BAY STATE FIREMEN, Twelfth Annual Convention

BAY STATE FIREMEN, Twelfth Annual Convention


Last week the Massachusetts State Firemen’s Convention was held at Lowell. In the number of papers read and matters discussed it did not compare favorably with many of the previous meetings, but as regards the attendance and enthusiasm of the delegates present, the twelfth annual convention must be set down as the equal of any of its predecessors. Lowell, too, was hospitable to the extreme, thus adding considerably to the success and pleasure of the occasion.

On Wednesday the veteran firemen had possession of the city, and it was not until Thursday that the real business of the association commenced. The names of the winners of the prizes in the veterans’ tournament have already been given in last week’s issue of FIRE AND WATER, and following is a complete list of the competing companies and the distance water was thrown:

First prize, $150; second, $75 ; third. $40.

Relief oi New Bedford, B., 188 feet inches ; Veterans of New London, Conn., 175 feet 8 inches; ilay Cart of Pawtucket, R. I.. J., 199 feet 7 1/2 inches; Boston, H„ 168 feet 7 inches ; Chauncey of Newton, II., 178 feet 3% inches; Gen. Putnam. Worcester, B., 192 feet 9 3/4 inches; Red Jacket, Cambridge, B., 174 feet 7 1/2 inches ; Charlestown, Charlestown, J., 206 feet 1/4 inch; Volunteer, Central Kails. R. I., B., 208 leet ; Yale, Wakefield, J.. 203 feet inch ; Eureka, Waltham, H. H. St D., 161 feet 5 inches; Marblehead Vets, of Marblehead, H., 178 leet 4 3/4 inches; Gaspee, Providence, R. I., J., 196 feet 2 1/2 inches; Peabody of Peabody, H.. 195 feet 9 inches; Roxbury Vets., H., 183 feet it inches; Brockton Vets., B., 175 leet 5 inches; Niagara, Lowell, H., 190 feet 8 inches. B. for Button engine ; J. for Jeffers ; H. lor Hunnentan ; H. & D. for Howard & Davis

Central Falls, Charlestown and Wakefield were the winners of the prizes in the order named.

The city waa elaborately decorated for the occasion and the street parade, previous to the tournament, was witnessed by great crowds of people. It was rather a disappointment to the Charlestown men that they did not come in first, hut Commissioner Murphy, who was interested in the success of that team, can congratulate his townsmen upon coming so near the mark.



According to the programme the first session of the convention was held in Huntington Hall at 7.4; P. St. President Abbott was in the chair, and on the platform were J. C. Crombie, chairman of the firemen’s relief fund committee, and ex-Chief Damrell of Boston, Mayor Kifield, and Chiel Engineer Hosmer of Lowell, and others.

The committee on credentials was appointed as follows: L. E. Jenkins. Boston ; ex-Chief Symmesof Winchester and F. H. Humphreys of West Newton.

Mayor Fifield being introduced made a very appropriate address of welcome, which was acknowledged by the president. Chief Hosmer also extended a warm welcome to the visitors and wished that their stay in the city would be a pleasant and memorable one.

President Abbott then delivered his annual address. He alluded to the growing importance of the meetings of the association, as a means of learning of any improved methods of fighting fire and saving human life. It was the duty, consequently, of all the members to be attentive and observing, that they might return to their homes benefited by what had been learned. It should be the duty of firemen, so far as lies in their power, to prevent the enormous loss by fire every year. The loss in this State during the past year was $4,656,000 in round numbers, one-third less than on the previous year. The loss in the United States was about $108,993,000. which added to the expense of maintaining fire departments makes an enormous total, taking into consideration that three-fourths of the losses are from preventable causes.

The condition of the association is good. It has increased in membership during the past year, and now has over 1100 names on its roll. It is to he hoped that every active fireman will join and render financial aid for the permanency of the association. There is a good balance in the treasury, but it would be better were it not that the association has paid all the expenses of disbursing the $10,000 relief fund for the post year. The last legislature appropriated an extra $500 for this purpose, which will relieve the drain upon the treasury. The benefit of the legislative relief fund was alluded to, and the following recommended : First, that the executive committee be authorized to convene during the coming year and revise the constitution and by-laws ; second, that extra exertions be made to have the $10,000 relief fund made permanent; third, that the executive committee be authorized to inquire into the duties of the secretary and report at the next meeting what salary should be paid him.

It was announced that owing to pressure of business Mr. Brophy woultl not be able to deliver his lecture, which had been set down for to-morrow; but that ex-Chief Damrell would address the convention at the evening session.

