from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A flat iron plate sometimes fitted before the bars of a furnace, for the purpose of causing bituminous coal to assume the character of coke before it is thrust back into the fire.
- noun The part of a cotton-scutching machine between the beater-grids and the dust-cages.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Here is another method for consuming the smoke, but is a very wasteful one; four or five shovelfuls of small smoky coals are thrown on or near the dead-plate, where they remain until they become sufficiently heated to ignite, and are then pushed on to the bars by the rake, and a similar quantity again thrown on the dead-plate, and when ignited pushed on to the bars as before, and so it is continued.
The door has to be opened so frequently in this method, and in pushing the coals from the dead-plate to the bars a large amount of live fuel drops down into the ash-pit, and if this should be thrown into the furnace again, the fire is deadened immediately.
Anti-Corrosion liquid, or the powder, make the manhole joint with plaited three-strand spun yarn and stiff putty (red lead and white lead) and lay the fire, which is done in this way: throw a dozen shovelfuls of coals towards the bridge, and to left and right of it till they reach near to the dead-plate, leaving the centre clear for the firewood; then throw in three or four shovelfuls of coals over the wood, with oily waste or paper in front, and she is ready for lighting, and the "fire is laid."
In an establishment in West London the system in vogue was in this manner: all the bridges were built hollow, and an iron flap covered the bottom of the bridge, and a long iron rod from the flap was carried to the front of the boiler, and an inch steam pipe with cock attached entered the fireplace above the door, and was joined to a two-inch perforated pipe that was fixed from left to right over and above the dead-plate.