Historical Reprints Science Electricity For The Farm

Electricity For The Farm

Electricity For The Farm
Catalog # SKU2123
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Frederick Irving Anderson


Electricity For The Farm

Light, Heat And Power
By Inexpensive Methods From
The Water Wheel
Or Farm Engine

Frederick Irving Anderson

Rural farms were not always on the 'grid' and this book shows several methods employed to produce the electricity needed for their homes and farms. These methods could again be used to furnish energy in the event of an emergency or disaster, or even to get off the electric company's swindle.

This book is designed primarily to give the farmer a practical working knowledge of electricity for use as light, heat, and power on the farm. The electric generator, the dynamo, is explained in detail; and there are chapters on electric transmission and house-wiring, by which the farm mechanic is enabled to install his own plant without the aid and expense of an expert.

With modern appliances, within the means of the average farmer, the generation of electricity, with its unique conveniences, becomes automatic, provided some dependable source of power is to be had-such as a water wheel, gasoline (or other form of internal combustion) engine, or the ordinary windmill. The water wheel is the ideal prime mover for the dynamo in isolated plants.

Since water-power is running to waste on tens of thousands of our farms throughout the country, several chapters are devoted to this phase of the subject: these include descriptions and working diagrams of weirs and other simple devices for measuring the flow of streams; there are tables and formulas by which any one, with a knowledge of simple arithmetic, may determine the power to be had from falling water under given conditions; and in addition, there are diagrams showing in general the method of construction of dams, bulkheads, races, flumes, etc., from materials usually to be found on a farm.

The tiny unconsidered brook that waters the farm pasture frequently possesses power enough to supply the farmstead with clean, cool, safe light in place of the dangerous, inconvenient oil lamp; a small stream capable of developing from twenty-five to fifty horsepower will supply a farmer (at practically no expense beyond the original cost of installation) not only with light, but with power for even the heavier farm operations, as threshing; and in addition will do the washing, ironing, and cooking, and at the same time keep the house warm in the coldest weather. Less than one horsepower of energy will light the farmstead; less than five horsepower of energy will provide light and small power, and take the drudgery out of the kitchen.

For those not fortunate enough to possess water-power which can be developed, there are chapters on the use of the farm gasoline engine and windmill, in connection with the modern storage battery, as sources of electric current.


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 bullet-after 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 two-and, once captured, he would use strength and strategy breaking the wild beast to harness.

A single horsepower-animal-will do the work of lifting 23,000 pounds one foot in one minute, providing the animal is 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 24-providing 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 $200-unless 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 minute-or 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 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.

220+ pages - 8¼ x 6¾ softcover

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