The following-named committee on nomination of officers was announced : F. A. Cheney, Haverhill; W. K. Wagner, New Bedford ; J. E. Pennington, Worcester ; J. A. Daley, Pittsfield ; L. E. Hanson, Marblehead.


On assembling at 9.30 A. M. the report of the executive committee was presented. It recommended that the $10,000 firemen’s relief bill be renewed by the legislature for ensuing years, with the amendments that it should be an annual appropriation, and that $500 should be allowed for expenses of the commissioners.

E. S. Hosmer, Lowell, and T. L. Allen, Pittsfield, were appointed to the relief commission for one year.

J. C. Crombie, chairman of the relief fund committee, then gave a concise account of the manner in which the fund was distributed, and dwelt upon important points as showing its benefit to the disabled firemen. He expressed his gratification at the appointment of the two commissioners just made by the association, and then called upon J. E. Jenkins, who read the report prepared by C. S. Paisley, showing the method of distribution. It stated that $5800 had been spent of the $10,000 relief fund, and the $4200 left had been returned to the State. The $5800 had been given for sick benefits, funeral expenses and care of widows and minor children of firemen. The report gave the following: Number of claims made, 106; number allowed, 103 ; number disallowed, 3 ; for 2903 days’ relief, at $1.50 per day, $4,354.50; funeral benefits, $400; death benefits, $300 each, $900; for minors under fifteen years of age, $173.50: total, $5,927.65: balance transferred to State Treasurer, required by statute, $4 172.35. Votes of thanks were tendered to President Crombie, Treasurer Paisley and Mr. Jenkins.

The following committee was appointed to receive the Governor’s representatives : Chief George Cushing of Hingham, ex-Chiet George S. Willis of Pittsfield, Chief C. S. Marchant of Gloucester, and President Abbott, ex-officio.

Engineer J. W, Jantzenof Lowell read his paper on “Steam Eire Engines.” which was well received by the delegates. The paper referred generally to steam fire engines since their successful introduction at Cincinnati, and applauded the merits of the present class of American engines, which were considered the finest in the world.

Ex-Chief Edward Mott of Taunton followed with some complimentary remarks upon the action of the legislature in granting the $10,000 relief fund appropriation.


The hall was wel’ filled when the president called the meeting to order, on account of the interest taken in the lecture to he delivered by Doctor Luther Gulick of Springfield, assisted by several associates.


The lecture consisted of living, practical illustrations of how to attend to injured persons in cases of emergency. Dr. Gulick said that there are many theories about saving life, but that he and his corps were not present to explain theories, but to show what can be performed before the doctor arrives.

The first topic treated of was the action of carbonic acid gas. The construction of the ordinary fire extinguisher was explained. It creates carbonic acid gas in the extinguisher by the mixture of acid and soda. The doctor mixed them in a glass pitcher and applied a match, which was extinguished by being immersed in the pitcher of gas. The gas is heavier than the air and settles at the bottom. Where a match will not live human beings cannot live. The inhalation of this gas produces asphyxiation, a dull headache being the first symptom. Hot carbonic acid gas in a burning building will rise, but cold gas is heavier and will not. As long as you hold your breath therd is no danger to a human being. By breathing very deeply for a minute or two before entering a burning building you can hold your breath about twice as long as without. It fills the small cells of the lungs with fresh air, and these cells do not need any more fresh air until the air in the lungs becomes vitiated. In this way you can swim twice as long under water or live twice as long in a building filled with smoke or carbonic acid gas.

Shock was then described as affecting the whole system, causing the heart to beat feebly and cold sweats to cover the body. Shock is usually the result of a severe accident. The method of treating persons suffering in this way was then illustrated upon the body of one of the doctor’s assistants. Stopoing the flow of blood by bandaging ; lifting and carrying a limp body ; making an improvised stretcher ; resuscitating a half drowned person ; an alarm ot fire and carrying several bodies down a ladder and treating them for various injuries and the treatment of a man supposed to be burned were illustrated in the most life-like manner, when Dr Gulick and his assistants were rewarded with well merited applause.


Fire Marshal C. W. Whitcomb of Boston followed with the reading of his paper on the ” Causes of Fire.” It was very carefully prepared and proved one of the best features of the convention. Mr. Whitcomb thought that the most prolific cause of fires during his experience had been matches. From matches we suffer at least twelve per cent of our fires. Fire is caused by the handling of them by children or by rats gnawing the heads, which is a preventable cause, although accidental. Many fires from matches could be avoided by the general adoption of safety matches. The only way to avert this combination of rats and matches seems to be the adoption of the safety match. The so-called parlor match is very dangerous, and many instances were cited of fires caused by its use.

