American Machinist

            articles 1897

                                                     created 4/14/05            Updated 3/14/2019                   

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Mar 4 William McKinley inaugurated as 25th president of USA.
  Apr 30 English physicist J. J. Thomson announces his discovery of the electron. 
 May 18 "Dracula", by Irish author Bram Stoker is published
  Aug 31 Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope [kinetographic camera],
a device which produces moving pictures
 The Treaty of Constantinople was a treaty between the Ottoman Empire and the
Kingdom of Greece signed following the Greco-Turkish War of 1897
 Click below to time travel to the new high tech. Machine shop world
         listen to the guys in the shop them tell you what they really found.



ME 20. cover page

A PRACTICAL JOURNAL OF MACHINE CONSTRUCTION.- NEW YORK, THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 1897. ---American and Other Machinery Abroad-- [Editorial Correspondence.]

                  WOOLWICH ARSENAL.
Most Americans interested in mechani-cal matters have heard a good deal of Woolwich arsenal and think that when they come over here they would like to visit it, and that there is little or nothing to prevent,kheir doing so—no more than there is to preventforeigners from visit-ing our armory at Springfield. Perhaps, therefore my experience in not visiting Woolwich will be useful to some of my fellow countrymen, and on that account worth recording. I was informed that though it was a simple matter for a Brit-ish subject to see the arsenal, somewhat more formality must be gone through with in the case of a foreigner, and that it would be necessary for me to make ap-plication through the American: Embassy. I applied there and was informed that be-fore they could act they must have a letter from someone whom they knew here, certifying to my American citizenship, and also to the fact of my being a proper person to see the arsenal. I must get this letter and present it at the Embassy in person. My passport, obtained with a visit to Russia in view, would not answer. In due time I obtained and presented the letter, and was then assured that there was little or no doubt of the application being favorably acted upon. It had to go through the War Office and several other ordeals of inspection which would re-quire some little time, but in view of my desire to get away from London soon a special request would be made to acceler-ate its movements a little. The Easter holidays and the grip kept me in London much longer than I had designed to stay there, but not long enough for the ma-chinery of the War Office, etc., to act. At the end of about two and a half weeks, nothing having been heard of the matter I was forced to abandon the project of seeing the famous gun factory, and do not now know whether it was a case of refusal of the application or of the doings of the circumlocution office. At any rate an American who realizes that he has only one life to live had better take some other plan, though I am at a loss what other to suggest.


                      STRENGTH FIRST AND LAST.
I asked an American engineer, long a resident here, what this extending use of American tools here really meant, at present and for the future, and he said: "It means simply that those who use tools here are discovering that there are other things to be considered in a tool besides mere strength." It is nevertheless a fact that the British determination to have everything strong enough, and then stronger still, works well in some lines. For instance, I think there is no doubt but that it leads to generally better boiler practice than our own; but, on the other hand, in the matter of Corliss valve gear it does harm; they make the parts so heavy usually that they bang themselves to pieces much quicker than our Corliss gears do, and soon grow noisy. Then the difficulty is sometimes declared to be in-herent in that form of gear, which is, after all, "a Yankee contraption," notwith-standing its merits as a means of steam distribution. In other lines also I notice this tendency to consider strength first and last, and to let it overshadow every other consideration is detrimental. For instance, I went through a very large new factory making bicycle parts, and where a great deal of light vise work is, of course, done. There were none of our light and quickly handled parallel vises in the place; all were the old-fashioned wrought vises with legs reaching to the floor, and the gage department of the most famous institution in England uses the same vises. They do not break, it is true; but neither would our parallel vises break on such work, and it is certain they would very materially increase the pos-sible production of work, especially in filing and otherwise finishing bicycle parts. Of course, I do .not mean to imply that no parallel, quick-acting vises are used here, because they are; but we use them to the practical exclusion of every other kind of vise on light work, which is by no means the case here.

   Coventry, the greatest cycle manufac-turing center of the world, is naturally an interesting place from a mechanical standpoint, and very much American ma-chinery is used there, some of it being in factories intended for the production of motor vehicles; which seem likely to be also a distinctive product of the place. The cycle industry has in fact outgrown the town, and I met an American doing business there who, with his wife is stop-ping at a hotel in Birmingham, 20 miles away, because he finds it impossible to secure a house in Coventry, and the hotels there absolutely refuse to let apartments by the week at any price, because the present boom is regarded as probably tem-porary and they do not wish to be placed in the position of being unable to ac-commodate travelers who are more or less regular patrons. There are said to be io large and about 20 smaller factories there, besides innumerable garret and back yard shops where parts are made or wheels put together. The capital invested in the in-dustry is estimated to exceed $500,000,000, and in the regular factories of importance, not counting the tributary ones, 26,000 to 28,000 employes are at work. These are described by an American, who has had exceptional opportunities of observing them, as being very different from the corresponding class of workmen in America, and he says this is the -st illus-trated perhaps by the fact that this city of over 6o,000 population supports only one daily newspaper, the circulation of which is not much, if any above 1,000 copies. Of course this is not saying that there are no good, skilled and intelligent mechanics there, however, for there are some of these to my personal knowledge; they do ele-gant work and get good prices for it, quotations for the higher grades of cycles ranging somewhat higher than with us, and in some instances considerably higher. So long as cycles were radically changed in style and construction every season, their methods of producing them had ad-vantages over ours, notably in the smaller outlay for special tools. It was then that English wheels went to America in large numbers. But now that wheels have in a measure settled down to a regular form, and are made in larger numbers all alike, the advantage is with us, and the large use of our machinery and tools then seems to show that this fact is coming to be clearly recognized. A Coventry maker of a special high class cycle, a man who has been in Amer-ica, showed me some of the drop forg-ings which he said he was obliged to put up with, as t
Price just 6 cents, (6 dollars today)  WOW, two hrs work for the shop
boy or gofer.  

Pg 1, vol. 20 no. 23,  June 10 1897
American Machinist Magazine
Pg 5  American_Machinist_June_10_1897_pg_Bicycle
riders_steel_tubing_teck the Pond machine tool_co lathe.jpg
Pg 2, vol. 20 no. 23,  June 10 1897
American Machinist Magazine
Pg 17, vol. 20 no. 23,  June 10 1897
American Machinist
Pg 18, vol. 20 no. 23,  June 10 1897
American Machinist

Pg 23, vol. 20 no. 23,  June 10 1897
American Machinist strength of gear teeth chart
American Machinist June 10 1897 fig 1  2
high pressure   compressed air
American Machinist June 10 1897 pg 24
high pressure   compressed air
American Machinist June 10 1897 pg Bullock  
electric_mfg co_C and C electric_co.jpg
American Machinist June 10 1897 pg 39
Rolling mill
American Machinist June 10 1897 pg 37
14 inch x 6 feet Hendy norton lathe.jpg
American Machinist June 10 1897 pg 41
American Machinist June 10 1897 pg 41
Cincinatti Cutter  grinder no 1
American Machinist June 10 1897 pg 45
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