Stenographic Report of the Forty-third Annual Meeting of the International Association of Fire Engineers.



The following is the report of the Committee on Standard Screw Hose-Coupling Thread. This report, after a lengthy discussion, which has been published in previous issues of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, was adopted, changing the number of threads from 6 to 7/1 and the outside diameter from 3 1/8 to 3 1/16 inches:

Your Committee on Standard Screw Hose-coupling Threads, which was appointed at the last session of this association, would beg leave to report that they have taken the matter up with the Department of Commerce and Labor, which is the department of standards of the United States government, and we find that Mr. S. W. Stratton, director of the above named department, has made quite an elaborate investigation into the matter and is favorable to the recommendation to Congress of a standard screw hose coupling thread to be used by the United States government alone, as that is as far as the United States government can go. Mr. Stratton invited specifications, and your committee submitted to that department, on March 10, a set of specifications carrying six threads to the inch, and asked other associations to do likewise. Your chairman, through the kind invitation of Chairman F. M. Griswold, of tne National Fire Protection association committee, met with that committee, and, also, with the Insurance committee of the American Water Works association, at West Baden Springs, Indiana, on May 9. The National hire Protection association committee had taken up and adopted the Landy report of 1891 to our association, of 7½ threads per inch, and the American Water Works Insurance committee adopted the same 7j threads per inch. The above named committees have submitted the 7 thread proposition to the Department of Commerce and Labor. Your committee took up the four principal threads in use, namely: 6, 7, 7j, and 8 threads to the inch; but, as we were in no position to go into the matter as fully as we should have desired, we have had to depend largely upon the Department of Commerce and Labor and others for our information, and the Department of Commerce and Labor has certainly done its share towards the investigations of the different reports, and has submitted to us from time to time much valuable information, which, as a committee, we should not have been able to secure without a great deal of work on our part. The Department of Commerce and Labor has analysed the Landy report on screw hose-couplings to our convention of 1891, on 7j threads to the inch. This report shows seventy per cent, of 1,331 towns using 7, 7, and 8 threads can re-cut their couplings to 3 1/16 inches outside diameter. Now the fact is that twenty per cent, or more of the couplings in use have either 6 threads to the inch or patent fastenings, while seventy per cent, of the remainder, or fifty-six per cent, of the total, come within range of the adaptability quoted. This reference is decidedly more favorable than R. D. Wood & Co.’s report or J. R. Freeman’s report. The J. R. Freeman report shows, disregarding the few cases of private j-H-inch and 3-inch couplings which should he thrown out, as follows:

Of the towns in the 7, 7 and 8 groups there are 217 out of 486, or 44.6 per cent, where the couplings arc 3 t /16 inches outside diameter or larger—that is 217 towns out of 615, or 35.3 per cent, of the total: evidently, then, forty per cent, instead of seventy per cent, may he taken as a very fair estimate. R. D. Wood & Co.’s report of 1905 shows 52.6 per cent, of 81 1 towns using 7, 7 and 8 threads can re-cut their couplings to 3 1/16 inches outside diameter, while twenty per cent, have six threads or snap-couplings, and you would have 52.6 x 80 or forty-two per cent, of the total couplings in use that would be adaptable. In the report of Woodhouse & Co. we find: An examination of the last list shows that 181 out of the 194 towns in the 6 thread group can be re-tapped to 3 1 /16 inches outside diameter, whilc only eighty-nine out of the 208 towns in the 7J4-thread group can be re-tapped to a 3 1 /16 inches outside diameter. There are now in service about the same number of 6 and 7½ threads, or about eighteen per cent, of each, and the adoption of either as the national standard will require, ultimately, the replacement of about eighty-two per cent, of the couplings now in use. Now there are twice as many 8-thread couplings, or thirty-six per cent., and an 8-thread standard would require the replacement of but sixty-four per cent, of the couplings. Are the advantages of the 7½-thread so much superior to the 8-thread as to warrant the replacement of eighty-two per cent, instead of sixty-four per cent., granting that forty per cent, of the couplings in use can be made of service during the transition period. If the 8-thread is bad, then it must be on acount of its fineness, and the increased coarseness of the 7Fj-thrcad is slight; the 7-thread is much better, and your committee believes that the 6thread is mechanically the thread for this association to adopt. Between twenty-five and thirty per cent .of the couplings in use are adaptable to the 6-thread coupling, with 3 1/16 inches outside diameter, and between thirty-five and forty per cent, are adaptable to the 7-thread, 3 1/16 inches outside diameter. Your committee has had but one object in view, and that is to have the United States government adopt a standard screw hosecoupling thread to be used by the United States government alone. We believe that, when this is done, we shall have a standard to go by, and, unless the government does adopt a standard, nothing will be done by any city towards a change of the present situation. Your committee would favor the following specifications:

