Sunday, 25 May 2014

JWH in Canada and the USA

More Material to come to this.

From Robert Young -
"The engineering works in Darlington were given up about the year 1871, and in 1872 John Wesley Hackworth visited Canada and the United states, partly to recruit his health and partly with a view of introducing his Variable Expansion Valve Motion. He brought it before the United States Naval Authorities, and while he had complained bitterly of the "circumlocution, red tape and positive indignity" to which he had been subjected in England in approaching a Government department, the delays of which fretted and irritated him, he does not seem to have had any greater success in the United States, and came to the conclusion that one was no better than the other. When he left England some 50 steamers had been fitted with the gear in addition to a number of stationary engines. In America a locomotive on the Hudson River railway was provided with it experimentally in 1873, which is the only case of which was are aware. *

* (Mr F.W.Brewer, in an article on the 'strong' locomotives designed by Geo. S. Strong, of Philadelphia, published in The Locomotive of July 15th, 1921, p 180 says "Each one of his locomotives Strong employed gridiron valves, and in all but his last engine - a four cylinder compound - he used the Hackworth type of valve motion. These were some of the very few instances in which that gear, virtually in its original form had been applied to locomotives. Yet the fact that the motion adopted by Strong was in reality Hackworth's seems to have escaped his notice; at any rate so far as the writer knows, Hackworth's name has hitherto not been mentioned in connection with strong's engines, and the gear has been mainly referred to as 'one of the radial type'.The so called 'Southern' gear brought out in 1914, is the latest development of the Hackworth valve motion, and in all essentials it is identical with the arrangement used by Strong, although a return crank is submitted for an eccentric. The Joy gear, introduced in 1879,is simply another and earlier variant.)

Other schemes, however, occupied his attention, for he was a man rich in inventive faculty, and he obtained a patent in 1874 while still in the United States for Metallic Packing, which he described as an invention to secure internal and external tightness, that is, freedom of leakage, in the moving parts of machinery under vacuum or pressure, in dealing with fluids such steam, gas, air, oil or water.

In 1875 he returned to England and began practice as a consulting engineer in Darlington, later moving to Sunderland, and eventually to London. He devised an arrangement for the better ventilation of mines, and spent a considerable sum in parliamentary experiments, but the cost of installing it prevented its adoption. Mine ventilation was no new hobby with him. It had been a subject of deep interest and concern to Timothy Hackworth, and the son had given much time and study to a question which affected the lives of the mining population among whom he had been brought up. Avoiding technicalities, it may be stated his scheme was to sweep the mine clear of explosive fluid by pumping in compressed air - considerably above atmospheric pressure - through pipes into the extremities of the working and conducted back to the 'up-cast' to be done by one powerful engine duplicated to meet contingencies. Having collected and expelled the poisonous gasses, the second part of the problem was the introduction and uniform distribution of pure air. He explained his scheme with the greatest minuteness, and averred that by its use "the miners would be as safe as when sitting in their own houses." In comparing it with the old system, he said: " The difference may be summed up in a word or two. The word is an outrageous attempt to subjugate universal laws to accomplish an impossibility, and the other the natural,simple and proper application of those laws to a useful, legitimate and desirable object, the expediency of which is as obvious as water running down a hill."

His Radial Valve was ever before him.he amended his patent of 1859, in 1876, in 1882 when he was in his 67th year. He called it by various names,"Dynamic" "ne plus extra" "Paragon" and it absorbed his time and energies, having a fascination which lasted through life.It was patented in many countries,was taken up by many manufacturers and used to a large extent,more especially in marine engines.But in a letter written in 1873 John Wesley hackworth says he has spent a great deal more on it than ever he had received, and the expenditure continued, for he proceeded against some of the imitators for infringing his patent, and was enmeshed in long costly law suits.His fate was that of many another inventor, and others reaped the benefits which should have been his.

Yet another patent was taken out by John Wesley Hackworth in December 1884, for "Improvement in Steam Engines" He called this Hackworth's Steam and Vacuum Repeating Engines" and the improvements consisted in obtaining a succession of distinct forces from one charge of steam. This was obtained, first, by two or more applications of the steam's expansive force, so applied that each succeeding operation causes no diminution of the power derived from the steam, and was thus essentially different from the compound engine, and secondly, by repeated vacuums produced in the cylinder spaces where the steam had previously exerted its power.The special claim was the admission of steam into a single or multi-cylindrical engine at one end only of the cylinder, and by repeating its action at the other end after the steam had passed through an "expanding receiver" Also a vacuum was produced acting alternately with the steam at opposite ends of the pistons, and the specification describes in detail the methods by which these objects were attained.

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