Another cause of fire was cheap oil, although imperfect lamps are a frequent cause. A high grade oil, however, would prevent toss from explosions. The present law requires that no oil shall be sold for illuminating purposes that evaporates at less than I to degrees, but many instances have come under the speaker’s observation where oil that has exploded has been above the test. The standard in this State must be raised. All lamps for kerosene should be of metal and not of glass.

Another cause of fire is what is known as spontaneous combustion. Junk shop fires frequently are caused by combustion of baled rags. Rags covered with linseed oil. furniture polish and kindred substances will ignite without other cause. Wooden receptacles should never be used to contain oily refuse.

Fires have been caused by the concentration of the sun’s rays through bottles and paper weights, and have also been fre quently caused by the carbonization of wood from steam pipes, which should not be covered wiih wood. Electricity is the cause of fires, but it can be and is being gradually controlled and cannot be spared.

Defective construction caused four per cent of the fires in Boston for the past year ; incendiarism is charged with five per cent, although there are more fires in the rural districts from this cause than elsewhere.


The report of the auditing committee was presented as follows : Received by secretary for dues, $499 ; received from ex-Treasurer Whipple, $116.28 ; G. M. Crapo, ex-committee, $518.50 ; E. F. Martin, pamphlet committee, $300 ; secretary, $499; interest, $152.70; total, $1,585.98. Expenditures, $1,039.10 ; cash in treasury. $540.88 ; total, $1,585.98.

General J. W. Corcoran of Governor Russell’s staff aqd Samuel W. Rhodes, private secretary, were introduced and spoke as representatives of the chief executive, expressing for him the heartiest sympathy for the firemen’s cause. The report of H. R. Williamson, treasurer, was read, showing a balance of $223.52 on hand. The convention then adjourned and the members were entertained at a banquet spread in the new freight depot, a building which accommodated 1000 persons.


The evening session commenced at eight o’clock, there being a large attendance of delegates present. As mentioned before, this session was set apart for the reading of a paper by ex-Chief John S. Damrell of Boston. When he made his appearance on the platform there was long continued applause from all parts of the room, showing the esteem in which the first president, and one of the organizers of the association, is held. The paper was on the subject of “ Fireproof Buildings.” It was carefully prepared and was read with a clear and distinct delivery. Following is an abstract from it:


The memory of our first convention has been to me a continued and pleasing remembrance. As I recall its work and workers, and from amidst those who formed it, I can assure you that there was no one who took a more active part in shaping the course which Jjas perpetuated its aims, objects and principles than the honored president who presides over your deliberations to-day.

As a past officer of this convention I may, without any breach of etiquette, present to you a summary of personal views of what a convention of this character has a right to expect. You will readily recognize that the work of the convention is of no mean order or proportion and it remains for you to say whether the result of your deliberations will be for the general good, thoroughly and systematically performed, or only superficially.

There are many complicated interests to encounter and overcome. There is an almost vital prejudice against you in the endeavor to perform your duty, yet you must rise above all, and in your debates be just and fear not ; have due regard for the rights of the property holder, be zealous to advance the interests of the general public.

By the laws of the State the departments are required to furnish the insurance commissioner with a statement of the number of fires, with the causes and amount of money loss, and such other information as may be pertinent to the same.

The annual report of this officer furnishes abundant food for thought and study. In it you have the causes of fire thoroughly and systematically classified and their percentages to the whole correctly stated. What a textbook of carefully compiled facts relating to the service you represent.

Our departments must be aggressive. It is not enough to keep abreast of the times, but they must lead in all matters that can shape the course of public opinion and legislation to the end that fire waste be materially reduced.

We should carefully consider the latest discoveries in all matters relating to fire service and insist upon a thorough elucidation of every question presented for discussion ; for as fires occur under different circumstances, it follows that their suppression can only be accomplished by widely diversified tactics, and if you rise to the standard of your possibilities you will be able to qualify your members with that knowledge that will enable them to employ such methods as will meet any and every contingency.

To our surprise and chagrin we learn from fire statistics of to-day that the hazard of fires has increased to an alarming extent. This fact should force the convention to the most thoughtful and intelligent discussion as to why it is so.

Our city governments are alive to the danger which surrounds them. They are increasing their appropriations for fire service almost without stint, so as to enable the chiefs of departments or fire commissioners to procure the best machinery of most modern pattern. But, alas, with these useful and powerful additions, fires have not decreased in number, but, to the contray, have increased, and that, too, out of proportion to the increase of population or area of territory covered.

