The following notices of inventions patented last week were unavoidably crowded out:— PROPELLER ENGINE.—The several direct-acting screw propeller engines hitherto constructed are. objectionable in the following particulars, viz. :—The horizontal engines occupy too much space transversely in the vessel to admit of being placed in the run. The vertical engines pass through the decks and project so far above the water line as to be useless for war purposes; and all approved double engines operate on cranks placed at right angles to each other, which involves a series of bearings, much friction, and liability to derangement from the shafts getting out of line. In addition to these imperfections the extreme shortness of the cranks with the attendant great friction on the crank pins and journals, to say nothing of the heavy diagonal thrust of the connecting rods, are serious defects in the direct-acting screw propeller engines now in common use. To obviate these difficulties, that well-known able, and veteran inventor, John Ericsson, of hot air celebrity, has invented a useful improvement in steam engines for working propellers, which consists in the arrangement of the two cylinders of a double engine in such a manner that their base or bottom ranges with a plane passing through the axis of the propeller shaft or nearly so, in combination with a certain arrangement of rock shafts, crank pins, and connecting rods for imparting motion from the pistons to the shaft, whereby the inventor is enabled, firstly, to bring the cylinders nearer to the propeller shaft, and hence to economize space and construct the frame of the engine of great strength and compactness. Secondly, to avoid the diagonal thrust and friction of the slides, unavoidable when the connecting rod is attached directly to the cross head. Thirdly, to operate the two connecting rods nearly at right angles to each other, which enables the inventor to produce a continuous motion with a single crank on the propeller shaft and a single crank pin in common. Fourthly,to employ a crank on the propeller shaft much longer than half the length of the stroke of the piston, thereby diminishing the heavy pressure on crank pins and journals which has heretofore caused so much trouble by the overheating of the bearings and at the same time diminishing the strain on the engine frame. The inventor resides in New York. SCREW MACHINE.—Ira Griggs, of Utica, N. Y., has invented a machine for turning the heads of screws and cutting the notches in them, and he has assigned the invention to the Utica Screw Cutting Machine Company. The invention consists in a certain mode of applying and operating a series of screw blank holders in a machine, in combination with a suitable arrangement of the .feeding apparatus to supply the blanks to the holders; the turning cutters for cutting the heads and the saw for cutting the notches therein; so that a greater number of blanks can be operated upon in a given time .and in a more perfect manner than is ordinarily done. There is also a certain relative arrangement of the driving shaft of the machine, the blank holders, and the rotating stock which contains them, the turning cutters and saw for cutting the notches whereby the driving belt which rotates the blank holders or their axes to turn and finish the heads, is rendered inoperative during the cutting of the notches in the heads. It also consists in a series of rests to support the necks of the screws for the purpose of keeping the heads steady during the action of the turning cutters and saw. There is likewise a peculiar method of applying and adjusting the dies or jaws of the blank holders to make them gripe the blanks and to adapt them to various sizes. An improved method of applying a spring punch in combination with the plunger which operates the jaws or dies of the holder, is employed for the purpose of discharging the screw blanks from the holders by the movement of the said plunger. WATER GAGE ALARM.— S. W. Warren, of Brooklyn, N. Y., has invented an improved means of operating the valves of alarm water gages, safety valves, and feeders for steam boilers. The improvement consists in a certain method of applying a spring in combination with a valve and with a tube, one end of which is connected with the upper part, constituting the steam space of a boiler, and the other with the lower part of the water space thereof; the said tube being arranged just below the proper water level of the boiler so that it will remain full of water, till the water in the boiler sets below the proper level but at such a distance from the boiler that the water supplied to it by the boiler will never be at as high a temperature as that in the boiler itself, when steam is up in the boiler. When the water gets below the proper level in the boiler, the water leaves the tube and steam fills it and thereby causes an increase in its temperature, by which it is caused to expand longitudinally, and by its expansion made to act upon the spring to move the valve and permit the escape of steam to sound an alarm whistle or to open a feed pipe. UPSETTING TIRES AND AXLES.—This machine is designed for reducing the diameter of tires without the necessity of cutting out a portion of the same. It is also designed for increasing the diameter of the arms or journals of axles. To accomplish the first result a portion of the tire is compressed or bulged out between two jaws, by means of long levers and the bulged portion then hammered down on an anvil. And to accomplish the second object, the journals of the axles are placed in hollow metal sockets and then crowded by the jaws and eccentric levers until the journals are shortened and increased in diameter. This appears to be quite a useful invention as it places in the hands of every country blacksmith a cheap, simple implement with which he can upset tires and axle journals in a very short time. Zena Doolittle, of Perry, Ga., is the inventor. CANAL BOATS.—This invention which is clearly defined by the claim is designed for avoiding a serious inconvenience experienced in running canal boats from the stern being sunk down below the bow by the weight of the engine, c, when the bow portion is not loaded and of the boat being thrown off an even keel, said inconvenience being the blowing round by the wind of the bow portion of the boat and the consequent impossibility, very often, of keeping the boat in a direct course. We regard this as a good contrivance. It was patented by Jas. E. Gibson, of Port Carbon, Va. BORING MACHINE—This invention provides a drill stock which will receive two sizes of augers and drive a large auger with a slow speed and a small auger with a fast speed. The arrangement is very compact, and with it the expense of having two separate boring machines, one to bore light and the other heavy work, is avoided. We view the invention as one of merit and utility. It is the invention of L. A. Dole, of Salem, Ohio. SLEEPING CAR.—Zenas Cobb, of Chicago, 111., has. invented an improved sleeping car in which four persons can comfortably sleep in the same space that they occupy when sitting in the car by day. This is effected by having the seats and backs to slide on ways until they meet, thus forming a bed for two, and also having two shelves to be capable of adjusting so as to form a bed for two more. In the day time the shelves form extra backs to the seat. There is also provided a table which will fold up out of the way, or on which, when brought down betwen the seats, bundles may be placed or meals served. STONE GATHERING MACHINE.—This invention consists in having a receptacle or box mounted on wheels and having an inclined plane at its front end; the wheels of the box have rods attached, which are also connected to a scraper that works over the inclined plane and which scraper, by means of spring or drop guides in connection with the rods, is made, as the machine is drawn along, to draw up stones into the receptacle or box. This most useful machine is the invention of G. W. Bishup, of Brooklyn, N. Y. MEASURING FAUCET.—This invention consists in the employment of rotating cylinders provided with followers arranged in such relation with the tube of the faucet, and connected with suitable mechanism, with an index, springs and cut-off, so that liquids may be drawn from a vessel in measured quantities. Gilbert Hubbard of Montville. Mass., is the inventor.
This article was originally published with the title "Recent Patented Improvements"