A NEW FIRE APPARATUS.
We present herewith an illustration of the Holland Mammoth Playpipe, | an exhibition of which was given in this city, on Tuesday last. On one of our advertising pages will be found illustrations of a small Holland Pipe, designed for ordinary use. The advantages claimed for it are that, from the peculiar nature of its construction, the Pipeman is enabled to turn the stream in any direction without “lighting up” on the line of hose, or getting bends in it. The small pipe has been used with great satisfaction in several New England cities, the Chiefs of which have certified to its advantages, especially for work inside a burning building, or for work from a ladder.
The Mammoth Pipe above illustrated is the outgrowth of the small pipe, being constructed on precisely the same principle, but -on a much larger scale. From a glance at the cut it would naturally be thought that it is constructed on wrong principles entirely, for at the base of the pipe there is an obstruction placed in the water way—being the ’doublejoint on which the pipe works —and the stream is divided at that point, to unite again after passing the joint. Theoretically regarded, this would seem to be an insuperable objection to the Holland Pipe, but practical use demonstrates that theory is wrong, at least, in this instance. In competitive tests with plain service playpipes, the small Holland Playpipes have held their own in distance throwing, and have the additional advantage of being doublejointed, so that the direction of the stream can be changed with little effort. The Mammoth Pipe is mounted on a light carriage, drawn by one horse, and as it weighs but little, can be readily transported through the streets. On each side and at the rear are Siamese connections, having clapper valves, so that one line of hose or ten lines may be attached at will. There arc three openings on each side, and four at the rear. From these the water passes into a chamber or reservoir, and thence into the Pipe. By means of the small wheels at the base of the Pipe it can be elevated to any angle, raised or depressed, and revolved in any direction ; it can throw a stream downward at a sharp angle, and from that depression elevated to a perpendicular position. By means of the smaller wheel placed above the others, the outlet at the nozzle can be changed so as to deliver four different size streams, from 1 % inches to 2yi, without shutting off the water or stopping the engine. This is done by means of a disc in which openings of different sizes are cut. Ibis disc may be understood from the accompanying diagram.
In changing from one size opening to another, a part of two openings and one of the smaller intermediate orifices allow the water to pass freely, so that there is no sudden interruption to the stream. But for this there would be damage inflicted upon hose and upon the pumps: This disc can be made of any size containing any number of openings, which may be varied so as to deliver streams of any required size. All the parts of the Pipe are beautifully made, and work with the greatest case.
The trial on Tuesday last was made at the foot of Bethune street, with the powerful pumps of the new Fire Boat, Zophar Mills. Ihere were present Commissioners Gorman, Van Cott and Purroy. Chief Bates, Assistant Chief Shay, and Battalion Chiefs McCabe and Bresnan, beside a number of other officers and men of the Department, and an interested crowd of spectators. Eight lines of hose were connected to the Pipe, and the pumps set at work, the intention being to throw the stream into the river. It was speedily found, however, that the wind blowing from the West was too strong to render a satisfactory exhibition possible, for the stream was broken into spray and driven back in a soaking shower of salt water upon the pier and all congregated thereon. It was even carried to an adjoining pier, where painters were at work painting a steamboat, and they immediately raised a howl that their work was being spoiled. As a consequence the pumps were worked but a few minutes, but during that time the Pipe was elevated and depressed, revolved from one side to another and the size of the streams changed rapidly from^he smaller to the intermediate and larger openings. Sufficient time was taken to show that the Pipe operates as readily as isclaimed by the inventor, and performs all he claims for it. This was ascertained at the expense of the wetting of nearly all who witnessed the exhibition, owing to the (act that the stream had to be thrown in the (ace of the wind. All present freely admitted that the Pipe was the best apparatus they had seen for handling and directing large stieams, and that It does all the inventor claims for it. Whether it will be regarded as a valuable auxiliary to apparatus now in use, remains to be demonstrated by future service in every day experience at fires. When large streams are employed with the ordinary playpipe, it requires a number of men to hold the pipe, and in changing its direction, considerable care has to be taken of the hose. The Holland Pipe is easily controlled by one man, or even a child, and when once placed in position may be left to itself, and will do its work as long as the pressure is maintained. The inventor has produced a very ingenious and finished apparatus; it remains for the Firemen to demonstrate its value in actual service. Recent experience and experiments have clearly proven the importance of concentrating the power of two or more engines into one large stream for the purpose of gaining distance and volume, but especially the latter, and any apparatus that will tend to facilitate this concentration of power is something to be desired, and all inventions having that end in view should be encouraged. The Holland Mammoth Pipe exhibited on Tuesday is the first and only one of its kind ever made, and some minor improvements have already suggested themselves to the inventor which will REVOLVING DISC. incorporated in any future Pipes he makes. It is probable that the attachment of nozzles of proper dimensions to the openings on the revolving disc will have a tendency to prevent the streams spraying so much as they do, and enable the Pipe to throw a solid stream to a greater distance. But the exhibition referred to was no test of this quality of the Pipe, for the strong wind would have cut any stream into spray. There was no question as to the quantity of water delivered, for the dripping garments of those present would testify to the fact. We hope soon to see the Holland Mammoth Pipe in actual service, and its merits tested bv every day experience.