THE SECOND TRIAL OF STEAM FIRE ENGINES.
IN THE JOURNAL of November 20, we printed an official report of a trial of Steam Fire Engines made in this city by order of the Board of Fire Commissioners. The competing Engines were Nos. 20, 33 and 13 of this Department, being the Amoskeag, Clapp & Jones and Ahrens make respectively. This trial was not regarded as satisfactory, as two of the Engines did not work the full twelve hours, and a second trial was ordered to take place on November 30, between the same Engines. The conditions of this last test were made more severe, the Engines to draft salt water from the river, play through 200 feet of hose, and discharge through a 1 3/8 inch nozzle ; steam pressure 120 pounds; time of running ten hours. Elsewhere we print the official report of Assistant Chief Shay, under whose supervision the test was made. This is so full and complete that we have little to add to it. From the data and tables given, practical men can draw their own conclusions.
It will be noted that the Amoskeag gave out for. the same reason that caused het stoppage on the previous test, viz :—the breaking of the leathers in her pumps. This appears to be a fault of construction; such leathers are liable to give out at any moment, and put the Engine out of service. Yet the Amoskeag Engine has been run for a great many years, and this defect has not been prominent heretofore. If it be determined that other means to accomplish the same end are to be preferred, doubtless the makers will adopt them in the future. The Clapp & Jones Engine was brought to a standstill by a derangement of her feed pumps, which failed to supply water to the boiler, and not from a failure to draft water, as we erroneously stated last week. At the time of the stoppage it was difficult to determine just what the trouble was, but it was thought that she refused to take water; such was not the case, however, as the trouble was with her feed pumps, a difficulty easily remedied and provided against in the future. The Ahrens Engine, which encountered a difficulty in her feed during the first test, on the second trial was the only one of the three that worked continuously for the ten hours. She made an admirable record, as will be seen from the report. The Clapp & Jones also made a splendid record for the time she worked. In comparing the results of the trial, readers should be careful to bear in mind the capacity of the different Engines, in pumps, steam cylinders, etc. These two trials of popular makes of Steam Fire Engines, made by order of the Commissioners, whose sole object is to find the best one for fire extinguishing purposes, has demonstrated that great progress has been made in the past few years in the construction of Steam Fire Engines, and, also, that further improvement is expected. No manufacturer can sit down content with what he has accomplished ; as sure as he does, he will be distanced in the race by his more enterprising competitors. These tests will furnish ample matter for discussion in the future.