The above dimensions refer to the male ends. Female ends should be ⅝ of an inch shorter and not less than .03 larger for 6 and .04 for 4 threads to the inch, and tnav be as much as .0? and .06 respectively. The outside diameter is made large enough to permit a 6o° V tliread and still leave stock enough below the base of thread for needed strength: t/ioo part of an inch to he removed from the sharp V thread on male couplings. All female couplings should be supplied with two burrs ⅝⅜-inch bv ½-inch, so that all spanners would be made the same. All two and one-half-inch couplings, when complete, should have a weight of five pounds, as the weight of water in 100 feet of two and one-half-inch hose is 35° pounds, and the weight of the hose is 120 pounds—or a total of 470 pounds, and all couplings should have strength enough for the work they are to perform. Three-inch couplings should have a weight of eight and one-half pounds and three and one-half-inch couplings should have a weight of ten pounds. Your committee would also recommend that a standard nut should be used upon the operating end of hydrants, and the auxiliary valves of the same; and we would recommend that the same be pentagon in shape, 1 9/16 inches by 1 inch above the top of hydrant and hydrant caps of the two and one-half-inch and four and one-half-inch openings.


The following resolutions in memory of members of the association who died since the convention of 1904 were adopted by the convention.


Having been appointed chairman of a committee to prepare and present to this meeting a suitable memorial on the death of our late deceased brother and secretary of this association, I beg leave to submit the following: Our dear lamented brother Henry A. Hills was born in the city of Boston, Mass., on June 7, 1837. He commenced his career as a fireman at the early age of sixteen years with the “Niagara engine co. No. 3, of Cambridge, Mass.” At the breaking out of the Civil war between the States he enlisted on July 26. 1862 in the Ninth Massachusetts Battery and served faithfully one year, when he was honorably discharged for disability. After regaining his health, he was appointed in 1863 to superintend the construction of fire alarm systems for the John F. Kennard Co., and erected the fire alarm telegraph system in several large cities. In 1868 he moved to Rome, Ga.,and soon, thereafter became identified with the fire departmnt of that city. His energies were soon directed in organising the Citizens’ hook and ladder company and other fire protection for the city, and his great ability as a leader was soon recognised and appreciated by the good citizens, and in 1872 he was elevated to the position of chief engineer of the fire department, which position he filled with great ability until the year 1879, when he moved to Dallas, Tex., to accept the position of superintendent of waterworks of that city. While thus engaged he found time to organise fire protection by establishing the East Dallas fire company. In 1861 he moved to the State of Ohio, engaging in railroad business, and resided in Hartwell, a suburb of Cincinnati. Here also he organised fire protection consisting of a reel and hand engine; later, when water service was obtained, a hook and ladder company and hose wagon were added to the department. In 1891 he took up his residence and became a citizen of Wyoming, an adjoining village, when the subject of fire protection was again agitated, which finally resulted in organising a department consisting of two companies. Henry A. Hills was elected chief engineer, and continued to serve in that capacity up to about a year previous to his death, resigning on account of failing health. A beautiful souvenir of affection—a loving cup— had been prepared by the members of the Wyoming fire department to be presented to him; but, upon the advice of his physician, the presentation was deferred, and every member deplored this, as his death took place in the meantime. The life of a fireman was the prevailing trait of his character. Wherever he was, the fire department and its success were his first thoughts. In October, 1873, the first convention of Fire Engineers was held in the city of Baltimore. Md., and Henry A. Hills was elected corresponding secretary. In 1877, at the convention held at Nashville, Tenn., the office of corresponding and recording secretary were combined, and the honor of election to the office of secretary was here conferred upon him by a unanimous vote of the delegates assembled. and each recurring year he has been the choice of our association. Henry A. Hills was an honest man, and an upright citizen of commanding presence, courteous, and honorable in all his dealings, and possessed of an intense love for his calling. He was respected by all who knew him. a man who spoke well of his fellowman. and, where that was impossible, he remained silent. He was a man, whose nature was goodness, whose views were liberal, whose heart was large and free from guile. It is sad, indeed, to think we shall see his manly form no more, never again feel the clasp of his warm hand, or listen to his sweet silver voice uttering words of welcome and good cheer to the members of this association. His relation’s to his family were ever tender and affectionate—”There was no place like home to him.” He was totally free from all vanity, sham, or pretence, open as nature, true as light, sturdy as the oak. He lived in the summit of what Wagner calls the realisation of the simple life, forgetfulness of self, and charity towards all. Herein lay the secret of his success and the key to the power with which he maintained it for so many years. He held his friends by the warmth of his sympathies and the genuineness of his convictions. In temperament he was favored beyond the average. The bright side of things was always on top for him, the gods of contentment and goodfellowship must have presided over his birth. He was generous, charitable, self-sacrificing; he was never happier than when he communicated his happiness to others. We might follow him into his daily life, and record how these noble tendencies were manifested in works of charity, and beneficent service; but let it suffice that we place on our record our testimonial to these virtues of our lamented brother; that we render tribute to the. generous manhood which illumined his character, and to his honorable career as Secretary of the International Association of Fire Engineers, distinguished for such zeal and fidelity, as the best might emulate, and none can surpass. Let us cherish the memory of these virtues as guiding stars in the spnercs of our best aspirations. From their example let the aged take courage to walk bravely on to the end, and the young consecrate themselves to the resolve for higher and greater achievements. So only shall nothing be lost to God or man, so shall the good which yearned, toiled and aspired in the heart of the departed, transmit its fervor to the living, and keep aglow forever and forever the redeeming mystery of love and hope, and so only shall the living, above all other meed honor the dead. Respectfully submitted, Thos. O’Connor, Chief, New Orleans. La. (Chairman) ; John S. Damrell, Former Chief, Boston, Mass.; D. E. Benedict, Former Chief, Newark, N. J., Committee.

