THE STATE CONVENTION.
[Special correspondence of FIRE AND WATER.]
LYNN, MASS.,saw the conclusion of the eighteenth annual convention of the Massachusetts State Foremen’s Association on Friday, the 17th inst., after three days of good work. On Wednesday the members assembled at Oddfellows hall, where Mayor Ramsdell, of Lynn, delivered a short address of welcome, to which president Harry L. Marston responded on behalf of the association. The following committee on credentials was then appointed: William Brophy, Boston, J. R. Hopkins, Somerville, and W. O. Arnold, Salem—after which President Marston delivered his address as follows:
Gentlemen of the Massachusetts State Firemen’s Association:
We are to-day assembled in convention for the purpose of raising the standard of the firemen of the good old State of Massachusetts. To do this we are to enlighten one another to the best of our ability, some by reading carefully-prepaied papers on subjects pertaining to our duties; others by discussing these papers on the floor of the convention; and still others by personal intercourse on the outside. If, when the convention adjourns, we have gained knowledge ourselves or have imparted knowledge to others, we have certainly accomplished a part of our mission. The calling of a fireman is a glorious one, and we have enrolled in that calling some of the best, the highest class of brain and muscle in the world—and in no part of the world is a fireman more appreciated and respected, or more deserving of the same, than in the State of Massachusetts.
Now, during this meeting of this association, if we have differences of opinion, whether as to ideas advanced in the papers presented, as to the management of the association, or as to anything connected with the association, let it be brought out by a full and free discussion on the floor, and not wait until outside to find fault or criticize. A discussion on the floor will in the end produce harmony while fault-finding and criticism outside will produce discord.
This association has grown steadily for some years; but it has not grown as I should like to see it. W’ith a fire department membership in the State of from 12,000 to 14,000, we should have mote than 1,200 to 1,300 members. Let every member of this association prevail on at least one to become a member, and it will be easy to double our membership. We wish to be strong enough to go to the legislature of the State and get what we want and what we should have; and we can do it, if each member will do his part in increasing the membership.
There is one point to which I wish to call to your attention at this time, and that is, in relation to getting out the reports of our conventions. I believe we should have the reports in the hands of the members in one month after the convention. Committees having this matter in charge have raised the point that, in order to do this, it would require calling on advertisers twice in one year, and to that the advertisers would object. Now I claim that the association could afford to print the report one year without the help of the advertisements, and that the added interest in the association by members who are not able to be present would more than make up the added expense. After the first year we could easily get the advertisers interested and issue the report at once after the convention. I hope some action will be taken on this matter during the meeting this year. Other subjects which I have in mind will be opened up and discussed in the papers presented to the convention, and in reports of officers and committees, so I will not attempt to go farther on this line.
During this convention I hope that all members will attend, and take part in the meetings, and not give the whole time to the social side of the convention. The city of Lynn and its fire department, under our friend and brother, Chief C. H. Downing, one of the best firemen in the country, have arranged a fine program of entertainment for the delegates, and we shall try to arrange the meetings so that we can attend to both sides. I would ask one and all to examine the exhibits and help the exhibitors in every way possible, as they are a valuable and instructive feature of these conventions.
I will now close by thanking you all for the kind attention given me, and will ask one and all to be indulgent and courteous to each other during our stay in the city, that you may take away none but pleasant memories or the city of Lynn and the eighteenth convention of the Massachusetts State Firemen’s Association.
At the Wednesdayevening’s session the president appointed the following committee on nomination of officers for the ensuing year:
Chiefs A. A. Ferrin, Woburn; W. O. Arnold,Salem; Assis’ tant Chief Thomas Ray, Lynn; Chief J. T. Lynch, Holyoke; and Chief II. A. Jones, Adams. F. A. Cheney, of Haverhill presented the report of the committee on the $10,000 relief fund,which contained the following:
Claims considered, 165; claims allowed,i82;claims rejected, 3; 2,908 injury benefits paid to call men, $4,362; 2,506 injury benefits paid to permanent men, $2,506; four funeral benefits, $400; 549 weeks, six day benefits to minor children,$1,099 66; one claim is now in court, awaiting legal decision as to rightful party to whom claim is due; expense account, $494.81; total,$8,922.47; balance returned to State treasurer,$1,077.53; total, $10,000.
