The Fire Engineers.
WE devote the greater part of our space this week to a full report of the proceedings of the Springfield convention of the National Association of Fire Engineers. Some of the papers read we are obliged, for want of room, to carry over; but they will be printed in subsequent issues of FIRE AND WATER.
The systematic and energetic work of Chief Leshure and his associates resulted in giving to the attendants at the convention of fire engineers at Springfield last week the best exhibition of fire department apparatus and supplies which, we believe, has ever yet been seen at one of these meetings. The advantage of this to the fire service, as well as to the manufacturers, is readily realized. It was, of course, to be anticipated that, with the meeting place right in the nest of the Eastern manufacturers, the list of exhibits would be fuller than usual, but it exceeded expectations. We believe, though, that if the committee which has charge of this feature of next year’s convention at Louisville bestirs itself early, works hard and makes proper, convenient and economical arrangement for exhibitors, it can do equally well. These exhibitions of apparatus are counted as among the most interesting and instructive features of the conventions, and a failure to properly provide for them, as has happened more than once, works distinctly against the success of the meetings and the objects of the National Association generally.
It is a pity that more time was not given in which to enable Chief Leshure to exhibit his experiments in the flow of water through hose and pipe, as they were exceedingly interesting, while Professor Brophy’s illustrated essay, pointing out the real dangers to be expected from electric light wires, formed a unique and valuable contribution to the proceedings. His practical demonstrations with electrical apparatus and wires will be remembered by many upon whom a mere verbal presentation of the subject would have left little impression. *****
It must be said, though, that however successful the Springfield meeting may have been in point of attendance, exhibits of apparatus and the general entertainment of the delegates, it fell somewhat behind many of the previous meetings in the way of business done at the sessions. The papers read and subjects presented for discussion were good—there was no trouble upon that—but the weather was very warm, the outside attractions great and a large proportion of the delegates either straggled into the hall late and left early, or didn’t attend the sessions at all.
It has been suggested, and the idea seems a good one, that the present plan of holding two or three short business sessions daily at the annual conventions should be given up in favor of one continuous session lasting, say, from 9 o’clock in the morning until about 1 p. M., the delegates to be left to their own devices during the rest of the day. A session of two hours has been demonstrated to be of little value in summer weather, owing to the dilatoriness of attendants, and more work would probably be done in four consecutive hours than in six or seven divided into two or three sessions. This is a matter which the executive committe should consider carefully when making its arrangements for the meeting at Louisville next year.