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Full text of "APPARATUS FOR BLEACHING LINENS, COTTONS, &c. - United States Patent 622"

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Specification of Letters Patent Wo. 622, dated March 3, 1838. 

To all whom it may concern : 

Be it known that I, Lemuel Wellman 
Weight, a citizen of the United States of 
America, now residing in Manchester, Eng- . 
6 land, have invented certain, new Improve- 
ments in Machinery or Apparatus for 
Bleaching or Cleansing Linens, Cottons or 
other Fabrics, Goods or other Fibrious Sub- 
stances, and that the following is a full and 

10 exact description of the same, together with 
the machinery and apparatus for effecting: 
it as invented by me. 

My improvements in bleaching or cleans- 
ing linens cottons or " other fibrous sub- 

15 stances and in the machinery or apparatus 
for effecting the same consist, firstly, in the 
peculiar construction of ah air-tight vessel 
in which the goods or fibrous materials in- 
tended to be bleached are to be packed in 

20 close contact; secondly, in the manner of' 
passing the alkaline solutions through the 
compact mass of goods or fibrous materials 
by the agency of steam at a high pressure 
which has the effect of opening the fibers 

25 of the material under operation; thirdly, in 
the mode of rinsing or washing out the al- 
kali or other chemical matters used in the 
process of bleaching by means of high pres- 
sure steam ; fourthly, in the manner of forc- 

30 ing the solutions of chloric! of lime and sul- 
furic acid through the goods in the bleach- 
ing vessel by hydraulic and pneumatic pres- 
sure and fifthly, in the mode of washing- 
cleansing or rinsing the chemical matters 

35 from the goods after the bleaching operation 
has been completed, and, sixthly, in the 
mode or manner of drying the fibrous goods 
or other substances by passing high pressure 
steam through them in a compact state be- 

40 fore removing them from the bleaching ves- 
sel or keir. 

In the accompanying drawings Figure 1 
represents the complete apparatus as seen 
in front elevation with the pipes employed 

45 for conducting the fluids into and out of the 
several vessels. Fig. 2. is a side or end ele- 
vation of the same in which the positions 
and forms of some of the pipes are more evi- 
dently seen than in the former figure. Fig. 

50 3, is a plan or horizontal representation of 
the same apparatus as it would appear if 
seen from above and Fig. 4 is. a sectional 
elevation of the complete apparatus taken 
through the vessel in which the packed 

55 goods are to undergo the bleaching and 

cleansing process, through the vessel intend- 
ed to contain th'fc alkalinle solution, .and 
through some of the pipes or tubes commu- 
nicating with the several vessels, the similar 
letters of reference pointing out the same 60 
parts of the apparatus in the several figures. 

The keir or bleaching vessel a. a. a. is of a 
rectangular form made of cast iron and ta- 
pering downward at the sides and ends 
near the bottom. This vessel I propose to 65 
line with slabs of slate or any other mate- 
rial that will not be subject to be acted upon 
by the chemical matters which have to pass 
through the vessel. A lid or cover of the 
same material is made to fit airtight and is 70 
held down by swivel bolts and screw caps. 
A false bottom h. of slate with ribs on its 
underside fits into the lower part of the ves- 
sel and is perforated with small holes for 
the purpose of allowing the liquors to flow 75 
through into the pipe c. below. The goods 
(say raw flax or linen) being packed in the 
vessel a. as at d. cl. to the height of the bev- 
eled part and resting upon the false bottom 
are to be pressed down by a grating e. e. 80 
made of large slabs of slate or other suitable 
material which grating may be weighted by 
blocks of stone if necessary. A vessel /. con- 
tains the alkaline liquor which is admitted 
into the keir a. through the pipe g. and 85 
when the keir a. is nearly full that is up to 
the height of the pipe g. the stop-cock h. is 
then to be closed. 

Steam at a high pressure (say from 30 to 
100 lbs. upon the square inch according to 90 
the nature of the materials to be operated 
upon) is now to be admitted into the keir a. 
by a pipe i. leading from a steam boiler situ- 
ate in any convenient place nearly contigu- 
ous. The steam thus introduced being al- 95 
lowed to continue acting upon the alkaline 
liquor in the close vessel a. for a considerable 
time it will cause the liquor to boil and the 
ebullition thus produced under the great 
pressure of the steam will force the alkaline 100 
liquor through the substance of the compact 
goods and in so doing open and separate 
fibers of the material and soften the gummy 
and coloring matters. 

