Iron processing in the 19th century, despite its apparent simplicity, remains one of the vast number of currently unsolved mysteries. The most common way of constructing anything from steel in the 19th century was with rivets. They were used so often that it seems that bolted connections were much more complicated, and welded ones were not even invented - there was no need for them.
Using rivets in its ease in the 19th century was about the same as hammering nails (for example), although in the case of rivets in our time, a number of additional conditions are required. Of course, in order to sculpt rivets like nails, you need to be able to get steel with the same ease, and then roll the desired profile out of it, and make the same rivets. Apparently, there were no special problems with this in the 19th century either, but here, as they say, is another question and a topic for a separate article.
We must pay tribute, I was not the only one who drew attention to such a technological imbalance. A lot of researchers of historical mysteries have repeatedly drawn the attention of their audience to the same riveted connections from the 19th century, which we inherited from locally preserved artifacts. Indeed, there is something to pay attention to. All rivets are similar to each other, like twin brothers, and have almost perfect symmetry, and on both sides. They do not show any piece defects, which are sure to be on rivets from the 20th century. And this rule is observed even in places where these rivets are difficult to install due to the complexity of the details. And this is regardless of the size of the rivets themselves, which on individual products are quite significant in size and for obvious reasons it is not so easy to hammer them with an ordinary hammer.
Almost everything that could be done in this way was made from steel on riveted joints in the 19th century - bridges, ships, public buildings, industrial equipment, and much more. Even such a masterpiece was also made on rivets.
What do you think he worked on - wood, diesel fuel or a Tesla box (which Tesla had not yet invented at that time)? None of these three, I guess. This is an ordinary steam locomotive from the 19th century. What turned the water into steam there, we no longer know. But it is difficult to imagine a man who is behind, so that he throws firewood and, like in a children's song, beeps endlessly. At that time, it was a luxury class technique, and its owner hardly allowed himself to get dirty and breathe fumes.
However, the boiler of this locomobile was also made with rivets. I anticipate the thoughts of the supporters of the theory of nuclear generators - there was no uranium or radium there. Where are the rivets and where is the uranium? According to one of the thoughts, the principle of operation of such locomotives was similar to the analogous principle of locomotives on the railways of Switzerland. Only there everything depended on the rails and the temple standing on them. And here, most likely, for such a technique, the very iron pavements were made, which in some places are still preserved, for example, in Kronstadt. It is possible that for such locomotives this was not required either - there is a semblance of rubber tires on the wheels. The energy of the past is a mysterious thing. But back to the rivets.
This is an ordinary pontoon, captured in Egypt in the period 1860-1870. Where did he come from there? Perhaps it was abandoned by Napoleon's army after crossing the Nile, and the local population then adapted. Well, do not waste the same good. But this is not what interests us at all.Take a look at his performance. How many rivets had to be put, and of the same ideal size? Well, let's say such a product can still be assembled in a workshop from two halves, and the rivets can be hammered in by means of small-scale mechanization. And what about here?
To fill such a number of rivets in the field in our time, well, is not at all realistic. And this is just a newly built water pipeline somewhere in the United States during the 1880s. And oddly enough, welding of steel parts already existed at that time, but no one wanted to take advantage of this know-how. Why? Capitalism, as you know, strives in every possible way to reduce any costs, in connection with which it constantly improves the technological process. But here, it seems, is not the case. And indeed, riveting was as easy as shelling pears. In what way, I wonder?
To answer this question, let's first give a little official theory of rivet joints.
Riveted connection - one-piece connection of parts using rivets. Provides high resistance to shock and vibration loads. It has been known since antiquity. In Russia, riveted items are found during archaeological excavations of settlements and date back to the 9th-10th centuries. At the present stage of development of technology, welding and gluing is giving way, providing greater productivity and higher bond strength. However, it still finds application for structural or technological reasons: in joints where it is necessary to exclude a change in the structure of the metal, warping of the structure and overheating of adjacent parts; connection of dissimilar, difficult-to-weld and non-weldable materials; in connections with difficult access and quality control; in cases where it is necessary to prevent the propagation of a fatigue crack from part to part.
Recently, pneumatic riveting hammer and anvil support are increasingly being replaced by other equipment - pneumatic pliers and a riveting press. Riveting presses with numerical control (numerical control) make it possible to produce large panels for aircraft fuselages and wings with high productivity.
