Great Assemblage of Fire Engineers in the Elm City.

[Special Stenographic Report by our own Reporter.)

ON Tuesday there must have been over six hundred delegates and visitors in New Haven, awaiting the opening proceedings. They had come from all parts of the country, and Great Britain was represented by at least two chiefs. The weather was delightful, and all seemed greatly pleased with the admirable program arranged for their reception.

At 11 A. M. the delegates and others in attendance assembled at the City Hall, and preceded by the Old Guard band marched to Warner hall, where the preliminary exercises took place. Among those on the platform were Mayor Farnsworth, Former Mayor Hendrick, Fire Commissioner Morgan, and Chief Kennedy of New Haven; Congressman N. D. Sperry, of Connecticut; President Devins, former Presidents Hale, Koulett, Joyner, and Taylor; Fire Commissioner Stevenson of Montreal,and Chief of Fire Brigade Cannon,of the Frith,Kent, fire brigade,England. Former Mayor Hendrick acted as host to the visitots upon the platform. President Devine called the meeting to order at 11.45. and introduced Mayor Fred B. Farnsworth, who spoke in part as follows:

It affords me very great pleasure to welcome you to the city of New Haven on this the twenty-fifth anniversary of the organisation of your association. Ihe fact that our townsman, A. C. Hendrick, whose ability and faithfulness during his twenty-six years of service as chief of the fire department was testified to, by his election as mayor, was actively interested in the birth of your organization, and has served you as president, adds much to the interest of this occasion for New Haveners The desirability and usefulness of conventions of this kind have been so often and so thoroughly demonstrated as not to be a question for discussion. Men in all lines have grown away from the selfishness and narrowness of long ago, and are now constantly looking for opportunities to get together and exchange the best they have of experience and thought. Much good must result from the discussion of so important a science as fire fighting by representatives from so many cities.

I feel like congratulating myself because of a freedom from the doubts and fears as to what may be said that usually accompanies my speaking to any class of people. Requirements of the business of a fire chief, seem to me a guaranty that there arc no thin skinned or dyspeptic people on your list. All the essentials of your business tend to keep out of it men with weak heads, weak stomachs, or weak nerves, and that should mean freedom from a disposition to quibble over nonessentials.

There is but little that l feel competent to advise you on. Keep politics out of your departments. Subject applicants for appointment and promotion to rigid examination. Keep your standard high, and you wilt attract men who can reach it. Every fireman should know that no pull can stand between him and merited honors or deserved punishment In no other way can proper discipline be maintained. I hope every chief present has won his position by merit.

I am now permitted to express the hope of our citizens that the days you spend here may be very pleasant ones for you all; that the work of the convention may be most profit able, and that, as you go on helping to make the history of your various cities from day to day, you may be cheered by the recollections of your visit here. (Applause.)

President Devine next called upon Hon. N. D, Sperry.who said among other things:

I hardly know the line and mode of yonr procedure; but 1 know one thing,that you are firemen—that you arc professional firemen, and that the idea which you have in meeting at your annual conventions is to enlist the best thoughts.the best ideas, and to discover the improvements which are being made year by year to control fires,and the best mode of putting out fires. It is a noble purpose, it is a high purpose for ail of us, who are engaged in business of any kind, to become masters of that business to the extent of our ability. When ideas combat ideas, then the best results may be obtained from such a gathering as this, 1 am glad as an old fireman to be with you to day, for my early associations are connected with the fire company Franklin No. 4. in New Haven. The memories of the pleasant memories I can recall. (Applause) I would not take the world for the friendships formed in early times Among the fire boys of the city of New Haven. (Great applause)

President Devine then introduced Wm. E. Morgan, president of the board of fire commissioners of NeW llavten, wh’6 said:

On behalf of the fire commissioners of New Haven I bid you welcome within the bordersof New England; additionally,

I bid you welcome within the bordersof our Nutmeg State. While you remain in our Elm City,the metropolis of the State, we expect as a committee to do what we can for your pleasure, and whi!e the fire chiefs who are now here may never come again within the lifetime of many of us, we desire to make your visit a red letter day for Old New Haven, and do what we can to make you remember particularly this visit to our city. Not only are the United States and Canada represented, but also Great Britain; and we welcome you. thrice welcome you to our City of Elms, and trust that your stay may be pleasant and profitable. (Applause.)

President Devine, in introducing the riekt Speaker, referred to the fact that he was as well known and honored in every part of the Onited States as he was in New Haven,and called upon Mr. A. C. Hendrick, former mayor, who had been at the head of the New Haven fire department for twenty-five years, to address the meeting.

Mr. Hendrick spoke as follows:

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention, Ladies arid Friends!

For many years I have looked forward to the time when I, with our chief, could have the opportunity of greeting the International Association of Fire Engineers within the borders of the municipality of this city, and now, one of the most happy occasions Of niy life is afforded me in being thus enabled to welcome in organization that has for nearly twenty-five years been very dear to me, and my fond anticipations are now a realization. To welcome such a body of fearless and brave leaders, men representing an army of a hundred thousand of the most gallant and heroic, and I may add,illustrious, deserving of distinction, full of courage, and of such magnanimity and endurance, seldom fails to the lot of any person—a body of men of a composite unexcelled, whose duty to the municipalities they represent is plainly the protection of life and property. An organization of such a character whether it be national or international, local or otherwise, paid or volunteer, which has for its purpose one single great and noble object, and that to save—should not such an organization be maintained by all towns, cities, states, and countries, and be made to prosper and continue successfully forall time throughout the whole broad universe.

To bid such an association a fitting welcome, words fail me to properly express my feelings at this time, for much could be said and much more written in language more expressive, regarding the brave and dangerous calling to which each one of you is daily exposed, and those serving in your respective departments.

It has been my pleasure, and I trust with profit, to attend all the conventions except the Baltimore, Providence, and Salt Lake City meetings. While I was one of the few who were instrumental in favoring, and which finallly effected the first call for the Baltimore meeting, circumstances prevented my attendance at the same, much to my regret. This occasion is a fitting one. and 1 consider it my duty to refer to the magnanimous generosity exhibited to this association on all occasions and in all sections of the United States and the Dominion of Canada, wherever our conventions have been held,and to the unbounded hospitality received by us in each city. You and I can hear testimony to the many welcomes received. All are now pleasant memories of the past,and will always remain among the brightest remembrances of our lives. (Great applause).

