THAT PHILADELPHIA HOSE.
(Correspondence continued from page 281.)
JERSEY CITY, April 3.—In a Philadelphia paper there recently appeared the following:
” At the meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners, of Philadelphia, on March 11, the Chief Engineer reported that at the fire at Walter G. Wilson & Co.’s bakery, twenty sections of hose of the Diamond brand burst. He then went on to say that, from the returns made by the Foreman of the various districts, he had learned that 18,000 feet of hose of this brand had given way. Five thousand feet of Trenton hose, purchased in 1876, had proved to be of poor material also ; and the Chief Engineer said that just as long as these two brands were in use the efficiency of the Fire Department would be impaired.”
As this article was false and calumnious, and calculated to injure the reputation of our “Diamond” hose, we addressed the following letters to the Philadelphia authorities:
OFFICE OF NEW JERSEY CAR SPRING AND RUBBER CO., JERSEY CITY, March 18. 1879.
JOHN R. CAUTLIN, Esq., Chief Engineer Fire Department, Philadelphia, Pa. :
Dear Sir,—By your report of the nth of March to your Board of Commissioners you report “18,000 feet of ‘Diamond’ hose as worthless,” without stating the name of the maker. Now, sir, as the ” Diamond ” is our trade-mark, the inference before the public and other Fire Departments would be against us, thus doing us great injustice. Justice to us demands that you should give the name of the maker of your Diamond hose. This is due to us, as you have not one foot of our hose in your Department. An early reply will oblige yours truly,
J. J. FIELDS, President.
OFFICE OF NEW JERSEY CAR SPRING AND RUBBER CO.. ) JERSEY CITY, March 25, 1879. $
To THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS, Philadelphia, Pa. :
Dear Sir,—We beg to inclose copy of a letter sent to Chief John R. Cautlin in relation to his unfounded remarks regarding defective “Diamond” hose in his report to your Honorable Board on the nth instant. The letter was sent on the 18th instant, and no reply has been received thereto. We call the attention of your Board to the false position in which your report places us, inasmuch as we are the only manufacturer that uses a ” Diamond ” as a trade-mark ; and ask as a matter of justice to us, that the name of the manufacturer of the defective hose be given, and that an official denial be made that this company has any connection with the hose complained of. Yours truly, J. J. FIELDS, President.
The above extract and correspondence will explain itself. As we manufacture fire hose largely, and take a just pride in the quality and durability of our well known “Diamond” hose, we do not propose to submit in silence to this unjust and unfounded report, we have allowed Chief Cautlin and the Board of Fire Commissioners ample time to make a retraction, but neither have had the courtesy to reply to our letters, and we now brand the report, so far as it relates to defective “Diamond” hose, as a malicious falsehood, without any foundation whatever, as we have never furnished the city with one foot of hose, directly or indirectly.
J. J. FIELDS, President N. J. Car Spring and Rubber Co.
WASHINGTON, D. C.
WASHINGTON, April 2.—There was an interesting test of Fire Extinguishers recently made at the Navy Yard, by order of the Secretary of the Navy. It was for the purpose of testing the Hydrc-Pneumatic Extinguisher, made in New York City, and a board of Naval officers was appointed to witness the test and report thereon. I should have given you the facts before, but the report of this board was not available. The experiments were under the direciion of Mr. F. W. Sanborn, General Agent for the Hydro-Pneumatic. With this machine no reliance is placed on the generation of gas to project .a stream, but the power is derived from compressed air, which is contained in a small chamber at the top of the machine. By pumping water into the tank, air is forced into the air chamber, and then furnishes sufficient power to project a stream 35 or 40 feet. The Lapfle fire extinguishing compound is used, or plain water, as may be desirable.
Four fires were built on the vacant lot in the rear of the Navy Yard. These fires were made of small wood, empty tar and rosin barrels, and saturated with coal tar.
