Handtub Muster at Chelsea

Handtub Muster at Chelsea

The Nonantum “tub” of West Newton furnished the surprise at the annual New England Veteran Firemen’s muster at Chelsea, Mass., on August 22, by defeating the Hancock No. 1 engine of Brockton by half an inch. The Hancocks are the champions of New England, holding the record with a stream of 263 feet 8 1/8 inches, and when they threw a stream of 250 feet 7 inches early in the day, with the wind most favorable, there was considerable betting that they would not be beaten. When the Nonantum beat them by the slightest margin they were cheered repeatedly. The city of Somerville, of Somerville, was third with a stream of 245 feet 1 1/4 inches. The fourth prize was won by the Fire King, of Pawtucket, R. L, with a play of 223 feet 5 3/4 inches. This tub won the last muster that was beld in Chelsea in 1866, and presented the silver trumpet they won at that time to Daniel W. Pepper, a former president of the Winnisimmet Veteran Firemen of Chelsea, who is now blind and who was a guest of that organization in the parade, The Hancock and the City of Somerville were the first two engines to play according to the positions drawn by them and were favored by the wind, which blew almost directly from the southwest. The wind veered around to the south shortly after one o’clock and the rest of the men had to contend with a strong cross wind. Late in the afternoon there was a dead calm which militated against the chances of the tuns at the foot of the list, including the two Chelsea associations, the Liberty and Winnisimmet. There were $500 in prizes and a solid silver trumpet. The winners got the trumpet and $200. Second prize was $150, third $100 and fourth $50. There were 30 entries, but the Watch City engine of Waltham blew out her air chamber as she started to play and the Veteran of Charlestown did not appear. The playout began on the Carter street grounds at 12:45, and ended at 6 o’clock, the committee running off the events in splendid manner. Prior to the playout there was a street parade two miles long. The entire fire apparatus of the Chelsea department was in line and presented a striking contrast to the old time machines. The judges were: William E. Maybury, of blast Braintree; Edward P. Walker, of Somerville; Joseph A. Stevens, of Springfield; Henry Wilford, of Revere; Le Roy R. Whitman, of Cranston, R. I.; Henry Morrill, of Manchester, N. H.; William H. Brown, of Marblehead, and Fred A. Porter, of Chelsea. Dave Adamson, of East Boston, was timekeeper. The muster committee consisted of Fred A. Young, chairman; Edward J. Haggerty, secretary, and Melville L. Young, foreman of the Winnisimmet. A summary of records in play-out follows:

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