City and Dicinity.

City and Dicinity.

The New York Department.


The Firemen of New York have quite a library, which is their ex-clusive property. It comprises some six thousand volumes of history, biography, books of travel, fiction, scientific works, etc. The formation of this library was begun in 1867, by the Commissioners of the old “ Metropolitan Fire Department.” The Commissioners at that time were Generals Shaler, Myers, Wilson, Galway and Abbe. The subject of a ” Firemen’s Library ” having been brought before the Board, Commissioner Myers was instructed to submit a report upon the subject. He reported in favor of establishing at Firemen’s Hall a circulating library, for the use of the employes of the Department. His report was adopted and he was empowered to carry into effect its recommendations. By his personal efforts, a considerable sum of money was raised by subscription from prominent citizens, and several donations of books were also made. With the money thus secured, a great variety of books was purchased at auction sales and elsewhere, at very reasonable rates. These books were catalogued and arranged in suitable cases at Firemen’s Hall. On the 28th of December, 1870, the library was formally opened. On this occasion, an exceedingly interesting address was delivered by Chief Justice Charles P. Daly, on the origin and history of the Fire Department of the city of New York. The library was used to a considerable extent by members of the Department, for a time, while the novelty lasted, but it was soon found, that the necessarily remote location of many of the Companies, rendered it inconvenient, and the library gradually fell into disuse.

The steady increase of the New York Department, made it necessary for the present Commissioners to utilize all the rooms in Firemen’s Hall for offices. It became, therefore, necessary to remove the library, and, in doing this, it was determined to give the Firemen the greatest possible benefits to be derived from the books, which were their common property. The library was therefore divided into ten equal parts or small libraries, and one given to each of the ten battalions. These small libraries have been placed in neat cases, and sent to the headquarters of the several battalions and known as Battalion Libraries. The work of rc-arranging and cataloguing the books has been performed by Mr. J. J. Byrnes at Headquarters, who has taken a very great interest in it.

At the meeting of the Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, the catalogues of the several libraries were presented, together with the rules and regulations for governing the withdrawal of books and regulating the method of exchange between the different libraries. The Assistant Foreman of each Company having charge of a library, is designated as Battalion Librarian, and will have charge of all records pertaining to the library. Mr. Byrnes will have general supervision of all the libraries, to which additions will be made, from time to time, as the condition of the funds will warrant.


Mr. Albert W. Orr, who has of late held the position of Assistant Fire Marshal, was dismissed from the Department, after trial, by order of the Board, on Iuesday last. Charges were preferred against him by Fire Marshal Sheldon, of which he was found guilty and dismissed, as stated. Mr. Orr has not been in harmony with the Fire Marshal for some time, but the specific charge against him was a violation of paragraph 1, article 10 of General Order No. 4, which prohibits any employe of the Department imparting to others information regarding the Department, without the consent of the Commissioners. The facts in the case are briefly as follows: For some time past, Fire Marshal Sheldon has been engaged, without the knowledge of Mr. Orr, in tracking down some incendiaries in the east side of the city. He was zealously aided In his efforts by Fireman Dempsey, of Engine Company No. 9, and Mr. Perley, of the Headquarters force. The efforts of these gentlemen culminated last week in the arrest of four persons, who were detected in the act of setting fire to the premises occupied by one of them. These persons are now in jail waiting trial. The facts relating to the arrest were given to the reporters and duly published in the city papers. Mr. Orr was dissatisfied with these reports, because they did not give him credit for “ working up a case” of which he knew absolutely nothing. He therefore obtained the subsequent publication in a morning paper, of another version of the case, in which Assistant Fire Marshal Orr figured conspicuously, and probably to his own satisfaction. This naturally incensed the gentlemen who had done such creditable work in the case, and as it was in violation of well known orders, Fire Marshal Sheldon preferred charges against Mr. Orr, which resulted in his dismissal, as stated.


One day last weck the quarters of Engine Company No. 16 were visited by Generals Burnside, Straight, White and Banning, accompanied by State Senator Wagstaff and Commissioner of Charities and Correction Bailey. After closely inspecting everything connected with the quarters, telegraph instruments, hitching arrangements, snaps on whifletrees, etc., etc., they desired to see how quick the Company could respond to an alarm of fire. Captain Livingston struck the gong, the men at the time being on the second floor, and in just 9½ seconds the front doors were open ahd the Company ready to leave the house. This is very good time, as the stalls are placed sideways and the horses have to back out and run over fifty feet to the pole. General Banning belongs to Cincinnati, and stated that he had always thought Cincinnati had the best Department in the world, but after what he had seen he was satisfied that New York could beat them. All the visitors expressed themselves as highly entertained by what they saw, and grateful for the courtesy shown them.