The first fire started was attacked with a ” Champion” Extinguisher, and the fire extinguished quite readily without exhausting the cylinder. The second fire was attacked with “ Babcock,” but the cylinder was exhausted before the fire was. A
Gardiner ” was brought to bear on the third fire, putting it out in two minutes and thirty seconds. Mr. Sanborn *’ went for” the fourth fire with a Hydro-Pneumatic, charged with Lapfle compound, and he extinguished the fire in thirty seconds. He then turned the stream on the “ Babcock ” fire, which was burning furiously, and very soon had that under. The ” Champion ” and “ HydroPneumatic ” were then tested on distance and time, the ” Hydro ” throwing several feet further than its competitor, and maintaining its stream one minute longer. There was a test also as to the time consumed in charging the several machines ready for action, their being little difference in this respect. The machine was then used with water alone, and gave great satisfaction. The following is the report of the officers witnessing the experiment:
U. S. NAVY YARD, Washington, D. C..
March 19, 1879.
Commodore J. C. FEBIGER, U. S. NM
SIR : We have examined the Hydro-Pneumatic Extinguisher, submitted by Mr. Sanborn, in competition with the ” Champion,” ” Babcock ” and “ Gardiner Fire Extinguishers.
Fires were made with the following results: The “Champion” extinguished its fire in iM minutes. Cylinder not empty. The “Babcock” emptied its cylinder in 2 minutes. Fire not out. The “ Gardiner ” extinguished its fire in 2 minutes. Cylinder not empty.
The “Hydro-Pneumatic” was charged with the Compound and extinguished the fire in 30 seconds. It was again tried, filled with water alone, the pressure being put on by the small pump connected with th .• machine. The time required to charge it is about the same as the others, with the advantage that water alone can be used in the “ Hydro-Pneumatic,” by simply pumping it full until the proper pressure is obtained, while in the other machines it is necessary that the person must be an expert to charge them. Very respectfully, your obedient servants,
JOHN H. RUSSELL, Captain U. S. N..
W. E. MINTONYE, Naval Constructor.
A. G. MENOCAL, Civil Engineer, U. S. N.
This test is of more than ordinary importance, in view of the fact that the government proposes to buy a large number Of machines at an early day.
There has been nothing else of special importance in connection with fire matters occurring here in a long time. Chief Cronin is vigilant and active, has his Companies in an excellent state of discipline, and has, in short, as fine a Department as can be found in the country. KKNO.
MILWAUKEE, April 2.—By an error the names of members of Engine Company No. 1 were omitted in my letter of last week, and as they are among the best men in the Department, they certainly deserve mention. The names are as follows : H. Memenger, Foreman; E. F. O’Connor, First Pipeman; F. E. Heneman, Second Pipeman ; Henry Bloss, Third Pipeman ; F. Schmidt, Fourth Pipeman ; P. W. Spencer, Engineer; J. Bruce, Stoker; James O’Donnell, Hose Driver.
Engine Company No. 3 was organized on October 9, 1862, and is located on National avenue. The building is a handsome brick structure, and is both outside and inside tasteful and elegant. Tife Engine is a first-class Amoskcag, which has done good service for sixteen years and is still as good as new. The members of the Company are ; H. Kasten, Foreman; James McGranahan, First Pipeman ; J. Kruger, Second Pipeman; P. O. Brochnow, Third Pipeman; Ph. Meisenheimer, Engineer; C. Dunn, Stoker; L. Schram, Watchman ; J. McCarty, Engine Dtiver; P. Weber, Hose Driver.
Engine Company No. 4 was organized February 12, 1866, and is at the present moment the habitation of the following Firemen : J. Crotty, Foreman ; P. Sullivan, First Pipeman ; James Daly, Second Pipeman; J. Cuseck, Third Pipeman ; Michael Burns, Engineer; Chas. McCormick, Stoker; John Meehan, Engine Driver; P. J. Duffe, Hose Driver; E. Jioyle, Watchman. The Engine is a firstclass Amoskcag, and the Hose Reel is also of same make. Mr. James Foley, the present Assistant Engineer, was formerly Foreman of this Company. The Engine-house is in every respect in good order. The horses are very handsome and intelligent, and the boys are comfortable and happy. We find all the men throughout the Department courteous and gentlemanly, and we would be glad to have another opportunity of seeing them. A. E. B.