Gentlemen of the convention, it now affords us great pleasure to extend a welcome, to this, my beloved City of Elms, and I, and our chief, the board of fire commissioners, of which I now (to round up all of my official careers) have the distinguished honor to be a member, also the fire department, including the rank and file, each one and all extend you a cordial welcome. I desire and trust that former Chief Damrell of Boston (who was in company with the gentlemen in New York when incidentally the organization of this association was first considered, znd made its first president that year in Baltimore) will be called upon to inform us of its first inception, and the circumstances which brought the same to such a success, and its development. He is more familiar with its beginning, and can outline its broad field of importance and usefulness, and is ever ready to work and advise in our many interests. He can point out the few survivors present and absent, of the original membership.

Ladies and gentlemen—Our fellow citizens and the committee of arrangements who by their endeavors to carry out their program in making your visit agreeable, feel honored by your presence, and it will be a source of great pleasure if they are assured of any happiness conferred upon the ladies and gentlemen, our honored visitors Trusting your coming will prove pleasant and profitable and when the time shall arrive for your departure you will each carry with you our best wishes and ouly pleasant recollections of the good people of the City ot Elms, again I extend a hearty, yes, thrice hearty welcome to our city. (Great applause).

Mayor Hendrick then read a letter from former commissioner Tohn H. Leeds, who is now in Alexandria, Syria Mr, Leeds, who for twelve years was ori the local board of fire missioned, wrote that he begretted very much that he waS finable to be preSfent at the convention in Nfew Haven, to which he had lboked forward for years. (Great Applause).

Chief A. J. Kennedy was the next speaker called upon; he said :

I extend to you in behalf of the New Haven fire department a cordial welcome. We would like you to ride around and visit the different engine houses and inspect the apparatus, and if you have any suggestions to make, let me know what they are—I am not too old to learn (Laughter and applause). While you are in the city, and while you are at Savin Rock I you wish to examine everything, and see what we have, and if you are satisfied, let me know about it ; tell me how you feel. Vou are all right to go anywhere you please in the city of New Haven ; I will give you my word you will be taken care of. (langhter; there are some men here who uriderstand that, and there are others Whb do rot. (Applause).

President Devine then called upon former chief Watt Taylor, of Richmand, Va.,to respond on behalf of the Association. He said :

I should be recreant to the position I hold as a member of this association did I not respond in some way, however feebly, to the demand made upon me. I desire to thank his honor, the mayor on behalf of our members, for the kind welcome he has extended to us. I am glad to be present la Ihfe city of New Haveri, a city renowned for its hospitality and ttdted (or its cultfire, and, above all, so far advanced in the mechanical arts as to be able to t ike the broken limbs which fell from the elm trees and manufacture such a perfect wooden nutmeg as to make it pass for the genuine article. (Laughter.) In looking over the meeting this morning, I am carried back nearly a quarter of a century, when I attended the first meeting of this association. We have come here from the St. Lawrence on the North to the Gulf on the South, from the silver banks of the Atlantic to the golden slope of the Pacific—and the thought occurs to me—for what purpose have we come hert ? Is it to discuss some of the great political quesitons that shake our country from circumference to centre? No; neither have we come here to say what shall be the currency of our country, silver, gold, or greenbacks; because I have learned that it makes very little difference what sort of currency we have, so long as we have plenty of it. I have lived in a time when it took $1,200 to buy a pair of boots and $3,000 to buy a barrel of flour. We have come for a higher and nobler purpose ; we have come to discuss plans and devise the best means that shall enable us to cope more successfully with that most dreaded of all elements, fire. I am glad that I am in New Haven, because this is the home of one dear to us all, one whom we honor—former Mayor A. C. Hendrick. (Great applause). Then, also, we are in the home of our young and valued friend. Chief Kennedy, of New Haven. (Applause.) The friendships of the past have been very beautifully alluded to in a former address, and the happiest recollection of my life will be that I have formed so many friendships in years long gone by Death has entered our ranks, and many have been summoned by the last alarm to cross over the river, and are now resting under the shade of the trees ; but others have stepped into their places and are going on bravely In the work that their predecessors had so grandly and nobly begun. I am sure, when we leave this city and go beyond the borders of the Nutmeg State, we shall carry with us pleasant recollections, and that this occasion will be a green spot on memory’s tablet. (Applause.)

President Devine next called upon Chief Humphreys, of Pittsburgh, who made the following remarks:

As has already been said, we gather for the twentv-fifth time in the history of this association; the recurring annual pilgrimage of the members has brought them to the beautiful City of Elms. Many of ushave had the privilege of attending the meetings for a number of years, and have come to revere the friendships formed at these gatherings. It is very gratifying to consider how pleasant these associations have been. True, the representations change, but at all meetings we meet many who have attended for many years. The association proper is migratory in its movements. We have been with our friend Hughes down in the land of the Kentucky gentlemen, where the succulent blue grass grows, and where they are renowned for that sour mash; we have been in the State of Chief Foley proverbial for its excellent lager beer,and we have been up the St. Lawrence,mingling with our Canadian friends, where we had a profitable convention, and received much food for thought, and learned much that has done us good in the years which followed. Then, again, we drifted down to Georgia, and met the Georgia cracker in all his glory, and participated in his barbecues, and spent a few days pleasantly enjoying the hospitality which is proverbial of that State. I.ast year we drifted across the great broad green plains of this country and the land of the followers of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith—and there we enjoyed ourselves immensely. To day we gather in this historic place, in one of the leading cities of New England. I realize that here was planted the germ that permeated the institutions of this country; that here was reared the foundation upon which was erecied the superstructure of these great United States. While this section has not increased in the same ratio as other sections of the country, we realize that here was the nursery from whence went abroad throughout our land men of education and ability, men who became renowned in stateraanship. in agriculture, in mechanism, and in all that goes to make up the wonderful advancqraent of our country and people as a nation. We shall tarry here for a few days. We know that in many ways we shall have a pleasant time, and also through the business meetings acquire much valuable knowledge. We hope that what we may do here will be of such a character and productive of such results as may be pleasing and profitable to our friends in New Haven, and that they will long remember our coming. (Applause).