Be it Resolved: “That a page in the minute book of this meeting be set aside, and this memorial be inscribed thereon.

“Resolved further: That the chair made vacant by the death of our late Secretary—Henry A. Hills—be draped in mourning during this session, and the members of this association as a mark of respect to his memory, wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.

“Resolved further: That a copy of the memorial be properly engrossed and transmitted to the family of the deceased.

“Chief Thos. O’Connor.”


Your committee appointed to draft suitable resolutions on the death of Chief G. F. W. Schevers of Springfield, Illinois, respectfully submits the following: Fire Chief G. F. W. Schevers, driving swiftly in the face of a blinding snow, unable to avert the catastrophe, with no sign of warning, was carried to his death on January to, 1905. While responding to the call of duty, he drove in front of an Illinois Central switchengine and was crushed to death. Just ahead of the chief’s wagon the police patrol wagon passed safely over the network of tracks, and, dimly sighting the fleeing vehicle, which was taken as a signal of safety, Chief Schevers naturally supposed the way clear, and followed, when suddenly the lights of the engine loomed upon him, and, unable to check the horse, the chief endeavored to turn the animal, but too late, as the swiftly moving engine was upon him. Chief Schevers was born in Keokuk, la. and was nearly forty-four years old. He went to Springfield when a small boy, and had since made his home in that city. When Mayor Woodruff, of Springfield, was elected, he appointed Chief Schevers assistant fire marshal, and he afterwards became chief of the department. He is survived by his widow, three sons and one daughter. In the sad and tragic death of Chief Schevers this Association mourns the loss of a faithful and enthusiastic member, a man whose rare virtues and superior noble character truly made him beloved by all. Brave and fearless, yet cautious, he found glory in his devotion to duty and sweet religion in the love of his family. To the grief-stricken wife and bereaved family we can only say in the words of Scott, “Let submission tame each sorrowing thought, Heaven crowned its champion‘ere the fight was fought.”

Be it further Resolved, “That these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of this association, and that a copy be forwarded to the family of our deceased friend and brother.” Mayhew W. Bronson, William H. Baywater, John E. McGuire, Memorial Committee.


Gentlemen: Your committee appointed to draft resolutions on the death of Chief Herman Meminger, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, beg leave to report as follows: Herman Meminger was born in the city of Milwaukee, forty-nine years ago. He entered the department as pipeman on September 2, 1874, at the age of nineteen years. Passing through the various grades from pipeman to assistant chief engineer, he was appointed chief engineer on February 7, 1903 On February 3, 1905, while at a fire, he was overcome, and complications having set in, he departed this life on July 5, 1905. Therefore, be it Resolved, “That in the death of Chief Meminger, this Association has sustained a severe loss.” He merited the esteem of his fellow-members. His career furnishes a most exalted example of private virtue and public worth, and his death is an affliction, the like of which our association has rarely suffered.