The national convention of chief engineers held last year, apparently lost sight of the great fact that it was organized for the special service of extinguishing fires, if one can judge by reading the papers and debates of its session. The members of it dwelt almost exclusively on the question of fireproof construction, thus tacitly acknowledging that fire departments, as now organized and equipped, are not able to cope with fires that now confront them. If this is the outcome of their best judgment, then, indeed, I repeat, there is an immense field for reflection as well as action.

As to fireproof structures there are none, nor can there be an absolute fireproof building. Brick, marble, sandstone, granite, iron and steel and wood, are all combustible, to a greater or less degree.

A building in which slow combustion is the result of construction is one in which either the architect or builder looks carefully after the means which will prevent the spread of fire when beginning within. He protects all the internal parts by such fire or heat resisting material as will preserve its integrity for a reasonable space of time ; he takes means to cut off all air draughts and limit the open floor area by brick partition walls, and by so doing keeps combustible material below the point of combustion. As to the present so prevalent style of construction the structure in its completeness is considered fireproof ; yet when fire originates, either from within or without, it becomes in a few moments a perfect blast furnace, and is, in fact, a building destined for swift combustion.

The Commonwealth, through its legislature, has the undoubted right to and should dictate the material to be used in all buildings to be erected within its jurisdiction ; also define proper and improper construction as relating to permanency and stability and resistance to assault by fire or water. Extensive conflagrations and falling buildings are not burdens that an intelligent community should endure, because they can and should be remedied.

The immense desruction of property so constantly going on and steadily increasing is becoming an almost unbearable burden. At least seventy-five per cent of the total loss can be saved by applying the methods outlined in the description given of a slow burning structure. This is the remedy.

Captain Damrell supplemented his paper with a familiar talk, advising boards of engineers to study conditions in their respective towns and cities. Let the chief have in his office a blackboard ; let the city be marked out in blocks, cisterns and hydrants marked, apparatus located and prominent buildings studied with reference to the extinguishment of fires in them under assumed conditions.

He also spoke of the manner of extinguishing fires in wooden buildings, advising the use of the axe in a case cited by way of illustration, where the fire is between the outside wall and inside finish.

“ Study every fire, however,” he said, “and see how it might have been handled better.”

The convention then adjourned.


The delegates assembled at 8.30 to witness the parade of the Lowell Fire Department, which was highly creditable, all the apparatus and men showing that in efficiency and discipline the department ranks as high as any other in the State.

The afternoon was spent in witnessing the tests of appliances noticed at length below. At the afternoon session it was announced that John R. Freeman of Boston was unable to be present with his paper on “ Uniform Couplings,” but an extract was read by T. W. Draper of North Attleboro from Mr. Freeman’s letter. He thought that the firemen of Massachusetts ought to grapple with this question of uniform couplings. Every year’s delay makes it more expensive. Mr. Freeman had come to the opinion that the “ National standard ” as proposed some half a dozen years ago was as good as could be obtained. This gives six threads to the inch, allowing a 2 5/8-inch waterway, instead of 2 1/2-inch. The writer spoke of this feature as a great point in favor of the change, believing that the hose of the future will be gradually worked up to about 2 3/4 inches in diameter. The same national coupling would serve well enough even for 3-inch hose, providing a little care was taken to round off the corners on the inside at the beginning and end ; ior the loss in going through a restricted passageway only five inches long uke a coupling is far less than the gain obtained by enlarging the 50-foot pieces of hose between the couplings to the extent of one-eighth or one quarter of an inch.

Secretary Burtis then submitted his third annual report, which contained the following : There were 3053 invitations sent out in connection with this convention. At the opening of last year’s convention the association had 827 members ; at the opening of the present convention the association had 1026 members. The receipts have been $1120, which has been turned over to the treasurer. The secretary has sent out 3841 pieces of mail matter, and has attended the meetings of the commissioners of the firemen’s fund.

Captain Jenkins of Boston reported for the committee on credentials that 674 delegates were entitled to vote in the convention. The report recommended that the executive committee consider the expediency of so amending the by-laws as to permit the committee to report immediately after the opening of the convention. The report was accepted and the recommendation referred to the executive committee.

On motion of Captain Cheney of Haverhill a vote of thanks was tendered to Mayor Fifield, the Lowell city government and Chief Hosmer of the Lowell department for the hospitable entertainment of the delegates. A similar resolution was adopted thanking the individual members of the Lowell Fire Department.