Labor intensity of the process. It is necessary to drill many holes, install rivets, rivet them. These operations are performed manually by two assembly fitters. Until the last quarter of the 20th century in the USSR, thin young men were specially hired at aircraft factories who were able to climb into a narrow compartment in order to hold an anvil-support there.
Increased material consumption of the compound. The rivet seam weakens the main part, so it should be thicker. The rivets carry the load, so their cross-section must correspond to the load.
The need for special measures for sealing. This is very important for aircraft construction and rocketry, when assembling caisson tanks and passenger compartments. In the caisson tanks located in the aircraft wings, as a rule, they hold fuel - aviation kerosene. The kerosene resistant rubber sealant must cover all rivet seams. Its weight can be tens of kilograms.
The process is accompanied by noise and vibration. This leads to a number of occupational diseases in collectors and causes deafness. Therefore, wherever possible, new riveting tools are being introduced.
As always, almost nothing is said about the history of riveted connections. By the way, no one wondered why clocks in the first half of the 20th century were called boilers in the common people? The German word for a boiler is "kessel", hence the word "caisson", which was also made on rivets in the 19th century. The caisson is just a tank from the same boiler. In the late 80s of the 20th century, at the decline of socialism, in the USSR, electronic watches, which were made somewhere in Southeast Asia, and they were called "kessel", began to be in great demand. Fartsovschiki made decent fortunes for those times on such watches.How did the watch deserve such a name, or rather the binding of its name to the boilers? This is clearly not a historical tradition in Russia-USSR taken separately. The answer here is simple - both the clock and the boilers once worked on their own according to the same principle. This is to the question of locomobiles, and here is the same energy of the past. At electronic antique auctions there are a lot of watches without signs of mechanical winding (they are photographed there from all sides, even from the inside). But this is again another topic for a separate story.
As you can see, riveted joints have a lot of disadvantages compared, for example, with welded joints. Nevertheless, steam boilers in the 19th century were made with rivets all over the world and did not think about it. There are many videos on the network about how craftsmen restore old steam engines that accidentally came to them. And again we see magnificent rows of ideal rivets on them, and in those places where it is very difficult to put them. How so? We begin to delve into the materiel.
Oddly enough, in the free access archives there are very few photos from the 19th century on the construction of steel structures on rivets. Although there are a lot of photos of the completed structures themselves from the same period. And no less there are photos of ordinary locksmiths doing other work. In itself, this fact was slightly alarming. But still something was found.
This is the construction of a span in Germany at the end of the 19th century. What does the worker do, and most importantly, what kind of magic machine is fixed on the opposite side of the brand? And on it, as in collective farm workshops during electric welding, they put scrap to improve contact. Probably, this is the very anvil-support, and the crowbar was put by accident. One case is just a case. We look further.
This is a photo of some American metalwork assembly shop from the end of the 19th century. There is nothing unusual on it. Another air hammer is used as an anvil support and is held by an African American. The rivets in the design position are hammered in hot, which is generally understandable. Pay attention to the diameter of the rivets. It appears to be about 10 mm. The power of the hammers is sufficient to deform such a rivet.
This is a photo from the same country and the same historical period. The plot is almost the same, except that the work is going on in the field. Before driving, the rivets are heated in some kind of oil oven (judging by the description of the photo). Everything would be fine, but there is one small detail - all the rivets are already hammered. How to understand this fact? Did the workers specially leave one rivet unpinned for the photo? Of course not. This is in its purest form a staged photo, and according to some indications, even a photomontage. All the rivets at the time of the photo have long been in the project locations. Who needed to fabricate such a photo? Perhaps there was a government order for such a fake. Perhaps the owner of the bridge decided to capture its construction retroactively. There may be other reasons as well. The main thing is to treat such photos with skepticism, as lawyers say, with an accusatory bias. We look further.
This is a photo from a collection of stories about the construction of a skyscraper in New York in the late 19th century. As the former Moscow mayor would say, according to the plot, the workers famously vpendyurivayutsya rivets in the frame of the future building, and holding on to the air at a decent height. Of course, they are great, but only here all the rivets are already hammered. And the size of these rivets is quite decent for the size of their hammer. How can such rivets be hammered in such conditions? Most likely, we also have falsification here, if at all the workers do not do something else with this tool.
This photo is from the same series. Despite the fact that there are a number of unbreakable rivets, their size is suggestive. Is it really possible to hammer rivets of this diameter with such hammers? I guess not (experts, correct). For comparison, I will give a photo from the 20th century from the Krupp factories in Germany, where rivets with a similar diameter are pressed.