City and Dicinity.


City and Dicinity.

The New York Department.


In our last we promised to give some account of the “house-warming” that took place at Department Headquarters last Saturday night, and also to make mention of the clam chowder over which “Plug,” we mean Jacobus, presided. The opening night was a success. The regenerated offices of the Department officers are elegant in every respect, and as convenient as they are elegant. Col. Jussen, Secretary of the Board, is responsible for the plan of regeneration, and has also had the supervision of the workmen who carried it out in detail Saturday night the large hall was resplendent with the light of a hundred (more or less) gas burners, and the light, reflected from the clean white walls and ceiling, and the profusion of white paint dazzled the eyes of all beholders.

There was a goodly company present to participate in the house-warming, among whom were a number of city officials, officers of the Department, and gentlemen* prominent in social and political circles. Commissioners King, Gorman, and Perjey, Colonel Jussen, Chief Bates, Assistant Chief Shay, and other gentlemen belonging to the Headquarters force, did the honors of the occasion in an elegant and graceful manner.

At half past eight there came a summons from the nether regions that the chowder was ready, and that “ Plug” was impatient to have it attended to at once. This invitation, accompanied by a most savory odor, that filled the atmosphere, had the effect of turning the crowd towards the first-floor. Here, in a long room on the right of the passage was discovered a lengthy table laden with soupplates, etc., while “ Plug,” like one of the witches in Macbeth, stood guard over a huge cauldron in a convenient recess in one corner. Hot coffee, clamchowder, and hard biscuit, were served to appreciative stomachs till they cried “ Hold, enough ! Clam-chowder has always been to us a mystery. Precisely what ingredients go to make this luscious compromise between soup and hash, we have never been able to ascertain, but we have no hesitation in declaring that if the mystery has ever been solved by mortal man, “Plug” Jacobus is that man. His chowder was simply delicious. From the steaming hot platefuls and the briskly boiling cauldron, there arose, like incense to high heaven, an aroma of clams, fresh, fat, and plenty of them ; t^rro was watted In upon our olfactory organs, also, the fragrance of a symptom of juicy oysters ; the same organs clearly detected moreover, just the suggestion of pork ; there was, furthermore, an intimation conveyed to our nasal protruberance of sea-biscuit—hard, crisp biscuit of the briny, which, in other days and under other circumstances, we knew as “ hard tack.” We felt like exclaiming, in the emphatic language of the late lamented Edwin Forrest, “Ha! ha! old friend, we know thee; disguise thyself as thou wilt, still shall our geat love for thee find thee out, and still have we stomach for thee!” There was also distinguishable the pungent perfume of the savory onion, and, amid all, there was perceptible, just the least aroma of all the spices of Araby the blest. Still, clamchowder is a mystery; as Dundreary says, “it is one of those things no feller can find out.” But that the chowder of “ Plug,” yclept for short Jacobus, was food fit for the gods, will he testified to unhesitatingly by the hundred or two favored persons who partook thereof, and who, while engaged in that satisfying process, elongated and expanded like cheap hose under pressure, nigh unto the bursting point. That chowder was sublime; in fact, as Chanfrau, he of “ Mose” celebrity would say, it was “bully.” After chowder there were cigars, chat and gossip, and the Commissioners were congratulated upon having secured the pleasantest suite of offices appertaining to the City Government,

After the house warming and the chowder, comes business. The new offices having been formally warmed, inspected and pronounced good, they were taken possession of on Monday by the several gentlemen to whom they are assigned, and “ Richard is himself again,” also Col. Jussen, Chief Bates, and “ Plug,” whose diminutive appellation is Jacobus.


The following business was transacted at the meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners on Wednesday.

Trials.—Fireman Edward H. Tobin, of Hook and Ladder Company No. 4, was charged with absence without leave. He was found guilty, and fined one day’s pay.

Patrick O’Brien, of same Company, was arraigned on same charge, also found guilty and fined one day’s pay.

