Imagens das páginas


Subject. Pniitter.

THE LAND'S END . . . . T. Crkswick, A.R.A.



THE VINTAGE . . . . T. Stotiiard, R.A.


THE DISMAL TALE T. Stotiiard, R.A.



COMM DHUW T. Crebwice, A.R.A.

HALLOWEEN T. Stothard, R.A. .

THE STORM IN HARVEST 11. Wcstall. R.A.. .





Part I.

Our readers will readily unite in a tribute of hearty thanks to the mighty locomotive power of the nineteenth century. During the past summer, unrivalled in the annals of travelling, which of them has not been indebted to the agency of steam for some invigorating change of scene, for mountain air or ocean breezes, for rural seclusion or city excitement? City denizens have no small cause to bless the memories of Watt and Stephenson, as emerging from a commodious carriage after an easy ride of fifty or sixty minutes, in less time, and with incomparably less fatigue, than they could walk, from Tower Hill to Hyde Park Corner, they find themselves in a new world, amid corn-fields and hop-gardens; or within ten minutes' walk of rocks carpeted with sea-weed, foaming b'ulows, and snowy sea-gulls. Nor are country residents behindhand to honour gratefully those master minds, and congratulate themselves on the existing facilities for exchanging sea-coast scenes for inland beauties, during a few weeks; or peaceful balmy valleys for the bracing breezes of our ocean shores; besides multiplied trips of pleasure and profit to "the great metropolis." Many of us who were mostly confined in our olden excursions to the precincts of our island home, now realize by personal inspection the marvels and the beauties of the Seine, the Rhine, the Danube, and the Bosphorus.

Nor does Britain alone participate in these benefits; Europe and America alike share and enjoy them. In River Navigation our Western brethren have greater advantages to boast of than ourselves, and Jonathan may well praise the memory of Fulton—though he neglected him during his life, and left him to die in penury —as he navigates his stupendous lakes and rivers, revelling, amid their wondrous wilds in every comfort, on board the luxurious steam-boats of the Hudson and the Mississippi. He likes railroads too, as well as steamooats, and his recorded preference will find an echo in many a bosom on this side of the Atlantic. "I like railroads," says Jonathan; "anybody may hate railroads, despise railroads, or rail at railroads, but I like railroads. I like, when I arrive at the station a quarter of an hour before starting, to be shown into a nice warm room, where the quarter of an hour passes quicker than five minutes in a dirty coach-office or a coffee-room, where the waiters try to look you into a glass of brandy-and-water for the sake of the house,


or out of a sixpence for the sake of themselves. 1 like the ample room of a steam-carriage, where there is no necessity for your neighbours to dig holes in your sides with their elbows, or lay their soft heads upon your soft shoulders. I hate to wait for anything; men must wait, and so must horses, but steam-coaches know no dependence, and are never in love. I like to have to do with porters who charge nothing for being civil, and haven't time to put their hands into their pockets, which is a vulgar and idle habit. I like to travel fast. I dread vicious horses, and feel for distressed ones. I don't like going down-hill—drag-chain breaking—coach upsetting—coachman dying, leaving a wife and twelve children—myself doubled up in a ditch with a broken leg, when I'm going to be married the next week, and no threepenny assurance offices to pay the doctor."

Though far from wishing to depreciate the high advantages of the personal pleasure and health promoted by our "fire-caravans," the benefits conferred by them are seen in an infinitely more important and imposing aspect, when viewed with reference to the substantial results of the wonderfully facilitated intercourse between men and nations in every variety of relationship. Rapidly to glance at the multiform advantages, commercial, social, and civilizing of this puissant locomotive agent, would be to elicit grateful acclamations from peer and peasant, nabob and navvy, purseful and poor, traveller and trader, retrospective excursionists of 1S50, and expectant Industrial Expositionists of 1851, together eliminating a whirlwind of praise from the thirty-six cardinal points of the compass.