PORT HENRY, N. Y.
PORT HENRY, March 25.In order to keep you informed of our little Fire Department up here in the rocks, I would report that A. Salman has been reelected Chief, and John McDonald, of Hook and Ladder Company, First Assistant, and Edward McGin, of F. F. Witherbee Hose Company, Second Assistant.
We are still a Volunteer body, but we hold our own. We have four distinct Companies, with the following membership :
Sherman Steam Engine Company, 34 men, Charles Tracy, Foreman ; Little Giant Chemical Engine Company, 23 men, George Haw, Foreman ; Flinn Hook and Ladder Company, 33 men, Edmund Sheehy, Foreman; F. F. Witherbee Hose Company, 20 men, I’red. Butterfield, Foreman—in all no men.
Our apparatuses and hose are in good condition. We have been very fortunate
during the past year, having had but five fires, with a loss of not o r $33p. The cost of running our Department for the last year will not be over $500. We pay our teams for hauling the Steamer, and the Engineer and Fireman per diem. We also pay a man for taking care of the Engine-house and cleaning the Engine, repairing hose, etc. We have 1800 feet of hose, all in good order. Our boys are wideawake and patiently awaiting every Saturday night the appearance of THE FIREMAN’S JOURNAL. PIPEMAN.
THE GREAT STEAM FIRE ENGINE TEST AT SKEDUNKVILLE.
Enclosed find the report of the Committee upon the trial of Steam Fire Engines, at the Grand Tournament, at Skedunkville, 111., September, 1878. We are aware that it has been delayed several months, but we trust that the thoroughness of the digest will compensate for its lateness. In order to make it lucid, we have devoted a great deal of thought to it. We had made arrangements in case we should die before the report was rendered, Yours,
SKEDUNKVILLE, III., September, 1878.
Report of the Judges of their Inspection and Test of Steam Fire Engines. Also,
Advice to Manufacturers.
We, the judges who were appointed to inspect and test the Steam Fire Engines sent to the Grand Tournament, that there may be no doubt as to our ability, and to show the public that we have no bias in the matUr, we will set forth what, in our opinion, constitutes a Steam Fire Engine, and how it should be made. A Steam l’irc Engine should never be made of wood, because wood does not combine the strictest principles of mechanism, hydrostatics and pneumatics ; wood might, however, in some cases be used for the smoke-pipe, briar-wood being con sidered the best, though economy has often suggested corn-cob.
The boiler should be so set as to expose the greatest amount of heating surface, and to this end we suggest that it be set in the sun, that the outside as well as the inside be exposed, and an arm chair should be placed on the shady side, so that the Engineer may also be well seated. Precaution should be taken to insure a good circulation, and to secure it, pass around the bottle, or let the Firemen know there is one. There is no difference between a flue and a tube, provided you are satisfied to think so, and all other conditions are satisfied. It is utterly useless to expect a tea-kettle to supply constantly the amount of steam required. It won’t do it, we’ve tried it and know, we claim to know, though it is not generally understood by Firemen, that a boiler constructed as it ought to be will raise a safety valve as quick, and keep it up as long as any other boiler, provided the Engineer does not sit on the valve—a habit which we very much deprecate. We are in favor of providing means for keeping the boiler clean. We ventured to suggest this important point, it is so little understood by manufacturers, notwithstanding its necessity has been known ever since boilers were built. Finally the boiler should be just right, neither too large, nor too small. We will not take the time to give the proper proportions, for practically speaking we are of the opinion that manufacturers construct boilers to suit the required conditions. We earnestly recommend this.
Do not use a larger grate than you can get into the boiler, but still make it spacious. Half an inch space between bars is too small for large Engines. It might answer for small Engines, for the conditions of combustion vary with the size of the Engine. The size of the coal should also be in the proper proportion, and the thickness of the poker should be to the space, as 78 to 100. We would like to d 11 longer upon this grate subject, but will content ourselves with preparing a table, some time in the future. We will, however, suggest that at large fires, it would be well to completely close the bars in that vicinity, though we have no prejudice against bars ourselves.
