Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/821

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COTTON-SPINNING SOUTH AND NORTH.

one is propelled by water at Augusta, and that of the other by steam north of the Potomac. Let both mills be required to produce the yarn from 4,000 bales of raw cotton, each weighing 480 pounds. The annual consumption will then be, in each mill, 1,920,000 pounds. With waste estimated at fourteen per cent, the quantity sent to the waste-pile will be from each mill 268,800 pounds, and each will yield the same amount of net yarn—viz., 1,657,200 pounds.

For my Augusta mill I buy a water-wheel or wheels of say 200 horse-power, and rent my power from the Augusta Canal Company. The rent charge is five and a half dollars per horse-power per annum; so that for 200 horse-power I will have to pay $1,100 for a year. My water-wheels will certainly cost less than a 200 horse-power engine, with its engine-room, boiler-house, stack, coal bunkers, etc. But let us claim no advantage in first cost of power. I start my Augusta mill by simply giving a few turns to an eighteen-inch wheel on top of my gate-shaft, and it requires no attention until the rest-time arrives about noon, when the same number of turns in the opposite direction shuts off the water and all is at rest. At Columbus, Ga., at the Eagle and Phoenix Manufacturing Company's mill No. 1, our water-wheels of 112 horsepower each made eighty-four revolutions per minute. So you perceive I get a higher first speed from water-power than I would like to exact from a steam-engine of the same power.

In this section of country it is almost true to say that the motion of the water-wheel is never impeded by ice, as it is elsewhere. Water-power is not considered by some as being as steady a power as steam. I think this must be a superstition. The water-wheel has a continuous circular motion. The steam-engine changes rectilineal into circular motion at every revolution, and if with only one cylinder, at every half revolution. How can a revolution with one or two dead points be as continuous as a circular motion without any dead points?

Next I go to start my steam mill—exactly like the other except as to power. I must hire a costly engineer, for I can not trust my fine engine and my dangerous high-pressure boilers, with all the interests dependent upon their continuous action, to a Jack Leg. I must hire firemen and coal-handlers, for I would need three, four, or five tons of coal daily, and its handling is laborious and must be paid for. Then I must buy, let us say, three tons of coal per day at a minimum for three hundred and ten days—say nine hundred tons yearly. For my water-wheel a few tons or a few cords of wood will keep me and my hands comfortable and my machinery protected. Are these differences insignificant? Suppose both my mills last twenty years, and that they both run all the time. I have to buy in the twenty years eighteen thousand