THIRD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION.

THIRD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION.

SECOND DAY.-MORNING SESSION.

At the re-assembling of the delegates, the second day, letters of regret were read from Captain Shaw on account of his hurried departure from the city the day before without visiting the Convention, and also from the Chief of the Fire Department of Quebec, for his inability to be present, but expressing the hope that the proceedings would be found in THE FIREMAN’S JOURNAL.

An invitation was received and accepted to visit the works of the American Fire Hose Company of Chelsea, and also from Commissioner Fitzgerald, of the Board of Fire Commissioners, to witness an exhibition of the Boston Fire Department. The latter invitation was also accepted ; time to be hereafter agreed upon.

At the invitation of the Convention Mr. Bruorton, agent of the Harkness Fire Extinguisher, then addressed the Convention on the merits of his machines. The speaker went into a scientific explanation of the propelling power, as well as that of the component parts of the liquid used. The lecture was most pleasing, and was listened to with the greatest of interest on the part of the delegates. As he did with all other exhibitors, President Damrell increased the interest by asking pertinent questions, the tendency of which was, in all cases, to reduce the ” claims ” to the most compact form. At the conclusion of Mr. Bruorton’s remarks, a vote of thanks was tendered him, and a special committee appointed to investigate and report on its merits.

Mr. Stover, of the Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company, next took the floor and his address, together with that of the Harkness gentleman, constituted the principal speeches among the exhibitors. He went into the history of telegraph alarms, dwelling on the importance of the first few minutes or seconds after a fire was first discovered.

Mr. J. Hinman. of the Babcock Fire Extinguisher, then spoke on the merits ofhis machine, but as he was in poor voice, President Damrell assisted by loudly repeating his claims.

CO-OPERATIVE LIFE INSURANCE.

The committee to whom was referred the subject of reporting on the expediency of organizing a co-operative life insurance company among and for the Firemen of the State of Massachusetts, reported in favor of the plan. They stated that there were fourteen thousand Firemen within the Commonwealth, and they recommended that the matter be left to a Board of Trustees, to organize and conduct the same. After some discussion it was made the special order for 2# o’clock p. M.

AFTERNOON SESSION.

The time for holding the next Annual Convention was set for the second Tuesday in October, and the place of meeting was left to the Executive Committee.

Frank M. Baker, of Owego, N. Y., was voted the thanks of the Convention for past favors, and he was also awarded the distinction of being made an honorary member of the Association.

The Herald, of New York, was included in the list of “official organs.”

A committee was appointed to select a seal for the use of the officials of the Association.

The matter of organizing a co-operative life insurance company was next called as the special order of business, when the whole subject was laid upon the table.

The discussion of topics was then resumed, and No. 8 being called, was read, it being as follows:

Protection against fire —Should a State law be enacted compelling each town to provide suitable protection against fire ; the amount of apparatus to be based on area and population ?

Mr. Willis, of Pittsfield, spoke of several towns in their vicinity who persisted in not protecting themselves with fire apparatus, but depended upon the Fire Department of Pittsfield to help them out in case of fire; there was no rule to charge them, and he thought that the Convention should adopt a rule or have the subject brought before the Legislature by their committee for that purpose.

President Damrell called the attention to the importance of the question under discussion. According to his understanding of the matter, Pittsfield undertakes to protect itself from fire by supporting a Fire Department, which is sustained by a public tax on the taxpayers ; other towns adjacent pay no tax and support no Fire Department, yet in case of a fire they expect and do get the benefit of the Pittsfield Department, and Pittsfield gets no pay for the work. In the absence of the apparatus Pittsfield lays itself open to a loss by fire. When property is swept away by fire the taxable property is that much less, and in this way it interests the people of the whole State, and was certainly a question demanding the immediate attention of the law-makers of the State.

Captain Abbott, of the committee on the selection of officers for the ensuing year, reported as follows:

President—John S. Damrell, of Boston.

Secretary—H. H. Easterbrook,of Newton.

Treasurer—Samuel Abbott, of Boston.

Vice-Presidents—A. P. Leshure, of Springfield; J. M. Gould, of Somerville; George S. Willis, of Pittsfield; Edward P. Russell, of Newburyport; W. M. Snow, of Middleton.

Executive Committee—J. W. Morse, of Natick; C. W. Whipple, Westfield; E. D. Donnell, of Waltham; Z. T. Merrill, of Lawrence; J. D. Hilliard, of Providence; T. H. Humphrey, of Newton, and C. A. Hemingway, of Framingham.

