Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/203

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193
DOMESTIC ECONOMY OF FUEL.

While the regulating agency occupies the thoughts, scarcely any thought is given to those astounding processes and results due to the energies regulated. The genesis of the vast productive and manufacturing and distributing agencies which has gone on spontaneously, often hindered, and at best only restrained, by governing powers, is passed over with unobservant eyes. And thus, by continually contemplating the power which keeps in Order, and contemplating rarely, if at all, the activities that are kept in order, there is produced an extremely one-sided theory of society.

Clearly, it is with this as it is with the kinds of bias previously considered—the degree of it bears a certain necessary relation to the tempory phase of progress. It can diminish only as fast as society advances. A well-balanced social self-consciousness, like a well-balanced individual self-consciousness, is the accompaniment of a high evolution.

 

DOMESTIC ECONOMY OF FUEL.
By Captain DOUGLAS GALTON, C. B., F. R. S.

MY endeavor will be, to show that there may be obtained, from a much-diminished consumption of coal in fireplaces used for domestic purposes, all the advantages which have hitherto resulted from the wasteful expenditure which has prevailed.

I have no expectation of stating any thing that is actually new, because the functions and the attributes of heat and combustion have long been thoroughly discussed in their application to industrial objects. I hope, however, to draw attention to important considerations which govern the application of heat, and which are very generally neglected in fireplaces, in kitchen-ranges, and in most warming apparatus.

I think I may say, without hesitation, that the quantity of fuel now absolutely wasted in our houses amounts to at least five-sixths of the coal consumed. That is to say, if the greatest care and the best method of applying the heat were in all cases adopted, we could effect in heating and cooking all that we now effect, with one-sixth of the coal we now use; and, if, in the construction of our fireplaces and cooking apparatus, simple principles were recognized and ordinary care was used, we might without difficulty save from two-thirds to half of the coal consumed.

In my remarks on this question I intend to confine myself rather to the enunciation of the principles which should govern the application of heat for domestic purposes, than to give descriptions, except in a general way, of special appliances.