The committee on nominations then presented the following report: President, Chief Edward S. Hosmer of Lowell; secretary, D. Arthur Burt of Taunton ; treasurer, H. R. Williamson of Worcester; vice-presidents, C. S. Marchant of Gloucester, Captain Fred Leonard of Taunton, Chief C. H. Parke of Waltham, Captain Woodman of Lynn, Charles I. Lincoln of Pittsfield, Chief Fred Macy of New Bedford, Engineer J. A. Stevens of Springfield ; executive committee, Chief George H. Kendall, Fitchburg, and Assistant Engineer C. O. Lamb, Worcester. A ballot was cast, which showed these officers duly elected.

Chief Hosmer was escorted to the platform and thanked the association for the honor conferred upon him in electing him president.

Chief Leshure of Springfield, president of the National Association of Fire Engineers, addressed the meeting. He said conventions like this were of great importance, lie approved the discussion of topics of interest, but advised that they be made practical. He especially recommended the study of the handling of the discharge pipe, and care in the quantity of water used at fires. Losses, he said, may sometimes be reduced very much by a little judgment in this respect.

Chief Casey of Cambridge made some very appropriate remarks on the success of the convention, when a unanimous vote of thanks was tendered to the retiring president for the interest and work he had accomplished for the association. The motion was carried amid great applause.

On motion of Capt. Jenkins of Boston, the legislative committee was instructed to apply to the next legislature for an appropriation of $10,000 for the relief fund, and endeavored to have it made permanent.

Captain Martin of Boston, the secretary and chairman of the executive committee, were appointed a pamphlet committee.

The legislative committee was announced as follows :

John E. Fitzgerald of Boston. Charles H. Parke of Waltham. Edward Charlesworth of Haverhill, T. W. Draper of North Attleboro, Charles L. McCann of Brockton, Abner Coleman of Taunton, Frederick Macy of New Bedford, George S Willis of Pittsfield. A. L. Carpenter of Taunton, E. F. Martin of Boston, H. P. Macintosh of Newburyport.

The convention then adjourned sine die.


After the parade on Friday morning the delegates and a large number of interested spectators assembled on the common, where the testing of apparatus took place.

The Boston Woven Hose Company tested a combination spray nozzle to be used in places where the heat was excessive.


was next tested and proved all that was claimed for it. The device, which is manufactured by the Cornelius Callahan Company of Boston and shown in the illustration, was attached to an engine and worked easily, showing the most exact changes in pressure. The hand wheel on the side is used to adjust the pressure. By turning it to the right the latter is increased. If running 125 pounds on the gauge, and the valve does not open, the wheel is turned to the left until this is accomplished. Then it is turned to the right until it closes. One-quarter turn increases the pressure ten pounds. With a little practice the engineer can regulate it at once. When the nozzle is closed, the larger the nozzle used the more lift the valve must have. This useful appliance is recognized as one of the most valuable in the fire equipment. This company also had the Siamese connection and nozzle attachment tested from th Babcock aerial truck as constituting a water tower. The appliance was fastened to the top of t ie unextended ladder, and with two streams of water it worked very satisfactorily, and will accomplish what it was intended for. It is the invention of Cornelius Callahan, as is also the relief valve noticed above. During the test the ground had become soft from the great quantity of water thrown upon it, and one of the front wheels of the truck sunk in the mud up to the hub, causing the ladder to sway to one side, and it would have fallen but for the branch of a tree, which kept it from reaching the ground. On level surface such a mishap could not occur.


On Thursday an extension ladder, manufactured by McDor’ mand, Warner & Co., of Somerville, Mass., was tested at the central engine house in the presence of a large number of delegates and spectators. The trial was in charge of Mr. Warner, who explained the special points of merit the ladder had over others in the market. It was worked in various positions without a hitch and the automatic catch did its work in the most satisfactory manner. The ladder has been improved by substituting a wire cable for the rope lift which was formerly used. This is a decided improvement and must materially enhance the value of the apparatus. The construction of the Somerville ladder, which is shown in the illustration, is well known to a great many chiefs of tire departments in all parts of the country where it is in service. One test of importance made was that the ladder can be worked as easily front the back as the front by simply shifting its position. The success which has attended the introduction and manufacture of this ladder is due to its stability, good workmanship and material and easy method of handling.


