AMERICAN-LA FRANCE COMPANY CONSOLIDATES PLANTS.
The Chamber of Commerce, of Elmira, N. Y., has brought about the consolidation in that city of the fire engine and fire-extinguishing plants of the American-La France Fire Engine company, hitherto operated at Baltimore, Chicago, Hudson, N. Y., Seneca Falls, N. Y., Waterford, N. Y., and Cincinnati. The whole plant will for the future cover something more than live acres of land, with an actual floor-space of approximately 225,000 square yards, exclusive of that which is devoted to yards. The cost of the improvements and additions will be close upon $200,000, and the whole work, which has been designed by Pierce & Bickford, architects, of Elmira, will be furnished within a period of nine months, and in this plant will be manufactured and assembled everything pertaining to the manufacture of the apparatus the company turns out. The company claims that of the total amount of fire-extinguishing apparatus sold throughout the United States it manufactures a little more than eighty-five per cent., and that its product is distributed over the whole of the civilised world, including England, Germany, France, Australia and Canada. The entire equipment for Manila was furnished by the company; its Australian agency is most important; and it is doing a very large business in South Africa, especially at the Johannesburg diamond mines, through its local agents there. To conduct its foreign business the company has appointed a special manager, with headquarters in New York city. The company has today in its employ twenty-six traveling salesmen, and has established seven branch offices. In New York alone, at the last parade of the city fire department every single one of tile 139 pieces of apparatus in line was manufactured by the Amcrican-La France Engine company. The company will employ 500 men at Elmira, and the payroll will average $6,000 a week. Its sixteen stenographers and thirty clerks will be housed in a new and handsome modern office building, in which will also be the rooms for the designers of and estimators on the various engines and other pieces of apparatus turned out by the company, all of whom, like the employes in the mechanical department, are experts of the highest type. Several buildings will have to be removed and re-erected. Chief among these are the new office building, the woodworking and the main plant. The new wood-working building will be three stories high and 130 feet long by sixtv-live feet wide. The office building will be n.S feet long, by fifty seven feet wide and will be three stories high. It will include the general offices of the company. The main building will be a model manufacturing structure. It will be three stories high, 56a feet long and fifty feet wide. The present office building will be extended thirty two feet one way and seventy-eight another, and will be turned back into the manufacturing plant. A portion of it will be devoted to an experimental shop, in which the company will develop new ideas and inventions in the fireextinguishing apparatus line, including automobile fire apparatus and other advanced designs now being developed. Other new buildings include the blacksmith shop, which is to be ninety by fifty feet, of special arrangement, with what is known as the balcony construction; the new brass foundry, seventy-five by fifty feet, with high ceiling for ventilation; the new truck shop, forty five by eighty feet in size, with tw’o stories; and the new pattern storehouse, sixty by thirty feet and three stories high. There will likewise be sheds for the storage of 150,000 feet of lumber-all Oregon pine specially cut and selected for the company, and to be carried for four years before being used. A storage reservoir for fire protection of the plant and for water for the testing of engines, etc., is to be built underground. Its capacity w ill be 75.000 gallons. The washer and locker building will accommodate the 500 employes, and the power plant will consist of 300-horscpower, to transmit which compressed air and direct-connected electric generators will be extensively employed. This plant will also generate the current for the electrical lighting of all buildings. The completeness of the plant, taken as a whole, it will be hard to equal’ in the United States.
A defective flue caused a $10,000 loss at Inez, Ky. Five dwellings and a church were destroyed. The lack of fire protection was responsible for the spread of the flames.