The report of Delegate Marston to the convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers was next presented. It stated that the convention was in every respect one of the best yet held. Chief W. C. Davol, jr., of Fall River, then read a paper entitled “ Should railroad companies provide ready means of transportation when assistance is called for by neighboring towns?” In opening the speaker referred to the assistance rendered by the Old Colony railroad to towns in his vicinity. He argued that the most practicable means of transportation was on properly constructed electric cars, kept especially for the service in close proximity to the engine houses. The steam railroad is less convenient, owing to the fact that it is often a hard matter to secure a locomotive, a proper car,and the men to handle it—the rolling stock having to be secured from terminal points, after the consent of the officials had been obtained, oftentimes at a distance from the place. On the other hand,electric cars run by the very doors of the engine house,and the officials of the electric company are located in the city or town.and the fire departments and the companies work in harmony together.
In the discussion that followed Captain Brophy, of Boston thought that the plan was not feasible, owing to the fact that the power honses shutdown at midnight and the power is then unavailable. Unless the roads could be ready at all times to convey the cars,he thought it useless to keep them in readiness. During business hours the cars could be transported quickly and readily and valuable aid could be rendered by one city to another; but after midnight the electric system is useless.
Before adjournment Captain Brophy called attention to the delay in issuing the piogram of the proceedings which he thought was caused by the executive committee. It was explained that the chief delay was in not receiving the papers in time.
On reassembling on Thursday morning the report of the executive committee which was presented gave very full particulars of the meetings of the committee during the year. The report 6f the pamphlet committee was then read by the chairman, Charles S. Marchant, of Gloucester. The expenses of the committee were as follows: Printing, $271.70; packing and postage, $33.68; expenses, $20.08; total, $325.46;receipts for advertising, $227.72. of which $155 had been collected.
Chief A. H. Fiske, of South F ramingham, presented his paper: “Is it advisable to use fire department horses for other purposes?” Chief Fiske stated that he had communicated with seventy cities and towns of the Commonwealth, and of thirty which owned their horses seven favored using them for other purposes, and twenty-three were opposed. Of the latter six departments had their horses used in other work. When the horses were engaged in other work they increased the cost of their feed over twenty-five per cent. In buying horses which will be used in other work he recommended that the chiefs insist that the horses be the property of the fire department and that the drivers be members of the department.
The paper of Chief Henry A. Jones, of Adams, on “The fire marshal law in relation to compelling chiefs to investigate the origin of fires,” was then read. The paper purported to show that the chiefs were the best qualified to investigate fires, and that they should receive compensation for doing so.
The paper of Chief James K. Hopkins, of Somerville, on ” The importance of being a good fireman and some pointers how to become one,” was read by the author. It will be printed in a future issue of IMRE AND WATER.
The next paper read was that by Chief L. E. Pattisen, of Webster, on ” Suggestions of improvements that might be made in the present fire marshal law.” Chief Pattisen was in favor of seeing that the present law be fully complied with, especially section five. He advised that the chief assist the fire marshals as much as lay in their power.
Captain Brophy advocated a general building law, with a view of preventing incendiarism, and that a committee of the association be appointed to confer with the State fire marshal as to the forming of such a law and its presentation to the legislature.
Chief Beals, of Lawrence, agreed that such a law was necessary, and made a motion, which was adopted, that a committee of five be appointed for carrying out the plan.
The report of the secretary which was then read showed that the secretary had forwarded 9,844 pieces of mail and express matter, 5,274 of which applied to convention business, during the year ending September x, 1897. Letters received, 618; blank relief applications forwarded, 118; dues received, $1,264; membership,September 1, 1332—a gain of sixty-nine over last year. Lynn has the largest membership. 110 members, and Turner’s F’alls the largest for the towns, namely, forty. The report was accepted.
