BARROW. A machine for carrying loads by manual labour. Barrows are of two classes : hand-barrows, and wheel-barrows. Hand barrows consist merely of a small platform attached to two poles projecting equally from each end, and carried by two men in the manner of a sedan chair. Wheelbarrows are made of various forms, widely dif fering from each other, to suit the I particular work for which they are intended, as ex cavator's barrows, I brickmaker's bar rows, &c., but all of them are con structed with a single wheel in front, and two handles behind. Barrows are an advantageous mode of employing the power of men ; accord ing to Coulumb, a man with a barrow will do half as much more work as he can do with a hod. The longer the arms of the barrow, the less is the labour of wheeling it. A great improvement has been made in wheel-barrows, by the addition of two long leaf-springs, in the outer end of which the pivot of the wheel turns, instead of being carried by stiff inflexible arms, as heretofore. In the construction of docks, canals, embankments, &c , one very great portion of the labour consists in raising the earth from a lower to a higher level, and this is mostly done by barrows ; but the common mode of barrowing, by which one man is drawn almost vertically up an inclined plane, along with a loaded barrow, whilst another man descends a similar plane with an empty barrow, is extremely dangerous, many men having lost their lives, or having been seriously injured by it. In the following plan, invented by Mr. Matthews, and which has been rewarded by the Society of Arts, by an honorary gold medal, these evils are entirely avoided, as the barrows are alter nately drawn up and let down without any workman accompanying them. a a is a plank 10 or 11 inches wide, laid at a small angle suf ficient to keep the barrow-wheel in contact with it, and two strips b b are spiked to the edge of the plank, so as to form a groove for the wheel of the barrow to run in ; two pieces of quartering, or small spars c c, are fixed on each side, at aproper distance, to guide the handle, by which the barrow is kept in a proper position against the plank upon which the wheel runs; about 10 or 15 feet from the top of the plank, and the stage where the load ed barrow is to land, a pulley d is fixed to a pole e, through which the rope, or chain, is passed down to the barrow ; to the end of the rope is fastened a hook, which goes into an eye f fixed upon the point of the barrow.
A pair of slings are slid upon the handles of the barrow, previously fastened upon the rope at a proper distance, to keep the barrow in a right position to be drawn up the plane, or plank, which is when the handles of the barrow are a little below the horizontal line with the wheel of the barrow while running up the plank. The rope, after passing over a pulley d, passes through another leading pulley g, at a proper height to suit the draft of a horse, and is con nected to a similar apparatus at another inclined plane, situated at a distance from the former, somewhat exceeding the length of the planes on which the barrows run. A horse is attached by a rope to the middle of the horizontal part of the rope g g, and alternately traversing between the two stations, raises a loaded barrow at one station, or plane, whilst an empty one descends at the other, unaccompanied by a man. The pulley d is elevated so high as to let the rope from the barrow clear the bank, and yet incline so much inward that the barrow clears the bank as it swings in, and lands itself as shown by the dotted lines. The man has only to fix the ropes to the empty barrow, and wheel the full one away.