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Electricity for the farm - Light, heat and power by inexpensive methods from the water wheel or farm engine
The sight of a dozen or so fat young horses and mares feeding and frolicking on the wild range of the Southwest would probably inspire the average farmer as an awful example of horsepower running to waste. If, by some miracle, he came on such a sight in his own pastures, he would probably consume much time practising the impossible art of "creasing" the wild creatures with a rifle bulletafter the style of Kit Carson and other free rovers of the old prairies when they were in need of a new mount. He would probably spend uncounted hours behind the barn learning to throw a lariat; and one fine day he would sally forth to capture a horsepower or twoand, once captured, he would use strength and strategy breaking the wild beast to harness. A single horsepoweranimalwill do the work of lifting 23,000 pounds one foot in one minute, providing the animal is[Pg xviii] young, and sound, and is fed 12 quarts of oats and 10 or 15 pounds of hay a day, and is given a chance to rest 16 hours out of 24providing also it has a dentist to take care of its teeth occasionally, and a blacksmith chiropodist to keep it in shoes. On the hoof, this horsepower is worth about $200unless the farmer is looking for something fancy in the way of drafters, when he will have to go as high as $400 for a big fellow. And after 10 or 15 years, the farmer would look around for another horse, because an animal grows old. This animal horsepower isn't a very efficient horsepower. In fact, it is less than three-fourths of an actual horsepower, as engineers use the term. A real horsepower will do the work of lifting 33,000 pounds one foot in one minuteor 550 pounds one foot in one second. Burn a pint of gasoline, with 14 pounds of air, in a gasoline engine, and the engine will supply one 33,000-pound horsepower for an hour. The gasoline will cost about 2 cents, and the air is supplied free. If it was the air that cost two cents a pound, instead of the[Pg xix] gasoline, the automobile industry would undoubtedly stop where it began some fifteen years ago. It is human nature, however, to grumble over this two cents. Yet the average farmer who would get excited if sound young chunks and drafters were running wild across his pastures, is not inspired by any similar desire of possession and mastery by the sight of a brook, or a rivulet that waters his meadows. This brook or river is flowing down hill to the sea. Every 4,000 gallons that falls one foot in one minute; every 400 gallons that falls 10 feet in one minute; or every 40 gallons that falls 100 feet in one minute, means the power of one horse going to wastenot the $200 flesh-and-blood kind that can lift only 23,000 pounds a foot a minutebut the 33,000 foot-pound kind. Thousands of farms have small streams in their very dooryard, capable of developing five, ten, twenty, fifty horsepower twenty-four hours a day, for the greater part of the year. Within a quarter of a mile of the great majority of farms (outside of the[Pg xx] dry lands themselves) there are such streams. Only a small fraction of one per cent of them have been put to work, made to pay their passage from the hills to the sea. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 27257
Author: Anderson, Frederick Irving
Release Date: Nov 14, 2008
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