Such as have not before explored the early history of the great discovery of the power of steam, and its application to locomotion, must, in their late journeyings in pursuit of business or pleasure, have burned to know all that can be learned of the past history, the origin, rise, and progress of its wonderful machinery. It is possible some unthinking mortals may step time after time into a railway train without a thought about the origin of railroads or steam-engines. The first might be the effect of the Noachiau deluge, and the second, the natural product of some South Pacific Island, with directions for uso wrapped up in the boiler, for anything they know or care about, to the contrary. But in this educated age, such cygni nigri must be very rare birds indeed. Pew must be the number of those who have not thought o'er the past, replete with the most ingenious and successful inventions and rapid improvements, before the preaeut high state of perfection in our means of travelling


has been attained. Ay, and penetrated, too, the distant future in their speculations and previsions of what the further unfolding of the mighty powers of steam and engineering talents will achieve in the world's history. To these the following memorabilia of steam, its existing effects, and gigantic promises, cannot prove wholly uninteresting.

Part II.

Our first impulse is to look around, and gazing with wonder on the contrast presented between now and then—meaning by the latter adverb the middle of the last century—to explore with ever-increasing admiration the details of the mighty engineering works sounding and abounding in all directions.

But, as our object is rather to sketch the prominent achievements of steam in the history of locomotion, we shall touch very lightly upon the mechanical and scientific, and confine ourselves chiefly to resultant facts in connexion with travel. And as practical water transit, by the impulsion of steam, dates from an earlier period than land traffic by the same agency, we propose (prefixing a very brief outline of the early history of steam and the steam-eugine) to treat, first, of aquatic triumphs, and, secondly, of the rail and its griin-headcd caravans; subsequently indulging in speculations on the future mighty effects which the power of steam may be expected to impress upon the habitable globe.

Our readers are aware that water increases its bulk about scveutccen hundred times, when evaporated under the weight of the atmosphere at the earth's surface. The increase of volume which water thus undergoes by its conversion into steam, is of course diminished or increased in proportion to the amount of pressure under which it may be confined. "A pint of water maybe evaporated by two ounces of coals. In its evaporation it swells into two hundred and sixteen gallons of steam, with a mechanical force sufficient to raise a weight of thirty-seven tons a foot high. The steam thus produced has a pressure equal to that of common atmospheric air; and by allowing it to expand, by virtue of its elasticity, a further mechanical force may be obtained, at least equal in amount to the former. A pint of water, therefore, and two ounces of common coal, are thus rendered capable of doing as much work as is equivalent to seventy-four tons raised a foot high." Two hundred feet of steam can be condensed in one second, by four ouuees of water, and their expansive force reduced to one-fifth.

The power exerted by steam appears to have been known to some extent at a very early period, although the ancients did not at all comprehend theoretically its source. They had no idea of the expansive force exerted by water in the state of vapour, but imagined that the air expelled from water by lieat, exercised in its expulsion that immense power, the existence of which under these circumstances they had discovered. It was left for Dalton and Mariotte to evolve the laws of pressure common to all clastic fluids, though

the fact of the elasticity of steam was known in the seventeenth century.

It is interesting to have ascertained that the Greeks and Egyptians derived some practical benefits from their acquaintance with steam; the latter in adding to the imposing effect of their stupendous monuments of industrial labour—the former, in administering to their voluptuous refinement. But the swarthy worshippers of Isis and Osiris, whatever their obligations to steam, would hardly feel flattered while contemplating their great pyramid, five hundred feet in height, standing upon a base measuring seven hundred feet each way, and weighing twelve thousand seven hundred and sixty millions of pounds; requiring for its erection the labour of one hundred thousand men for twenty years, according to Herodotus—could they be made aware of Dr. Dionysius Lardner's calculation that "the materials of this pyramid would be raised from the ground to their present position by the combustion of about four hundred and eighty tons of coals:" which reflection, mathematically expressed, would present to the indignant Pharaohs a rather odd and depreciatory equation. If gratified to know that men of yore profited by their knowledge of steam, there is yet more cause to lament over the abuse of that power in their hands, for it appears to have been pressed chiefly into the service of superstition, and to have aided in promoting the delusions of heathen idolatry.

