Another Borough.—Monongahela Planing Mill, &c.—During the late term of the Quarter Sessions, a petition was presented (so we understood,) asking for a charter for a cluster of buildings above Allegheny, which the inhabitants proposed to call Duquesne. We have heard nothing of it since; but if the prayer of the petitioners was not granted, it should have been; for the place is of sufficient magnitude and importance to require an organization.
Another borough charter is in contemplation, in the neighborhood of this city. That portion of Upper St. Clair township lying between the Birmingham line and the Clinton Iron Works, at the the [sic] base of Coal Hill, has mounted up within the past two years to such a position, that a government is absolutely necessary. It is now called South Pitt. The population is increasing with great rapidity. Manufacturing establishments, private dwellings, &c., are in progress of erection. The Ormsby estate has been parcelled out into "town lots," as our readers know, and many and valuable improvements have been made. No part of our county exhibits so many indications of progress as the little precinct referred to. Three years ago, we could stand upon this side of the river, and in a moment count all the buildings, of every description, it contained; now, there are "countless numbers."
We hope the charter may be granted; unless there should be a desire for consolidation—a union of Birmingham and South Pitt. Should this latter course be adopted, we would soon hear of an application for another city charter.—This we would like too.
On Thursday, though it was gloomy, muddy and disagreeable generally, we took a stroll across the Wire Suspension Bridge, to see what was to be seen in that neighborhood, We dropped into a new establishment—and a very extensive one it is, as well as interesting to a visitor. We refer to the "Monongahela Planing Mill" of Mr. Jas. Millingar. It is situated about three hundred yards above the bridge, on the bank of the river. It has been in operation since October. We were shown through it, by the gentlemanly proprietor, and were much gratified. Thus far the establishment has met with unprecedented success. We learned that, from the start, the machinery has been kept running from the dawn of morning till 9 o'clock in the evening—so great was the demand for work. The three planing machines turn out about eight thousand feet of boards per day. One of them particularly excited our curiosity; it planes both sides of a twenty-two inch plank at once. This is a feat not performed by any other machine in the west. They were made by Messrs. Fink & Prentiss, of New Jersey; and are deemed superb as to workmanship.
There are four Circular Saws kept constantly on the buzz; and an "up and down" for splitting plank, has been running all the time.
A Moulding Machine, of very ingenious construction, and which turns out the best work, was in running order. It appeared to be a very complicated contrivance; but no doubt it is simple enough when one understands its movements. One thing is certain, it performs neat work very quickly.
All the machinery of the establishment is driven by two Engines, of thirty horse power. They were manufactured by Robinson & Minis, and are said to be unequalled in every respect. The two cylinders are two feet stroke, and eleven inches in diameter. There are two thirty inch boilers, thirty eight feet long.
Though not mechanic enough to appreciate fully the value of the improvements introduced into these engines, we could nevertheless see that there was something novel in their construction; which, we were told, added greatly to their value, compared to the engines now in use in such mills. The names of the manufacturers are sufficient guaranty that the engines are of superior workmanship.
The arrangements for burning shavings and rubbish, without endangering the building, sfruck [sic] us as being excellent. We regard it as impossible that fire could be communicated to any combustible material in the building, by accident.—The shavings are let into a fire-brick vault, through trap doors, and run into the furnaces in quick time. The vault doors are of iron.
About eight hands are employed with the Planing Machines, the Saw Moulding Machine and Engine. These are enabled to do the work of sixty men!—Those philosophers who have been so much alarmed at the increase of labor among mechanics, may here find an item for a lecture; but we warrant that it is all for the better, in the end, and time will prove it so.
On the third story, we found a number of carpenters, busily employed on steamboat work. Machinery will this winter be introduced into the apartment, for the manufacture of window sash, door frames, &c., &c. The proprietor is well known to river men, as an extensive builder of steamboats cabins. We presume he could not estimate the number he has erected. He has now six in progress, of which is to be the finest that ever floated upon the Western rivers—we mean the new Wisconsin. We were shown a draught of the inside of her cabin, drawn by Mr. Kerr, whose valuable services Mr. Millingar has secured.
The "Monongahela Planing Mill" turns out work for builders in all directions. On Thursday a lot of boards were being run through for a man up the river. Birmingham, Sligo, and other places, give much employment to these machines; but an immense amount of work comes to this side of the river.
When a Planing Mill superior to Mr. Millingar's is established in this vicinity, or any where in the West, we will take pleasure in noticing it.