Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/179

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
167
AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS.

vertical section of the furnace, which is also copied by Percy, and which we present in Fig. 14.

In Fig. 13, A is a heap of uncalcined bog-ore; B, a calcining fire of wood on which the ore is "roasted"; C, a heap of calcined bog-ore; D, earth-borer, used to search for ores; E, charcoal-rake; F, iron shovel; G, tongs for drawing the "bloom" from the hearth of the furnace; H, cinder-hook, also used in handling the bloom; K, bar, used for clearing the cinder-notch and tuyère; L, large sledge for hammering the "bloom"; MM, the lump of iron; N, the hatchet; O, the treadles for working the bellows; P, bridge of planks; Q, tap-hole for cinder; R, tuyère; S, wooden shovel for filling ore into the furnace. It will be noticed that the

PSM V38 D179 Vertical section of an osmund furnace.jpg

Fig. 14. — Vertical Section of an Osmund Furnace.

masonry of the furnace is incased by timber-work, which is locked together at the angles. This construction, rude and unsatisfactory as it appears to eyes familiar with the iron-bound furnace-stacks of the present day, was a not uncommon one as applied to the earlier blast-furnaces in this country; and those in which it was employed were called "log-furnaces," to distinguish them from furnaces whose exterior walls were entirely of masonry. The bellows, in the case of the Osmund furnace illustrated, appear to have been operated by a woman, who, by stepping first on one of the treadles and then on the other, thus raised by her weight the bellows boards alternately; while at the same time her nimble fingers were busy with distaff and spindle. We think we are entirely safe in saying that this method of blowing a furnace was never employed in America.

It is not certain that the Osmund furnace was ever used in this country, as we find no mention of any furnace having been erected called by that name; but, when we consider its simplicity and consequent cheapness of construction, and that it was (accord-