Extending the Time of Action of Forces
Too Long; Didn't Read45. This is one of the most common and most useful of the employments of machinery. The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours. In our clocks, this extension of the time of action of the original force impressed is carried still further; the better kind usually require winding up once in eight days, and some are occasionally made to continue in action during a month, or even a year. Another familiar illustration may be noticed in our domestic furniture: the common jack by which our meat is roasted, is a contrivance to enable the cook in a few minutes to exert a force which the machine retails out during the succeeding hour in turning the loaded spit; thus enabling her to bestow her undivided attention on the other important duties of her vocation. A great number of automatons and mechanical toys moved by springs, may be classed under this division.