President Devine: We have with us to-day a brother of our association who exemplifies its international character in the person of Chief Herbert Cannon, of the fire brigade of Erith, Kent, England.

Mr. Cannon said in part:

I was sp°cially asked to convey to you the very good feeling that exists between our unions in Great Britain and the fire service of this country and Canada. I had no idea as to the enthusiastic welcome I should receive, and what a successful gathering I should see. I shall return to England with a very high idea of the keen interest taken in all fire brigade matters in this country. I shall take back with me all the good expressions you have here shown me, and shall take the first opportunity of conveying them to my union. This is my first visit to your country; I have not seen much of it; but, so far, my visit has given me great pleasure. I have been all around the world as regards the southern hemisphere, but here I shall learn things which will be of great value to us. In London, you know, we have a very fine fire brigade, and everything is well organized; but I have an idea we Londoners shall have to look out for ourselves if we don’t want to be left behind. (Applause). London streets are so narrow we have not room for the big appliances which you use in this country, and so all our appliances are a little bit smaller; but I dare say we may grow to have larger ones in time. I trust that I shall have the honor of welcoming you all in London at different times, and I am sure my union will do their best to make your visit interesting. (Applause).

President Devine then asked Chief George C. Hale, of Kansas City, Mo,, to make some remarks, which are briefly given :

I will say a few words about my trip to England. I found on the other side of the water that the methods of fire fighting are different from what we have on this side, and the reason is that the buildings burn much more slowly than they do in America. They build against fire in that country. I failed to see a shingled roof all through England, Ireland,and Scotland. The buildings are all very solid and they build against fire,and do not dread fire as we do in this country.consequently they do not work as rapidly as we do. It was quite a novelty to the people on the other side to see the way we respond to fires. 1 took over ten selected men and three horses. We went into the hall and put up onr appliances for the swinging harness, and arranged sliding poles, etc., in full view of an audience of 40.000 people. The English firemen, in getting their engine ready, from the tap of the bell until the hind wheels passed the door, occupied one minute, seventeen and one-half seconds; we did the same thing, with our appliances, in eight and one half seconds. I met on the other side of the water a very fine class of people; the firemen were very hospitable; treated us elegantly; seemed to strain every point to made us comfortable; and were willing to adopt anything new and useful for their service on the other side. They are a class of people I never can forget. They treated us handsomely, and I hope to go back again. I am free to say that there is not a chief engineer present to day, who, if he visited any member of the Fire Brigade’ Union, would not be well pleased with the treatment received at their hands. (Applause).

President Devine: I notice that Col. A. A. Stevenson, a fire commissioner, of Montreal, Canada, has just entered the hall, and we should be glad to hear from him.

Col, Stevenson made a few happy remarks, of which the following is part:

I never was a fireman; but I consider myself one of you, because I take a great deal of interest in all you do, and endeavor in every possible way in my power to make it as easy for a fireman under my control as I can. simply by getting the best apparatus, and seeing that they make the best use of that apparatus. (Applause.) I heard the last speaker’s remarks about his visit to London, and he told you why they have not such a tremendous amount of apparatus as we have here, and why it is they do not need to get so quickly to a fire to extinguish it as we do on this side of the Atlantic; but I will say this, that, so far as good treatment of visitors goes, I don’t think there is any country on the face of the earth that could surpass them in their almost unbounded hospitality to stangers visiting them in the capacity of firemen. I know you have had quite a number of speeches, and as Providence gave me two ears and one tongue, I take it that it was meant we should use our ears more than our tongue I hope from the discussions that we shall be able to carry back some ideas which we shall be able to make use of in the good city o f Montreal, in the Dominion of Canada, which is just across the border. A great many were there in 1894. and I hope some day or other vie shall have the pleasure of entertaining you again, and make your stay in our city as comfortable and as happy as you are in America. (Great applause.)

President Devine : The next order of business is the calling of the roll.

After roll call by Secretary Hills, President Devine appointed the following committees on credentials and exhibits as follows:

Committee on Credentials—Chief Hosmer, Lowell; Chief Harris, Tampa; Chief Moeller, Peoria; Chief Helmer, Jackson; Chief Jones, Westport. Committee on Exhibits—Chief Paige, Joliet; Chief Hopkins, Somerville; Chief Kellogg, Sioux City; Chief Kiersted, Newark; Chief Cohn, Allentown.

The meeting then adjorned.


President Devine called the meeting to order at 3.10 p. m.; but being compelled to leave the hall soon after adjournment Vice-President Joyner took the chatr.

Chief Jones then read the


New Haven. August 17. 1897,

To the President, Officers and Members of the International Association of Fire Engineers—Gentlemen:—Your committee on credentials respectfully reports that the following named gentlemen have submitted their names as the properly accredited representatives of cities and members of State firemen’s organizations, and who have properly accredited credentials, entitling them to membership in the International Association of Fire Engineers:

Thomas E James, Albany, Ga; Herbert Cannon, Erith, Kent, England; George J Stegmaier, Wilkes-Barre, Pa; Edwin F Studwell, Portchester, N Y; Edwin J Lawyer, Westminster, Md; H C Merritt. Tuckahoe, N Y; Joseph C McGregor, Baltimore Md; F A Mulligan, Chattanooga, Tenn; Mat Highlands, Huntington, Ind; Andrew J Kirwin, Newport,R I; Charles E. Bacon, Medford, Mass.; Bert Berkowitz, Altoona, Pa; D B Cornell, Fair Haven, Conn; T O Doane, Plainfield, N J; C S Mount, Red Bank, N J, Forrest Green, Long Branch. N J; C H Symons, Winchester, Mass; M M Murray, Burlington, Vt; Thomas FBarrett, Indianapolis, Ind;

C S Woods, Evansville, Ind; E H Rodgers, Winnipeg, Man;C H Ives, Sterling, Ill; John P Quigley, Morristown, N J; J N Carpenter, Sioux Falls. S Dak; Leonard Briggs, Rome, N Y; J W Edwards Norfolk, Neb; G O Wilmarth. Topeka, Kas; C A Gaverick.Harisburg, Pa; P T Hickey, Scranton, Pa; T K Harding,Bay City,Mich; J T Ruanc,Minneapolis,Minn;J C Spencer,Janesville, VVis; T F Murnane, Fitchburg,Mass; Robert D Walker, Selma, Ala; James R Elliatt,Detroit,Mich; E V Baker, South Norwalk, Conn; Otto F Utz, Niagara Falls, N Y; John Conway, Jersey City, N J; J H Screws, Montgomery, Ala; J B Stevens, Morristown, N J; William V Wilson. West Haven, Conn; P Provost, Ottawa, Que; W W Byers. North Adams, Mass; J W Miles, Williamsport, Pa; H R Williamson, Worcester. Mass; Charles II. Ilenisohn, Mount Vernon, N Y; John W Bates, Council Bluffs, la; William Boon, Rochester. N Y.

