The iron interests of our country are of great and rapidly increasing importance. All information, therefore, relating to improvements, small and great, in the manufacture of iron, is of no small consequence. The iron deposits of our country are on a scale commensurate with its vast extent, and the coal and wood to o*"d"a#--Hte-io"rta"mefts!)~are more liberally supplied by the hand of nature than in any other country on the face of this terrestrial ball. The United States of America, are destined to be the greatest iron manufacturing countries in the world, and it is perhaps a great shame to us that they are not so at present. Be that as it may, however, no one can doubt, who is at all acquainted with both the resources and wants of our country, that the day is not far distant when it will be what it now should be. is finally discharged into the tank, H, under the bottom plates of the furnaee. The water supplied to the space, D, passes to the space, I, between the fire-bridge plates, and thence into the space, J, near the back wall plates of the furnace. After passing through this course, the heated current is finally received as before, by the bottom tank, H. By this contrivance the whole of the parts exposed to the intense heat of the puddling process, are effectually kept cool, as the passing current of water surrounds every part of the containing shell, and carries off the excess heat, and the warm water can be used as the feed water for the steam engine, or for other purposes. The refinery into which the raw pig iron is put in a broken state for melting, is at K. It is supplied with air blown thrown the tuyeres, L, on two opposite sides in the usual way; and as the metal is melted and refined, it is run out direct into the two puddling furnaces by the inclined pipes or ducts, M M. In this way the metal is at once conveyed to the puddling hearths without any additional trouble. The two puddling furnaces are of the usual reverberating kind, and their grates, N, are supplied with coals in the usual manner, the iron being worked through a side opening, governed by a balanced sliding door, 0. The flues from both furnaces pass into the central or intermediate chimney, P, carried on cast-iron framing. The entire furnace is encased in massive iron plates stayed together across the top transversely by tension rods ; the fixed guide piece, Q, for operating the door is cast with side lugs, R, which fit into correspond- ing recesses cast on the main frame plates, a bolt being put through from the upper side, in ( each case, to bind the whole together. The combination of the refining with an elevated stalk is not represented ; neither is the mode of conveying the excess of heat and applying it to a steam boiler; these arrangements and appendages will be easily understood. The application of the waste heated products from smelting furnaces has been applied to steam boilers for a longtime, at some of the smelting works in Wales and in Germany, whether many of our iron manufacturing establishments use them or not we do not know —no one that we have visited do so. By the arrangements and construction of furnaces represented, the exposed paxts of the furnace are prevented from being rapidly injured by the intense heat ot.the puddling process. The improvement has been patented in England, and the " Glasgow Practical Mechanics' Journal," which illustrates it, speaks of it in very complimentary terms. It says, " these improve-ments have been in the MonklanAtfiaJl Company's WorA in Scotland-, for tlHBBRwelve months, and tha great economy and ease of world, and that its manufacture may be so improved as to reduce its price and allow of working which they have introduced, has led other iron companies to make eager inquiries after the plans.'1 Owing to the high prices of iron which have prevailed for some time, its manufacture has now become very remunerating when it is conducted with ability and skill. We hope that such prices will soon be reduced without jits more extensive use. Every improvement ' in the machinery, furnaces, ard processes for any reduction in the wages of the workmen or fair profits to the manufacturers. The reason why we entertain such " feeling is, that we believe the progress, prosperity, and happiness of the people depends greatly on the extensive use of iron. It is our great desire therefore, that our country will soon become the greatest iron manufacturing country in the I manufacturing iron is hailed by us as a means of benefiting our fellow man.
This article was originally published with the title "Iron Refining and Puddling Furnaces" in Scientific American 8, 49, 385-386 (August 1853)