A QUESTION OF HOSE
Philadelphia has recently been considerably excited over the question of hose for the Fire Department. The Commissioners advertised for 5,000 feet of now hose, und bids were received from several manufacturers. The lowest bid was 79 cents per foot for rubber hose, and the company offering to supply it at that price claimed the award. But the Commissioners, after due deliberation, awarded the contract to the manufacturers of an entirely different kind of hose at $1.15 per foot, making an excess of $900 over the bid of the rubber hose company. This latter protested against the award, appealing to the City Council for redress. That body referred the matter to its Committee on Finance, with instructions to investigate the matter thoroughly. Meantime the newspapers took sides in the controversy, contributing several profound editorials to the current literature of the day on the subject of Fire hose. At last accounts tho matter was very much muddled, und likely to lead to litigation, whichever way it was decided.
There is nothing more essoutial to the successful working of a Fire Department than good, substantial hose. Without it, engines and Firemen aro useless, water works aro of no avail, and all the money expended upon these is rendered a worthless investment. Cheap hose is dear even if given away, for it is utmost certain to burst at a critical moment, when overy resource of the Fire Department is taxed to its utmost. Committees charged with the responsible duty of purchasing hose should insist upon subjecting overy sample offered to the severest test, and then, having doeided which is the must servicable, buy that and no other, oven if it does cost a trifle more than some other kind. The practice, so commonly followed, of awarding a contract for hose to tho lowest bidder is pretty sure to develop into some kind of a swindle before the eud is reached.