The Couplings Question.

The Couplings Question.

The vexed question relative to a standard and uniform thread for hose couplings seems now in a fair way of reaching a satisfactory solution. At the recent session of the Association of Fire Engineers, at Cleveland, a Committee, consisting of Chiefs Bates, of New York, Sexton, of St. Louis, Stockell, of Nashville, and Leshure, of Springfield, Mass., and Messrs. A. Work and W. A. Caswell, experts, was appointed to consult with couplings manufacturers, obtain samples of couplings, and report to the next meeting the best thread to be adopted as a standard for the whole country. The committee is also directed to draft a bill to | submit to Congress praying that body to enforce, by national legislation, the adoption, by all Departments, of the standard thread agreed upon, and imposing penalties for any neglect to comply with the lasv.

Persons unfamiliar with fire matters, can■ not realize how important and necessary j such legislation is. Nor can they appreciate the danger that exists in the lack of uni-j formity of coupling threads When the great fire occurred in Boston, many Steam Engines that had come to lend their aid, stood idle in the streets simply because the couplings on their hose would not fit Boston hydrants or connect with the hose used by that city. A slight difference in the pitch of the threads, or the number of threads to the inch, or the manner in which the threads were cut, threw these steamers out of service, and they became an incumbrance rather than an assistance. It was only when each could take suction and play through its own hose, that they became of service. The same trouble has been experienced in other cities, and is liable to be repeated at any moment. Departments may call upon their neighbors for aid in times of emergency, but, when the apparatus arrives, there is no certainty that it will be available simply because such apparently insignificant a thing as hose coupling threads are not uniformly cut. One couplings manufacturer informs 11s that he has over three hundred samples of hose coupling threads which he is obliged to keep as patterns in order to fill orders correctly. Each city or locality has a thread of its own, and will not change unless compelled to do so. There seems to be no way of securing the much needed standard of of uniformity except by act of Congress and the imposition of severe penalties for n fusal or neglect to comply with the law. The gentlemen appointed upon this Committee are men of large experience in fire matters, know what is required, and what is best to fill that requirement. Their word, upon such a subject, should be law, and there is no doubt but their suggestions and recommendations will receive the full endorsement of the next assembly of Chief Engineers. With such endorsement, Congress can hardly refuse to enact the the required law. That body has already fixed a standard for gas pipe threads, and the hose coupling thread is certainly of more importance to the public than the gas pipe The Committee has a year in which to prosecute their inquiries and make up their report, and meantime, the JOURNAL will be glad to print such suggestions and recommendations as practical^Firemen or expert manufacturers may have to make.

The Couplings Question.

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The Couplings Question.

At the recent meeting of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association, a resolution was unanimously adopted, declaring “that it is the sense of this association that hose manufacturers should have a uniform thread in the manufacture of hose, and that the make of thread should be eight to the inch.” The object of this resolution is all right, but why it is specially addressed to hose manufacturers is not so clear. Recent corres pondence in the JOURNAL, written by promi nent manufacturers of couplings, very clearly showed that their interests lie in having a uniform thread to all couplings. But when the question arises what thread that :-~~ be, they have no more voice in the matter than a Hottentot would have. Each De partment in the country has adopted some kind of a coupling, having some kind of a thread, and the varieties of thread are even more numerous than the styles of couplings. When a Department buys new hose or wants new couplings, they order the thread cut to correspond with that they already have in use. The manufacturers have nothing to do but comply. If all coupling threads were unilorm, the manufacturers could keep a stock of couplings on hand already cut and suitable to any Department; but, as it is they cannot do this, but musc delay to cut the threads to suit each order. Let a standard thread be agreed upon authoritatively, and no one will be more rejoiced than the couplings and hose manufacturer., for all danger of making mistakes, involving ex pense to them, would be avoided. TI. fact that we have not a standard coupling here. as they have throughout the entire kingdom o England, is the fault of the several Departments which, having t; wrong, persist in the error of their ways.

The National Association of Engineers did once prescribe a certain kind of thre~. for couplings, but the adoption of this for standard thread was pronounced impractica ble. It seems to have been adopted hur~ riedly, without due cousultation with the parties in interest, and hence has been barren of results. The sudden charge from one style of thread to another would subject Departments to considerable expense. It would cost New York, for instance, $15,000 or $20,000 to change her hose couplings entirely, and other cities in proportion to the number they have in use. Therefore, in selecting a standard thread, one should be agreed upon that would involve theleast expense to the Service in general. When agreed upon, it would not be necessary to throw out of service the couplings now in use, but reducers could be used to make them conform to the standard. As new couplings became necessary, those of the standard cut could be secured.

We hope to see the National Convention consider this question in all its bearings at its next session. The necessity for a uniform coupling is apparent to every Fireman in the land, and, if some feasible way of securing it were proposed, it would be accepted with alacrity. Time would soon secure the desired result. Departments are so frequently called upon to help one another that so simple a thing as the cut of their couplings threads should not stand in the way of giving the required assistance. We have recently given numerous instances where apparatus, called for in a great emergency, was rendered utterly useless for the simple reason that its hose couplings were not of the required pitch. If the subject is properly discussed at conventions and other gatherings of Firemen, common sense is sure to prevail in the end.