Associate Members—David Farrington, Mount Vernon, N Y; W A Powers, New York.N Y ; J A B Stillings, Mount Vernon, N V; C B Castle, New York, N Y; S Charles Geckelman, Bethlehem, Pa; Louis Koubidoux, Kansas City, Mo; Stein-Vogeler Drug Company, Cincinnati, O; W T Tate, Chicago, III; George W Stockwell, Detroit, Mich; American Fire Hose Company, Chelsea, Mass.

State Associations.— Texas State Fire Association, J J Connors, delegate; Fire Chiefs’ Association of Ohio, D C Larkin, delegate; Maine State Fire Association, M N Eldrich, delegate.

Your committee respectfully recommends that the above become members of this association.

Respectfully submitted.

Supplementary—The following represent the State association as delegates:

Irwin A Ilahne, Pennsylvania S A; S I) Minor, Vermont S A; George S Pitt, Connecticut S A; M J Myers, Illinois S A; F W Peabody. Michigan S A; William E Exall, New Jersey, S A; J J Stone, North Carolina S A; A A Grant, South Dakota S A: R L Herbert, Virginia S. A.

On motion, the report was accepted and approved and the minutes of the last meeting were approved as printed.


Chief Hendrick in inquiring about the committee on exhibits said:

I believe the matter of the exhibits is one to which more attention should be given than has been customary. I think the exhibits are so important a branch of this convention that we should visit them in a body, and inspect them, and not simply refer the matter to a committee for a report.

Chief McAfee: I agree with Chief Hendrick in regard to giving this thing a little more attention. The manufacturers of these goods go to a great deal of trouble and expense in bringing their goods here, and, as a rule, they are glanced at by a committee and the committee makes a report. This association should set aside a day when the association as a body should go to look at them. I think the exhibitors are entitled to that consideration. I suggest that whatever time we have left vacant be set aside for that purpose.

Chief Higgins: I have been on the committee to inspect the exhibits several times, and we have never slipped over them. The labor of their examination was very great. We slighted nothing, and endeavored to give every exhibitor a fair opportunity.

Chief McAfee: I do not think a committee is competent to pass on the exhibits as a substitute for the individual members.

If Chief Higgins is willing to accept the judgment of a committee in regard to fire fighting appliances he is different from me.

Chief Hendrick: The committee simply inspects what is being exhibited, and makes a report on it.

Chief Webber: I believe it is just and proper, after the manufacturers of different fire department supplies have gone to the expense and trouble of sending their goods here, that they should be carefully inspected by the association in a body, and, if I am in order, I move that we set 9 o’clock Friday morning as the time when we shall go to the exhibition hall and inspect the appliances.

The motion was carried.


Letters of regret at not being able to be present at the meeting were then read from George J. Burrus, chief, Columbus, Ga.; J. A. Crawford, former chief, Benton Harbor, Mich.; William Granger, chief, Hudson N. Y.; John Redell, chief, Omaha, Neb. Mayor Hamilton B. Peck, of Burlington, Vt., sent greetings to the convention, indorsed the objects of the association, and said that several of the city officers, including the chief engineer, would attend the convention.

A telegram was received from the Virginia State Firemen’s Association, conveying hearty wishes for a successful convention, and a hearty good time with the brothers of the Nutmeg State.

Communications were also read from Alfred J. Hutson, superintendent fire brigade, corporation of Cork, Ireland; Jethro W. Mathews, Superintendent fire brigade, Newcastleupon-Tyne, England; Capt. Horace S. Folker, genera! secretary, National Fire Brigades’ Union, Guildford,England, and Joseph Koppler, Vienna. Austria.


President Devine here resumed the chair.

Former Chief Damrell, of Boston, then read an interesting outline of the history of the Association for the period of its quarter century of existence, as follows:


Mr. President and Gentlemen of the International Association of Chief Engineers: –

I embrace the opportunity to acknowledge this kind and cordial welcome, and also to return my sincere thanks to our long tried and efficient secretary for the compliment paid in requesting me not only to be present at this convention’s Silver Jubilee, but also briefly to review its work for the past twentyfour years. In responding to this request, I assure you, Mr. President and also Chief I i ills, that it is a pleasure to meet you and to be able to participate with these chiefs in the work of the convention as well as 10 enjoy the pleasantries incident to the meeting. The reunion of former friends, and the pleasure of making still other acquaintances tends to renew one’s youth, and set the blood, as it were, coursing with more freedom through our veins. The memories associated with our first convention have been to me a continual green oasis as 1 have recalled from time to time the noble, earnest, and active workers, who, with unflagging interest shape the convention’s course,and who also through good and evil report have sustained it for twenty-four years in the grand work it then undertook. The work of these years is of no mean order, tending as it has in the molding of public opinion and shaping legislation to the end. that the fire waste of the country be reduced.

In reviewing the work, I am reminded, Mr. President and gentlemen, of the truth and force of Carlyle’s estimate of the power and importance of the human voice, speaking or appealing unto men. Demosthenes, the king of orators, said that Greece owed her supremacy to her speechmakers. For this God given method of communicating wisdom and instruction, there never has been, and there can be no substitute. Jesus was indeed a teacher who came from God. While he wrote nothing, it is said of Him that “ He spake as never man spake.”

I refer to these things because I appreciate more and more the beneficial results of gatherings of this character. These living interchanges of thought and experience are worth infinitely more than all the cost of gatherings of this nature, where we meet, “eye to eye and heart to heart.”