Fireman Thomas Fowler, of Hook and Ladder Company No. 7, charged with absence without leave, and conduct prejudicial to good order, was found guilty and fined two days’ pay.

George Murphy, of Hook and Ladder Company No. 9, was charged with being under the influence of liquor and neglect of duty, was found guilty and fined two days’ pay.

Assistant Engineer of Steamer Win, H. Rush of Engine Company No. 3, was charged with neglect of duty, found guilty and fined one day’s pay.

Promotion.—Assistant Engineer of Steamer Jas. H. Leonard, of Engine Company No. 25, was advanced to Engineer of Steamer No. 12.

Notes of Men and Things.

Chief Bennett, of Cleveland, was in the city again this week. He has been granted leave of absence, and is enjoying himself.

Mr. A. Spadone, President of the Gutta Percha and Rubber Company, has just returned from an extended western trip, and Mirkey feels relieved.

The New York Belting and Packing Company is just introducing a new cotton hose, which they call “ Cable ” hose. But very little has been put on the market yet.

J. G. Mitchell, of Poughkeepsie, Vice President of the New York State Firemen’s Association, was in the city a day or two since. He is inspecting, with interested motives, a new style of freight elevated tramway. •

The work on the house occupied by Engine Company No. 29 and Hook and Ladder Company No. 10 is not yet completed. For nearly two months now, the Engine, Tender and Truck have stood in the street by day, and the horses and men are getting tired of being without a home. There is two weeks’ work more required at least to finish the building, and then it will be a model Engine-house.

A volume of smoke poured out of the windows of a large tenement-house at No. 143 Delancey street late Wednesday night. When the Firemen arrived they found the house filled with smoke and the affrighted occupants leaving their apartments with their household effects. The fire was found to have been confined to a bedroom on the second floor of the building occupied by David Lipmann, who was unaccountably absent. When it was put out, the discovery was made that various articles in the room had been saturated with kerosene oil. The police could not find Lipmann.

Brooklyn Department.


The Engine-houses of Brooklyn, like those cf New York, are excellent buildings to improve upon —in fact there is more room for improvement than anything else. In both cities they are, as a rule, old buildings, erected in the days ot the Volunteer Service, and lack the modern improvements demanded by the changed conditions of the Service.

Alter and rebuild as they will, they are still old buildings. Engine Company No. 9, of Brooklyn, is located in one of these old houses in Graham street, near Myrtle. It is a two-stoiy house, built eighteen or twenty years ago, and was occupied by old Volunteer Engine Company No. 12. In fact. No. 9 is old No. 12 reorganized. The house has a front of aa feet, and runs back about 80 feet. On the first floor stands an excellent second-class Steamer, the lender, loaded, with rubber hose of the New York Belting Company’s make; in the extension in the rear, are the stalls, the horses standing sideways to the apparatus and having 60 feet to run to reach the pole. On the second floor are the bunk-rooms and wardrobes of the men.

Captain Edward Shaughnessy, the Foreman of the Company, has been in command about three years. He was formerly Foreman of Engine Company No. 10 in the Volunteer Department. In 1874 be was appointed a Fireman in the present Department, and, in 1876, he was promoted to be Foreman and assigned to his present Company. He has had an extended experience in the Fire Service, is a man of cool, excellent judgment, and rated as one of the best Firemen in Brooklyn. James Connell, the Engineer, held the same position in old No. 12 Engine Company that occupied the same house. On the reorganization of the Department under the Paid system, he was reorganized from No. 12 to No. 9, retaining his position as Engineer. He is a live, active, intelligent mechanic, thoroughly understands his Engine, and takes great pride in keeping her in splendid condition. James Brennan, the Driver, is another of old No. 12’s men, who has been retained in the same position and the same house. He is a good Fireman, a careful Driver, and takes* most excellent care of his stock. Alexander Sangster is a new appointment,^having been in the Department but a short time. John Duffy was also a member of old No. 12 Engine Company ; he was out of the service for two or three years, but was appointed in the present Department in 1872. John Friel was Assistant Foreman of Engine Company No. 12, and was retained as a Fireman on the reorganization of the Department. John Furnell and James Cassidy were also members of old No. 12 Engine, and were retained on the reorganization. George W. Hurlburt came into the Department in 1872, but was formerly a member of Anthony Campbell’s famous old Hose Company No. 6. This constitutes a most excellent Company, always ready for duty, and possessed of the intelligence and technical knowledge which enables them to perform that duty effectually.