The committee to whom was referred the consideration of the President’s address, recommended that a committee of five be appointed to draw up and present to the Legislature such bills as are recommended in said address, and also to petition for a law on the proper distribution of the two per cent tax paid by insurance companies.

The committee appointed to report on a standard coupling submitted a report adopting the one agreed upon by the National Convention of Engineers in session in Washington City in 1879. On motion, the subject was also referred to the Committee on Legislation, with a view to having a law passed on the subject.

The Treasurer submitted his annual report, which showed a balance on hand of $28.47.

The following topic, No. 5, was then spoken of, and its discussion gone into:

What methods should be adopted to foster, encourage and hold together Volunteer Fire Organizations, and also vouchsafe discipline, efficiency and reliability to citizens ?

Chief Leshure, of Springfield, thought the way to foster and encourage Volunteer Firemen was to pay them. It was a matter of business, and he believed in treating it as a business matter. He had run a hand-engine many years on the ” foster and encourage ” basis, and he thought ft fostered and encouraged men to become drunkards. He had ” been thar,” and he didn’t take any stock in the plan.

Captain Abbott thought that the Selectmen should only appoint live men for Chiefs, who would get men, train them carefully, and have good Companies. He thought it was only such men that won prizes at musters.

Some of the speakers advised getting the best of apparatus; others, prompt promotions, holding of socials, dances, etc., appointment of Foreman, not election.

President Damrell also suggested that in the old days of Volunteer Firemen that a love for the machine was great. They encouraged each other in a love for duty. He also suggested socials, etc.

Mr. C. S. Paisler, of New Bedford, read a most interesting address, but as it will appear in full in the official record, we will not give space to it here. A vote of thanks was extended for the able address, after which Topic No. 17 was adopted as the sense of the Convention. It is as follows:

Resolved, A Convention of Firemen should as practical men adopt the best apparatus extant, as used in the extinguishing of fires, and thereby place themselves on record regardless of committees or Fire Departments of cities and towns.

THIRD DAY–MORNING SESSION.

The Convention, in the absence of President Damrell, was called to order by Vice-President George S. Willis, of Pittsfield. Secretary Fasterbrook, who always seemed to be looking out for the correctness with which official business was dispatched, here came to the front with a batch of routine matters, to be disposed of before the Convention adjourned. Visiting notables from different parts of New England were made honorary members. The matter of getting up a co-operative life insurance company was referred to a committee of five. A committee of five was appointed on a list of topics for the coming year. Mr. Snow called attention to the fact that some of the daily papers had not properly reported the action of the Convention relative to their ” official organs.” The Herald was added to the list as one of the organs, it being understood that THE FIREMAN’S JOURNAL had always been the official paper before the other was started.

[This is correct. We believe in making them all ” official,” and forcing them to share a portion of the burden of gratuitous PRINTING.-ED.]

A committee of five was appointed on Exhibits for the coming year.

The exhibitors present here presented a testimonial, returning thanks to the delegates for the courtesy with which they had been treated.

The Executive Committee were instructed to appoint a Reception Committee for the next Convention, whose duty should be to introduce members to each other, and thus to make them feel ” at home.”

The time having arrived to visit the works of the American Hose Company at Chelsea, the Convention adjourned sine die.

The irrepressible Christie here bounded on deck and proclaimed that as “the ship was ready and the wind is fair,” the delegates had better prepare to make their escape from the crooked paths of Boston to Chelsea. He was a born sailor, and, like the captain of H. M. S. Pinafore, “was never known to quail,” but as the wind was too utterly too too, he suggested for the convenience of those delegates from interior towns, like Decatur, Ill., that they had concluded to take herd’tcs instead of water. Water was a very good thing, but he didn’t want any of it in “hisen” —not this morning, and he didn’t believe the delegates did either. [If we have quoted Mr. C. incorrectly, we will amend in our next centennial edition. KD.J

Mr. Sibley, the gentlemanly Treasurer of the Company, was present, and the delegates soon found themselves comfortably seated four to a hcrdic, am! on their way to Chelsea.