The fire-place—we use this term that those who live in the country where fireplaces are used, may understand it—should again be in proportion ; we mean that if the fire-place was right the first time, it should be made so again. We would recommend a guard inside the boiler, to keep the coals away from the boiler, or they will burn it. We have noticed that the hotter the fire the greater the heat, hence the flames should be allowed to issue from the coal with the greatest rapidity, and while the currents of heat should be allowed to strike the boiler, no one should be allowed to strike the Engineer. An exhaust well set in a stack—Jet looks pretty—that will force the Firemen to rush from the boiler, and the air to rush to it, we, the Judges, consider the best. The lead from the boiler to the Engine—this is a new term—we mean the steam pipe, having to go all the way from the boiler to the steam chest, in many Engines as much as twelve inches, should not be exposed. It might take cold, besides the condensation would impede the Engine. So would a snow storm. As a general thing the Engine works dry steam, but according to theory it should not, and we recommend covering the lead with Asbestos, a further advantage being an increase of size, so that it would present a greater surface to the sun. The exhaust pipe should also be protected against cold. We have noticed a great many Engines had a very bad cough.
The engine after all is the main part of a Steam Fire Engine. Give it steam and it will go. It will go anyway—if you canry it. We have no bias on the matter, but we decidedly prefer the Piston Engine as combining the greatest efficiency and strength, and because most everybody thinks it is the best, and because it is universally used for power where constant duty is required. Besides the principle is fight, and for this latter reason we believe the rotary pump is the bes*, though we must admit there are very few used where constant duty under pressure is required. It may seem strange that we should thus seemingly hitch a horse and an ox together, but be assured it is only seemingly. We know we are right, because they had in this Department a Steamer of that kind some fifteen years ago th it happened to last a great many years, and, notwithstanding the manufacturers abandoned the plan as a failure, our Professor believes the principle is right, and two more of the same kind have been added to the Dep irtment. The Rotary Engine is not economical; it gets to going so fast that the steam goes right through it, but the rotary pump is economical. It won’t take any more water than will comfortably go through it, and it won’t let any water through it unless it is revolved. This is an advantage where hydrant pressure is used with the Engine, as when the pump slops there will be no was e of water unless the suction hose bursts, which it is likely to do.
It is evident, though some do not know it, that the boiler gives the power to the engine, the engine gives power to the pump, the pump gives the power to the water and the water quenches the fire, and the fire refuses to burn in the presence of the water. Hence the conclusion, that with a Piston Engine and a ro’ary pump there can be no loss. See? We advise for a double piston 8-inch diameter, lo-inch stroke. Anywhere between these will answer. For this a rotary pump about 28 inches wide and about as high as the Chief’s third stud, would be about rigid. No fly-wheel is necessary, as the momentum of the water through the nozzle would “ turn her over ” —if it should hit her. The constancy and steadiness of a rotary pump is such that an air-chamber should be used to secure a regular and even motion. Its size and shape should be determined by barometrical indications. If a barometer is not at hand, copy some well-known manufacturer’s design. If the vacuum chamber is cylindrical, it may be below or on the side of the suction or somewhere else, but if a cylindrical vacuum chamber is used, it should stand above the action. The suction should be connected with the pump on the suction side. Some prefer a T connection, slightly crane-necked. We, the judgt s, prefer a coffee-spout connection, slightly squirrel-tailed, or an application of Hogarth’s line of beauty—it looks prettier. If the suction was attached to both sides, it could be crossed forward into the Driver’s lap, and as he jumped from the seat both would be thrown down at once and could be connected without delay. In the place of a relief valve, we recommend a telephone between Pipeman and Engineer, so (hat at a moment’s notice the water can be let out of the suction and the flow stopped. Finally, as regards the practical operation of the water from the hydrant or well to the fire, we contend on the scientific principle of motion (we challenge dispute) that for suitable fire purposes the regular motion required for a force pump should be constantly accelerated, and we suggest a constant diminution of the stream from the suction to the nozzle, starting, say, with a 6 inch se ction attached to a 5-inch pump from which is a 5-inch discharge. Then the hose should be gradually tapered to the nozzle. This plan will accomplish the desired result and facilitates “limbering up” as each length of hose could be telescoped into the length behind if. See?
