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superfluous, and a presumption on my part, to attempt to lay before you the advantages to be derived from an equable degree of humidity and temperature in a factory. It may also be superfluous for me to state here the advantages of vaporized water, as compared with steam. The cost of the latter, the rotting of the floors and general damage to buildings, and the serious effect of steam upon the health of the help, is beyond all dispute.
In Germany, where the government protects the health of its people, and more particularly the laborers and mechanics which form its army, the use of steam in factories is forbidden, it having been proved by the authorities that it is hurtful to the health of those under its influence.
In these times of enlightenment, when the continents of Europe and America are so in touch with one another that facts occurring on one side are matters of simultaneous knowledge on the other, it will be unnecessary to tell you that there is scarcely a mill in Europe where some device is not employed for producing humidity of the atmosphere.
Vaporized water is gradually but surely superseding steam, and that it has not entirely done so to-day is attributable to the fact that hitherto no satisfactory system, with the advantages admittably to be derived from water, but embodying the simplicity with which steam can be used, has been put before manufacturers. Various devices have been manufactured and marketed, and have enjoyed a certain amount of prosperity ; but it has been in the nature of their construction and principle to fail in the two most essential conditions for success, – simplicity and reliability.
Let us now consider and analyze the ways by which water may be formed into vapor, and the ways by which it may then afterward be distributed into the atmosphere. Such methods are not many, and may prove interesting subjects for consideration. Let us first take the old atomizer. This system of dividing
. fluids into minute sprays was discovered by a Frenchman, and applied to the use of distributing drugs, in the form of fine
spray, for medicinal purposes. A flexible bulb was used for the purpose of producing a result by which water and air were expelled together, the latter under a high pressure atomizing the fluid, which emanated from a very small aperture, and was met at the mouth by the force of the air. I believe credit is due to Mr. Garland for being the first to construct a system whereby, with the assistance of a high-pressure air pump, a number of such atomizing devices could be set in operation from one main source of power.
Another method of producing water vapor is by the impingement of a fine jet of water against a suitable impinging surface, the water being impelled against such impinging surface with sufficient force to cause it to be broken up into minute particles.
Oehlmann, a German, was the first to attempt to adapt this principle for use in factories ; and, although his success was only partial, he subsequently, by an attachment which he connected with such device, laid the foundation of a practical and successful system. The attachment in question was a device for inducing an air current, and distributing into the room therewith the spray or moisture he had produced by impingement. The difficulties encountered in perfecting this invention may be judged from the fact that, although some thirteen years have elapsed since the conception of this invention, improvements and modifications have from time to time been found desirable, in fact, in some instances, imperative.
Notwithstanding these facts, some totally inexperienced theorists have considered the moistening of mills a solved problem, by producing a small amount of water spray, allowing it to fall on the machinery or floor thereunder, and leaving out of consideration the fact that it is the atmosphere that has to be, manipulated and moistened, and not the floors and machinery. The impracticability of, and the damage caused by, such crude devices, are too well known to need recapitulation here. The wetting of the floors and machinery, the clogging up of the water outlets, the cost of fitting, the work required to keep them in order, and, above all, the non-practicability of regulating all such devices, are matters of general knowledge.
I could say much more upon the defects inherent to any system which provides moisture without any means of properly distributing or regulating the same; but my object here is not to criticise specific devices, but to lay before you an apparatus which embodies the principles I advocate, and which is simple in construction, reliable in operation, and of practical value for doing that which is required.
I wish, without prejudice, to point out to you the merits and advantages of a device constructed on the principles before mentioned ; and, whether it be the Aerophor (which apparatus I shall have the honor of explaining to you presently), or some other apparatus which, while not infringing the patents granted upon the Aerophor, embodies the same or similar principles, I feel confident that such is the only practical and effectual means of giving the manufacturer proper humidity of the atmosphere, and in the manner he needs it.
The Aerophor, gentlemen, has been on the market in Europe for the last eight years; and the amount of business done, and those willing and prepared to endorse this system, have increased from year to year. I do not desire that this statement should carry any weight with the American manufacturer, by reason of this statement taken alone; but, when the fact is considered that the German manufacturer is as a rule a self-made man, careful and conservative to a degree, and that he must thoroughly see the advantages of an investment before he will identify himself with it, I consider this statement, then, the strongest possible endorsement of the value of such a device, not necessarily of the Aerophor, but of any device which will effectually produce moisture and distribute it in the manner that the Aerophor does.
Now, gentlemen, I will explain to you the workings of the Aerophor apparatus. As already indicated to you, the Aeropl contains two distinct working parts, each of such being to independent of the other, and each being necessary to +!
cessful working of the other : first, the central spray nozzle with impinging surface and means of regulation ; second, the device for inducing the necessary distributing air current.
The Aerophor air-moistening apparati may be classified under two heads : first, “mechanical,” in which the air current is induced by the rotation of a fan; second, “non-mechanical," where the air-distributing current is induced by a stream of water. In either case the central spray nozzle is the same. This consists of a circular nozzle, having some forty tu sixty radial apertures, through which the water is forced against a circular impinging surface surrounding the same. The water is discharged from the apertures in the nozzle horizontally, and, in striking the impinging surface, becomes broken up into spray. This entire attachment is placed at the lower extremity of a suitable canal or tube. Said canal or tube contains the arrangement for inducing the distributing air current.
The mechanical Aerophor, before referred to, contains a fan driven by means of a small water motor attached thereto, the same pressure of water that supplies the “ central spray nozzle” answering the purpose for driving the fan.
The non-mechanical Aerophor, which is the latest outcome of this invention, has no movable parts whatever, consequently no wear and tear, the distributing current being induced by the suction caused by a stream of water playing upon a cone placed directly opposite its outlet.
The Aerophor outlet head is so constructed as to distribute the atmosphere, after it has become moistened within the apparatus, in all or any directions that may be desired ; and the regu
, lation of such moisture is provided for by the closing or opening of a register, which in turn reduces or enlarges the air outlet.
There is considerable detail in the carrying out of this invention, and although at sight it may not appear that any great trouble or experiments were necessary to construct such a device, there are very many parts which, although apparently insignificant in themselves, are of sufficient influence to mar the practicability of the whole, had they not been properly considered.
First worthy of notice in this respect is the means employed for preventing the expulsion of any but the very finest of the