A Fireproof Jewelry Factory.
To avoid, so far as their own factory was concerned, any possible repetition of the disastrous fire which visited Attleboro, Mass., some time ago, Tappan Brothers, jewelry manufacturers of that city, determined to build one that is fireproof. In this they were materially assisted by their contractors, the Aberthaw Construction company, of Boston, Mass., whose experience in this particular field was already extensive. The location of the new building—between others of an inflammable nature—was such that not only did it appear necessary to make it fireproof for its own sake, but it was essential that, if possible, it should furnish a barrier against the passage of lire from one group of buildings to another. Reinforced concrete was the material selected. Experience has fully demonstrated that a building of this material, when properly designed and constructed, is practically impervious to fire. Even though its interior may have been entirely consumed, the walls and floors have remained intact without diminution of strength. Although the first cost of a reinforced concrete factory is usually somewhat higher than that of a building of slow-burning construction, its many advantages far outweigh the additional expense. This factory building is of the simplest construction, measuring about 44 ft. in width by 180 ft. in length. A single row of columns running down the centre of each of the three floors supports continuous beams extending from end to end of the building. Both columns and longitudinal beams are of reinforced concrete. So, also, are the cross-beams upon which the floor itself is laid. This floor consists of reinforced concrete slabs, upon which are laid plank and 1-in. butted maple flooring. Wood was employed as a top course to furnish ready means of screwing down the machines. Butted, instead of matched stock was used, so as to simplify taking up and replacing. ‘The windows, which are practically continuous along the sides of the building, admit the maximum of light; but at the same time, if not properly protected, they present ready opportunity for transmission of fire. They were, therefore, set in metal sash with wired-glass. The result attained in this building is a fireproof interior, with the exception of the wood in the floors, benches and equipment. No opportunity is presented for the passage of fire from one floor to another. All partitions are likewise fireproof.