Art English Electric Fire Engine.
It will be remembered by the readers of FIRE AND WATER that some time since we illustrated an electric fire engine designed by the Silsby Manufacturing Company of Seneca Falls, N. Y. It will, we think, to many of them be news to hear, upon the authority of The Fireman of London, that some years ago, before, it is said, electric fire engines had been talked of, even on this side of the water, J. C. Merryweather of London was struck with the idea of utilising electricity for operating fire engines, and, after investigating the subject, took out a patent for a device. Since that time, we are told, the matter has also received constant attention.
Among the numerous projects contemplated was that of equipping one of the leading English cities with electric fire apparatus, but it was found that although no mechanical difficulty stood in the way, the efficiency of the machinery as compared with that of steam fire engines was not assured, while it was tolerably certain that there would be no pecuniary saving, and there was a probability of the new engines being somewhat more difficult to handle. So the project was dropped ; it was, notwithstanding, recognized that the electric engine might he useful in some circumstances, and one was accordingly constructed as a sample.
The engine, of which we give an illustration, is somewhat similar in external appearance to the steamers used in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Richmond. Coventry, Wimbledon and many other towns and districts. It is arranged on four wheels, w ith lore carriage and capacious hose and implement box, seats for fireman and driver, brake, etc., but in place of the boiler is affixed an electric motor. The one 011 the engine in question is by Siemen Broihers, the celebrated electrical engineers of Woolwich. The engine is capable of pumping 350 to 500 gallons per minute, and of throwing one jet to a height of 175 feet, two jets 145 feet or three jets too feet. The pump will draw its water from tanks, streams or shallow wells, or direct from the street hydrants, the latter a feature of much value. The hose box carries 1000 to taoo feet ol hose. The weight of the machine is rather in excess of that of a steam fire engine, but it is easily drawn by a pair ol horses at galloping speed, so that there is no material objection on this score.
The illustration shows the manner in which the electric street main is tapped, and the power given off to the motor of the fire engine. “ We are not in a position,” remarks The Fireman, ” to express an opinion as to whether such a fire extinguisher will ultimately compete successfully with steamworked engines. It is obviously of no use except where the power is available in every place where the services of the engine could by any possibility be required. The novelty is, however, well worthy of the consideration of corporate authorities and others possessing the power necessary for driving the engine.”
THE SEWERAGE OF GUILDFORD, Eng.—A public inquiry was held at Guildford, Eng , September 9, by Arnold Taylor of the Local Government Board, on the application of the Guildford town council for sanction to borrow ^35,000 for purposes of sewerage and sewage disposal works. According to Engineering, the town clerk, who appeared in support of the application, said the matter had been very carefully Considered by the town council for several years in order that the sewage might be disposed of without nuisance to anybody. So long ago as 1888 they appointed a committee which visited many places where sewage works were in operation, and came to the conclusion that the sewage should be dealt with by the system of the International Water and Sewage Purification Company, which they saw in successful operation at Acton. Under that system the sewage is first treated in precipitation tanks with ferozone to remove the solids, and is then passed through polarite beds, such as are in successful use at Acton, Hendon and other places. These polarite beds have a remarkable effect in rapidly oxidizing the organic matter in solution, and analyses show that this process produces a much purer effluent than can be obtained by any other process. C. Nicholson Lailey, C. E., of Westminster, as well as other engineers (several of whom recommended the International process), prepared plans for the scheme, and Mr. Lailey’s plans were finally selected and accordingly adopted by the sanitary authority. A large landowner having a residence near the proposed outfall works engaged Baldwin Latham to consider whether the purification works as recommended by C. N. Lailey were likely to cause a nuisance, and it was reported that he had no hesitation in saying that works of this character, if properly designed and carried out and attended to, could he made satisfactorily to deal with the sewage without the slightest nuisance even on the land itself. Sir J. Bazalgette also reported in favor of the scheme. The inspector expressed his entire approval of the scheme, stating that it was necessary to have the best system because the effluent discharged into the River Wey would ultimately reach the Thames above the water companies’ intake. It is intended to proceed with the scheme without delay.