THE DORSET & SOMERSET CANAL
The First Page of Fussells Patent 2284
Balance Lock for Raising or Lowering boats, &c.;
applicable to other Purposes.
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, I, JAMES FUSSELL, of Wells, in the County of Somerset, Iron Manufactor, send greeting.
WHEREAS His present Majesty King George the Third, by His Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain, bearing date the Twenty-fourth day of December, One thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, did give and grant unto me, the said James Fussell, my executors, administrators, and assigns, His Royal will and pleasure that I lawfully might make, use, and exercise and vend, during the term of years therein expressed, within that part of Great Britain called England, the Dominion of Wales, and Town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, my Invention of "A MACHINE OR BALANCE LOCK FOR RAISING BOATS FROM A LOWER LEVEL OF A CANAL TO AN UPPER, OR LOWERING THE SAME PROM AN UPPER TO A LOWER LEVEL OP A CANAL" in which Letters Patent a proviso is contained that if I, the said James Fussell, should not particularly describe and ascertain the nature of my said Invention, and in what; manner the same is to be performed, by an instrument in writing under my hand and seal, to be irirolled in His Majesty's High Court of Chancery within one calendar month next after the date of the said Letters Patent, then such Letters Patent were to be void, as in and by the same, reference being thereto had, will more fully appear.
NOW KNOW YE, that in compliance with the said proviso, I, the said James Fussell, do hereby declare that my said Invention is describeb in manner following that is to say
The nature and method of my Invention is by a perpendicular lift, by balance lock, or machine with wheels, chains, balances, screws, vessels, or receptacles, levers, shafts, and rack wheels of a particular construction, as herein-after described.
First, suppose a particular rise or fall, as, for instance, from about forty to fifty feet, which is about equal to the rise or fall of six or eight common locks, and 5 which I propose to overcome without loss of water, to construct which your canal should be brought to a quick or steep descent of a hill, and if the lift intended is not above forty or fifty feet this lock may be built open at the end next to the lower level, with two side walls, and one end wall to. the upper level, and also a partition wall to divide the said lock into two equal parts, which may be called lock pits, and is herein-after more fully described; but if requisite or convenient to have a very deep lift, for instance, one hundred feet or more, it will be necessary to wall the said lock pits both sides and ends, and to have a short tunel from the lower level to the bottom of the lock pits. The lock pits must be built long and wide enough for the receptacles which, are intended to convey the boats or barges up or down from one level to another (which receptacles must be two in number and made exactly of the same dimensions), with a partition wall or framing in the midle, of the same thickness as the wedth of the aperture or lock pit, and built either of brick, stone, or timber; on this partition is to be placed or fixed a shaft of sufficient strength, upon each end of which a wheel is to be fixed of greater diameter by two or more inches than the thickness of the said wall or partition, so that the chafri which works over the said wheels shall hang or work clear of the partition~wall in descending or ascending. Now the receptacles are two open boxes or cisterns of sufficient length, and suitable to receive the boats or barges intended for the trade, about six feet width inside and from three to six feet deep, uiade of wood, iron, or any other metal, so as to be made water-tight; under each of these receptacles is fixed a very strong framing of oak timber, secured with braces and bolts of iron, &c., and of dimensions and strength fit to support two wheels of equal diameter with those on the shaft above described; and placed at similar distances upon each corner of the upper part of the receptacles, and also at the lower corners of the framing are placed small iron wheels or rollers which run in groves of iron fixed upon timbers placed in the wall for that purpose, which guide the receptacles and keep them horizontal. To regulate the motion and fix it in any position there is a tooth wheel fixed on ong of the wheels of the shaft aforesaid, which works into a pinion fixed on a small shaft or spindle, with a fly and break wheel thereon. Now the two receptacles and frames underneath must be made exactly of the same dimensions in every respect so as to balance each other, and, as they are to be filled with water of an equaldepth, - will be of equal weights; and in order to preserve a balance on the works it will be necessary to fix a balance chain to the bottom of each receptacle, of equal weight per. foot or yard with. the chain that works the machine, which. will alternately counterpoise each other in ascending or descending.
