A German Water Mast
A somewhat curious looking contrivance for operating in high buildings has been constructed by direction of Superintendent Reichel. of the Berlin fire brigade. It is called a water mast, and as will be seen in the illustration, it is collapsible and easily convey to the scene of a fire. This appliance consists of a mast 16 meters high and a truck which is provided with supports capable of being swung out and anchored to the ground in a few seconds. It has four steel bands, which when out of operation roll up on four drums, according to the known Fontana principle, and can be united into a four-sided mast with the aid of a simple gear. At the head of the mast is a movable nozzle capable of being turned in all directions by means of ropes from below. It will be seen that the mast body, made of the bands, is hollow and is arranged to receive a flexible pipe, which is connected to the upper nozzle and rises with the mast when the latter is raised by turning cranks. The appliance when extended is braced by four steel ropes connected at its top and guided over rollers on the four anchors and over four spring rollers, which hold the four ropes taut at all heights of the mast. There are four hand-operated clamping devices which secure the four steel ropes to the anchors. In this manner the reaction at the mast head caused by the stream of water is transmitted to the ropes, whereby the bending moment of the niast is reduced. It may be stated that the mast is raised and lowered by two cranks served by four men. The time expended in erection and winding up is about two minutes. The whole apparatus can be drawn by four men, and its dimensions are such that the mast can be taken through narrow passages without any difficulty.
It may be of interest to state that the mast was subjected to an exacting test in he presence of Police President von Jagow, at the headquarters of the Berlin fire brigade. The results were so satisfactory that it was determined to place the mast in service and connect it to any available apparatus for conveying it to the fire.
This German invention is similar to the ladder nozzle used as a water tower in this country. The great difference apparently between the two is that the American ladder pipe is more staple, consequently more capable of standing rigid under pressure, besides it is ever present where there is an aerial TRUCK.-EDITOR.]