New English Steam Fire Engines.
As of interest to many of our readers who are unfamiliar with the progress of the manufacture of steam fire engines in England, we present this week an illustration of one of a pair of new “ Greenwich ” machines recently supplied to the Manchester Fire Brigade by the London makers. The engines were guaranteed to throw 450 gallons of water a minute, but at the official test made before Superintendent Tozer of the Manchester Brigade, when operated at full speed, the delivery was over 500 gallons each minute.
According to the account of the test given by an English contemporary, the boilers at the steaming test, were filled to the high-level mark before lighting the fire, yet, in less than nine minutes, each gauge showed 100 pounds pressure. The first engine threw a single jet 235 feet horizontally, two jets 200 feet each, and four jets 150 feet each, and the second michine gave almost exactly similar results.
The machinery consists of a pair of steam cylinders driving too direct and double-acting pumps placed horizontally, the steam and water pistons being connected by steel rods, which are cased with brass where they enter the pumps, a special crankshaft being provided to actuate the slide valves and determine the stroke. The pumps arc entirely of gun-me’al, and both the suction and delivery valves are placed in chambers below the barrels, thus preventing injury to the latter by stones, grit, &c. The pistons are of special design. The two pumps are cast in a single piece, side by side, without partitions, and are fitted in exactly parallel lines to the steam cylinders. The frame consists of a pair of iron plates boiled parallel to each other. The engine is built separately and bolted to the frame, and the boiler is also attached so that its weight comes on the hind wheels. Steel springs, high wood spokewheels, and a wrought-iron fore carriage carry the engine and
boiler, as well as a large mahogany hose-box, which forms a seat for the firemen. Under the driver’s seat is a cupboard in which two “ Tozer” hand pumps are carried, these, we are told by our authority,’‘being often found useful at small fires to which a steamer has been sent through the call not stating dimensions.” At the trial of these engines in Manchester, with a iFij-inch nozzle, a jet from each machine washed the face of the town hall clock, a height of 176 feet from the ground. It may lie noted that the engines were built especially light for use in the hilly districts in the suburbs of Manchester.