Dr. \Vm. Bell, in a learned and interesting paper on "JEoliphiles, or the Earliest Application of Steam to the Purposes of Superstition," suggests that this jugglery in the use of steam, this prostitution of its power to the designs of infamous pretenders, might have caused its powers, though well known, to remain undeveloped through the series of ages which elapsed before it was shown to the world in its practical application as an agent in arts and manufactures. He believes that a considerable knowledge of the powers of steam was possessed so early as two centuries and a half before the Christian era; and how many centuries might then have elapsed since the first reasoner on the subject had given his discoveries to the world, was hidden in an impenetrable veil of obscurity. Several drawings of human and animal figures have been exhibited by Dr. Bell, showing that each was only a sort of steam-boiler cast in that shape, with one hole for pouring iu the water, and another out of which the oracular sounds were to proceed. These figures had been found iu England, (the Cauld Lad of Hilton, Staffordshire, aud at Basingstoke, Hants,) in Norway, Scandinavia, Germany, the Crimea, and other parts. The priests, it would seem, used them to strike terror into the hearts of their devotees, by the unearthly sounds they emitted, and the mode of use was to stop up one aperture and to raise the steam inside the figure until it attained sufficient power to force out the stopper; the confined steam rushing out with a whistling screeching sound, and filling the place where the devotees were assembled, their minds were soon impressed with the belief that they were in the presence of a supernatural being; and of their fears the priests were not slow to take advantage. Many learned quotations are adduced in support of Dr. Beil's opinion, and reference is made especially to accounts which have come down of a German figure of this kind which, even so late as tho sixteenth century, was looked upon as a deity possessed of strange powers.

The Cauld Lad of Hilton, in connexion with which I be Manor of Essington, in Staffordshire, was held of the feudal lord of Hilton, was a figure of this kind, tlie use of which had been converted from paganism to suit the times, when another form of worship prevailed.

The feudal service was, that the lord of Essington should, at a certain period, take a goose into the great hall at Hilton, and drive it three times round the fire, while Jack of Hilton (the image) blew the fire; that then the goose became the property of the . lord of Hilton, and the lord of Essington received a mess of meat from the lord of Hilton's table. Now, this was clearly an old Saxon custom, applied as a bond for feudal service. Tho goose was a bird sacred under the Saxon Edda; the image was the idol of the ■ same heathen system; the fire was the altar; the ', goose was brought to sacrifice; and the subsequent (easts were but parts of the same pagan rite. One curious figure of this kind is cast in the form of a knifrht, armed at all points, seated on horseback. 11 It was known that, in the time of the Crusades, I Christian 'knights who were captured were made to suffer the cruel torture of being roasted to death in their armour, on horseback, and it is very possible that the form of this image might be suggested by the desire to have some imitation of the horrid sport, when the barbarians who practised it had not the means of providing the reality. It has been said that I the oracular noises which are reported to have proceeded from the head of the Memnon were caused by water in the interior raised to a high temperature by an Egyptian sun; but these sounds appear more probably to have arisen from the peculiar vibrations eicited in the particles composing the granite by the sadden change of temperature at sunrise; for it is »dl known that some kinds of granite, especially »hea cleft, emit sounds like those described by I'aasanias and Philostratus as emanating from the stitoe in question.