Be it Further Resolved, “That this association deeply sympathises with the afflicted family in their sad bereavement, and that these resolutions he spread upon the minutes of this association, and that a copy be sent to the family of our deceased brother.” Mayhew W. Bronson, William H. Baywater, John E. McGuire, Memorial Committee.



Stenographic Report of the Thirty-third Annual Meeting of the International Association of Fire Engineers.


Chief Campion said that in 1878 in Chicago they changed the thread and adopted a 7 1/2, and have had it ever since. “The citizens of Chicago,” he remarked, “are now putting in a great many standpipes in their large buildings. They have come to me in the last three or four months, and I have advised them all to put in the 7 1/2 thread, and I should not like to go back, there and say they adopted a 6-inch thread here. He hoped the association would adopt the 7 1/2 thread.

Chief Canterbury asked to explain his position at West Baden. When talking up this matter last fall, after last year’s convention, he first wrote to Dr. Stratton, whose reply was that, m taking up the specifications throughout the country, they had met with this, that a great many ot the engineers failed to put in the diameters, etc., and that they could not get the exact diameter of their hose. He said, therefore, that, were he to adopt a thread irrespective of anything else, it would be a 6 thread. Working upon these calculations. the speaker wrote out the specifications that were before the convention. It did not seem to him that the members of the association, every one of whom is a mechanic, could say that a 7X2 thread was as goixl as a o. His specifications went in in March, before Mr. Griswolds committee was appointed, and Mr. Griswold knew that, because the speaker sent his president of the National Board of Fire Underwriters one of those specifications. Before the meeting m New York Mr. Rossa. the first assistant under Dr. Stratton, duplicated the speaker’s specifications with six threads to the inch and sent it to Mr. Griswold to appear before that committee in New York. On the record of that meeting in New York, no reference was ever made to either committee in regard to its being adopted or even discussed. After the committee met in New ork he received a letter from Mr. Griswold asking him to attend at West Baden, where he met Messrs. Griswold, Campbell and Bruen in the lobby of the West Baden hotel, where they talked over the matter. They had just come over from Washington, and they told the speaker that Dr. Stratton was pleased and delighted to adopt the 7½ thread, on which the speaker said he hardly thought so. as he had had a letter from him sent a short time ago and he still stuck to the 6 thread, and that the speaker must do the same. Before they went in to their committee, they had a secret session, and he did not know what happened. But just before that time lie gave Mr. Campbell one of his specifications, thinking he had gone over there to discuss the matter with these gentlemen. They were called into the committee room at West Baden, and. when in session, Mr. Campbell told Mr. Griswold that they had adopted his proposition of the 7X2 threads to the inch. The speaker had no chance to say anything. And, when he saw that they were unanimous upon the 7X2 proposition, he offered a motion calling for % of an inch mill off end to make it ¼. which they accepted. They also accepted the one-hundredth part of an inch taken off of the V thread. ‘I he next morning in that committee what lusaid was just exactly what the gentleman said on the floor of that convention. 1 he speaker then said, ‘‘Let the good work go on. Your committee has done a fine work.” as they had up to that time. But they had misrepresented. The convention had appointed the speaker’s committee to take up the matter with the Department of Commerce and Labor. It had done so conscientiously, and had taken that department’s figures for its report, with Dr. Stratton standing for 6 threads to the inch. It mattered not to himself what standard they adopted. But they were not obliged to adopt the 7½ threads to the inch, because it stands upon the association’s record that that was adopted in 1891 by its committee. Why should these men come to the convention and ask the association to adopt that? Mr. Campbell is a member of the American Water Works association and of the American association committee and of the American insurance committee from the American Water Works association, which make up one committee. Dr. Stratton’s bureau claimed to be the one to decide this matter. The association is not asking Dr. Stratton to say that the United States shall make this change; only to make a standard coupling for the United States use. It does not interfere any. To himself personally *t would not matter if the American Water Works and the Fire Protection association committee sent in 6 threads or 7/2. The proposition was to go to Mr. Stratton, and the speaker had a resolution following it asking Dr. Stratton to give it consideration. “No matter whether he approves the whole or any part of it, we shall be satisfied. We are not here tonight to say to the United States, You must change your couplings to a 7*4 threads to the inch. That is not what we are here for. We are here to ask the government to adopt a thread for its own use, and, when that is done, we shall have a standard thread. But when you depend upon the different associations of this country to adopt standard threads for the United States you will be a hundred years older than you are today. They can’t do it. If the United States adopts a thread they will put it into execution at once, and you have got a standard to go by; but beyond that you have nothing. It is nonsense for us to get up on this floor every ten or fifteen years and tnresh this matter over again. 1 was at your meeting when you adopted the 7½. ami 1 am at your meeting tonight.” lie suggested submitting the proposition to Dr. Stratton, as it was something he wanted to adopt. I he United States is ready to act. The government says that the 7Zi is not right, and that the 6 is best. If everyone’s word is taken for it. there will be no standard coupling. The * United States must make this standard coupling. As to hose manufacturers: They will manufacture just such hose as they are told; they do not care whether it is a three or a ten. Why should the association go to the hose people and ask them to give it a standard coupling for that hose.” Mach municipality has a coupling of its own. Hven if the United States government today adopts a standard, it would take from fifteen to fifty years to work the United States to that standard: but the only way to get a standard is by having the United States government adopt it. He would be ashamed for himself, while no great mechanic, to have the association lay down this 0 thread, which is mechanically right, and no mechanic will say that it is not. “The committee themselves have no fault to find with the thread. On the other hand, they say it might loosen under torsion.” At St. Louis and Pittsburg such hose is used extensively, and “not a case in history ever showed that the 6 thread loosened by torsion. The 6 thread is today strong, quick, and the mechanical thread for this association to adopt.” He objected to an outsider coming in and telling the association what it must do when it has already done what he wants it to do.

