Boston’s Repair Shop.
Few firemen in charge of small departments, not to speak of the general public, are aware of the work that is carried on, in and around that great institution, the “ Repair Shop.” It is a large industry in itself, divided into many departments, each in charge of a separate foreman, who in turn is responsible to a chief superintendent of the shop for the work entrusted to him.
Nearly all of the large cities have some kind of hospital for the reception of disabled apparatus, where patching, mending, rebuilding and touching up are done. Here old wheezy and infirm engines, trucks and wagons are put through a process of renewing that fits them to go back into service with perhaps as many years of new life before them as those they have just served. The hose, too, that has done good service, but which shows considerable wear, is taken into this hospital and tested to 125 pounds pressure before being altogether discarded.
Many reminiscences are attached to the repair shop which never fail to attract the attention of the visitor. Here are found those grim old warriors that have done such noble work in the years long past, but who now only hold their places as relics of what were once the pride and admiration of whole communities. Fancy what thrilling scenes, what narrow escapes they could recount; aye, and how many brave hearts they have witnessed succumb to the destroyer when victory seemed within their grasp. Many events could such veterans as “ Old Mystic” and “ Jeffers ” relate: each a history of its own, that may never be written.
Recently a representative of FIRE AND WATER, upon the invitation of Chief Engineer Webber, and accompanied by Superintendent H. R. Demary of the repair shop, whose portrait is given herewith, made a tour of that interesting institution. Upon entering the large yard where the men are drilled were seen a complete set of pompier ladders and other appliances, which are always ready for the training and discipline of the men. This is a branch of the Boston service in which Chief Webber takes particular interest, believing that thorough instruction in detail work results in the making of good firemen.
The repair shop is a very large and well equipped building. On the main floor, besides the old apparatus just referred to, are the titters’ and blacksmiths’ shops and the engine room. Here a wagon was being fitted with pompier ladders, placed on supports high enough to prevent their being in the way of the hose men. It is the intention of the department to equip all hose wagons with these ladders. The engine that supplies power to the whole building is a Fitchburg twenty-five horsepower, made by the Putnam Tool Company. In the fitting shop, undergoing repairs, were a large size Hunneman engine, a second-class Amoskeag being fitted with new boiler ; No. 6 engine, a spare Amoskeag ; No. 25, a Silsby, slight repairs ; No. 7, getting a new boiler, and two chemical engines being changed from one 200-gallon to two 100-gallon engines. There are two engines of this class in service, and they are growing in popularity among the engineers of the department. The new boilers are made outside by contract, and are fitted by the men in the repair shop. On the second floor are the woodworking, wheelwright and fire alarm shops and the store room in which all supplies are kept in charge of C. A. Straw.
The electric fire alarm system is the Gamewell and several boxes of his make are kept ready for use in the electric room. Henry Hawkins, foreman of this department, takes great pleasure in showing visitors the old-dynamo magnetic repeater
which used to do service in Boston in 1863. Instead of being worked by a battery, it was worked by a system of magnets. In the paint shop were several handsomely painted fire buckets, each with portraits of past chiefs of the department, awaiting, by-the bye. another which will show the features of the present chief officer. A supply of pompier ladders manufactured by Chris. Loos of St. Louis, Mo., are kept in stock here and were being painted for fitting to the wagons. The harness _____hop was next visited, where Patrick Hannan, the foreman, showed the process of testing old hose to 125 pounds pressure. In this shop all the bedding, hose, harness and such like work is attended to. The wages of the different mechanics in this building are : Blacksmiths, $3.50 per day : harness makers, $3.75; painters, $3.50, and machinists, $3.25.
Boston has a well equipped, well managed repair shop, and the visit of the FIRE AND WATER representative proved as interesting as it was instructive.
MAIN DRAINAGEOF SUTTON AT SURREY, Eng.— “The subject of drainage at this rising suburban town, which has been under the consideration of the Urban Sanitary Authority for some years, has now,” according to Engineering, been taken in hand in earnest. After a very deliberate and careful examination of the various systems of sewage disposal by a special committee of the board, involving visits to some of the most successful works, the board finally determined in March last to carry out the drainage works in accordance with plans which had been prepared at their request by John Anstie of Victoria street, Westminster. In the month of April these plans were duly submitted to the local government board, and the usual public inquiry was held in Sutton shortly afterwards. The project embraces a complete system of new sewers for the whole district on the “separate” system and outfall works for the disposal of the sewage. The whole of the district at present built upon (with the exception of a small low-lying area) will be drained by gravitation, the sharp inclinations of most of the roads affording excellent gradients for the sewers. The outfall works will be situated on lands forming part of an estate of about forty or fifty acres, purchased some time ago by the town, a portion of which has since been formed into a cemetery. The process of sewage treatment will consist of precipitation of suspended matters in tanks by the chemicals of the International Company, followed by filtration through Polarite filters. In the case of Sutton, however, Mr. Anstie does not propose to use simply a chemical treatment. The effluent from the filters is further to be discharged over some fifteen to twenty acres of land cropped in the usual way, afterwards flowing off to the Pyl brook. The solids are to be dealt with by means of filter presses, as in other works. The future population which will have to be provided for is estimated at 20,000 to 25,000, and the cost of the works now proposed, includng the private road sewering, is estimated at about 30.000l.
The eighteenth annual convention of the National Association of Fire Engineers will meet at Detroit, Mich., August 19. Fire commissioners and fire and water committees should urge the attendance of the chief engineer of their respective fire departments at these meetings, and provide for his expenses.