The earliest detailed record we possess of a veritable steam-machine is that constructed by Hero the philosopher of Alexandria, who collected the science and inventions of the ancients along with some of his own into a systematic treatise written in Greek, more than 120 years before the Christian era. His work on Vneuaatks and Steam Machinery was one of the first and finest specimens yielded by the printing-press. Thus the press made the first advances in the interchange of benefits between printing and steam: that steam has fully repaid the attention may be satisfactorily ascertained by a visit to "Captain Hoe's last

fast press," which, with four men to supply the blank sheets, and four more to bear away the printed ones as they are issued, works off twelve thousand impressions an hour. The construction of this machine is as beautiful as it is complete, and, notwithstanding its rapidity of motion, it cannot be heard at work in an adjoining room. That nothing may be wanting to secure expedition, it may be added, that Captain Hoe has produced other machinery by which in one hour 3,600 of these newspapers are folded.

Attention was attracted to the power of steam shortly after the printing of Hero's work, and steady progress has attended the prosecution of the study until the present high pitch of efficiency has been attained in steam machinery.

One of the first names appearing in the annals of steam after this period is that of Blasco dc Garay, a Spaniard, whose experiments were made about the year A.d. 1513, and of whom we shall again have occasion to speak. Solomon de Caus, a French architect and engineer, a native of Normandy, prosecuted his researches about A.d. 1614. He was evidently ignorant of the elasticity of steam, for his theorem is "that the parts of the element water mix for a time with the parts of the element air; that fire causes this mixture, and that on removing the fire, and dissipating the heat, then the parts of the water mixed with air return to their proper place, forming again part of the water."

In January 1618, David Eamsey, a page of the king's bedchamber, obtained a patent "to exercise and put in use divers newe apt formes or kinds of engines, and other plitable invenebns, as well to plough grounds without horse or oxen, and to make fertile as well barren peats, salts, and sea-sands, as iidand and upland grounds within the realmes of England, &c. As also, to raise waters, and to make boats for carriages running upon the water as swift in calmes, and more safe in storms, than boats fullsayled in great windes." The water-raising engine, and water-carriages, have long been perfected; and Sir Willoughby d'Eresby has lately added the steamplough. .

A curious ajoliphile was constructed by Giovanni Brasca, an Italian, in 1629. It consisted of a close copper vessel, in the shape of a negro's head, which was filled with water, and furnished with a small tube proceeding from the mouth. Steam was generated within, and issuing fromthe tube, was directed against the vanes of a horizontal flat wheel, turning it round, and thus imparting motion to a pestle and mortar, employed in the alchemist's laboratory.

But the honour of inventing and constructing the first steam-engine at all analogous to the present method of applying the power of steam, is certainly due to Edward Somerset, Marquis of Worcester. If Newton's grand discovery originated in his observation of a ribstone pippin, the Marquis was under equal obligations to an Irish stew. The downfall of an apple attracted the notice of the astronomer; and the upstart of a pot-lid arrested the attention of the mechanician. During his imprisonment in the Tower, as a Royalist agent, the Marquis observed the lid of the saucepan, in which his dinner was preparing, to fly off; and rightly conjectured that the moving power might be applied to a rather more useful purpose. On regaining his liberty, he pursued the idea, and succeeded in constructing a high-pressure steam-engine. Of his work he has left a record, couched in mysterious language, in the well-known volume entitled "A Century of the Karnes and Scantlings of such Inventions as at present I can call to mind to have tried and perfected, which (my former notes being lost) I have, at the instance of a powerful friend, endeavoured now, in the year lf)55, to set these down in such a way as may sufficiently instruct me to put any of them into practice."