Time, Mr. President and gentlemen, leaves its imprint on men, places and things. The calendar marks time’s flying passage, and notes its ever changing phases upon the recording dial face, thus telling the chronological story of life; but this is merely mechanical history, the simple automatic register of hours and days. The records of higher, intellectual and progressive achievements, however, are written on the face of events, inscribed indelibly in the history of thought, evolution, and education. Periods are limited, but progress is illimitable; the automatic calendar year is bounded within the restricted timeof the twelve consecutive months; while the aesthetic cycle knows no such limits, reaching over beyond these conventional borders, and linking year to year by welding time, thought, and progress in one endless, indivisible chain.

One year ago, Mr. President and gentlemen, you assembled as a convention in Salt Lake City, and the record was recorded as of 1896. To-day you meet at an assemby in this beautiful city of New Haven, long famous for its majestic elms, its noble university of learning, and alas, that one who resides under the shadow of “ Fair Harvard” should say so;celebrated also for its oft-victorious athletes. Amid these classic surroundings, gentlemen, there will be added to your journal the record of 1897. Twelve months then have dissolved themselves into a memory, and what was then a factor of the present and future is to-day a unit of the past. How stands that record? Is it an empty, resounding chaos of dismembered days and fragmentary hours dissipated in want and waste,presenting no profit as equivalent to their expenditure? Or has each day and month its story of development and scientific advancement along thoughtfully intelligent lines? 1 )oes each daily and monthly trial-balance show a gain in mental treasures announcing a creditable increase in progress, an augmentation along the lines indicated ? Are you as experts farther advanced in comprehensive thought and action in regard to your profession as marked out when this organization fust became a practical element in the problem of national development than you were a year ago? Has the year just passed brought forth fruit ripe with experience ? Have you so delved in the mines of thought as to bring to this mental storehouse of ours treasures from the mighty deeps of twenty-four years’ continuous experience ? If not, then the years have been ill-spent, their precious moments criminally wasted,their priceless opportunities forever lost beyond recall.

I apprehend. Mr. President and gentlemen,that it is questions such as these that we are here to discuss and analyze, just as you have done since you first became an organization for a common purpose, pledged to a common, yet responsible duty.

Twenty-five years ago this association was organized at Baltimore for the purpose of cementing into aggregate permanency friendships which, prior to that time, had been but individual and isolated; also to promote and insure better concert of thought and action along the lines of the hazardous and exacting duties in which as individuals we are engaged. We realized most fully that in union there is strength, and that by the words of many witnesses truth is established. As the granaries of the world are enriched by bounteous harvests of golden grain, so do the individual contributions of many gleaners in the fields of thought enrich the storehouse ot human knowledge. Thus it was our purpose as a convention to enrich ourselves by consolidating into one vast aggregate the products of many minds with their wide, rich and varied experience. The inspirations which had hitherto been but personal units, though strong and valuable, were nevertheless, strong, valuable, and powerful only when gathered into one great whole. The wealth of the world is strong and effective just in proportion as it is consolidated, so the mind’s wealth is strongest when individual accumulations are massed into one common thought treasury. That our granary of golden thought,our treasury of mental riches have annually increased, is too patent to need argument, for the written record of this convention speaks with no uncertain sound; but better still, it is made apparent by the magnificent results,stamped ineffaceably on o ir national progress as witnessed in every city and town in Pi s vast outstretching ever-growing country of ours. For the improvement in methods, in many sound theories,the development and increase of facilities and excellence of action, most,if not all is the rightful boast and prxiuct of this organization’s efforts and influence. Time and events move in cycles and the written and unwritten records of both are full of analogies. In every well ordered family the household duties are enshrined in kindred joy, and home associations are sanctified by hallowed peace, and when arrives the twenty-fifth anniversary of wedded happiness and prosperity the venerated heads of the household summon round them their offspring, and with thankful hearts in decorous rejoicings, enumerate their treasurers, recapitulate their blessings, gratefully recall past mercies, fervently petition for still others in the future, and pledge anew their devotion to each other; thus they celebrate their Silver Wedding—truly a beautiful custom, and an inestimable privilege. With these delightful anniversaries men sympathize, and over them angels rejoice that the household can thus hallow the home nest, and the doves of peace rest upon Us roof-tree.

For twenty-four years this association h is been wedded to mutual duty, and general progress,and to day we celebrate the anniversary of our Silver Wedding. It is, therefore.eminently, fitting and proper that we depart somewhat from our usual routine and devote a portion of our time to a recapitulation of our progressive inventory of our multiple offspring as now foreshadow’ some what prophetically and hopefully the glorious possibilities of our future.

May we not. therefore, Mr. President and gentlemen, reasonably ask if the year just closed has been in step with the four-and-twentv years that have preceded? Have these years just closed, with all their progress, been as prolific in increase, as productive in mastering the applied sciences ’elating to the fire extinguishing services of the country as they should have been ? As an organization have we been as active, alert, vigilant, progressive as we might have been? Have we as members been faithful each working, each in his own way,for the common good, striving as best we could to contribute our quota to the general treasury of thought and advanced ideas? ID a word, have we each so labored for the best and highest interests of all that, if called upon by the president orpresiding officer of this convention we might each justly expect to receive the acclaim, “ Faithful and just servant ? ”

And now, Mr. President and gentlemen, let us take in detail a brief retrospect of the past twenty four years relating to this association, and sum up its records equitably and dispassionately.

The primary object which this convention had in view at the time of its organization was jointly to consider the condition of the organized fire departments of this country, to discover if possible, the causes which had led up to, and made possible the fearful conflagrations by which three of our most prominent cities had been almost annihilated. The departments as organized in these cities were the pride and boast of their citizens, and were considered by press and people to be the principal jewel in their civic crown. And yet, notwitstanding their municipal assurance.the power and ability of their several departments to defeat and overcome attacks of the fire fiend by reason of their supposed magnificent equipment, coupled with the spirit and esprit de corps of the men—notwithstanding all this,they were each paralyzed with fear as the result of their fiery Waterloo, which exigency furnished the incentive for a call for a national convention of fire experts This exigency, well known at the time, will bear recapitulation by way of a few illustrationsPortland, the forest city of the State of Maine, the first that the morning sun shines upon, and Chicago, far in the West, where its splendor is last lost in its going down, with my own beloved city, were crippled, nay, almost annihilated and each department of these cities was organized with che best equipment the government would furnish. Portland experienced a loss of $10,000,000, covering an area of two hundred acres, on July 4, 1866; Chicago experienced a loss of $196 000,000, covering an area of two thousand and one hundred acres, on October 9, 1871: Boston, on November q, 1S72, —one of the most delightful autumnal days, with which New England is favored, was attacked by the fire fiend, which unheralded and unexpected, assaulted the stongest citadel of our city, and laid in waste sixty acres of its finest buildings, with an estimateted loss of $65,000,000; making the total burned over, including streets in the three cities, of 2,360 acres, and a property loss of $271,000,000.

