Our Fifteenth Birthday.
FIFTEEN years ago The Fireman’s Journal was launched upon the journalistic sea with more or less misgivings as to the future of a paper devoted exclusively to the interests of the firemen. The first words uttered by the editors in the initial number of The Journal were to this effect: ‘It is with considerable diffidence that the editors of the Fireman’s Journal enter upon the undertaking of providing for the firemen of this country a weekly journal devoted to their interests exclusively.”
That this diffidence was somewhat in the nature of a false alarm is attested by the importance of FIRE AND WATER today in the special field it undertakes to fill, and also by the very liberal support accorded it. The history of the paper is a story of continuous progress, enterprise and loyalty to its supporters. From the very start the management organized a corps of correspondents located in every part of the United States and in England, Germany and France. This department of the paper has been so well kept up that it has been enabled always to print all the doings of the fire and water service throughout the world. Ten years after the first issue of The Journal the name Jwas changed to FIRE AND WATER. The first number appeared November 27, 1886. d he reason this change was made is explained in an editorial of that date. It said: “ In treating of matters connected with the fire service of the country, we have found, from the very first issue of The Journal, that we were obliged to treat to some extent of the water service as well. The two are so knit together that they are inseparable. Fire protection is impossible without both the fire and water branches of the public service ; the best fire department ever organized is valueless without an efficient water service, and no water service provides adequate fire protection without firemen and fire apparatus. * * * Hence, we this week drop the name by which we have been known for nearly ten years, and adopt that of FIRE AND WATER, which more nearly describes the combined interests to which we shall hereafter devote our energies.”
How well these energies have been applied is best shown in a comparison of the paper to-day and that of five years ago. At that time the total number of pages was 24 and these were in size thirteen by nine inches, while to-day the paper consists of from twenty-eight to forty pages, fourteen by eleven inches in size. But the greatest change has been made in the business department of the paper, where from fifty-two advertisements, appearing five years ago, there are to-day over one hundred and eighty-one from cover to cover. Among the other important features of the paper have been the illustrations, which represent the very highest degree of pictorial art. Upon every important occasion, FIRE AND WATER has issued special or souvenir editions which were remarkable for the beauty and excellence of their makeup, making them at once works of art.
In the special fields to which FIRE AND WATER is devoted it is regarded as the standard of authority. Col. Clifford Thomson, editor in chief and founder of the paper, is without question the best posted writer on fire matters in this country. He occupies an enviable position among the fire department officials of the United States, sharing their confidences and enjoying their highest esteem. He maintains editorial supervision over the paper and directs its policy. Arthur L. J. Smith, who has been identified with the journal from its inception in an editorial and business capacity, is still actively connected with the paper. The editor of the water department is Peter Milne, than whom there is no better known hydraulic engineer in this country. His long connection with the Brooklyn water-works and other systems has made him thoroughly familar with the subject of water supply, and his manner of putting his ideas on paper is at once interesting and instructive.
The sub-editor, B. J. Fredericks, is is an all round journalist and graduate of the Metropolitan press. The head of the business department is F. W. Shepperd, whose acquaintance with the active men in the fields of tire and water extends to every part of the United States. He is a manager of progressive ideas, original methods and ever on the alert for the best things to favor the clientele of the paper. G. W. Burnham is cashier of the Technics Publishing Company, and has charge of the financial end of the paper. F. A. Lent is the statistician of FIRE AND WATER and compiles the publication Fire Protection and Water Supply. Miss Emma Stewart has charge of the bureau of correspondence and is aided by an efficient corps of writers. G. W. Palmer is superintendent of the mechanical department and is responsible for the issue of the paper. This, in short, is the corps that combines to produce weekly the only paper that thoroughly and effectively covers the important fields of fire and water in their varied relations to the human race. In celebrating this, our fifteenth birthday, we do not lose sight of the fact that there remains much to be done for us, and we promise our friends that the best efforts of this corps of workers will be combined to continue the production of the best paper devoted to the interests of fire protection and water supply.