One great fault w ith manufacturers is the improper location of the centre of gravity. This is a grave subject, and the neglect is the occasion of the frequent upsetting of steamers. To correct the difficuhy we suggest that drivers be select, d with reference to their avoirdupois ; 200 pounds on the seat would help the matter. I he centre of gravity should be “ well balanced.” To balance the centre cf gravity, first, find it; then place it on a fine point. If it does not balance set the point out of the cen re until it does balance. We have patented this idea, and all parties undertaking to balance a centre of gravity this way will be prosecuted.
We have no bias in the matter, but decidedly prefer the platform springs, as with them, when the spring breaks, the Engine will drop clear down to the ground, and that is the end ot it; it can go ro farther. With the spiral spring, when it breaks, the Engine will drop only a little, might go on to the fire, but there is a chance for it to drop still more, not having reached the ground. These are very important points. The length of the pole and whiffle-trees should be determined by the length of the horse, and spread of his hind legs. We claim that a Steam Fire Engine, construe ed in accordance with the foregoing principles, with good Engineer and Fireman, will utilize all the power it will give.
Upon the principles and unbiased opinions that are laid down in detail, we examined and tested the steamers submitted for that purpose, and we trust that (he foregoing lur id explanation will justify the confidence reposed in us.
By a strange coincidence, one of the steamers we examined was constructed nearly in accordance with our ideas as set forth. Without entering into the details of the steamers submitted we will call attention to the methods used to secure great accuracy as to distance and hight thrown, and in this we were very much aided by the experience of Prof. John Phcenix, A. M., in his diary of the great central route from Mission Doleris to San Francisco, modifying his plan to suit our circumstances. Firs’, to get the distance we proposed to get the difference of longitude of the nozzle and the farthest drop of water. Second, men were ordered to be provided with a chair and fires. Third, a Goitometer was procured to be attached to a man’s back, and connec ed with one foot so as to register every step. The length of the step being known the computation is easy. The day being cloudy, the sun could not be taken. Calling in the chain-men, to our horror we found they had borrowed a lady’s gold chain and a diamond pin, but we turned to the Goitometer, when to our surprise we found the steamers had thrown 9523.1 feet. Believing there must be some mistake we investigated, and found the rran had stopped in a beer saloon, where, after partaking several glasses of beer, he had danced about fifteen minutes. We then called on the best pacer we could find, who made the distance 79 99-ico paces, or 239 9-10 feet, and this distance is accordingly given as the best thrown. It will be noticed that the man with the Goitometer danced 9283 2-10 feet, or nearly two miles! Comment is unnecessary. To get the height we procured a high-drographical engineer, with a theodolite whose vertical circle was graduated to millionths. We believe the same plan was adopted at the great Centennial test, but there the judges had a great deal of I.ee-way. It was suggested that an ordinary Fireman with a junk bottle, elevated at an angle of 45 degrees, could easily tell where the water was— or wasn’t—but we paid no attention to such remarks. The instrument being set and elevated at about the right angle, the object glass was taken out to clean, w’hen a Fireman seeing the instrument thought it was a speaking trumpet, and, applying his mouth, sung out, ” Wash her, thirteen !” This operation destroyed the cross hairs of the instrument, so we guessed at the height, and report accordingly. Only two manufacturers were represented, H. O. Race, and L. A. France. We have to report that these being the only Rotary Engines manufactured, they are the best there is of their kind in the country. We are under obligations to II. O. Race for the grand opportunity he gave us to learn something. The head lights made a dazzling effect. The plating was good. Although the L. A. France Steamer threw’ the farthest, and steamed the quickest, we feel honored to give the first prize to H. O. Race because he was four times as much represented, and hence gave us four times the chance to inspect his Steamers, because bis Steamer is just as good as the L. A. France, and because, all things considered, H. O. Race is the best fellow.
