ADVERTISERS who have contracted for space in the pamphlet containing the report of the proceedings of the Illinois State Association and the National Tournament, are requested to forward their copy to this office at once. The work is nearly ready to issue, and cannot be longer delayed.
A BOG meadow, extending over a tract of 2,000 acres, between Mountain View and Beavertown, N. J., took fire recently, and ever since the peaty soil has been smouldering away to an estimated depth of 12 or 14 inches, sending up clouds of smoke that obscure the country for miles around.
WE have received . from the publishers a bound copy of Vol. I. of the London Fireman. It is a very handsome publication, issued moflthly. It is the size of the JOURNAL, containing sixteen pages, and giving about the same amount of reading matter in each number. Its illustrations of the apparatus made by Merryweather & Son are interesting as showing the difference between the fire-extinguishing machinery in use in England and this country.
WE will be under obligations to any persons having surplus copies of Nos. 4, 5, 18, 25 and 26 of the JOURNAL, all or any of them, if they will forward them to us. We are entirely out of these numbers, and need a few to complete files for binding. We will cheerfully pay a reasonable sum to obtain them.
CHIEF OK BATTALION, G. J. Orr, having been designated as instructor to the class of Engineers, has devised an ingenious contrivance to assist him in his efforts. This is a “white blackboard,” on which are clearly painted all the parts of an Engine, boiler, pumps, etc., showing both the interior and exterior construction. This cannot fail of being a great help to many in the business.
AN experienced Engineer informs us that it frequently happens that the air chamber of a Steamer will get full of water after being at work for several hours. In that case the Engine labors heavily, and thumps badly. It is necessary to relieve her, to stop work and blow her off, when the water is exhausted from the air chamber, and she will work smoothly again. When filled with water, there is danger of rupturing the air chamber.
FROM an advertisement in another column, it will be seen that the Allen Supply Company, of Providence, R. I., are now making the Jones Coupling in addition to the Work Coupling. The Jones Coupling goes together with a snap, and is the one largely used throughout Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia it is highly thought of, and commended as a quick and sure coupling. The patent on this Coupling expired during the present year, and it is now furnished at a much less price than formerly.
SECRETARY HILLS, of the National Association of Fire Engineers, desires us to say that he has sent to all members of the Association copies of the printed proceedings of the late Convention at Cleveland. Should any of the Chiefs fail to receive their quota they are requested to notify him. We may add that if any of the Chiefs see an opportunity to dispose of some copies of the pamphlet at the rate of $20 a hundred we will forward the number required on application to this office.
AT the Paris Exposition there is on exhibi bition a Steam Engine, made by Merryweather, of London, which is claimed to be the roost powerful Fire Engine in the world. It can make zoo lbs. of steam from cold water in to minutes, and, it is asserted, will throw 1,500 gallons of water a minute to a height of 250 feet, At the National Tournament at Chicago a fourth.eJass Silsby threw 233 feet horizontally and 163 feet perpendicularly. Will cor respondents favor us with reports of rernarka ble throws by American Engines?
IT would be such a pleasant thing if could satisfy all the readers of THE JOURNAL as to its make-up. One wants more correspondence, another more City matter, another more editorials, another wants this and another that, while for ourselves, we want all the news and plenty of advertising. As we can’t hope to give every reader exactly what he desires, we must go ahead and do what we think is best for all. That plan has been pretty generally endorsed by the Firemen, and even the grumblers think THE JOURNAL the best paper the Firemen ever had.
WE have had several inquiries recently for second-hand Steam Fire Engines. Persons owning suc$i would do well to advertise them in the JOURNAL. The same is true regarding all kinds of fire apparatus. There is a constant demand for second-hand material by small places that cannot afford to buy expensive apparatus. An advertisement would have a tendency to bring the would-be buyers and sellers together. There are many Departments that have discarded Hand Engines who would probably find purchasers for them by using our columns.