How closely these gigantic losses are chargeable tu department deficiencies in mechanical appliances and defects in methods of operation it is not my province to discuss at this time. That question has long since been relegated to the past. I have merely referred to the above great fires for what they collaterally and logically suggested, rather than as to a dominating principle—most improvements in our fire mechanism and great scientific developments being now existing facts

The brief reminiscence mentioned can be recognized only as being didactic in its scope. Perhaps one or two camparisons along this line may suffice—object lessons being always more effective than arguments, examples more eloquent than formu las, and concrete facts more preferable than abstract theories.

To begin with, permit me to refer to my own city as representing my position—and surely this is no mean egotism, for Boston was one of the three great sufferers, and 1 am quite familiar with her condition as to her equipment in the past and present as to matters of this character—yet I am forced to believe that what is true of Boston, Chicago, and Portland, is equally true of other cities.

In 5872 the fire department of Boston consisted of twentyone steamers, ten hose carriages, seven hook and ladder trucks, 456 men, under the command of one chief and fourteen asistant engineets. And the men who were enrolled in her fire department were as brave as the bravest, and as good as the best. While their improved apparatus “up to-date”, their drill and discipline, joined to ripened experience, enable the departments to-day to make a better showing, still you will join me in the sentiment thai the department of to-day owes much of its efficiency and standing to the experinced traditions, and inspirations of their predecessors of a quarter of a century ago. Today the Boston department numbers forty-six steamers, two fireboats,with eight steamers in reserve, two water towers, twelve chemical engines, three hose carriages, thirteen hose wagons.seventeen hook and ladder trucks, with two additional trucks in reserve, with a working force of 1.105 men, commanded by one chief, two assistant chiefs, and thirteen district chiefs, with a full complement of clerks, messengers, etc., under the control of a tire commissioner. This great increase is not confined to Boston only, but runs parallel with departments elsewhere of other cities, which have not only kept pace with the inevitable increase in population, but have a so arrived at that point where they were willing to require and adopt the recommendation of the aggregation of national experience presented by this convention.

Now.having called your attention to a comparison of fire department matters as of 1872 vs. 1897 in my own city, let us briefly revi w the history of this National Association and its interests during the same period.

After considerable correspondence between chiefs of the several departments in 1873, there assembled at Baltimore the representatives of some sixty cities of these United States, and ornanized this National Association. Subsequently this was changed to the International Association, and thus it is to-day. with a membership, as tabulated in the secretary’s report for 1896, of 532, including active and honorary membership.

Now, having briefly noted the improvement and progress in the same period, it seems to me eminently consistent that we should make some applications of the lesson taught, asking ourselves the question. What is the duty of * his association as to furthering the continuance of such progress? Glancing retrospectively over the twenty four years, we note the marvelous advance over certain lines of social and domestic economy, and are surprised at the results of our investigations. The evolutions have really amounted to revolutions, and the changes in thought and education have been most radical. It would, of course, be quite impossible for me to enter into an enumeration of the various degress of progress which have been made; therefore, I shall pass this by and simply remind the convention that we are living in a day such as man has never lived in before. As the poet says,

We are living as we are dwelling, in a grand and awful time, In an age on ages telling, to be living is sublime.

Competition is supreme, and the spirit of invention is omnipresent. But it has been asked, Is this competition a menace or a blessing? Is competition a necessity or a bar to progress ?

I am glad to know, amid all this march of improvement referred to that our chief engineers were not, and are not content to be classed as those who stand idly by the wayside and see the procession cf progress pass by. But, on the contrary, there have been those who have kept well abreast of the procession. Let us glance carefully at this fact for a few moments. The emulative, in conjunction with the competitive spirit, composed the the warp an 1 woof of the rank and file of the department of a quarter of a century ago. They formed the concrete upon which this convention laid the foundation of its future activities The convention in organizing realized most fully that its work was. and would ever be a struggle for existence, for without such an organization there could be no successful progress in our peculiar province. They also realized fully that the greater the obstacles overcome, the more satisfactory would be their triumph.

It is written in all life’s activities that in emulation and competition lies all human advancement. This knowledge then, appealed to our pride and ambition, as I believe it also does now. That we have accomplished much to stimulate and uplift our calling by creating in the rank and file a desire for a higher and better idea of the duties they were called upon to perform, the splendid achievements in the mechanical arts, inventions and improvements in the fire extinguishing of today, amply testify.

And this International organization standi to-day as the moving power which has developed, and, I hope, will continue to develop the education and culture of our firemen. For this important service not only ranks as a science, but has also become a profession; and, as such, its members are entitled to receive at the hands of our several municipalities such instruction by courses of lectures and otherwise as would tend to qualify them for every exigency that might arise in connection, with the discharge of their duty.

Now, Mr. President and gentlemen, if it should appear somewhat invidious to single out any particular department or chief of department, or if it should appear not in good taste, I crave your indulgence for what I am about to sav.

There are in this convention to-day men of of rare executive ability and ripe experience, coupled with superb generalship, who are acknowledged leaders, and whose judgment at ail times commands general respect. I have but to refer to New York, Chicago, Boston, and other metropolitan cities represented on this floor for proof. W th such material have we not a right to expect ideas to be promulgated along the lines of this scientific profession which have not yet been advanced ?

In closing’, permit me to say that it is but justice to claim that amid all this march of progress the advancement of intelligence,and the uplifting of our profession, this National association has maintained its position in the front rank, and is, therefore, justly entitled to its honors, and the fruition of to day is simply foreshadowing that still greater one which shall certainly shine upon our successors when they snail have assembled, as we now have, a quarter of a century hence, to celebrate the association’s Golden Wedding—that happy day to be followed still later by its Diamond Wedding. And I sincerely hope that each new era in the Association’s existence may be approved and indorsed by all, and that uion and peace, progress and perpetuity, and a grateful country’s benediction shall be theirs to enjoy, while life and time endure.

