Hercules Street-Cleansing Machine.
The Hercules sweeping machine, the invention of a Mr. Henshell, which was exhibited recently in action in the Strand, London, is described by Engineering as a combination of a water cart and circular squegee. The water is contained in a cylindrical wrought-iron tank carried on three wheels. Two of these wheels run on an axle, while the third and hind wheel is carried in a frame like that of a castor, The water is delivered by a perforated tube, which directs it on to the roadway in fine jets, the object of which is to combine with the mud and loosen it. Behind the jets is a rotary brush, set at an angle to the roadway, and formed of short pieces of rubber arranged in a screwlike manner. These rubber pieces brush or rub the roadway and deliver the mud sideways towards the gutter, leaving it quite clean. The brush is driven by gearing from one of the traveling wheels. A practical trial was made with two machines in King William street, and also in Adam street, Adeiphi. The first was on wood pavement and the second on asphalt. Two machines were used, and in four traverses, two up and two down the street, they left the surface perfectly clean. Before they commenced it was covered with a tenacious slippery mud, which made it very difficult to cross on foot, and quite dangerous for horses. After they had passed there was perfect foothold both for pedestrians and horses. It is stated the India-rubber brushes will last for six months’ constant work, and that they can be renewed for a moderate sum. “Some such appliance,” Engineering remarks, “is urgently needed in London and in our large towns. The slate of our crowded streets is a crying disgrace to the authorities, and ought to be remedied at once. At present it is impossible to walk along them without being splashed from head to foot, and nothing is done during the daytime to remedy their condition. The Hercules machine can do its work among the ordinary traffic, and a few of them would completely change the appearance of our leading thoroughfares. In the summer they can both lay and collect the dust into the gutters, while in winter, by the use of salt water, they can melt the snow and flush it down the sewers. It is a disgrace to our vestries that nothing should yet have been done to remedy the abominable condition of our leading thoroughfares.”
GERMANY’S GREAT CANAL.—The North Sea and Baltic canal, which was commenced on June 3, 1887, will unite the Gulf of Kiel with the mouth of the Elbe, and will run from Iloltenau by way of Rendsburg to a point midway between Brunsbuttel and St. Margarethen, a few miles below Hamburg. It will, when completed, be 61 miles long, 196 feet broad at the water level, 85 feet broad at the bottom, and 28 feet deep, and it will have but two locks—one at each end. The canal will take in the largest warship that has been or will be constructed in Germany, and will, moreover, take her at all states of the tide, and in less than eight hours it will be possible for her to proceed by it from Kiel to the Elbe, or vice versa.