AN advertisement appears in a London daily paper, warning people against giving money to persons who claim to be soliciting aid lor suburban Fire Brigades. It appears that there are some fifty old Hand Engines scattered about in sheds in the suburbs, and some speculative chaps claim to be Superintendents of them, and collect money for their support. Some of them have contrived to collect as much as $5,000 a year, on which they have contrived to live comfortably without work. An ingenious mode of swindling against which the public are warned.
IN gathering our statistics of Fire Departments, elsewhere alluded to, we are astounded at the number ol places that are entirely unprovided with means for extinguishing fires. Some of these have populations varying from 2,000 to 4,000, and contain property of hundreds of thousands of dollars in value. How business men can assume such risks it is impossible to conceive, and how any insurance company can be reckless enough to insure property where the flames arc at liberty to rage unimpeded, can only be accounted for by the fact that the money they risk belongs to their policyholders and not themselves. We shall open up a field that fire supply missionaries will do well to cultivate.
Wa beg once more to call the attention of Chief Engineers to the importance of being a little more definite in their annual reports as to their statistics. If, instead of giving us long lists of the location of fires that have oc curred, they will state distinctly the popula tion of their Cities or towns, the area within the city limits, value of assessable property, and cost of maintaining their Departments, we can then get the cost of fire protection per capita, and the percentage of cost to value of real estate protected. The insured and unin sured losses are now very generally stated. But will some one inform us of the use of printing, at great cost, these lists of fires that have occurred, location of hydrants, of fire alarm boxes, or the detailed inventories of property in the bands of each Company? These things should be recorded properly at headquarters, for reference, but they do not Interest anyone while they do materially add to the cost of printing. Taxpayers will be better satisfied to have these things stated In general terms than to pay the printer’s bill. A few carefully prepared tables appended to the report of the Chief will give all this in formation in a nut-shell, and, what Is more, It will be read.
A CORRESPONDENT wrties to us complaining because the Chief or the Department declined to demand compensation from the owners of a factory for the Firemen who extinguished a small fire that occurred therein. So lar from sympathizing with our correspondent, we fail to see what show of right the Chief would have had for making such a demand. If the apparatus used belonged to private individuals, they might exact payment for its use, but if it belongs to the taxpayers, then taxpayers have a just claim upon its services. To demand payment for the services of Firemen is to levy a tax upon the unfortunate owners of property imperilled by fire, making an unjust discrimination against them and in favor of those whose property is not injured. When Firemen volunteer their services, they do so in the interests of the public; when they demand pay for their services, it is time the Department was placed on a paid basis, and the idea of voluntary service abandoned. If a person whose property is saved from destruction by Firemen chooses to recognize their services by making them a present, the act is a gracious one which may very properly be accepted ; but to demand payment, is opposed to the very idea of voluntary service.
OUR St. Paul correspondent describes tests of apparatus recently made in that city. It is laughable to read how the men use whips, beat oyster cans, etc. to scare the horses out of their stalls, something alter the manner in which the Chinese fight their battles, by beating drums and tom-toms. This clearly shows how a false theory of education will demoralize even the brute creation. Instead of training their horses to start instantaneously for the pole at the sound of the gong, they have so accustomed them to all sorts of alarming noises, and even to the use of the whip, that the horses have become callous to all sounds and exhortations, and only move under the oressure of severe blows. This all arises from a false system of training. Contrast it with the system followed by Superintendent Bullwinkle, of the Chicago Fire Patrol. In his house the horses stand unhitched in their stalls No unusual noise is permitted in the house ; no whips are used, nor are the horses even spoken to when they are wanted at the pole. But let the gong sound, and they are there instantly. There is no noise, and no confusion. The horses have learned to start at the first stroke of the gong, or at any unusual noise, and to place themselves at the pole, Should the door be opened with a bang, or a man speak in a quick, sharp loud tone of voice, the horses take it for a signal and forthwith take their places daces at the pole. But they listen as intently for the stroke of the gong as does the man on watch, and when they hear it, they are as anxious to get out as the men are. In hitching, they take their places in ex act position, so that there is no pushing over of the haunchesrequired, and, after the tugs are hitched, they will stretch over to receive the pole chain and bend down their heads for the cross lines. They have been trained to all this by kindness and by patience. Let the St. Paul men drop their Chinese thunder and substitute a little common sense in the management of their horses, and they will find it much easier work, and enable them to improve on their time. Horses possess a high degree of intelligence, and laugh in their sleeves at all such nonsense as our correspondent describes.