The district covered by the Company is a very large one. as they occupy the dividing line between old Williamsburg and Brooklyn, and have, in addition to regular duty in the city, a large suburban district to cover. They also have watchful care of the large manufacturing establishments located on Wallabout Bay. The Company runs to about 75 or 80 fires a year. Brooklyn Companies run but eight men and one officer to their Companies, so that the men have to work pretty lively at fires. They are assisted to a considerable extent by the Truck Companies. No. 9 has an excellent “ side partner”in Truck Company No. 2 which lies in Bedford avenue, but a couple of blocks away. As they run to the same stations, they are a mutual help to each other. Captain Shaughnessy is a man who pays strict attention to his business, is always on hand for duty, is a good disciplinarian, and his house and apparatus show thoughtful care and attention on his part and that of his men. The house is not comfortably furnished, which is a matter the Commissioners should remedy at an early day. Men who spend twenty-four hours a day in their quarters, sacrificing home and family to duty, ought, in simple fairness, to be comfortably taken care of.

Town of New Lots, L.

The annual parade and inspection of the New i Lots Fire Department took place on Monday evening, September 30, according to the programme : made out by E. H. Dunn, Chief Engineer, and j Thomas J. Foren, Assistant Chief. The invited guests were Chief John Smith, Assistant Chief John Flenne, who were the guests of Chief Dunn ; and Neptune Engine Company No. a, of the Jamaica Fire Department, who were the guests of (, Neptune Engine Company No. x; and Woodhaven Engine Company, who were taken care of by Union Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. The people of the town took an interest in the affair | greatly beyond that of any previous year. Bunting was stretched over the front of nearly all the houses along the line of march, and large numbers of flags were seen in every direction, gently waving in the breeze. In the evening large numbers of fancy ! lanterns were placed in the stoops and windows by the enthusiastic admirers of the Department, and along the entire line of march a perfect sun of light was to be found, and pyrotechnics illumined the sky at every turn of the procession. At 7.30 o’clock the various Companies assembled on Fulton avenue, between Hale and Sigel avenues, Cypress Hills, and were formed into a column in the following:


Platoon of Police, under Captain William F. Early. One Representative from each of the six Companies acting as guards.

Zergler’s Band.

Chief Engineer and Assistant Chief, and Visiting Chief and Assistant.

Neptune Engine Company No x,

Frederick Palmer, Foreman. Neptune Engine Company No. 2, Jamaica,

John McLaughlin, Foreman. Liberty Hose Company No. 1,

E. H. Richards, Foreman. Union Hook and Ladder Company No. 1,

Charles Kraut, Foreman. Woodhaven Engine Company,

Richard Powers, Foreman. Alert Pump and Bucket Company No. i,

George W. Monson, Foreman. A miniature Truck, drawn by 30 Boys in Fireman’s uniform.

Independent Pump and Bucket Company No. 1, Edward Lindsay, Foreman. Franklin Engine Company No. 2,

John Patterson, Foreman.

Fully four hundred men were on the ropes of the various Companies, and the sight as they marched over the line surpassed that of any parade ever held in East New York. The visiting Engines were marvels of neatness, especially the Woodhaven onoKwhich has but recently been purchased by Mr. Grosjean, of the firm of Lalance & Grosjean, Woodhaven. The Company consists, of 50 men, uniformed in blue shirts and fatigue caps, and made a fine appearance.

After passing in review the Companies marched back and formed in front of the building, and addresses eulogizing their attention to their duties during the past year, and the gradual improvement in gaining tKe name of gentlemen, outside of their town, were made by Justice Sherlock, School Commssioner Hamilton, Justice Spencer, Mr. Richard Pickering, all of whom received rounds of applause.

During the evening several presentations were made. Mr. E. Tillotson, one of the jewelers of the town, presented to the Union Truck Company a very handsome cut glass and silver bouquet holder. Mr. A. Ross presented the Alert Pump and Bucket Company a very handsome plume, which, added to the two large owls and the motto, ” We are Watching,” drew continual attention to the Company as it moved in the parade.

The Companies then drew their apparatuses to their various houses, after which some enjoyed spreads in their meeting-rooms, while others adjourned to neighboring hotels. Congratulatory speeches were the great feature of the evening.