Chief Roullett moved, and it was carried, that the thanks of the association be returned to Chief Damrell, and his paper be received and placed in the records of the meeting.

Chief Hughes, Albany, submitted the following topic, to be discussed by the meeting when time afforded—“ How far have sparks and burning embers been carried by the influence of wind to endanger property ?”


The President declared the order of business to be topics and discussions, and Topic No. 1. by Chief William C McAfee, Baltimore, Md., was then taken up.

Topic 1:—How should perforated pipes or sprinkler system be constructed for the protection of basements containing oil or other inflammable material.”

Before taking up the practical question of how a system of perforated pipes and sprinklers should be constructed for the protection of basements containing oils or other inflammable materials it might be well to first answer the question which naturally arises, “Why is such a system either desirable or necessary”—for, unless it can be shown that snch a system as is proposed is both desirable and practicable, as a means of affording additional protection from fire, then any consideration of the best method of its arrangement is worse than useless. Therefore, in view of the fact that no argument, either for or against the adoption of a system such as is proposed in this topic has ever been advanced, it is but proper that some reasons should be adduced to show why such a system would be of benefit before touching upon the proper arrangement of the plant.

It is a lact well known to all, that in large cities the great disideratum in mercantile districts, is floor pace. Because of such requirements, the builder is compelled to rear his structure to vait heights and to plant his foundations at great depths below the street level. In every large city can be found buildings with cellars two, and sometimes more stories below the sidewalk; these subterranean stories are in many instances filled with merchandise of a most inflammable description, with but little attention paid to its proper storage; aisles are provided in but few instances, and, when provided, are generally obstructed by trunks, boxes, etc., left by careless employes; the stairways and elevators are usually surrounded with a similar character of obstruction, and the whole arrange rnent is such that, in the event of a fire, the department finds itself confronted with a task of no little magnitude to locate and extinguish the fire in its incipiency. Again, cellars are found in which are storad large quantities of inflammable and explosive oils, which burn fiercely and create intense heat, liable at any time to cause an explosion, that may bring down the building about those engaged in the work of fighting the fire. The cellar stored with chemicals presents an additional element of danger, to that from fire and explosion, that of death from the inhalation of noxious fumes thrown off by the action of the fire on the chemicals. Fires occuring in cellars, such as are above referred to, are certain to give the department more or less trouble to subdue, it being, as is well known, a difficult matter to locate the fire, owing to the intense heat, dense smoke or fumes from burning chemicals—one or all of which contingencies may confront the department; and it is during the time that the endeavor is being made to locate the fire that it obtains sufficient headway to find its way by means of the elevator shafts, skylights, stairways or ceilings, to the floor above, and render its subjugation at this point a matter of great difficulty. If the department can effect an entrance into the cellar and locate the fire before it has assumed sufficient magnitude as to force the men to retire, the matter of its extinguishment with the ordinary means at command is a task, comparatively easy of accomplishment, but if, on the other hand, the fire has obtained sufficient headway to prevent an entrance into the cellar, or if during the time its location is being determined, the men are forced to leave, then the problem becomes more difficult and the situation more serious; and it is in such an emergency an this, that a system of interior pipes with outside steamer connections, capable of delivering large quantities of water upon the fire at all points, would prove a valuable adjunct, not only as a means of subduing the fire, but also of preventing its spread to the upper portion of the building.

Before outlining on general principles, the plan of arrangement, it should be understood that the system as proposed is not intended to displace the automatic sprinkler system, and while it is recommended that such system of perforated pipes and sprinklers be placed in all cellars containing oils or other inflammable materials, the use of the said system is not to be advocated in all cases, but only in those extreme instances where the ordinary methods prove unavailing and the lives of the members of the department are threatened and the safety of the entire building involved. The arrangement of the plant must be governed largely by local condition,viz., conformation of cellar, number of stories under ground.character of contents, number of stairways, elevator and skylight openings.

In the arrangement of the pipes for the sprinklers, the general regulations,as laid down by the underwriters governing the installation of pipes for automatic sprinkler systems should be carried out, substituting in place of the tank supply, a supply from outside steamer connections, with the added precaution of using open heads, capable of delivering larger quantities of water than the heads generally used. There should be no dead ends in the pipes, and the arrangement such that pressure shall be received from different sides. If the cellar is large, or the contents particularly dangerous, the steamer connections should be placed, if possible, on opposite sides of the building; the connections on the outside of building should be provided with female couplings of fire department standard,having hinged valves—the whole being properiy protected in order to avoid blurred or defective couplings.

In addition to the sprinkler system as above briefly outlined, the elevator openings, stairways or other openings leading to the floor above, should be protected by a double line of perforated pipes, having the openings in the bottom of pipes, in order to form a water curtain at these several points. Skylights should be protected by similar lines of pipes with the openings in the sides of pipes, forming a double screen of water, in order, if possible, to prevent the heat from breaking the glass and permitting the spread of the fire to the floor above. All wooden columns should be encircled at the top by similar lines of perforated pipes; with the openings in the bottom of pipes to protect such columns from fire. Care should be exercised to see that the pipes are placed as close to the ceiling as possible and securely fastened to the joists or girders.

As has been previouely stated, local conditions govern largely the arrangement of such a plant; but the advisability of its installation in cellars of the foregoing description should be apparent. It is not claimed that such a system will always serve completely to extinguish or prevent the spread of the fire, but that, as an adjunct to the fire department, to be used solely as such, it would no doubt prove of value by reason of the fact that large quantities of water would be delivered in all parts of the cellar, and the openings would be guarded to prevent its spread, while the department could be making efforts in other directions, If a system of this kind is advisable and practicable, as is claimed, will afford protection not only to the building and its contents but to the lives of members of department as well, its compulsory installation should be earnestly advocated, knowing, as we do, the difficulties to be overcrme, the obstacles to be surmounted, and the attendant danger to the lives of the men engaged in the work of subduing the fire.


Chief Joyner moved that the paper be received and printed in the minutes.