It was not, however, until thirty years after the death of the Marquis of Worcester, that the first practical steam-engine was made. This was the condensing engine, inveuted by Captain Thomas Savary, in the year 1C97. Eight years subsequent to Savary's invention, an immense improvement was effected by Thomas Newcomer, an ironmonger, jointly with J. Cauley, an ingenious glazier: Newcomer being the inventor of the principle of the atmospheric engine. Dr. Papin, a Frenchman, introduced about this time the floating piston, and safety-valve, and indicated indeed tlie atmospheric principle. His countrymen have sought to attribute to him the honour of having invented the steam-engine; but he has no just pretensions to the discovery. The Landgrave of Hesse employed Dr. Papini in 1G9S, to exert the agency of steam for the purpose of raising water, and his machinery was constructed upon the principle which had been indicated by the Marquis of Worcester, nis efforts were unsuccessful; but Leibnitz, who was then residing in England, forwarded to him a description and plans of the engine constructed by Captain Savary; and the Doctor published no account of his own experiments until ten years after Savary had obtained his patent.

Henry Beighton and James Brindley both effected improvements on Newcomer's engine before the giant genius of James Watt appeared to exhibit the vast resources with which the steam-engine was endowed by his unparalleled ingenuity. Before his inventions this mighty machine was still comparatively in its infancy: though it may be said to have been weaned from its juvenile nurses, the cock-boys, and taught to help itself, by one of these attendants, Humphrey Potter, whose duty it was to open and shut the cocks at the required intervals; but a taste, not confined to the sunny shores of Italy, for the dolec far niente, led him to add scoggan, as he called it, (derived from the verb scog, to skulk,) which consisted in a series of strings, by which the cocks were so connected with the moving parts of the machine, that they were opened and shut by its own movements, independently of all outward attention, and with a precision and regularity far superior to that attained by the most attentive of cock-boys. This contrivance was much

improved by Beighton, and was the first in that series of inventions which has since rendered the steamengine so prc-cniiuciit as a self-acting machine.

We must not stay even to mention all Watt's ingenious and most important improvements, among which the Separate Condenser, the Condenser Pump, the Double-acting Engine, the Parallel Motion, and the Governor, arc most conspicuous. He obtained his patent in 1769, for the invention of the "Double Impulse" engine by which the steam was made to act above, as well as below, the piston, and which constituted the first great improvement, by which the steam-engine could be successfully employed as the motive power in the propulsion of vessels.

Pabt III.

This leads us to the next branch of our subject,— the triumphs of steam in the art of Navigation, and affords us the opportunity to redeem our promise of further reference to Blasco dc Garay. On the 17th of June, 1543, this Spanish sea-captain experimented before Charles V. at Barcelona, with an engine be had constructed, by which "ships and vessels of the largest size could be propelled even in a calm, without the aid of oars and sails." The ship selected for the experiment was the Trinity, Capt. Peter de Scarza, a vessel of 200 tons burthen, which was made to travel at the rate of three miles an hour. Revolving wheels were attached to the side of the ship, and a prominent part of his apparatus appeared to be a huge kettle of boiling water. No further particulars nrc known, as the inventor never disclosed the construction of his engine, nor did he make any practical use of it, as it did not find favour in high places, though the Emperor suffered him not to go altogether unrewarded.

Whatever merit Blasco dc Garay may have deserved is lost to him, through his selfish taciturnity, and the recognised original inventor of steam-boats is Jonathan Hulls, who obtained a patent for a boat of this description in December 173G, and published an account of his machine in the following year, under this title "Description and Draught of a new-invented Machine, for carrying Vessels or Ships against wind and tide, or in a calm, &c." The "Draught" represents a strong boat, with a smoking chimney, towing a two-decker; wheels are depicted on each side of the stern, to the axis of which six paddles nrc attached; and motion, originating in a steam-engine, is imparted by ropes passing round the circumference of the wheels. Thomas Paine succeeded Hulls in the study of steam navigation, and sought, indeed, to obtain the credit of having invented steam-boats, but their plans were not reduced to practice. In France, the Comte d'Auxiron, in 1774, and after him J. C. Perricr, conducted experiments on the Seine, but though the latter employed superior machinery, both must be considered to have failed.

A steam-boat was constructed on the Saonc, at Lyons, in the year 1781, by the Marquis dc Jouffroy. His boat was 147 feet in length. The result of his

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