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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/520

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Making Cigars by Machinery

Mechanism detracts somewhat from the picturesqueness of the manufacture but not from the flavor of the product

���The tobacco leaves are laid evenly in trays having screen bottoms, and are conducted on an endless chain to the cutting machine

��THE old method of making cigars by hand, which involved much that recent investigations have revealed as unsanitary, is being supplanted by machinery. Albert A. Heyman, the inven- tor of the device which cuts and rolls the tobacco to form cigars in quantity, guaran- tees that the pipe-dreams ordinarily accom- panying a "good smoke" will not lose in quality, even though the increased produc- tion and diminished labor attending it may reduce the price of the product. He also asserts that it will be possible to open a box of the machine-made cigars with perfect confidence that every one of them will be identical in blend, quality and strength.

In the manufacture of the cigars by machinery, the first step is the drying of the tobacco in trays. Then a frame fitted with knives is used to cut the edges, the trays being conducted to the cutting machine on a chain-conveyor, 3; each tray has a box cover, 5, provided with a rubber tube 6. (See illustration be- low). As the tray reaches the machine the suction applied above holds the layer of leaves up against a wire screening on the under side of the cover. The leaves are then released di- rectly above the se- ries of narrow com- partments shown in

����The trays, with cover (5) and suction tube (6) on the endless chain conveyor (3). The suction holds the leaves against the cover

��The assembled machine, showing the knives placed in series, with narrow compartments between for the leaf trays

the illustration of the assembled machine. If a blend is desired, each tray may contain a different kind of tobacco, a thick layer of the leaves being deposited on the machine preparatory to the cutting.

The knives on the cutting frame are attached in series, being separated by blocks which press the leaves down into the narrow channels. At the ends of these channels are rollers attached to an endless belt. After the tobacco has been cut and pressed down tightly into these channels, the belts are set in motion, each moving in an opposite direction to the one adjoining, so that the leaves will be forced outward. As the tobacco leaves this part of the ma- chine, a knife located at right angles to the other knives (see 10, of detail drawing on next page) cuts it into the required lengths.

Thus a rectangu- lar bunch of leaves is projected into a space, on either side of which is a roller (11 and 12, of detail drawing). Similar rollers, 13, I4,aread- justed above and be- low in such a way that they can be moved horizontally into position. The

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