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286,012 · Hyatt · "Illuminating Vault-Cover or Grating-Tile, &c." · Page 2
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thus observe there are twice three successful patent processes. Any inventions which cannot be brought under these three classes have had short life-- at least we think so.
    I have quoted the above from Mr. Britton's volume (which also commends charred wood) in order to show the many different processes and materials offered to me from which to select a perfectly-prepared wood capable of replacing iron as a grating-tile for combination with glasses to be employed as coal-hole plates and as tiles for constructing illuminating-roofs and roof-pavements; but I do not select one of these to the exclusion of all others, and say this with glass is my invention. On the contrary, I select the one I consider to be the most perfect-- viz., "vulcanized wood"-- combine glasses with it, and regard all the others as equivalents, my invention being a grating-tile or vault-cover made of natural wood rendered incapable of change by artificial means, and set with glasses to give light.
    The invention of vulcanizing wood, quoting the language of the patent to Mr. Bobbins, hereinbefore mentioned, "consists in a process for curing wood, wherein the wood is heated to about 212° Fahrenheit to expel the atmosphere from the pores, and then the temperature is increased simultaneously with an increase of atmospheric or gaseous pressure within the closed vessel containing the wood. By the surrounding increased atmospheric pressure the vaporization of the sap is prevented, and the vaporizable products are coagulated and diffused with nearly uniformity throughout the mass and retained, so that the pores of the wood are freed from air and filled to a considerable extent, and the vegetable juices and liquid matter that would promote fermentation are so changed by the heat that the risk of fermentation and decay is avoided to a great extent.
    "In carrying out my process of preparing wood any suitable apparatus may be employed; but I have shown in the drawing means that can be used."
    (Figure 1 is a copy of the drawing shown in Mr. Bobbins's patent.)
    "The chamber a is adapted to receive the wood, and it will be of a size suitable to the material operated upon. It will generally be provided with a track in the bottom, with a car into which the wood is piled, and said car is run into the chamber a and the end closed by a suitable head or doors. The boiler b is connected to coils of steam-pipes within the chamber a, so that the temperature of such chamber a may be raised to any desired degree of heat. Hot water may take the place of steam, or heated air may be introduced. The air-pump e is employed to force air into the chamber or receiver a, and a pressure-gage, d, and thermometer at e should be provided. The wood confined in the chamber or receiver a is heated, and when the temperature is such that the vapors begin to distill-- say about 212° Fahrenheit-- then the air-pump
is set to work, and atmospheric air is forced into such chamber, and the pressure is increased in about the ratio of one pound for each degree of temperature, so that the pressure will be sufficient to prevent the evaporation of the juices, resinous and watery matters from the wood, and the resinous matters are melted and dispersed with considerable uniformity throughout the wood, so as to fill up the pores of the wood, and the atmosphere will largely be excluded, because the vapors in the wood will expand and fill the pores before the atmospheric pressure is increased, and hence there will be nothing to interfere with the melted resinous matters penetrating the mass with great uniformity by capillary attraction; and these resinous matters, that would distill in the form of hydrocarbon vapors at atmospheric pressure, are confined by the increased pressure, and solidify with the wood and render it very dense. The vegetable albumen is also solidified, and the result of the treatment is a very strong, uniform, and hard wood, free from sap and other matters that would hasten its destruction by fermentation. This heating operation tends to destroy insects and germs that might destroy the wood or injure the same. When the curing process has been continued a sufficient time, which will depend upon the sizes of the pieces under treatment and their quality, the pressure is not to be relieved suddenly, but the heat is to be shut off, the air-pump continued in action, and a cock at l opened, which will allow the heated air to escape, and the supply and delivery of the air are to be so regulated that by the time the temperature is reduced to about 200° Fahrenheit the pressure will be about the same inside the chamber as outside of it. By this process the sap and resinous materials are incited and changed, so as to become fixed at the same time that they are more thoroughly diffused throughout the wood, and the mass is rendered more uniform and homogeneous; hence, this operation may properly be termed 'vulcanizing the wood.'"
    Figure 1 represents Bobbins's apparatus for vulcanizing wood; Fig. 2, wood grating got out of preserved wood; Fig. 3, cross-section of Fig. 2 set with glasses; Fig. 4, cross-section of Fig. 3 on line x x. Figs. 5, 6, 7 represent preserved-wood mounts set each with a glass. Figs. 8, 9, and 10 represent preserved-wood mounts or quarries made for and each one containing a number of glasses, Fig. 10 being inlaid with different colored woods to produce a mosaic appearance. Fig. 11 represents a preserved wood grating-tile of bent or curved shape for making rear-extension curved illuminating-roofs. Fig. 12 represents a pair of elevator illuminating-grating doors made of preserved wood, some of the openings being set with glasses. Fig. 13 is a cross-section of Fig. 12 on the line y y.
    A represents a preserved-wood grating; B, glasses; C, metal buttons to protect glasses.