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.