Mr. Sibley never does anything by halves, and the present entertainment was no exception to the rule. A most careful inspection was given to the details of hose manufacture by the delegates. They were particularly interested in testing and mending of hose, which, together with other points, was superintended by Mr. Callihan. Mr. Sibley, together with a corps of salesmen scattered around among the visitors, were untiring in their efforts to have the process thoroughly understood and we believe that we voice the sentiment of all present when we say that they w» re entirely successful, and that the American Hose Company captured the Convention and satisfied the visitors as to the quality of their hose.

After going through the works, the company repaired to the office, where a vote of thanks was given to the Chelsea Hose Company for their handsome treatment, and the delegates were returned to Boston to witness an exhibition of the Fire Department under Chief Green, in front of the engine-house in Fort Hill Square. No attempt was made at rapidity of movement, the object being more to let the delegates see the workings of the different apparatus. The exhibition lasted a couple of hours, and barring the wind, was entirely satisfactory.

LIST OF EXHIBITS.

The most elaborate display was perhaps that of the American Hose Company, of Chelsea, Mass., which consisted of all varieties of their hose, together with other fire apparatus and equipments artistically arranged, such as hats, caps, belts, hose reels, couplings, play-pipes, lanterns, reflectors, fire ladders, buckets, rubber coats, etc.

The Warwick Fabric Hose Company exhibited two stacks of hose; one being their “X L ” brand, the other being the ” Unique.”

The Boston Belting Company also exhibited a large variety of different styles of hose.

The Gamewell Fire Alarm had an apparatus set up in the hall, which worked very nicely in connection with the lecture on the subject heretofore mentioned.

Mr. J. Hinman of the Babcock Fire Extinguishei had present one of his machines, as did also Mr. Bruorton of the Harkness Extinguisher.

The Shaw Fire Escape Ladder (a model) was on exhibition, as was also the Relief Valve of another Shaw.

The Ashton Patent Relief Valve was also exhibited and the merits of it referred to in a few remarks by the exhibitor.

Daly & Bryan, of 45 Sudbury street, Boston, had a very good display of Firemen’s equipments in the way of fancy leather work. (See advertisement elsewhere.)

Lyman B. Smith interested the Convention very much in a round and flattened nozzle. The construction is such that the round nozzle of I# inches can be made to spread into a flat stream of half an inch in thickness, fifteen feet wide.

Hailey’s nozzle was on exhibition but he was not present to speak on its merits.

Mr. Gray, of Boston, explained the meritsof his reflecting lanterns,(and exhibited various patterns of the same.

M. S. Cahill, of 81 South street, Boston, was present with a sample bottle of Billings’ improved harness dressing for each delegate. N. B. & A. E. Proctor, of Boston, had prescnfa display of Firemen’s equipments.

The Chapman Valve Manufacturing Company had on exhibition two samples ot fire hydrants.

Yost & Mosher made a very handsome display of printers’ stock for cards, and also a variety of badges.

A. M. Kirk exhibited a model for a new shutter fastening that can be opened by a pressure of water from the outside.

NOTES.

President Damrell is a host in himself, and we don’t know how the Massachusetts State Firemen’s Convention could get along without just such a person in the chair.

One of the episodes, was the dis-ftttr-ion of the Babcock extinguisher by the Darkness agent. Both representatives had locked horns and were on deck at the same time, and the delegates began to feel as happy as a small boy who had slipped under the tent at the prospect of witnessing the circus, when the good sense of President Damrell prompted him to put in his oar and run the ^ ship J;into’smooth sailing waters on a quiet sea.

Commissioner Fitzgerald’s good sense is only exceeded byjiis good looks. He knows a thing or two, and among other things he has decided ” views ” as to what constitutes a good Fireman, and he was most happy in the expression of them.

The agent of the Hatkness fire extinguisher gave a most interesting lecture on the merits of his apparatus, entering into a scientific explanation of the workings of chemicals in connection w ith the same. He had the advantage over the Babcock agent in possessing of a good set of lungs and a most agreeable manner of address.

Where was W. H. Turner the second day ? He was missed in the discussion of the topics.

The discussion of topics the first day was rescued from degenerating into a ” Quaker meeting ” by W. H. Turner and President Damrell; but if parties are hereafter notified’a few weeks in advance, an abundance of speakers will come prepared to speak on the subject assigned or chosen by them,

As a story teller, Christie ” Yanks the bun.” (Feather.)

Mr. Sibley was thinking that the procession of herdics might be mistaken for an Irish funeral.

THIRD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION.

THIRD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION.