On Thursday an interesting exhibition of a fire escape was given at the central fire station. The device is the invention of George H. Lee of Worcester, Mass., and is likely to become a permanent addition to the equipment of hook and ladder companies throughout the country. The escape is an adjustable iron cage with safety lock door, pulleys and wire cable for attachment to any ladder truck. The method of working it Is by fastening a pulley block to the top of the ladder, through which the wire cable is passed, and it is then hauled by the firemen below until it reaches the window from which the person is to be taken. Two guy ropes, controlled from the bottom, guide the escape and secure its safe descent. The cage can be made any size : that tested before the delegates being capable of carrying five persons or a weight of 600 pounds. Several trips were made from the five-story building opposite the central station, the fire escape being attached to a Hancock truck ladder resting against the roof of the building. From one to three persons were brought down without any mishap, and the invention was declared a useful and convenient appliance. It can be folded fiat to place in a wagon or on a truck, and as it is made of iron wire and weighs not more than 100 pounds, there can be no objection to handling it on this score, Mr. Lee has spent much time in perfecting his invention and he is now ready to fill any orders he may receive.


There was a fine display of fire appliances and supplies on exhibition in Huntington Hall, so that the delegates attending the convention could not fail to inspect them. Here is a good example for other associations to follow. So much interest is taken in these exhibits that it is a good move for the association, as well as the exhibitor, to place where there is room for them, all supplies and machiney in the hall where the convention is to be held, so that they can be examined at leisure.


This useful invention was shown by a handsome model The appliance is very simple and effective in washing hose, as shown in the illustration. Washing hose after a fire, by first soaking it in a tank to soften the dirt on the outside, and then moving it quickly up and down and around in the water, and scrubbing the hose with brooms, is known by firemen to be a laborious operation, requiring the labor of several men, and to be only partially effectual, the hose thus washed being usually found after drying to be coated with fine dirt or sand. In the Torrent Hose Washer, the hose is drawn through a trough filled with water, the hose being held under the water by rollers at intervals. It is then carried partly around a large roller and up through the middle of a cylinder or jacket, shown at the left of the figure, within which are arranged in a circle vertical spray-pipei, which throw a spray towards the centre of the cylinder and thoroughly wash the dirt and sand, previously softened by passing through the trough. The hose is drawn through the trough and the cylinder into the hose tower in the usual way, where it is dried. It will be seen that the hose, by this apparatus, is washed in c ean water and only requires the labor of three men, one in the cellar to see that tne hose enters the trough properly and the other two to draw the hose up into the hose-tower. With this apparatus it is unnecessary to uncouple the different lengths in a line of hose before washing, as the full length is drawn up by the liftingropes by the men in the hose-tower, and then uncoupled. The trough is inclined away from the cylinder or jacket in which the spray-pipes are arranged, so that a constant stream of clean water runs through the trough, and the lower end of the trough, or end farthest from the cylinder may be connected with a drain or city sewer. The water is supplied to the spraypipes from the water main passing the fire station, and thorough washing can be effected with a pressure of 30 pounds and over.



The Somerville extension ladder, manufactured by McDurtnaml, Warner & Co., 13 Glen street, Somerville, Mass., attracted considerable attention. A description of its test will be found elsewhere in this issue.


This ingenious device was exhibited by the inventor, J. F. Manahan of Lowell, Mass. As will be seen by the cut, it is a convenient appliance for holding a ladder in position, when placed upon the roofs of buildings and for almost any general work where ladders are used. For fire service it is permanently fixed to the ladder and, owing to its quick action, can be utilized immediately where required. The hook is strong and reliable when opened and entirely out of the way when closed. It has many important points to recommend it for general use, such as strength, lightness and cheapness.


The Cornelius Callahan Company made a fine display of brass goods and hose, including play pipes, gongs, relief valves, nozzles, lanterns, Siamese couplings, axes, extinguishers, Porter wire cutter, life-saving belts, several rolls of the celebrated brands of Callahan hose, door openers and a water tower attachment for aerial ladders described elsewhere. The display was in every respect worthy of this reliable house.


The National Electric Light Company, 19 Congress street, Boston, had a telephone in position showing the advantages of the patent shielded anti-induction and abrasion wire, winch was described in a recent issue of FIRE AND WATER.


Arthur S. Jackson. 26 Union street, Boston, had a fine display of appliances and supplies. A new device for cutting tin roofs was particularly commented upon in a very favorable manner. A description of this invention will be given in a later issue of FIRE AND WATER. Mr. Jackson also exhibited plav pipes, nozzles and all kinds of hose wagon fittings, lamps and general supplies. The display was very tastefully arranged, and the genial Jackson was always on hand to greet his numerous friends and push business.


C. J. Braxmar. 47 Cortlandt street. New York, was represented by Charley Olpp. who had a handsome showcase of badges of all designs and materials to dazzle the eyes of the beholder. Charley managed to dispose of a great many miniature firemen’s hats, which were specially made for the occasion.