Now there are two chains made of wrought or cast iron, or other metal, of sufficient length according to the height of the fall, and of. strength more than adequate to the weight to be raised or let down; these chains are placed over the two, wheels of the shaft which rests upon. the -wall or partition between the lock pits as before described, and then carried under the two wheels (which are also fixed upon each end of a shaft which works within the framing under each of the said receptacles), and the ends of the said chains are then fastened or fixed with screws, or by anj other method,. at t,he top of the side wall (or framing.) of -each lock pit. At each end of either of the, receptacles as aforesaid- is -placed hatches hung up by chains,, ropes, or otherwise balances, with weights, or raised or lowered with rack wheels, when it, is intended.to receive or discharge a boat or barge, or other vessel as aforesaid,: The hatch is to be let-down.into a grove or case fixed at each end of the two receptacles till the top-part of. the hatch is level with the bottom of. the, receptacles, which will; admit the boat-or barge to float over it. The upper and lower levels or canals must also be .divideed intc two -mouths, troughs, or -apertures, each to fix the ends of the -receptacles, to make the mouths of the canal and that of the receptacles water-tight.. The ends, of the receptacles, which fix to the mouths of the upper Jevel must be a little wider than the mouth of the canah in order to clip tight, and the ends which fit to the lower levels rnust be a little less than the mouth of the canal, so as it sinks down to the mouth of the lower canal it clips the ends of the receptacles sufficiently long to make it watertight, when a small wadding of leather or cloth is fixed between the joints; or it may be made water-tight by having the ends of the receptacles brought exactly opposite to the mouths of the canal, and as near as can be to each other without touching when a short purchase may be applied with a lever, and small weight let drop by a cord, or any other method which will press it against the mouth of the canal with a sufficient force to make it water -tight. Now, suppose you have raised one boat and, lowered down another, the first thing to be done is to touch the break wheel and fix the receptacle tight up to the mouth of the canal, then to move a valve which is in the door at the mouth or entrance of the canal, which admits the water out of the canal into a small space between the door of the canal and the hatch of the receptacle, when the hatch in the receptacle is to be sunk and the stop gate or door of the canal to be opened, by which means the water in the canal and the water of the receptacles will be united, and the boat will be floated out of the upper and lower receptacles and others floated in; when done, the door is to be shut and the hatch drawn up, when a valve is be opened the bottom of the space between the door and hatch, by which means the water is conveyed by a pipe into a small reservoir or trough fixed under the bottom of the receptacle, which makes the receptacle at the higher end or level of greater weight than the lower; but if the small quantity of water between the hatch and door be not sufficient to overbalance it more may be taken out of the upper level, which water, when it acts to the bottom or lower level, discharges itself by a plug or valve, and carried off by means of culvert or otherwise. This machine 10 or balance lock is not confinedto a perpendicular lift; for instance, if the hill to descend should be found of very hard rock, it will be less expensive to adapt an inclined plane in the following manner :&emdash;First, two railways must be placed side by side from the upper to the lower level, and between those a space of seven or eight feet, more or less, as may be most convenient; at the top of this space or head of the upper level must be fixed a strong wheel, with the same inclination as the railways; over this wheel is a strong chain fastened to each receptacle, and at the bottom of those receptacles must be a strong framing of wood; in which frame will be four or more wheels of different dimensions, to keep the receptacles always in a horizontal position, to join the mouths or apertures of the canal at the upper and lower levels, when similar methods must be used to make theur water-tight, and transfer the boats as described in the perpendicular lift. This machine or balance Iock may also be applied to various other useful purposes.
In witness whereof, I, the said James Fussell, havJ hereunto set- my hand and seal, the Sixteenth day of January, in the Thirty-ninth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third, by the Grace. of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King Defender of the Faith, &c., and in the year One thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine.
JAMES FUSSELL. (Ls.)
Sealed and delivered, being first duly signed, in the presence of
JOHN CROKER, of Frome, Somt,
Clk. to Mr. Bunn, Attorney-at-Law,
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