ANNUAL MEETING OF ILLINOIS CIVIL ENGINEERS.
The Illinois Society of Engineers and Surveyors assembled in thirteenth annual meeting at Peoria on January 26, with eighty-one old members in good standing. Twenty-two new members were added.
The secretary read his report and C. C. Stowell, president of the society, delivered his annual address. The report of the water works committee was presented by Dabney H. Maury, jr., chairman. It gave information regarding the rules, regulations, and rates of water companies throughout the State of Illinois. The secretary read a paper on “Railroad construction in Mexico,” by I,. P. Atwood, engineer of the maintenance of way of the RioGrande, Sierra Madre and Pacific railway, which contained a detailed account of the cost of steel tie plates used in the construction of this road. John T. Stewart, of Paxton, gave his experience as a leveler for the U. S. Geological survey in running lines in the Black Hills country. S. S. Greeley, delivered an interesting address upon the topic, “The status of the surveyor of Illinois: Isit a profession or a trade?” His conclusions went to show that surveying is one of the liberal arts—a profession and not a handicraft or trade. He argued strongly for the licensing of surveyors and engineers, referring to the recent act of the legislature of Illinois requiring architects to be licensed.
The evening session, which was held at Bradley hall, was given up to a description, with stcreopticon illustrations, of the Beoria park system by Messrs. R. R. Bourland, O. F. DuBois. and L. K. Dewein. The exercises were opened by an address of welcome by Hon John Warner, mayor, which was followed by an address to the engineers by Hon. O. J. Bailey, president of the Polytechnic Institute. Before the opening of this session members of the society inspected that institute.
On Thursday morning, Prof. William I). Pence, of the University of Illinois, read a paper on the “Graphical representation of the magnetic declination,” describing in a very interesting manner the daily and annual movements of the magnetic needle. P. C. Knight,chairman of the drainage committee submitted his report on “Drainage” and gave a description of the drainage of the Meredosia swamps in Whiteside county.Centrifugal pumps are user!, having a daily capacity of 36,000,000 gallons of water per day with a life of sixteen feet. An Interesting paper upon the purification of sewage by the Ferrotone Polarite system, as observed at Acton. England, was presented by Mr. John W. Alvord, of Chicago. The discussion which followed the reading of this paper indicated that this system is to be adopted in the vicinity of Chicago at an early date. A paper on “Water analysis” by A W. Palmer,professor of Chemistry at Champaign,was read. Prof Palmer,being in charge of the sanitary survey of the waters of the State of Illinois, has much information upon this subject. The afternoon of Thursday,the 27th. was devoted to an inspection of the Peoria water works ptant and the Atlas distillery Mr. Maury.the superintendent of the water works company, took great pains to explain the details of the interesting water supply system to the members of the society,
At the evening session, Mr. Charles II. Nicolet, chairman, read the report of the committee on municipal engineering. A paper on “Proposed State supervision of water supply and sewage disposal” was read by Mr. Jacob A. Harman. It recorded the efforts of the engineers and physicians of the State to have a bill passed providing that the State board of health should have control of the water supply and sewage of the State The following officers were elected for the ensuing years: President, A. D. Thompson, Peoria; vice-president, W. A. Darling, Rock Island;executive secretary and treasurer, Jacob A. Harman, Peoria; recording secretary, J. C. Quade. Kewanee; trustees, W. D. Pence, Champaign, S. S. Greeley, Chicago, and C. C. Brown. Bloomington. After the selection of Champaign as the next place of meeting, the society adjourned for lunch and social intercourse to the Hotel Fey.
Friday, the 29th, the last day of the session,was devoted entirely to the reading of papers and committee reports and discussions. Prof. A. N. Talbot, of the University of Illinois, presented a report for the committee on paving brick specifications and recommended that the society adopt certain uniform methods of testing. This report was finally referred back to the committee for further investigation to report at the next annual meeting. The first paper on the program was “Deep well pumping” by Mr. E. E. Johnson, of Chicago. His paper gave very valuable data with reference to the air-lift pumps and other systems of deep well pumping, he also exhibited model of a new design of deep well pumping, which shows great economy over any form of deep well pump heretofore in use. S. S. Greeley, chairman, reported for the committee on the “Metric system,’’and a resolution was passed indorsing the adoption of that system for general use in the United States. J. E. Miller, read a paper on “Brick and macadam for country roads,’’ describing work which had been constructed north of Monmouth, Ill. Mr. J. T. Schmeltzer, of Mantino read a paper on “Improving the roads of Illinois.’’ A paper on “The improvement of transportation in country districts,” by Mr. E. E. R. Tratman was read. A. Eagron reported for the committee on “Public highways,” and showed a disposition to discourage action upon the subject by engineers because of the lack of interest exhibited by the farmers or those wnohave most use for the roads. M. Huebinger, of Peoria, presented a paper on “City map making.”
After numerous resolutions and installation of officers, the society adjourned.
The Young Men’s Christian association building at Scranton. Pa , a fine building with hall annex, library, etc., was burned down in a very few minutes by a fire caused by an explosion from a vitascope exhibition. The main building was four stories high; the annex three stories.and built of brick and iron. The ground floors were occupied by stores. The walls fell and for some time St. Luke’s Episcopal chuich and other near-by buildings were in great danger. The fire department, however, kept the flames from spreading outside the place of origin. Loss all round, between $250,000and $300,000, fairly well insured. The intense cold handicapped the firemen: but the water supply was abundant.