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Since these changes in our roads were effected, the name of Julius Griffith, of Brompton Crescent, stands the foremost in prosecuting the object. His patent is dated in December, 1821, and the specification informs us that it was partly communicated by foreigners.
In this carriage there are two working steam cylinders, which, together with the boiler, a condenser, and other appendages, are suspended to a framing at the back of the vehicle. The carriage body is to be made of any convenient form adapted to passengers or goods, and to be supported upon springs of the usual kind, as exhibited in the annexed engraving.
At a is the furnace, which is supplied with fuel from a receptacle b, by the engineer, who has a seat behind, and has convenient access to two handles at c, one of which is to open the feeding-door, and the other to operate as a damper in regulating the draught of the furnace.
The boiler is situated at d, contained in a double iron case, packed with some non-conducting material; a part of this case is represented in the drawing as broken away, to show that the boiler consists of several horizontal tiers of tubes, the ends of which are passed through iron plates, which form the sides of the heated chamber, and are then returned again across the same.
Connected by bolts and straps to the frame of the carriage, is a reservoir of water e, which is drawn out by a force-pump at f, and by the return stroke, injected into a pipe p at the bottom of the boiler, whence it is distributed into the lowermost range of tubes, and from these to the next above, the uppermost row being employed as straits reservoirs, and receiving the waste heat as it passes to the chimney, so as to increase the elastic force of the vapour before it proceeds along the steam pipe to the engines, whence, after having given motion to the pistons, it is conducted by a pipe into the condenser i, which consists of a number of flattened thin metal tubes, exposed to the cooling influence of the air.
The power of the engines is communicated from the piston rods to the running wheels of the carriage, through the means of sweep-rods, (one of which is brought into view at j,) the lower ends of which are provided with driving pinions and detents, which operate upon toothed gear fixed to the hind carriage soloed axle. The object of this mechanism, (which is of foreign invention, and denominated an Artzberger,) is to keep the driving pinions always in gear with the toothed wheels, however the engine and other machinery may vibrate, or the wheels be jolted upon uneven ground. In order that the engines and steam apparatus may not stiffer from the concussions of the latter, they are suspended by slings at k, to a strong iron framing l-l, and to give the suspending chains some degree of elasticity, stout helical springs are introduced between them as shown at m.
The guiding of the carriage is effected by means of levers which turn round the axles of the fore wheels, so as to present the latter in the line of direction required. The axles are supported in a vertical frame which is made to turn horizontally, by means of a guide wheel n, on the top of a spindle o, the lower extremity of which carries a pillion that takes into an internal toothed wheel at p.
Alexander Gordon states, in his 'Treatise on Elemental Locomotion', that the principal difficulty Mr. Griffiths had to contend with, was the liability to which the boiler was exposed, of having all the water blown out of the tubes by the force of the steam generated in the lower part, and to the want of a due circulation or ability of the water to return; and he has given the annexed drawing, as exhibiting the construction of the boiler used by Mr. Griffiths, which we insert, as it differs from the specification, and as it is of importance to be acquainted with its defective action.
In the second figure, H is the fire-place, J-J-J the front tubes of each horizontal series, the extremities of which open into vertical tubes K-K, leading into transverse horizontal tubes L-L-L, above; where the steam is designed to be collected for the service of the engines.