In the absence of John S. Damrell. of Boston. Captain President-elect, Massachusetts State Firemen’s Association. Brophy read his paper on: “lixtension of fire limits—Are not cities too slow in extending them ?” The author considered the subject from an affirmative standpoint and advocated the extension of fire limits
Chairman Crombie, of the $io,oco fund commission, next delivered a very appropriate address, dealing with a variety of subjects pertaining to the fire service. He strongly condemned allowing politics to interfere with the good discipline of fire departments. There were many faces absent from the convention, he said, owing to no other cause than politics. Merit and capacity alone should determine who should hold positions as firemen, and chief engineers should be retained in service so long as they performed efficient work.
At the evening session Captain Brophy read a very able paper entitled, * Are the civil service rules as at present applied to fire departments beneficial or otherwise?” It shall be presented in full in a future issue of FIRE AND WATER.
Captain Brophy then produced the five series of pictures illustrating fire scenes in Boston before and since the overhead wires were removed in that city. The accompanying remarks were very interesting, and the lecture proved the most attractive feature of the convention.
At Friday’s session the following business was transacted. T. W. Hough, Malden, Mass., chairman of the finance com• mittee.read his report, which showed receipts for the year, $i.264,and a balance on hand of $1,345.25. The report of the credential committee showed 453 members in attendance. The report of the nominating committee was as follows:
President.Chief Charles E. Downing,Lynn; vice-presidents, Assistant Chief Joseph Sanford, Fall River, Chief H. A. Jones, Adams, Captain William Coffin, Beverly, Chief Thomas C. Hanson, Ware, Chief E. L. Vaughn, Worcester, Chief A. A. Fiske, South Framingham; secretary, D. Arthur Burt, Taunton; treasurer, Captain H. R. Williams, Worcester; executive committee (three years) Chief H. L. Marston, Brockton, Chief L. P. Webber, Boston; trustees of the S 10.000 relief fund. Chief Edward S. Hosmer, Lowell, Fred. A. Cheney, Haverhill; delegate International convention, Chief Charles E. Downing, Lynn; sergeant-at-arms, Chief F. O. Whitman, Braintree.
Captain John T. Needham, of the New York city fire department, read a paper on “The model fireman”. After the usual votes of thanks were passed, the convention adjourned sine die.
It was rather unfortunate that the exhibitors were obliged to select a separate place from that where the convention was held in which to display their goods, as, no doubt, many members did not visit the exhibition at all, owing to the great distance between the two places. This was the more regretable, since the manufacturers had gone to considerable expense in fitting up a very large and attractive display. The exhibit of
C. N. RICHARDSON,
Entering the Exhibit Hall, the first fifty feet on the left was occupied by the well-known New England manufacturer, C. N. Richardson, owner of Combination Ladder Company, and R. I. Coupling Company, of Providence. R. I. The usual line of fire supplies and specialties were well displayed. The unique banner and mottoes as usual in their places, and the cuts and description of different agencies’ circulars represented by the companies were well brought to the front. At this convention. Mr. Richardson issued a very neat red pamphlet filled with illustrated cuts, showing the method of treating the waxed Fabric hose for which he is New England sales agent. In his remarks bofore the convention he brought out the valuable points of his different specialties, well illustrating the uses of his ball-bearing rapid hoist extension ladder, his Baker cellar pipe and Common Sense nozzle, mentioning also with complete detail the agencies he represents—namely, theC. T. Holloway chemical engines, Gleason and Bailey steel frame trucks,aerial trucks and rolling stock in general, Seagrave trussed ladders and trucks, and the wax treated hose as before mentioned GAM EWELL FIRE ALARM TELEGRAPH COMPANY.
A very fine complete fi’-e alarm system was arranged by this company, showing the Gamewell improved non-interfering boxes.lindicators.and gongs, and a new police signal box. It is only reasonable to say that more perfect fire electrical appliances it would be difficult to find. The workmanship and finish of the various parts of these exhibits were of the higest rrder and fully substantiated the record this company has gained for the construction of the most modern and reliable fire alarm systems of the day.
ARCHIBALD WHEEL COmPANY.
