RANDOM SPARKS

RANDOM SPARKS

—The annual parade of the Seneca Falls Fire Department occurred on June 21.

—Protection Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 of Lockport, N. Y., are looking about to purchase a new truck. Manufacturers look out.

—The German Firemen are to hold their twelfth annual meeting at Salzburg, on September 7. An exhibition of Fire Apparatus, etc., will also be opened.

—The roof of a poor widow’s house in Corvallis, Oregon, was burned off a few Sundays ago. All the town turned out to assist the only engine and the hook and ladder company in extinguishing the flames, and before they were fairly out the crowd made up a fund of $600, which it was thought would be sufficien t to repair the damage done.

—The ” Always on Time ” Hose Company, of Moline, Ill., have a bylaw which prohibits any member from attending any Firemen’s festivals which occur on Sunday.

The Tire Engine is a new paper published by the Hutton Fire Engine Company, and devoted principally to the record of trials of the Button Engines all over the country.

— It should always bd borne in mind that in bare wires, out of doors, erected for the purpose of conveying electricity, there is always more or less danger to person or property.

—Among Chief Swenie’s visitorsduring last week were: Superintendent Wilkinson, of the Fire Alarm Telegraph of Brooklyn, and Chief Stetson of the Minneapolis Fire Department.

—Mayor King, of Philadelphia, will vigorously enforce the law prohibiting the firing of crackers and other explosives on the coming Fourth of July, and has issued a proclamation to that effect.

—More than one fourth of the fires in Michigan, in 1882, were caused by defective chimneys, and it is recommended that Fire Wardens have power to inspect all chimneys and condemn unsafe ones.

—It is claimed that the flow from the new artesian well at Kenosha, Wis., is equal to five hundred barrels per minute. The water is clear and soft, and piping will be put in which will preserve it so f r use.

—Chief Hendrick, of the New Haven Fire Department, has, under a recent action of the Board of Fire Commissioners, been appointed for life, unless giving good cause for removal by some arbitrary act, which is not probable.

—The Hubbard Hose Company No. 2 of Middletown, Conn., having secured an appropriation from the city for the purpose of painting their parade carriage, are intending to make other alterations on the carriage, and are looking around for novelties for reel heads and other ornaments.

—One of the most recent uses of celluloid is for the making of type and engraver’s blocks for printing from. Something was needed to add to the fire hazard of the ordinary printing-office, and celluloid type and blocks would seem to be the right sort of supplement to benzine, waste paper, oiled rags, etc.

Chief Shaw, of the London Fire Brigade, says a great many complimentary things about the new Hayes* truck that he took with him from the United States. To any one who has seen the ponderous pyramids that the London Firemen haul about the streets, this commendation will appear quite natural.

At a Hose Cariiage contest at New London, Conn., the distance from the starting point to the hydrant was 675 feet, 150 feet of hose was stretched, and water came from the nozzle in forty nine seconds, in the case of the fastest company. The slowest company accomplished the undertaking in fifty-three seconds.

—Last week James O’Neill, the well known actor, placed $50,000 endowment insurance upon his life through E. B. Kellogg of Chicago, Special Agent of the Home Life of N. Y. The annual cost of this line to Mr. O’Neill is about $4000, which amount he wisely lays by, out of his princely salary, in life insurance, to be returned to him in later years.

—Appleton’s, Mis., new water-works have just been finished by the Wiley Construction Company, and they will be officially tested the Fourth of July. The well has a flow of 78,000 gallons per hour, and is capable of supplying a city of 300,000 inhabitants. The water was sent to a chemist in Milwaukee, who pronounced it rather hard, but excellent for drinking purposes.

— At the annual convention of the Firemen of Middletown, N. Y., for the purpose of nominating officers for the ensuing year, the Chief-Engineership was unanimously tendered to the incumbent, I. M. Pronk, but was peremptorily declined. James B. Carson and A. McIntyre were afterward each nominated for the office in succession, but declined to serve. J. F. Korn was then nominated for first Assistant Chief, and C. E. Mance, for Second Assistant.

— Joliet, Ill., seems to have rather a hard time getting an efficient water supply. After spending $200,000 in constructing the water-works, Jesse W. Starr, of Philadelphia, was obliged to see his enterprise go into the hands of a receiver. The water being the drainage of frog-ponds, creeks and sloughs, did not command many takers, and as the rentals would not pay expenses the works were sold at receiver’s sale for $54,000, the bond-holders who had lent $149,000 on them being the purchasers. They agreed to reconstruct them in acceptable shape in 90 days, but failed to do so. The city council thereupon passed a resolution declaring their franchise forfeited, and appointed a committee to examine water-works in other cities and make a report. They will then advertise for bids to construct new water-works to be maintained and operated by the city.