THERE is something singular in the fact that the judges of the contest between Steam Fire Engines at the Tournament have not yet made their report public. It has been given out that Professor Lambert, the Chairman, would make an exhaustive report on the merits of Steam Fire Engines in general, but it is now nearly two months since the trial. and the report is not forthcoming yet. It is unfair and unjust to the manufacturers to keep them in suspense. The judges awarded the first prize to the Silsby Manufacturing Company, but the La France Company, the only other competitor, announced that their Steamer won the first prize but that the Silsby got it. This is an imputation upon the in tegrity of the judges, which they cannot afford to pass by unnoticed. If they will but make public their detailed report, Firemen can judge of the merits of the controversy. The report should properly be made to the Board of Control of the Illinois State Firemen’s Association, for whom the judges were acting. As the JouRNAL is the official organ of that Association, the report should be furnished us for publication. We understand that Pro fessor Lambert proposes to print it in pamph~ let form, which we think would be a gross violation of the rights of the Association for whom be has been acting—or. rather, delay ing. Let us have the report.
THE losses by fire in the United States during the month of September aggregated $4,203,900. They were divided among the several States as follows: Alabama, $66,700; California, $160,200; Colorado, $11,700; Con necticut, $80,600; Delaware, $1,800; District of Columbia, $4,900; Florida, $22,100; Geor gia, $63,400; Illinois, $303,200; Indiana, $238,700; Iowa, $74,600; Kansas, $9,300; Kentucky $37,000; Louisiana, $32,500; Maine, $162,400; Maryland, $59,2oo; Massachusetts, $370,700; Michigan, $270,800; Minnesota, $31,800; Mississippi, $15,ooo; Missouri, $383,300; Nebraska, $320,000; Nevada, $129,100; North Carolina, $59,300; New Hampshire, $70,900; New Jersey, $55,300; New York, $449,800; Ohio, $243,500; Ore gon, $76,600; Penosylvanvia. $307,900; Rhode Island, $45,900; South Carolina, $52,400; Tennessee, $22,900; Texas, $52,000; Ver mont, $77,300; Virginia,$39,100; Washington Territory, $12,000; West Virginia, $28,200; Wisconsin, $42,800. A comparative statement of fires and losses in the United States for the past nine months, with those of the corresponding months of the two previous years shows the following: Number of fires, 1876, 6,475; 1877, 7,728; 1878, 8,694. Aggre gate losses, 1876, $54,941,8oo; 1877, $79,725,300; 1878, $50,626,500. Here is a large in crease in the number of fires, but a consid erable falling off in the amount of losses, an indication that the Fire Departments are be coming more and more effective each year.
THE editor of the JOURNAL has been en gaged for upwards of six months preparing statistics regarding the Fire Departments of the country. Every city, town and village having a population of 1,000 or more has been corresponded with, and returns received from most of them. These we have collated in tabular form, and are now printing them in a large sized book as a matter of reference for manufacturers of tire supplies, insurance com panies, Fire Departments, and others inter ested in such matters. It will make a book of iso pages, somewhat larger than the JOURNAL, which will be sold only by subscription. It will contain the following information regard ing the different Departments: Number of steamers, and how drawn; number of Chemi cal Engines, and how drawn; of Hand En gines, of Hook and Ladder Trucks, of Hose Casriages, number of men, Paid or Volunteer, number of hydrants, reservoirs and cisterns, number of feet and kind of hose, condition of hose, number of fire-alarm boxes, and name of Chief Engineer. Secretary or person furnishing the information. No work ot this kind has ever been published, nor has any one obtained so complete a list. In addition we shall print in connection with it a list of towns of over 1,000 inhabitants that have no means of fire protection whatever. This will constitute a black list which we commend especially to the attention of insurance companies. This work is now in press and will be issued very shortly. Orders may be sent to the omce of the JOURNAL.