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British Industrial History

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Engineers and Mechanics Encyclopedia 1839: Railways: John Henry Clive

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Mr. Clive, of Chell House, Staffordshire, took out a patent on the 1st of July 1830, for "certain improvements in the construction of, and machinery for, locomotive ploughs, harrows, and other machines and carriages," in which his chief objects appear to be twofold; first, the enlargement of the wheels on which the locomotive engine is supported and moves; and second, the enlargement of the radius of the crank, by which the rotation of the bearing wheels is produced. He considers that the bearing wheels might be varied according to circumstances, from about five to ten feet; and that the radius of the cranks should vary, according to the quality of the road or land, if employed for ploughing and harrowing, on which they are to be employed, from about eighteen to twenty-four inches.

This gentleman has, we believe, under the signature of Saxula, written many ingenious papers in the Mechanics' Magazine, in support of his theory, of the necessity of long cranks to the effective action of locomotive machines upon common roads where the hills are considerable, or the obstructions of an abrupt nature. It will not accord with our limits to enter the controversy which has arisen upon the subject; but we will just briefly state, that from a cursory glance at the matter in dispute, it appears to us that Saxula considers the propelling power is exerted only in a vertical direction downwards; and that consequently any obstacles, such as a stone lying before the path of a wheel, at a greater distance from the lowest point of it than is the length of the crank, cannot by any power, however great, be surmounted. But on the other hand it is contended, that the propelling power acts uniformly throughout the circle, the same as if it were communicated directly by the piston of a rotatory engine.

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