— The following graphic description of the way in which they extinguish fires and save property (?) in Watsonville, Cal., we clip from the Coast Re- view: The Firemen are prompt and energetic, and the denizens of that village are proud of their prowess as fire-lighters. The Firemen’s faith in the virtues of water, however, excels in an exasperating degree the esteem in which that element is held by the most fervent advocate of total abstinence. At a recent “ fire ” in that town the flames damaged a stock of goods to the amount of fully fifteen dollars, and the incipient conflagration was extinguished by the gallant fire laddies, after ineffectual endeavors to discover its exact locality in the building, by deluging the merchandise with a river of water, inflicting damages to the amount of only $980. In this connection it is worthy of note that the Fire Department of Bakersfield succeeded in reaching a fire in twenty minutes, and were only prevented from rendering valuable assistance in the extinguishment of the flames by the trifling fact that their apparatus was completely out of order from long disuse.

—John J. Gorman, of the Board of Fire Commissioners of New York, started Wednesday with his wife, son and daughter on an extended tour of the principal cities of the United States. On his route he intends to take observations of the workings of the Fire Departments, particularly of Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco. The first stopping place will be at St. Louis, where he will remain for about three days, and then take the Iron Mountain route to Jefferson City. Thence he will travel by the Texas Pacific to El Paso. After a few days’ rest there, the party will run down to Chihuahua to visit the scenes of the recent Indian outbreak. Returning by the same road to El Paso they will travel over the Southern Pacific till Los Angeles is reached, where they will remain for some time among the orange groves, vineyards and fruit gardens of this beautiful country. Ten or fifteen days will be spent in San Francisco. On the homeward journey Ogden and Salt Lake City will be visited and the Mormon customs and manners observed. Cheyenne, Denver and Omaha will be seen. After a week at Chicago the sight-seers will leave for New York, which they expect to reach by the 15th of August.

—The following interview with Prof. Thomas A. Edison by a reporter of The Chicago Times may be of interest to our readers. In connection with the recent trouble Chicago has had with the telegraph companies the reporter asked the Professor the following questions : ” What do you think of the feasibility of running wires under ground?” “There is absolutely nothing to hinder putting all telegraph wires under ground. It might possibly cut off a little of Mr. Gould’s income fora time, but that don’t matter much. The method of underground wires has been practically tested in the old world, and is a great success. In Germany a large majority of the telegraph wires are under ground, and in London the wires can not be seen until you go twelve miles from the city.” “ What is the system ?” “The wires are all insulated and then put into a large iron pipe. They lie loosely together, and when a joint is necessary a wire is pulled out, connection made, and then put back in its place. Of course, there are man-holes all along, by means of which the wires are accessible. An indefinite number can be put in the same tube and not interfere in the slightest degree with each other.” “ How about telephone wires?” “A telephone wire is a different thing. No matter how perfectly insulated, the induction would make a confusion of sounds that would make an intelligible transmission of sound impossible. It would make a fearful roaring in the telephones that would render communication indistinguishable. And then the expense would be so great that most of the telephone companies would be obliged to quit the business. Suppose, for example, that a man living on a by-street wanted a telephone, it would be necessary to dig a deep trench and lay a wire for his especial use. And if a number were laid for possible subscribers the investment would be dead capital. There are hundreds of men working to invent some method to overcome the induction difficulty, but it is not probable that any will ever be discovered.”

—The City Council of Racine, Wis., are now trying to inform themselves as to the practicability of a water-works system which will supply water for fires and private consumption. The present city debt is small, but is in such condition that no further liability can be legally created by bonds until the holders of the present city bonds are paid. Certain agents representing eastern companies in the business of furnishing water-works are there trying to get a contract under which they can put in a plant, charging the city from $15,000 to $25,000 a year for the use of hydrants, the city having the option of buying at a cost of $350,000, and the company to have, until the city buys the works, the revenues derived from the sale of water for private houses, stores, and other business buildings. This plan will meet insuperable objections from a majority of citizens on account of the great yearly expense entailed and the galling consciousness that any money paid for the rental of hydrants would amount simply to interest on the money of eastern capitalists who are associated with the firm putting in the plant only in the relation of money-loaners. The wisest plan for the city to adopt is, it is thought, to wait until the existing city bonded indebtedness is paid off, which could be done in four or five years, and then buy water-works with money obtained at home, so that interest may be paid here, until the bonds issued to fund the indebtedness mature and are paid, rather ihan sent to non-resident capitalists who care nothing about the development of the city and whose disposition with reference to Racine would be simply that of a Shylock. All agree that no factor is as important to the health, cleanliness, and general development of a city as a proper water supply, with the necessary appliances for fire protection, evenness of pressure to carry the water into buildings, etc.; but in a city as slow as Racine it is illadvised to hurry into contracts of the nature proposed, as the performance of them may lead to inconvenience or embarrassment.

No posts to display