The Archibald Wheel.
The Archibald wheel, almost exclusively used in the manufacture of fire apparatus, is so singular in its construction that we subjoin an illustration of the process. There appears to be a natural prejudice in favor of the venerable wood hub, and against an all-metal hub wheel that is hard to overcome. The facts show that for heavy service the metallic hub is preferable, even as used in New England cities before the advent of the Archibald press process of manufacture. By this process the utmost accuracy is attained, all parts in each size being interchangeable. The pressure is distributed evenly and simultaneously upon every joint of the wheel, and is so made and held while undergoing the pressure that it is of necessity perfectly round and true, and will remain so as no other wheel possibly can. The spokes cannot work loose in the hub, and the axle box cannot get loose or untrue. Surely, no other patent wheel is so easily repaired. The machine or press is the invention of Mr. Archibald of Lawrence, Mass., and is intended to prevent the necessity of resetting the tires in order to take up the slack or looseness caused by the imbedding of the spokes in the felloes and hub by use. This object is accomplished by subjecting every joint to a pressure largely in excess of any weight it will ever be subjected to in practical use, the wheel being so held as not to be injured by the machine. A tire put on a wheel under such pressure, it is claimed, will remain tight until worn out, the hub sustaining all the pressure of the spokes, independent of the tire. It has been stated that iron car wheels will run 40,000 miles on an average before they complete their life work, and are abandoned as dangerous. The Archibald wheel, by the testimony of one of the largest stage lines of the far West, and by many others, are running that vast distance every year, driven Jehu like, and do so for years on a stretch, requiring only new tires as the old ones wear out.