Friday, May 20, 2016

Line Shaft and Leather Belts

Update: many more pictures of power distribution throughout a factory.

Walter D. Ferguson video
In the 1800s when factories were driven by water power or a big stationary steam engine, the rotary power was distributed to the machines in the factory by line shafts that ran the full length of the building near the ceiling. There would be a line shaft for each row of machines in the building. A pulley and a leather belt were used to transmit power to each machine.

Line shafts and belts became obsolete when electric motors were developed.

It is hard enough to find pictures of a plant like this, let alone see it running. It appears someone has outfitted a goose-neck trailer with demo equipment to take to antique machine shows. Note that the line  shaft is operated by an engine at the front of the trailer since a steam engine or water wheel would be rather cumbersome to make mobile.

Video at -0:121
Among other tools, he has a model of a forging hammer.

Another video by Walter shows a Massey-Harris hit-miss gas engine.

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