L. AMBKRT, S. J., }
R, R. ANDOS, Committee.
E. L. LITHORP. )
EASTON, March 24.—A* the late fire Humane Engine Co. No. 1 tried its new’ Engine, received, in Oct. last, from Clapp & Jones. It is a fifth class, and weighs only 3,500. It threw two powerful streams of canal water, which did effective work. The same company, at the same fire, tried also 800 feet of new White Anchor hose, to the entire satisfaction of the members of the Company and the Town Councilmen. After the fire the mud was thick on the hose, but a plug stream worked it off easily, making it unnecessary for any brushing when it became dry, as is the case in cotton hose. It is smooth inside, ” shust like glass,” and the water goes through like greased lightning. There is some talk here of starting a Firemen’s Relief Association. Last year six members of the Department were injured at fires, and bad to lose time and pay doctors’ bills out of their own pocket. An effort is also being made to form an Association for mutual benefit of all the Companies in the different towns throughout the Lehigh Valley. Catasauqua originated the idea, and it will, perhaps, be successfully carried out. The JOURNAL has many warm friends here. ACTIVE.
A CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
BUFFALO, N. Y., March 31.—In response to the invitation of ” Fire King,” of Omaha, Neb., as published in No. 72 of the JOURNAL, to rise and explain, 1 will simply say, had he omitted the challenge and asked for a description of the harness used by Chemical Engine Company No. 1, of this city, it would have been cheerfully given ; as it is, he must excuse me from any description of it, except to say they have more than two and less than eight snaps to make. It is very evident that my Christian friend is not very well posted in regard to harness used in this city when he talks of eight or ten snaps. Why, we threw that style of harness away long ago.
And as here seems to be a chance to gather in some unsophisticated youth, I will announce the readiness of the crew of Chemical Engine Cempany No. 1 to accept the challenge of ” Fire King ” to the amount of $500, the loser to pay all expenses of every kind and nature; and when the editor of the JOURNAL will notify me that a deposit of $50 has been placed in his hands, as a guarantee of good faith on the part of the gentleman from Omaha, a like deposit will be made by the “champion team and as the trial must of necessity take place in this city, a meeting can be arranged by the representatives of each party, who will arrange all preliminaries. This crew ran their horses thirty-three feet, three men did the bitching, and a man was in the seat all ready to go in five seconds. ” Jim Crow ” story or not, money talks now—put up or shut up. ROB ROY.
MOBILE, March 25.—On Thursday evening, March 13, Thomas Manser, an old citizen here, was buried by Company No. 6, of which Company he was a member. Attempts to fire buildings have been plenty during last week. On one day and night five alarms for fire were sounded. The Fire Department Association has made no regular arrangement yet with the new’ city authorities, but will have to come to some action before long. In my opinion, the Department is small enough now to do good service, and should not be cut down. Mobile Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 came out in uniform on Monday evening, March 24, to attend the funeral of one of their young members. The Creole Brass Band was at their head.
Lafayette Fire Company No. 9 is the youngest Company in the Department. It was organized in March, 1866. A third-class Smith Hand Engine was purchased for it from Company No. 8. A small wooden building was put up for an Engine House. This place was used about a year, and then a new two-story brick Engine House was built. The latter house is at present in use by the Company. It is about fifty feet north of the old one, which was burnt shortly after the completion of the new house. The Company used the Hand Engine until 1877, when a two-horse Babcock was put in its charge. This machine was built at Chicago, and was ordered through the Southern agent, A. M. Granger, of New Orleans. This apparatus is now in use. The Company has two good horses and a large list of active members. This is one of the best companies in town for respectability. It is the only company in the western part of the town, and is consequently of great service. Its motto is, “ Ready and Willing.”