A Chapter on Fire Hose.
Some valuable information respecting the manufacture of two important brands of hose is given below, which goes to show the superior quality for strength and wear that is demanded by fire departments, and the almost perfect manner in which these demands meet the requirements.
The illustrations given herewith are those of the Maltese Cross (Fig. 1) brand of carbolized rubber fire hose and the Baker patent multiple fabric, solid rubber-lined cotton fire hose. It is a fact that of the former brand over four million feet were sold under a three years guaranty, and only one-quarter of one per cenl was returned to be replaced. In its preparation the “Maltese” becomes absolutely proof against mildew and rot. The carbolic acid solution is introduced into the cotton duck and rubber composing this hose, and retains there from forty to fifty per cent of the amount so introduced. This is regarded as a much larger quantity than is actually necessary to effectually preserve the hose. The claim is therefore made that this brand is almost indestructible excepting from the actual wear and tear of service.The Maltese carbolized rubber hose was perfected about nineteen years ago, so that its reputation is now well known in all parts of the country. Since January. 1888, its sales amounted to over four million feet, and all of this large quantity was guaranteed against mildew and rot. The value of the carbolic treatment is shown in the illustration (Fig. 2), which represents a piece of the cotton duck used in the fire hose. One-half of it was treated with carbolic acid, and the whole was then buried in deep, muddy soil for six weeks, when it was taken out. That portion of the duck which had been treated with the solution was found to be perfectly sound, while the portion not carbolized was found to be entirely destroyed by rot. It may be stated here that the Maltese brand is now in use in over 800 fire departments. The enormous quantity of 30,000 feet alone was sold to the New York Fire Department during this year, which was the largest order for fire hose ever placed with ojje concern. The Maltese is a comparatively light hose, made in fifty-foot sections of sixty-five, fifty-five and forty-five pounds, all guaranteed to stand 400 pounds pressure. There can be little doubt as to the efficacy of the carbolic treatment, or of the durability of this brand, as the chiefs of many of the leading fire departments have written testimonials bearing out the statements made in the foregoing remarks. Now, as to the second brand, that of the “ Baker patent multiple fabric, solid woven rubber-lined cotton fire hose,” little more can be said in addition to the favorable results enumerated for the Maltese brand. Fig. 3 shows a roll of this celebrated hose. Patents were obtained for the invention in March, 1875; thus for nearly fifteen years it has been in use in the fire departments of the country. The two sections. Figs. 4 and 5, show the lining of the “ Baker” brand and that of ordinary cotton hose, which speak for themselves. In the “ Baker ” it will be seen what a remarkably smooth surface is presented, which reduces faction to a minimum, while in other makes the lining is frequently rough, as shown in Fig. 5. An interesting test of hose was made by the Baltimore Fire Department in April, 1888, when, with an initial pressure of 180 pounds, the Baker Fabric showed J27 at the nozzle against 120 pounds of the next highest. The original length of hose was 200 feet, and the stretching of the Baker Fabric was only 202 feet against 204, the next best brand tested. With reference to this result it may be assumed that tooo gallons of water can be discharged in a given time through 200 feet of hose with eightyseven pounds pressure at the nozzle. Then the amounts which the Baker Fabric would show are 1208 and 120.8 pressure against 1174 and 117.4, the next best brand. These are interesting figures which are vouched for by the chief of the department and the manufacturers of the Baker Fabric hose. This brand is not only very strong, but it is capable of resisting great pressure, and its reeling qualities are claimed to be superior to all other brands of cotton hose, either multiple or jacketed. The novel feature of its manufacture is that the fabric in its normal condition is of flattened form in cross section instead of tubular, as ordinary tubular woven hose.
This form of hose is not only novel, but it possesses valuable features not found in other tubular hose. It is, of course, well known that in order to wind the ordinary tubular hose on a reel, it requires the outlay of considerable power to compress the hose into a flat form so that it may be wound as compactly as possible. When ordinary tubular hose is thus wound on a reel it is necessarily subjected to continuous strain, as the tendency of the plies of the hose is to spring back and resume a tubular form. This continued strain operates to weaken the hose ; consequently ordinary tubular hose actually wears out while on the reel, and invariably bursts on the line of folding, where the threads become weakened by undue strains.
These brands of fire hose may be safely said to stand in the first rank. If long service, strength, durability and standing the absolute maximum pressure at tests are qualifications, which they undoubtedly possess, then the nearest point to perfect hose is obtained. Add to this that, with a three years’ guaranty, little or none of the “ Maltese ” or “ Baker Fabric” hose ever comes back for replacing, no further proof can be given of their superiority. The manufacturer of these brands is the Gutta Percha and Rubber Manufacturing Company of New York and Chicago.
THE Pond Engineering Company of St. Lotus has sold the Fort Scott Electric Light and PowerCompanyone125-hor.se power Armington & Sims engine. This is the third engine sold to this company within a very short time. The Pond Company is also putting in for Guthrie, Chase & Co. of Milford, la., one 50-horse power Shutte exhaust steam condenser, complete with all pipe, valves, etc.