FIRE DEPARTMENT NOVELTIES.
The British Trade Journal, of London has the following article on some recent inventions for fire ser-
Firms which do not go with the times and keep the goods they manufacture right “up-to-date” have little chance no wadays Especially is this true with fire engineers. As new inventions are brought out, attention must be devoted to them, to ascertain whether they cannot be adapted to serve useful purposes in the fire service. Although wireless telegraphy is a subject which, so far as its practical use is concerned, is yet in its infancy, Messrs. Merryweather and Sons have already brought out a system whereby communication may be established between fire stations atany reasonable distance. The system is especially valuable for use between temporary fire stations and headquarters, where the cost of laying an underground or erecting an overhead wire would be prohibitive. The system seems to be sufficiently reliable for constant work. * * * The cost, though, of course somewhat he ivy, is less than would be required for connecting stations by wire, and signals can be sent from the central stations to any particular substation, or received from any substation at the central office, without fear of the messages fouliDg one another.
An American consular report from Freiburg states that fireproofing—a new industry—has lately been introduced into that city which deserves creditable mention and promises to be a great commercial success. The business pertains to the treatment of cottons, linens, woolen goods, etc., or any articles of fibrous or textile nature, by a chemical process which renders such articles fireproof. In this new method the goods that are to be rendered fireproof are treated chemically by a very quick process, which does not act on the fibre; so the goods lose nothing in strength, nor does the treatment in any way affect the color or perceptibly increase the weight, and the advance in the price of the article is very little. “I procured some samples and tried a few experiments with cloth which had been made fireproof by this new process, and found that 110 flame or fire is produced, as was t he case with similar goods which had uot been so treated. Only where the candle flame came into direct contact with the cloth was the fibre charred; but there was no spread of fire, and as soon as the flame was removed the charring ceased. I poured some kerosene oil on a piece of the cloth and ignited it; the oil burned vigorously, hut the cloth was simply charred where it had been soaked with oil, and there was no spread of fire. A piece of wood wrapped in thick fireproof canvas was placed for a few moments on the redhot anthracite coals of a furnace, and, when examined, was found to be uninjured, except where it had been in direct contact with the coal.” It would seem from these experiments that such a fireproof article would he very serviceable for the storing or packing of explosives. There appears to be no reason why the wood used for building purposes cannot be impregnated and rendered fireproof There is one disadvantage connected with this discovery which prevents the use of these fireproof articles for outdoor purposes—viz., that water can dissolve the chemicals, and then the substance is no longer fireproof; but, as such materials cau be washed and then re-impregnated very easily and cheaply, and so again rendered incombustible, it would seem that this does not greatly depreciate its value. Steam and moisture do not affect the fireproof qualities, nor does the application of heat; it is also claimed that the manufactured article is not in the least poisonous.