Delegate Curtis voiced the opinion of the engineers of the committee of twenty of the National Board of hire Underwriters, who have a good deal to lose by failure to adopt this uniform standard. Some might say it was no particular point as to whether it was 7/2 or 6; but the 7/ had the great advantage that it could be used in conjunction with either the 8. 7/2 or 7 threads to the inch. Chief Joyner, the speaker pointed out. has in his department both 7X2 and 8 threads, and they work so well together that he does not know which is which, lie has never had any trouble with it. he chief point to be brought out was this: “If this convention adopts 6 threads to the inch, what will be the result? Will it be carried througnout the whole country with the assistance of all the other associations which are anxious »o co-operate with it or not? If, on the other hand, you adopt the 7X2 thread to the inch, you can form your own opinion whether that will receive the sanction and co-operation of all the other associations throughout the country.

Chief Maxson gathered from the remarks of Chief Canterbury that, unless the association adopted 6 threads to the inch. Dr. Stratton will not accept it for the United States government. If so, there was no use in discussing the question, lie says. “You have got to have 6 or nothing” The speaker did not believe in that kind of a proposition. There was no use for the association to discuss the question on several different kinds of threads and expect him to adopt it, if he has determined that the association must have 6 or nothing. Some time ago he was satisfied with 7¼. Now he wants 6. If the association goes before the United States government today adopting a 6 thread to the inch, when some fourteen years ago its committee recommended a 7X2r adoption, and now says it wants 6, it will be told that it does not know its business; that it is changing its mind every little while. Such a body of men was not fit to put out a standard to go before this whole United States when it wants to change its mind every few years. Personally Chief Maxson was in favor of the 7/ to the inch because the association had gone on record twice already as accepting that, and in that convention there was just as much brains then to adopt a thread that was right. He did not believe, after the association has twice decided on 7/2, in going on record as turning round on that proposition.

Superintendent Campbell, in rising to a question of privilege, stated, with reference to Chief Canterbury’s “secret session,” that they had an executive session and Chief Canterbury did not know what they were doing Yet they were doing exactly what he was told they were going to do before they went into the executive session that is. they had two subjects up. One. which would not particularly interest the association, concerned putting meters on fire alarms to protect the water from being taken by sprinkler systems for other purposes. The speaker said that, when that had been discussed, he would like to have Chief Canterbury come in. Dr. Stratton had treated them courteously and was a conscientious official. Chief Canterbury might say it did not make any difference about all these organisations passing on these things after insisting on their doing so. Dr. Stratton had this much interest. He wrote to the speaker two weeks ago asking him if the different societies* committees could meet in Washington to take up this matter of the standard thread in Washington city. He was told such a meeting could possibly be guaranteed, hut it would better oe held after the International Association of Fire engineers had met in Duluth and passed upon this question, as an organisation, and the New Fngland Waterworks association, as a body, had also met in New York and passed upon it. Then their committees could come down there and talk the matter over with him.

President Joyner: The motion as I understood it was that Chief Canterbury’s report should be adopted, which contained a recommendation of 6 threads to the inch. As amended, it is made 7*4 threads to the inch.

The amendment was declared duly carried. The president then said that the motion was as to the adoption of the report, which was 7X2 threads to the inch, instead of 6 to the inch. The motion was carried.

(To lx* continued).