In the manufacture of modern machinery, which in the great
majority of cases embodies a vast deal of careful study and
precise calculation, there is probably no one element which
enters as largely into the calculations and
as important a part in the daily operations in the machine-shop
as the endless belt for the transmission of power.
the drill, the planer, the shaping machine - in short, almost
without exception, all machine-tools - are commonly driven from
the shop-shaft by means of belts and pulleys.
scarcely glance into a shop or factory of any description
without encountering a mass of belts which seem at first sight
to monopolize every nook in the building and leave little or no
room for anything else.
Notwithstanding the countless thousands of belts for
transmission in use and constantly being replaced in the shops
and factories of America.
Notwithstanding the fact that many
thousands of dollars are consumed every year by the rapid wear
and destruction of our machine-belts, and the immense field
thereby opened for the practical study and application of the
principles of economy in this connection.
There is no branch of
machine-construction which is to-day in as crude and
unsatisfactory a state of development as this all-important
transmission by belt and pulley.
Strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless true, that there is
scarcely a machine-shop in America which can definitely and
correctly calculate the proper width of a leather belt which
will safely transmit a given horsepower. Nor are the
manufactures of machine-belting in any degree in advance of the
shops, for I have never yet seen the manufacturer who has any
better solution for this apparently simple problem than his own
Having taken the pains to write to a large number of the
best-known machine shops and belt-manufacturers throughout the
country, asking for information concerning belting, and in every
case having received an answer to the communication, I am
compelled to assert that among all the letters received not a
single one contained any definite information on the subject.