the end of a glacier which fronted us. Here the ascent began; we passed from snow to rock and from rock to snow by turns. The steep for a time was moderate, the only thing requiring caution being the thin crusts of ice upon the rocks over which water had trickled the previous day. The east gradually brightened, the stars became paler and disappeared, and at length the crown of the adjacent Jungfrau rose out of the twilight into the purple of the sun. The bloom crept gradually downwards over the snows, until the whole mountain-world partook of the color. It is not in the night nor in the day—it is not in any statical condition of the atmosphere—that the mountains look most sublime. It is during the few minutes of transition from twilight to full day through the splendors of the dawn. The Manufacture of Pins About the middle of the last century, the Ryland family ntroduced into Birmingham the two new industries of wire Irawing and pin making, which at that period were regarded is twin handicrafts. After a steady development of five and; wenty years the pin trade was transferred to an ancestor of the present eminent firm of Thomas Phipson & Son. A few (rears since every schoolboys manual contained a sketch of the operation of pin making as a remarkable instance ot the division of labor. A single pin had to undergo the manipulation of not less than fourteen pairs of hands before it was ready for the cushion in a ladys boudoii. This forcible illustration no longer applies. Pin making like other industries, has been subject to the scientific progress and improvement of the age, and the process is now comparatively simple. An American engineer named Wright patented in 1824 a pin machine which during the revolution of a single wheel produced a perfect pin. Mr. Thomas Phipson thus discribes Wrights machine, which, having undergone many improvements, is now in operation at the factory of the former, here : The principal shaft gives motion in its rotation to several sliders, levers, and wheels, which work the principal parts of the machine. A sliderpushesforward pincers, which draw wire froir. a reel at every rotation of the shaft, and advance such a length of wire as will produce one pin. A die cuts off this length of wire by the descent of its upper chap, and the latter then opens a carrier which takes on the wire to the pointing apparatus. Here it is received by a holder, which turns round while a bevel-edged file wheel, rapidly revolving, gives to the wire its rough point. It proceeds immediately by a second carrier to a second and finer file wheel, by which the pointing is finished. A third carrier transfers the pin to the first heading die, and by the advance of a steel punch one end of the pin wire is forced into a recess, whereby the head is partially produced. A fourth carrier removes the pin to a second die, where the heading is completed. When the heading bar retires a forked lever draws the pin from the die and drops it into a receptacle below. It is then ready to be whitened and stuck. The whitening is performed in a copper vessel placed on a fire in which the pins are boiled in water along with grains of metallic tin and a little bitartrate of potash. When the boiling has continued for about one hour the pins and tin grains are removed, thoroughly washed, dried, and polished in bran. Various kinds of apparatus are employed for sticking the pins into sheets of fluted paper, and also in folding the paper for the wrappers.—The Engineer. THE highest store rent paid in Broadway is that of E. S. Jaffrays dry-goods store, which brings $60,000. The highest hotel rent is that of the Fifth Avenue, which rates at $100,-000 per annum; but the most profitable of all the edifices on that magnificent street is Trinity Building. This is occupied by offices. It cost about $200,000, and rents for nearly one half that sum annually. IT is said that passing a red-hot iron over old patty -will make it so soft tlft M may be readily removed
This article was originally published with the title "Improvement in Steam Hammers, Securing a Permanent Way, and more"