DESCRIPTION OF DULUTH AND ITS FIRE STATIONS.
Specially written for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
Duluth offers many attractions as a convention city; its tine summer climate, natural scenic beauty. wonderful harbor, immense industries and shipping are all points of interest to the sightseer and should not be overlooked by those in attendance at the convention. It can safely be said that, as a cool and comfortable resort for the summer, Duluth stands without a rival. The temperature ranges from 65° to 85°, with an average of about 70° Fahr. It occasionally goes to 90° ; but it has exceeded that only twenty-six times in thirty-one years. Three days in succession of more than 8o° are very rare. Across the Duluth entrance is the aerial ferry bridge. This is one of the most substantial pieces of engineering to be seen anywhere. It is the only one of its kind in the country, and its actual weight is 3,387,000 pounds. The opening between the towers is 394 feet. The tower truss of the bridge is 135 feet from the water, sufficiently high to clear the top of the masts of the largest lake steamers, and the upper chord is 183 feet above the water level. The ferry is capable of sustaining, and has carried a weight of sixty-five tons, and will carry 400 passengers, as well as a double-truck street car or a carriage and wagon. It is operated by means of electricity and by a cable which is wound round a steel drum, the controler and motors being aboard the car. The Great Northern Power company is now harnessing the St. Louis river near Duluth, and in 1906 will have a minimum of 30,000 electrical horsepower developed under a fall of 378 feet. This installation will be increased later on up to 80,ooo-horsepower. In addition, this company’s proposition includes another development, with a generating station in the manufacturing centre, designed for an ultimate installation for 110,000 electrical horsepower, to operate under 740 feet fall. Within the western limit of Duluth 12,500 direct hydraulic horsepower can be developed under a fall of seventy feet. This waterpower development is regarded as particularly important and valuable on account of its proximity to the immense iron mines and the many advantages of electrical power for all classes of mining work. One of the great works at present being carried out near Duluth is the development of the St. Louis river power by the Great Northern Power company at Thomson. The work includes a huge reservoir with big retaining walls, portions of which, forty feet high, are built and a concrete dam 600 feet long, which, when completed, will form a lake a mile square, with an average depth of twenty-five feet.
FIRE PROTECTION OF THE CITY.
The population of the city at the last United States census was 52,969; it has increased rapidly since that census was taken. The fire area is between sixty and seventy square miles, and is in some portions very much congested. In the residence district—the Fast End there has been a wonderful growth, and the dwellings erected there are not only costly as buildings, but are likewise filled with equally costly furniture and fittings. As that district from Fourteenth avenue. Fast, eastwards is approached by a heavy grade, the services of a powerful steamer located on the spot in house No. 4 are imperatively called for. The fire department of the city is under the command of Chief J. T. Black, whose assistants are Joseph Randall and Fred. E. Granzow. There are, also, a city electrician, Fred. K. Hough, and a lire warden, John Schinlaub. Besides these officers, there are eighty-nine firemen, of whom five arc drivers and shopmen, and one is a lineman— making a total of ninety-three members. There is, also, a salvage corps numbering nine men, with two 2-horse wagons and sleighs, 183 tarpaulins, and the rest of the accustomed equipment. The captain of the corps is M. Johnson, with two lieutenants under him, and the corps itself is divided into two companies. The fire department comprises ten companies, of which four are engine companies, one chemical, three hook and ladder and two, hose. The equipment is as follows: Steamers, five—one in reserve; hook and ladder trucks, four—one in reserve; chemical engines, six ■three in reserve; hand chemical extinguishers, fourteen; hose wagons, six—one in reserve; hand hose reels, two; hose carriage in reserve; combination hose wagon; coal wagon; exercise wagons, ten; fire alarm wagon; chief’s buggies, four; supply and other wagons, four; sleighs, cutters, etc., hose, 16,750 feet of two and a half-inch (t 1,000 reliable), besides 700 feet of one-inch chemical hose; horses, sixty-nine. Of the four hook and ladder trucks one is a Babcock aerial; two are first-class city; one is second-class. One chemical engine is a two-horsed double eighty-gallon tank Babcock; another is a two-horsed single, 100gallon Champion. The Gamewell fire alarm telegraph system is installed, with 121 boxes and a storage battery. Of the apparatus all the pieces are drawn by two horses, except the aerial truck, which is hauled by four. Four of the hose wagons and the combination hose wagon were built in the department shop. Between 500 and 600 fire hydrants are set. and the fire pressure is 120 pounds. A lifeboat is an absolute necessity, as the water front risk; are increasing in inverse ratio to the protection. During the past year the department answered 275 alarms, forty of which were for chimney fires, each one of which, of course, called out enough apparatus to cope with the actual tire. The result is loss of time, loss of money in wear and tear and accidents, sometimes loss of life and crippling the firemen, besides smashing up the .apparatus. In answering those forty useless alarms , the department traveled more than two hundred miles at the speed required. It seems full time that an ordinance should he passed forbidding citizens to turn in an alarm for mere chimney fires. In answering the alarms for the year the department traveled 1.294 miles and three fourths of a mile; worked 754 hours; laid 125,iso feet of hose; ran up 5.479 feet of ladders, and used 4,898 gallons of chemical fluid, of which 198 were discharged from hand extinguishers. The salvage corps answered 193 alarms; traveled 379 miles; worked 20K hours and one minute; spread 502 covers, of which seven were burned; used 12 gallons of chemicals and seventeen bags of sawdust. The total loss, exclusive of the Omaha dock fire (where it was heavy, with no account turned in by the company, in spite of repeated requests), was as follows: Buildings, $78,517.41, contents, $98,669.03—total, $177,186.45; insurance on buildings, $795,342. contents, $290,250—total. $1,085,592. Among the needs of the department are tne following: Additional two and a half-inch hose; new steamer and new combinat chemical and hose wagon; engine house; regular telephone operators in place of firemen; l.reboat. As to the telephone alarm: It is a nuisance at best, but is something with which the department will have always to deal, for which reason permanent and regular operators should be employed.