The ancient city of Rouen, France, has an electric fire pump which has been briefly described in a previous number of FIRE AND WATER. A fuller description is given herewith. The pump is centrifugal (Thiron & Lou’s system) and has an eight-horsepower motor, giving normally 2,000 revolutions per minute. This motor is guarded by a thick covering against any penetration of water, and by its means a continuous current of 525 volts can be applied. Above are two bobbins, on one of which is wound the wire receiving the current. The extremity of this wire is so exposed as to allow of connection being made with a hoop suspended from the overhead trolley or electric light wire. The return wire is wound on the other bobbin. This wire has its free end connected with a cast iron block to be fastened to one of the surface road’s rails. Underneath the covering is a compartment containing two current-breakers, a circuit-closer, and a commutator. In starting the pump the two wires are connected to the line giving the energy; the circuit is then closed, and started running slowly with the rheostatic guide, and, on the latter being fastened to the circuit-breaker, the motor, in about one minute, runs normally. The bobbins, on which are wound the conductors, can receive 656.167 feet of insulated wire. This and the same number of feet of hose on the reel and the 114.83 feet to which the stream of water can lie thrown and a distance of 1,427.16 feet can he covered. The water (as already said) is thrown 114.83 feet by an 0.7-inch nozzle at the rate of 92,46 gallons per minute. This fire pump, which can be carried on a handcart or a small two-wheeled, onehorsewagon, weighs, with accessories and two men on the seat, only 2.292.78 pounds. The length of the motor and pump is only 39.37 inches, and its width and height. 19.685 inches each. Behind the machine is a reel with a capacity of 984.25 feet of hose, two lances, a ladder, with hooks, an axe, a hydrant key, a nozzle, etc. the reel, with all this equipment, weighing only 727,519 pounds.


The origin of this electric fire pump is due to a German engineer, who had conceived the idea of building an electric pump for cleaning the walls of buildings, etc. with sand. Capt. Robert Lefebvre, of the Rouen fire company, turned the idea to his own advantage and built this electric pump —the only one of its kind–to throw water, instead of sand.

The Appellate division of the Supreme court, by a majority of two to one. has affirmed the decision of the Eighth District court, dismissing the suit brought by Fire Commissioner Sturgis against Maurice Grau, the proprietor of the Metropolitan Opera House, to recover penalties for allowing persons to stand in the foyer at the back of the orchestra seats, on the ground that the foyer was a passage in which persons should not be allowed to stand.

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