Feel the difference, as they say.Two workers with thin hammers replace an impressive hydraulic jack. The conclusion is simple - either all American photos are a total "dream factory", or the workers' hammers have some kind of secret. But there are no miracles in electromechanics. By the size of the hammers, one can understand without a doubt that the maximum they can do is to crush rivets 10 mm in diameter and hot. We look further.
This is the construction of some kind of reservoir in the USA, 1900. The object does not look like a pavilion, and from the hands of the worker on the left you can understand that this is not an actor. Nevertheless, he hammers the rivets of impressive size with the same light hammer. Is this so? Let's see an enlarged fragment.
Everything would be fine, but again it gives out a slender row of lower rivet heads (circled). They've all stood still for a long time. The worker only poses for a photo. In the background, another worker is posing with another hammer on which a chisel is attached. What can they do there on such a structure? But the sizes of their hammers are exactly the same. And again we have a staged photo. The rivets are set in the design position in a completely different way from what the workers in the photo show us, and jackhammers are intended for completely different jobs. Let's remember this photo, we will need it a little later.
And again we get a bunch of riddles, one of which is why they were throwing such photos in general. Actually, it is not difficult to guess, where the energy of the past was previously, in order to remove the historical vacuum, it was replaced with a similar falsification. This applies to almost all areas of life and there is nothing to be surprised at. But maybe there is something that will shed light on the mystery of these rivets?
This is a photo of the stand of some vocational school from Germany at the end of the 19th century. It shows a slice showing the structure of the metal in riveted joints. Pay attention to the small outlined section. This is the very plastic deformation due to which the rivet expands and fills the volume of free space in the hole. No wonder, this process is described in all textbooks on mechanical engineering. But now take a look at the rivet heads and the large outlined section. Why are the heads ideally adjacent to the surface, and at the edges of the rivet does not have a layered structure? This can only be achieved in one way - by melting the metal of the rivet and pressing it into the hole. The picture is starting to clear up. But how did you manage to do such local melting? Well, clearly not a jackhammer.
Among the many old photos of the riveting process being sorted through, we managed to find some very strange ones.
This is France, 19th century. Here, too, a worker is standing in a staged photo, because the rivets are already ready, and of an impressive size. What can be done with such a hammer? Is that slightly knock out. But what is interesting is that the worker is wearing protective goggles. Has he decided to seriously chop off small pieces from this structure? Or does he not have a jackhammer at all? But further, more.
This is France at the end of the 19th century, a photo from some shipyard. Would have passed this photo with confidence if not for his signature - "riveter at work." This? Riveter? It looks more like a gas cutter, because they are worn by almost everyone. These glasses are closed so that drops of molten metal do not fly into them from the side. Perhaps in Europe it is very strict with safety measures, but in other photos none of the workers are trying to put on any glasses again. But that's not all. What kind of tool is this riveter holding? I find it difficult to classify it even after work experience in production. It looks like a pipe with ribs, possibly protective. And some kind of hose leads to this tool. But as it turns out on close inspection, not just a hose.
Now this material is called a metal hose, but in the common people it is still called in some places in the old fashioned way - an armored hose.Its main task is mechanical and electrical protection of what is in it, as a rule, electrical wires or cables. It is never made sealed, the main task is flexibility and strength. Again, the strength is relative, the metal hose can be easily crushed or bent by hand. In production conditions, when you can accidentally step on it with your foot, the effect of its use is exactly zero. What was it used for then? The question is however. We are looking at another photo from the series of the same tank construction.
Have you noticed anything strange? Let's see an enlarged fragment.
Here you can see that most of the rivets have not yet been installed. They are only in the bottom row. The top sheets have just been installed, and the workers temporarily unfasten them with some kind of lightweight rivets. For these purposes, the very same jackhammers, barbs and a temporary suspended anvil are needed. But the main thing is that our armored jacket quietly and calmly hung down at the bottom of the photo. The most important instrument, to which it leads, did not get into the frame. It is with this tool that the bottom row of rivets is made. At the top, the workers simply did not need this tool at this stage.
And most likely, in this case, the photographers took pictures of the process of building the reservoir without hesitation. It's just that photos not intended for the public have been removed from free circulation. And it was already in the 20th century. We left only those photos that were successfully taken out of context and by which it is difficult to understand something. Everything is thought out. But what about the rivets?