The Boston Woven Hose Company, 226 Devonshire street, Boston, made a very formidable showing, the greater part of one side of the long hall being occupied with its goods. The exhibit was in charge of W. H. Wight, traveling representative of the company, and certain was he that no delegate should return home uninitiated into the merits of his wares. The display consisted of several rolls of jacket rubber lined, rubber, mill and linen hose, play pipes, shut-off nozzles, Siamese couplings, hydrant gates, wrenches, hose carts and all kinds of supplies.

The new lanterns shown were pronounced a great improvement on those at present in use. They have hollow bottoms and movable tops which prevent the glasses from breaking. Those finished in nickel were very attractive and can be purchased much cheaper than those sold by other manufacturers The life line gun of H. C. Dimond, Boston, also shown by this company, was critically examined by the delegates and pronounced a good appliance. Mr. Wight had the Boston extension and Crafts extension roof ladder in prominent positions and seemed never tired in explaining their good qualities to the visitors. The Boston ladder has automatic hooks which sustain the upper section when up. They are placed at the upper end of the lower section, between the sliding clamps, and are positive in their action, without regard to the position of the ladder. The device for raising the upper section is new and consists of a combination of steel-wire rope and chain which pass over a large shieve, sixteen inches diameter, at the top of the lower section and along the sides of the ladder, thus leaving the centre entirely clear and around two sprocket wheels at the lower end. The cranks ship into the cetrtreof the sprocket wheels and cannot slip out in hoisting or lowering. By this method one man can extend or lower a sixty-, ve foot Boston ladder. The Boston Junior ladder is similarly constructed and is made from twelve feet up. They are convenient, strong and well adapted for carrying on hose wagons or chemical engines. The display was in every respect a highly creditable one and was a good example of what great progress has been made in fire fighting appliances in recent years.



The Revere Rubber Company, 63 Franklin street, Boston, displayed some of the celebrated American double or jacket. Eclipse, Climax and other brands of hose manufactured by this firm. The Revere Company, which has lately acquired the business of the American Fire Hose Company, is now turning out hose of a superior grade and undoubted excellence. The fire department branch of the business is in the hands of F. H. Dow, who is well known to most of the chiefs the country over, and whose experience and knowledge in this particular line is not equaled by many of his competitors. Mr. Jacobs, who was in charge of the exhibit, displayed his old-time ingenuity in explaining the merits of the various brands of hose, as well as the play-pipes, couplings, nozzles and other supplies on view.


The New England representative of the Eureka Fire Hose Company, G. W. Wales, was on hand with a fine display of the well-known Eureka, Paragon and Red Cross brands of rubber-lined cotton fire hose. Some excellently printed books dealing with the merits of the Eureka hose and other useful information were liberally circulated among the visitors, and Mr. Wales found many attentive listeners to his persuasive eloquence. It is needless to explain the merits of the brands of hose made by the Eureka Company, as they are pretty well known all over the country.


Christopher Clarke of Northampton, Mass., has a fire escape tower which must commend itself to those favoring the best and at the same time the most sightly means of exit from buildings in case of fire. The illustration shows the fire escape attached to the Elm street school house at Springfield, Mass., this design being especially adapted for the equipment of buildings already erected. Where the escape is to be applied to new structures it can be placed in any position to suit each case. In the description of the invention given by Mr. Clarke before the convention we extract the following :

The escape is in the form of a fireproof tower, so constructed as to give instant egress from every story of a building by fire and smokeproof stairways, arranged around and under each other so as to form continuous stairways from each story to the ground. This novel arrangement prevents overcrowding, and the dangerous panics that may occur where a single stairway is the only means of escape from a burning structure. The entrances to the tower are made through fireproof vestibules, with double fireproof self-closing doors, and the stairways are isolated and smokeproofed from each other, from entrance to exit. Should the entrance to any one stairway by any means be closed, all the other stairways above or below can De used, which is an invaluable feature of this invention.

The tower can be utilized for ventilating ducts, and water stand-pipes for immediately flooding or sprinkling every floor. It also furnishes a certain means for firemen to go up to any story of a building without delay, and a safe place of retreat to the ground if they are driven back by fire or smoke. Where every form of outside or balcony escape is dangerous when covered with ice. and useless if fire breaks out under or near them, this tower can be used with perfect safety, even though the building be in flames and escape impossible by any of the present means. The tower can be made square or circular to suit the architecture of the building. Some opinion that circular stairways are not as safe as those made square in form might apply somewhat to the usual mode of building them, but cannot be applied to this system. By a change of construction of the core or centre of these stairways to nearly four times the usual size, a perfectly safe passage of easy grade is formed. This enlarged form is not only perfectly safe, but it enables a much larger number of persons to reach the ground in a given time than by the square form. At the inspection of the two circular towers recently built upon the Elm street school house, near the court house-, in Springfield, 160 children from four rooms in the second and third stories, went down and out of the west tower in two and one-half minutes. In order to make the descent absolutely safe, two hand rails, only twenty-four inches apart, are placed on each side of the tower stairways, giving ample support all the way down. The “treads” are also made broad, and the “ risers” low, so as to be safe for all.


