CONFERENCE HELD ON FIRE HOSE COUPLING STANDARDIZATION
Manufacturers Consider Means of Increasing Distribution of Gages and Turning Out Couplings Closer to Tolerance of Inspection Gages
RPRESENTATIVES of fire hose coupling manufacturers, inspection and insurance groups, and others interested in the problem of hose standardization, met on March 16 in the offices of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to consider the manufacture, gaging and distribution of couplings made according to the National standard. The meeting was in charge of Prof. C. P. Bliss of New York University.
J. H. Howland, engineer of the National Board of Fire Underwriters who was one of the pioneers in this work, and P. C. Charnock, engineer of the New England Insurance Exchange, told of the work accomplished in the field. Thirty states are now carrying out extensive programs of standardization. Roughly about 2,700 municipalities have had their threads converted to the National or American standard.
Fall River was brought out as an example of the value of this work. Several months ago its thread was such that none of the neighboring departments had threads that corresponded to it. The commissioners were finally won over to the National standard coupling. When fire broke out in the Pocasset Mill recently and calls were sent out for assistance, out of the thirtythree departments that responded, Newport. R. I., was the only unit that could not connect with the standardized fitting.
Not all threads, it was pointed out, could he rechased. Sizes varying from 2 31/32 to 3 1/8-inch could be changed. Some metal was too brittle, and cracked when expanded.
Charles H. Fisher, on the standardization committee of the New Jersey Fire Chiefs Association, stated that the cost of changing a coupling to the favored standard varied from zero where the city did not hire extra labor, to thirty-five cents at the most. The average cost was seventeen cents a coupling. The Akron Brass Manufacturing Company of Akron. Ohio, reported that they found it more difficult to convert hydrant threads.
Manufacturers brought out the difficulty in filling orders for couplings. Some towns which believed that their thread was National standard specified such couplings. When the order was shipped it was rejected because the couplings would not fit. Smaller communities when asked to send a coupling for measurements would send one that had been in service for a number of years. When sizes were taken from this sample, the finished product did not conform with the other newer couplings.
In order to simplify the field inspection sets for the smaller communities, those present at the meeting voted to eliminate the two plug gages from the set. This will reduce the price for the complete set by from seventeen to twenty-five dollars.
Many of the larger cities have been against hose standardization New York city still stocks to its own pattern and consequently Jersey City, Hoboken and Newark, N. J., do not care to change their thread because the communities feel they would loose New York City’s aid should a conflagration occur. Camden, N. J., banks on Philadelphia which is using a snap type coupling.
Inspection agencies are winning over a number of the smaller communities to the wisdom of using the National standard. Then the plan has been to go to the larger city and show that more aid could be furnished by the nearby villages and towns than could be expected from some distant first class city.
A great deal of constructive work was accomplished at this conference. There was an exchange of ideas between gage and die manufacturers and those making the couplings. The insurance engineers brought forth some of the problems encountered in the field.
The following men were present at the conference:
P. G. Agnew, Secty. American Engineering Standards Committee; C. H. Ball, Sugt. Dept. Greenfield Tap and Die Corp.: J. Bergvall, Super. American Bureau of Shipping; C. P. Bliss, Chairman A. S, M. E. Standardization Committee; A. L. Boerner, N. Y. Mgr. W. D. Allen Manufacturing Co.; A. C. Boniface, Asst, to Vice-Pres. American-LaFrance and Foainite Corp.: M. T. Briggs, Tress. John H. Clay, Inc.; W. E. Brierly. John Simmons Co.: A. L. Brown. Eng. Associated Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Companies; S. A. Brown, Vicc-Pres. and Treas. Wirt and Knox Mfg. Co.; P. C. Chartiock. Eng. New England Insurance Exchange; C. H. Fischer. Consulting Eng. New York; C. E. Darling. Standards Asst. A. S. M. E.: J. Gaillard, Mech. Eng. American Engineering Standards Comm ; W. H. Gourde. Gage Division. Pratt and Whitney Co.; A. M. Houser. Prod Eng. Crane Co.: J. H. Howland, Eng. National Board of Fire Underwriters; C. J. Kreiger, Spec’l Agent, Underwriters Laboratories; C. B. LePage. Asst. Secty. American Society of Mech. Eng.; N. F. McKeon. Eureka Fire Hose Manufacturing Co.: J. C. Mcloon. General Fire Extinguisher Co.; J. F. Rennie, Chief Draftsman. A. P. Smith Mfg. Co.; P. V. Tilden, E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co.; W. W. Turner, Asst. Secry, Akron Brass Mfg. Co.; F. H. Viele, Treas, Automatic Hose Coupling Co.; N. N. Wolpert, Asst. Editor, FIRE ENGINEERING.