Another photo was found, this time the work of a riveter on the frame of a skyscraper in San Francisco, in the period 1880-1890. The rivets seem to be all right too. And the hose again looks like a metal hose, but here it can be confused due to the quality of the photo. But look at the tool. Two electrodes on the sides and a working body in the center are clearly visible. Doesn't it look like anything? The worker on the left just stands there without even helping. What is this instrument? Attempts to find at least something similar have practically yielded no results. But again an old friend helped, a well-known electronic auction of antiques, where things are called by their proper names and, in general, are not shy.
This item is called a rivet button and dates from the 19th century. To avoid confusion, I checked with tailor's accessories, it turned out that buttons were not put on clothes in the 19th century. And even with similar tailor's tools from the 20th century, there is no resemblance at all. What is this thing? In English (on the auction site) this item is called a button, in French it is bouton, and in Russian it is just a bud. Yes, the same flower, only two petals. Obviously, in the center of this bud, something was fastened, from which the armored sleeve departed. When this something was pressed, some kind of contact was closed, like in a button, and our rivet in the center of this device began to melt. From the electric currents induced in it itself, of course. This is the energy of the past. And further, it was enough to crush it by the effort of an ordinary person. And yet, does the circled fragment really resemble nothing even now?
Have arrived. This is the same vajra, only there are many electrodes on its souvenir versions, and only two were enough for locksmith tools. Who said that this is the weapon of the gods? This is a very mundane instrument that served for the local melting of metals. As a weapon, it can of course also be used, but most likely it was a multifunctional item. And the melting of rivets and metal, in principle, was one of its purposes. This artifact was deified quite recently.
By the way, installing rivets with such a tool was really no more difficult than hammering in nails. It was more difficult to make that same rivet.
The items in this photo, despite the status of antiques, are ordinary souvenirs, and the date of their birth is highly questionable.Real vajras had an iron core inside, such as on the largest one on the right, which can be seen. And this core was most likely movable. Well, every real vajra had to have access to the same armored sleeve. He is nowhere to be found.
Attaching vajras to bells is most likely a very recent invention too. On many artifacts sold at serious auctions, you can see with the naked eye that the bell and the vajra are made of different materials, and even not very well connected. By the way, about the bells.
Identifying pre-Christian bells is easy enough. On their "handles" there are almost always "faces", as in this photo, or traces of their cutting. And at the same time, there is always a circled object along the axis of such bells. What's this? It is already absent on the remakes. These bells once had a continuation upward, like an armored sleeve. How it looked, we no longer know. Compare this outlined item to the tip of a tool at a French shipyard worker. The similarity is obvious, only there are no edges. The metal did not melt here, the energy simply passed into another form. The energy of the past has absolutely the same physical properties.
Note the bell in the back. He, too, has signs of pre-Christian performance. How does it hang, and most importantly, how to call it? The answer here is quite simple - it stands on an internal support, and no one has ever climbed to call it on the roof. The handles at the top of the bell, the central object and what was under it formed the very "button", only acting from below. When pressed from the room, the bell began to emit the purest unctuous ringing. However, the bells are also a separate topic for the story.
And finally, I will attach a photo of a 19th century pressure cooker. Where she had the same "button", I suppose, it is not difficult to determine.
As you probably already understood, the principle of operation of riveting tools, steam boilers, bells and even vajras with guns was essentially the same. It differed only in the external manifestations of the released energy. Energy was released in one small place due to the connection of a tubular metal connection from an external device. In the case of rivets, this tubular metal bond was the very armor hose. In the case of boilers, it was a pipe that everyone confuses with a chimney, but which was then turned into a chimney. Bells with cannons had a similar design, but their reconstruction takes time - for these artifacts the "historians" cleaned up the archives very well.
After the energy of the past was destroyed at the end of the 19th century, riveting technology, as well as the technology for producing artificial stone, became hostage to the process and disappeared. The riveting tool was replaced with a jackhammer, the armored hose - with a regular hose, and that very external device was replaced with a compressor. Subsequently, hydraulic jacks were invented, but they did not receive wide distribution due to their bulkiness.
But what was all the same for the external device to which the armored sleeve went in the case of the riveting tool? I think he is well known to everyone from the last article, which gave impetus to poetry for more than one blogger and for which they still do not cease to thank (thank you all, I did not expect such an effect).
This is exactly the engine room of the exhibition, where all the construction equipment available at that time and not only construction equipment was exhibited. And at many exhibitions there are a lot of such photos. And I suppose there is less one more secret of the 19th century.