One of the most interesting exhibits was that of the Boston Belting Company, 256 to 260 Devonshire street, Boston. This company was established in the year 1828, and is the oldest and largest manufacturer of rubber hose and rubber goods in the World. The superior quality of the hose supplied by this house is acknowledged by those who have been using it for years, and the display shown at this convention fully warrants the assertion that the reputation is well merited. It included rubber, cotton and linen fire hose, smooth bore suction hose, flexible hose pipes and a full line of supplies, besides some fine specimens of raw rubber.


As usual, this enterprising company had a large and interesting exhibit illustrating its system of fire alarm on view at the end of the hall. As a full description of a similar display was published in FIRE AND WATER in the report of the Springfield convention, it is only necessary to remark that the same enterprise was shown by the company in the liberal and attractive manner the exhibit was prepared. All day long the series of Gamewell gongs in position kept calling attention to the fact that they “ were ill it,” which they decidedly were. A handsome “ souvenir ” circular was distributed among the delegates.


This is the first time the above name has appeared in FIRE AND WATER, so that an introduction to its possessor becomes necessary. John C. Robbins is manufacturer of badges of all kinds at No. 142 Harrison avenue, Boston. In the well arranged exhibit of gold and nickel-plated and other kinds of handsomely designed badges which were displayed to great advantage in a large case, the delegates had an opportunity of examining some fine specimens of this class of work. There is no doubt but that Mr. Robbins will execute any orders sent him equal to the goods shown at the convention, and they were of the best workmanship.


A. R. Wells of Kendall street, Worcester, Mass., had his patent holdback and breeching in position attached to shafts, which proved a very effective way of showing the device. The delegates expressed their favorable opinion of the invention and a number of orders were given on the spot. This device does away with the present breeching, thus saving much time in hitching and leaves the back of the horse free. It is now in use in a great many departments and the demand for it has become so great that a new plant is being fitted up for manufacturing.


This well-known company had a good display of Unique, Keystone and other brands of “treated ” cotton, rubber lined, fire hose on exhibition. Thomas A. Raymond, president and treasurer of the company, was on hand to meet his friends ; and it was evident from the way his time was occupied that they were very numerous. This is not to be wondered at, as Mr. Raymond is one of the best known men in the business.

Other exhibitors were :

The Lee Portaole Fire Escape Company of Poughkeepsie, N. Y.. showed a very neat sample ot a fire escape. Horace B. Shattuck, 34 Central street, Lowell, Mass., exhibited one of Small’s fire escapes. John Robbins Manufacturing Company, Boston, displayed some badges, and B. W. Flanders, East Coventry, Vt., fire escapes.


The ball given by the city government to the delegates in Huntington Hall, on Friday evening, was a particularly enjoyable affair.

The visitors declared Lowell a most hospitable city, and many of them stated that they enjoyed the convention better than any they had previously attended.

The committee on exhibits had something good to say of all the displays.

At the tests on Thursday the fine Babcock aerial truck at the central station was extended eighty-five feet, and one of the hook and ladder company’s men ascended to the top round, when the ladder showed only a slight deflection. The ladder was then closed to sixty feet, and with the man sitting on top bar lowered to the truck. The exhibition was received with great applause and the firemen thought the ladder the stillest they had ever seen.

Chief Hosmer will make a good presiding officer. FIRE AND WATER extends to him its congratulations.

The band of the Third Regiment, National Guard of Connecticut, from New London, which accompanied the veterans from that place, is an excellent one.

A. S. Jackson seemed to know everyone who approached his stand and they one and all accosted him with the familiar, though abbreviated, title of “ Jack.” Those who know th« man can easily understand how this is. Jack is a genuine fellow in all weathers.

Among the well-known chiefs present were : Leshure of Springfield, Hendrick of New Haven, Macy of New Bedford, Hopkins of Somerville, Casey of New Cambridge, Coleman of Taunton, Ayer of Winchester and ex-Chiefs Symmes and Damrell.

There were estimated to be about 800 in the line of march to the banquet in the freight house.

Over 200 membeis is a great increase to the association since last year.

The Cornelius Callahan Company was represented by C. Callahan, G. S. Willis, Fred Preston and II. Webber—a rather good lot of men.

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