When the liquor has completely pene- 105 
trated through the entire mass of the mate- 
rial intended to be bleached the stop-cock j. 
in the pipe c. is to be opened which will al- 
low the whole of the liquor in the vessel a. 
by the force of the steam to be drawn 11 0 



through the goods or materials under opera- 
tion and to rise through the pipe c. c. c. into 
the vessel /. This operation must be repeat- 
ed according to the nature of the articles op- 
5 erated upon (that is to say) the alkaline 
liquor from the vessel /. must be passed 
through the pipe _g. into the keir a. and then 
by letting on the steam as before the alkaline 
liquor must be forced through the material 
10 again and again until the gummy or color- 
ing matter is sufficiently removed. The al- 
kaline liquor must now be discharged from 
the vessel a. which is done by closing the 
cock j. and opening the cock in the descend- 
15 ing pipe k. when by the pressure of the 
steam the liquor will be forced through the 
• goods and through the pipe k. into a stone 
cistern below. 

In order to remove the remaining alkali 
20 from the goods, the vessel / must be filled 
with clean water and this water be passed 
through the goods several times in the same 
way and by the same means as the operations 
of the alkaline solution were performed, oc- 
25 casionally withdrawing the foul water and 
supplying clean water as may be required 
for rinsing the alkali out of the goods. 

The goods in the vessel a should now be 
cooled down to about 100 Fahrenheit by 
30 passing cold water through them merely 
by hydraulic pressure unassisted by the force 
of steam, which is done by the attitude of 
the water flowing from the vessel / or by the 
pressure of air forced into the vessel a by 
35 an air pump the stop-cocks in the several 
connecting pipes being closed. Having thus 
reduced the temperature of the hoods or 
fibrous materials, a solution of chloric! of 
lime or bleaching powder with the ordinary 
40 proportions of water such as bleachers use 
is now to be passed through them from the 
stone cistern I, by the pipe m, and cock n 
and this pipe m communicating with the in- 
duction pipe, ff, of the vessel a the liquor Is 
45 made to percolate through the goods by 
hydraulic or pneumatic pressure and flow 
away by the eduction pipe c and through the 
cock o and branch pipe p, into a cistern ff, 
below. From this cistern the chlorid liquor 
50 is to be raised by a pump r through the pipe 
s, again into the vessel I, and the operation 
upon the material may be repeated accord- 
ing to the judgment of the operator, and 
having passed the bleaching liquor through 

the goods as many times as may be required 55 
it is left in the cistern g, below. 

In order to wash the chlorid from the 
goods or fibrous materials clean water from 
the vessel / must be forced through by steam 
pressure as before described taking care 60 
to close all the cocks except those which pass 
the water from the vessel / through the keir. 

The operation called souring is performed 
by conducting a weak solution of sulfuric 
acid and water (such as is commonly used 65 
"by. bleachers) through the goods or fibrous 
materials in the keir a from the vessel t, by 
the pipes u, in the same manner as the 
chlorid liquor was conducted ; and after this 
sour liquor has passed through the goods 70 
in the keir it is discharged by the pipe i>,into 
the cistern u and the. operation repeated if 

In order to remove all the acid from; the 
fibers of the goods, (first reducing the tern- 75 
perature of the goods as before : described) 
rinsing water must be forced by high pres- 
sure steam through the keir a, in the man- 
ner before described, and when the rinsing 
has been completed high pressure steam 80 
alone is allowed to pass through the goods 
or fibrous materials which will remove the 
moisture and leave the goods nearly dry. 

I propose performing the chlorid and 
scouring operation by having a separate keir 85 
or vessel which may be made of stone or 
wood lined with lead of the same dimensions 
and shape as the keir a, into which the goods 
or fibrous substance may be packed and 
chlorid and souring process to be performed 90 
as before described. It, is obvious that the 
machinery or apparatus as above described, 
may be varied in its form and construction, 
I do not therefore intend to claim as my 
invention any of the separate parts thereof 95 
as applicable to other purposes; but I do 
claim as my invention — 

The application of high pressure steam to 
be used with the improved combination and 
arrangement of the several parts as appli- 100 
cable to bleaching or cleansing linens, cot- 
tons or other fabrics goods or other fibrous 
substances as before described. 


Witnesses : 

Sam. Pearce, 
Wm. P. Meeker.