FormerChief Damrell: Simply to receive a paper of that kind, coming before tnis meeting, and having it published in the annual report does not meet the objects of this convention. I believe this paper should be freely discussed. I beg pardon for the suggestion, but all papers presented should be sent to the secretary a month in advance of the meeting, and the paper should be printed and copies sent to the members, so that they may take up the subjects understanding!)when they come to the meeting. Under this system you do not arrive at what you desire, or what your constituents at home desire and demand that you should get, information which will be of the greatest advantage and most benefit to those you represent. Therefore, I believe that all these papers should be reported upon, and the papers and analyses go into the report.

Chief Higgins: I agree with the idea. Such papers ought to be laid before the members individually. The members in the rear do not hear it thoroughly. The little additional expense incurred would be more than evened up by the additional benefit we should receive from the paper. It is a well written and important paper.

The President: These papers should be fully discussed. Because a member has been invited to write a paper, that is no reason why it should simply be read and entered on the record; the papers read should be fullv discussed.

Chief Humphreys: This is a subject which appeals to all the chiefs present. I notice, however, one thing in connection with the paper—as to the distribution of this open end sprinkler system, I would suggest that in their distribution it would be necessary to take into consideration their size, the area of the building, the total amount of openings, so that you could from that make an estimate of just how much water you would want to put into these pipes. In a large building, with the number of pipes set forth as necessary in this paper, with open ends, it would take a great deal of water to fill them; it would take several pretty good sized engines to give you any effeet.

Chief Hughes: The remarks of Chief Humphreys are an argument in favor of that paper being printed in advance of the meeting. The paper suggests that the pipes should surround the different posts, and the larger the building, the more posts and more pipe. The members did not hear the paper thoroughly, and if the papers were printed, the discussion would be more intelligent.

Capt. Brophy: It is rather discouraging to a man who sits up and burns midnight oil, and prepares a topic for this convention, to know that it will go no further than the four walls of the meeting room, until a year after, and the author may be dead. Every paper worthy to be presented to the convention should be printed in advance and put in the hands of every member It is almost useless to write papers and have them entered on the minutes and published a year later. Let us discuss them. We may not always want to accept the views of the author of the paper. We are of different minds and are here to discuss live topics, and analyze the papers presented, and show our constituents that we come here for something, which will prompt them to send us again to do something which is of some benefit to the departments we represent. This paper is a valuable one. There is a rule in hydraulics which controls the size of pipe for sprinklers. It is simple, and even my humble self could prepare it for the benefit of the association. It is easy to have a given number of sprinkler heads to a given number of pipes. A steam engine will de velop so much water. To couple one engine to a large building would be like coupling a syringe to Lake Erie to pump it dry. The chief engineer should have this information at his fingers’ ends, and,when the building is equipped with sprinklers and perforated pipes, he should know if there is a sufficient number of pipes to couple to do any good. Perforated pipes of any metal that oxidizes is worse than useless. Once fill them with water, oxidation sets in and the openings close up, and when you want to use them, there you are.

Chief Thompson: I understand the gentleman would have streams to protect the skylights. Incase of a fire occurring of the kind he describes, would he keep the skylights closed ?

Chief McAfee: I referred to ground glass skylights in floors. This paper deals only with cellar fires. As to Mr. Biophy’s remark, the topic embraced sprinklers as well as [>erforated pipes; but any system of perforated pipes should be a dry system, as there would be no need to fill them with water until vou had a fire. Itis a dry-pipe system without side steamer connections. The laws and rules are simple, and the calculations for it are easily made.

Capt. Brophy: When the dry-pipe system is once used, if you use the perforated iron pipe, the openings soon oxidize and the pipe is worthless for future use.

Chief McAfee: I agree with you, if the water is allowed to remain in them any length of time.

Former Chief Johnson: Since my connection with this association at the first meeting in Baltimore, topics have been discussed before our convention! of the highest importance, both to my fellow chiefs and those interested in fire extinguishment matters, and also to the great body of citizens whom they represent in their various cities. Now. we meet once a year to discuss subjects, and only partially discuss them, and they are placed upon the minutes, and that is the last we see of them until they are printed in the annual report. The papers should be printed, so that each member could carry them home with him, and report to his superiors what he has been doing at the meeting.

Chief Wall: Suppose a building covered a block 200 feet square, would it be practicable to flood the entire cellar, that we might get at one particular corner or section ? The fire might be in the cellar or subcellar, and by flooding the entire cellar there might be five hundred dollars’ worth of damage done by fire, and twenty thousand dollars’ damage done by water. It would seem to me a good thing to have these pipes put in in sections, with outside connections to be made at different places; it should be possible to do this.

Chief McAfee: This system is not intended to be used as long as the department has a chance to handle the fire in any other way. It is only to be used as a last resort, and not when the department can put the fire out by any other means; that was my understanding.

Chief Wall: That may be true, but it ought not be necessary to flood the entire cellar, even if you could not enter. It ought to be located in sections.

Capt. Brophy: Sprinkler heads are usually one-half-inch in diameter. One steam fire engine could not flood a large cellar. It would be necessary to cut the cellar into sections, each to be supplied by a different engine. It would be impossible. unless you had engines for each section to flood the cellar as described. If this system is put in as it must be to make it effective, it would be impossible to flood a large cellar.

Chief Paige: Is it not impracticable to attempt to apply any internal means to a building for the purpose of extinguishing fire? Cover your building all over with perforated pipes, asbestos, and everything else that you please, and shortly the plan of the building is all changed to suit some tenant, your pipes are removed,sprinklers taken down,asbestos cut out.and, when there is a fire, if there is one, we go at it from the outside with our fire engines and appliances, and extinguish that fire with movable apparatus.

Capt. Brophy moved, and it was carried that for the future all topics and papers prepared for the convention be printed in sufficient numbers for a copy to be placed in the hands of each member when the convention assembles. He moved also that the arrangement for this be referred to the executive committee.

Adjournment was then had till 7.30 P. M.


President Devine called the meeting to order at 7.45 P. M.

Mr. Greenberg moved, and it was carried to adjourn until 9 30 Wednesday morning.

St. Louis, Mo., has been selected as the next place for holding the Annual Convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers. Chief Kennedy of New Haven, who retires from active service Scptembrr 1st, has been elected presidend and Henry A. Hills reelected secretary of the organization.

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