Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wood Thieves

WOOD STEALERS— Those lazy night-walkers have commenced their attacks on wood piles very early in the season. We were told by a gentleman on the street a few days back that his wood pile had been visited the night before and a wagon load of wood already cut for the fire had been carried off. In these days of inventions, can't someone invent a plan by which these troublesome fellows can be caught without putting one to the necessity of watching in the cold for them? The article will meet with almost as ready sale as Messrs. Barrow & Pleasants Steam Washer. Good time to make a fortune, Let us have the machine.

Since writing the above Mr. M.S. Davis, the gentleman who had the wood stolen from him offers a reward of ten dollars for the thief. We hope he, she, or they may be caught and that a lodgment with Mr. Thompson in the State Prison and to keep warm during the winter by breaking rocks for the building.

[Franklin Courier, October 3, 1873. This story appeared in the Spring 2006 issue of The Connector, newsletter of the Tar River Connections Genealogical Society.]
A search for the Steam Washer mentioned in the above story turned up the following advertisement from the Feb. 23, 1882 issue of the Salisbury, N. C. Carolina Watchman.  This machine was the invention of Mr. T. J. Meroney.

THIS MACHINE is a plain wooden tank lined with copper or galvanized iron, with perforated pipes in the bottom for the admission of steam, with corrugated Roler, made of same mettle, and of sufficient weight. This Roler gathers the air while passing back and forth over the cloths, forcing air and water through the fabric. At same time the steam is thrown up through the perforated pipes underneath from the bottom of the tank. There are wooden strips between the pipes so as to protect them and form a smooth bottom in the tank.

The process is simple: any one can operate the machine. First, soap the cloths and distribute them evenly about four or five inches thick in the tank. Turn on enough water to cover them—turn on steam, and mover the Roler back and forth until the water is colored. Turn the valve and let the water pass off. Add fresh water, and repeat this three or four times, and you find the clothes are thoroughly washed without the slightest injury, for there is no rubbing process employed, the Roler having rounded edges so as to prevent any wear or cutting. A lace handkerchief can be washed as well as a bed quilt.

This machine is in operation at Meroney & Bros. Machine Shop where they will be manufactured at as small a cost as possible. Any one having a steam boilerf in operation can use one of my machines at small cost and with satisfactory results. One person can do the work of ten wash somen in one day and do the work better.

- It is also a good wool-washer.

- State and County rights for sale by the inventor.

1 comment:

  1. It gets cold in these mountains and wood can be a great commodity on a brisk night.