As at the convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers, this company, exhibited the new roll-bearing axles and wheels. They must be recognized as the greatest improvement in fire apparatus of the age. To appreciate the undoubted advantages which the roll-bearing process has over the old system, it is only necessary to compare the ease with which fire department rolling stock can be propelled when equipped with roll bearing hubs and axles and those of the old method.
CORNELIUS CALLAHAN COMPANY.
William Webber was in charge of the exhibit of this company. It was very tastefully arranged and varied in the number of appliances shown. Samples of the well-known Callahan inventions were on view, including, cotton rubber-lined hose; engine relief valves; couplings, play pipes, Siamese, controling nozzles; hydrant gates, and a large assortment of other supplies. The company has new and large quarters at 127 Purchase street, Boston.
UNITED STATES FIRE AND POLICE ALARM TELEGRAPH COMPANY.
This company had an attractive display of its system of boxes, indicators, and gongs. It was in charge of’Manager Power, and that gentleman was very assiduous in his attention to the members.
SAMUEL EASTMAN AND COMPANY showed a fine arrangement of Deluge sets, holders, and, Siamese, illustrating its new nozzle system.
of Canton Junction, Mass , is the manufacturer of knit fire hose, anew nozzle, play pipes, relief valves, and other fire appliances. Mr. Callahan was present in the interest of his business, and spent much of his time in discussing his inventions with his friends.
COOPER HOSE JACKET COMPANY.
This company was represented by J. B. Cooper, its president. He had several samples of the celebrated jacket on view, and everyone who came his way was entertained with an exhibition of how the thing works.
CHARLES E. BERRY.
A fine exhibit of collars, hames, and the new three-horse hitch was given by this gentleman. The appliances which Mr. Berry makes are well-known for their reliability, and the inventor is constantly adding some improvement to them, so as to keep ahead of the times. The works of Mr. Berry are at East Cambridge, Mass.
C. W. H. MOULTON & COMPANY.
This firm has been engaged in the manufacture of fire ladders for many years. They are used extensively and with the patent ock which the company furnishes,are of a very reliable nature. Several specimens of ladders and the Edmands fire extinguisher were on exhibition.
Among other exhibitors were:
Weirwick Cannel Coal Company,cannel coal for fire engines.
American Fire Hose Manufacturing Company, Chelsea, Mass., represented by Frank R. Dow.
C. N. Perkins and Company, Lowell, Mass., fire appliances.
The Hall Manufacturing Company, Rockland,Me., fire axes and handles.
David True, Amesbury, Mass., axle oiler.
Stewart and Pownall, patent electric appliance.
Frank L. Trefethen, Lynn, Mass., patent lubricators and supplies.
S. F. Hayward & Co.. 357 Canal street, New York, fire department rolling stock and supplies.
A. S. Jackson, 26 Union street, Boston, fire department supplies.
The Eureka Fire Hose Company, New York, fire hose.
Some fine test of appliances were given on an open space near the gas works. They were as follows:
The Eastman Deluge sets.
The Weirwick cannel coal for fast firing and heat.
The Niagara nozzle.
Electric connection between pipemen and engineer to notify shutting of water.
Hart spray nozzle.
All of the tests, which were very satisfactory .were witnessed by a fairly representative crowd.
The Lynn fire department entertained the members of the association to a shore dinner at Bass point.
The largest amount of money heretofore received at a convention was paid in dues,amounting to nearly $1,000.
Captain Brophy is a most valuable member of the association. He is a man thoroughly posted on all subjects on which he undertakes to speak.
Chief Harry L. Marston, the retiring president, made a remarkably able presiding officer. 11 is term will be recorded as one of the best, if not the most successful of any in the history of the association.
FIRE AND WATER issued, as usual, a fine souvenir edition for the occasion, and of the hundreds of copies taken to the convention all were distributed before the second day—which shows that firemen are as appreciative of a good thing as other people when they see it.
Chief Astley and Captain Ross, of the Newark fire department, and Captain Needham, of New York, were attentive visitors at the meetings.
The trolley ride to Marblehead was very enjoyable.
The amount of business transacted and the number and value of the papers presented at this convention were very satisfactory.
There is not a better conducted or more successful association in the county than that of The Massachusetts State Firemen.