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After about twenty years I was able to solve the mysteries of
furnace construction and discovered how to make furnaces which
would work properly. I finally comprehended that each furnace
could be represented as a hydraulic recipient or reservoir, that the
problem of designing a furnace was nothing more than a problem
in hydraulics, and that the circulation of the hot gases in the
furnace was similar to the circulation of a light liquid within a
Having arrived at this knowledge of furnaces, I found much
pleasure in conveying it to my co-workers. I was thus confirmed
in my belief that the hydraulic theory was clear, and presented to
the human mind an exact and precise view of the problem, a true
point of attack. The time necessary to acquaint a young engineer
with the principles of furnace design was reduced to one month.
An old employee \vho worked in the rolling mill and was well
posted in regard to shop practice was able to understand the
science of furnaces in a single evening, and I am satisfied that the
subject was thoroughly understood by him.
Nevertheless rny problem was not completely solved; under-
standing the mechanism of the circulation of the hot gases was not
sufficient. It still remained to establish the mathematical
formulas for those laws, in order to compute the dimensions of the
furnace. M. J. Yesmann, Professor of Hydraulics at the Poly-
technic Institute of Petrograd, came to my assistance at this point.
Professor Yesmann's formula for the inverted dam or weir W has
been verified by me by its application to twenty existing furnaces.
Having convinced myself that it was correct, I inserted the com-
putation of reverberatory furnaces into the metallurgical course of
the Polytechnic Institute of Petrograd.
It is true that the problem has not been entirely solved. A
large amount of research work must be done in order to determine
the coefficients which are necessary to reduce these formulas to
practice. I understand perfectly that my work is nothing more
than the first step toward the solution of the problems of furnaces.
It has caused and, I hope, will cause many others to undertake
the tests which are required to complete the work.
For example, one objection which has been made is that I have
made an error in assuming that a current of flame is similar to a
current of incandescent gas. It is perfectly true that this is an
(1) Refer to pages 40 and 53.