FIRST DAY.-MORNING SESSION.

While the Firemen of the old Bay State are time-tried and fire-tested, the State Association, as an organization, is yet in its infancy, the present Convention being the third held. The Association assembled in that historical old building, Faneuit Hall, on Tuesday morning, the 26th inst, and at eleven o’clock, A. M., was called to order by the President John H. Damrell, H. H. Esterbrook acting as Secretary. Messrs. Carpenter, Moore and Fisher were appointed a Committee on Credentials, and pending the report the following visiting Chiefs were noted as being present: C. H. Fisher, Boothbay, Me.; Geo. H. Smith, Northampton, Mass.; Samuel McGowan, South Norwalk, Conn.; Ed. S. Carpenter, Danielsonville, Conn.; Stephen L. Marston, Portsmouth, N. H.; Geo. Worrall, Woonsocket, R. I., and others.

In addition to calling these gentlemen to the platform, President Damrell extended an invitation to any other Firemen from without the State to a seat on the platform also.

An invitation was received and accepted from the officers for the Association tovisit the New England Manufacturers and Mechanics Fair then in progress.

The following is the address of President Damrell. It is in full harmony with, and characteristic of the man, pregnant with wholesome truths and valuable suggestions well worth the careful study, not only of Firemen, but of Legislators and citizens generally.

PRESIDENT DAMRELL’S ADDRESS.

GENTLEMEN : The presence of so many representative Firemen, is an acknowledgment that the State Firemen’s Association has achieved some beneficial results in the past, and I bespeak for it in the future, a grand success. It is my happy privilege to extend to each delegate a cordial greeting, and to our honorable guests a most hearty welcome. We have come together as representative Firemen, from all parts of this grand old commonwealth for a full and unrestrained interchange of ideas founded upon practical experience, as met with in the different branches of Fire Service, to give and receive information that will be not only beneficial to Firemen, but of equal benefit to the cities and towns of this commonwealth. As Firemen, you are called upon to consider the magnitude of the interests committed to your hands, interests which demand thejacquirement of all information that can be obtained by research and investigation. Attention to these things, and the incumbent duties will be well understood, and executed on business principles.

We meet in this time-honored hall, within whose walls, no loyal American can stand without feeling in a greater or less degree, the inspiration that moved our fathers in the cause of liberty, which gave to us the glorious heritage that we now enjoy. May we not hope that the same spirit of devotion will move us in the line of duty that we have met to consider?

The experience of life demonstrates that no sound that falls upon the ear is so much dreaded as the cry of fire. Since we last met in Convention our own commonwealth has been visited by the fire fiend, who has paid his respects in gigantic calamities, sweeping out of existence vast areas of buildings in towns ana “cities. Carefully compiled statistics present the following facts, which arc in themselves truly appalling:

One thousand seven hundred times has the alarm bell called to the rescue of life and saving of property the Firemen of this commonwealth during the past year, to say nothing of minor fires extinguished without general alarms. The loss by these fires has been $4,500,000. Insurance companies reimbursed the insured to the amount of$3,ooo,ooo, a net loss to the insured of $1,500,030, while the policies of insurances on this same property amounted to nearly $12,000,000. The causes that contributed to this sad record of loss and disaster this Convention of intelligent active Firemen is bound to consider. Experience of the past teaches that Firemen must of necessity be aggressive to wage a successful war ; it demands the best thoughts of the most experienced, and the question of prevention, as well as extinguishment, demands, also your attention. In the matter of prevention the Firemen of the Legislature enact such laws as will, in a reasonable measure, prevent the match box style of constniction that is practiced in this country. Once on fire, the destruction of these buildings is almost assured. What is demanded is internal, as well as external, fireproof construction. This can be accomplished in a simple and inexpensive manner, by filling the interstices between walls, floors and partitions, with incombustible, fire-proof material, thus making such places air tight. This should be done, and the continuous system of flues, a perfect conduit to conduct fire to every portion of the building from basement to attic, abandoned.

In a building where this kind of construction exists, the result in case of fire is too patent to need comment.

No architect or builder ought to be ignorant of the fact that the material now used should be protected in some degree from the exposure of heat and flame ; and, as fire cannot exist without air, the result would be that by the exclusion of air from walls, floors and partitions, the buildings in case of burning would be so slow in destruction that conflagrations would soon be the exception, rather than the rule. Yet with all that may be done, fires can never be entirely prevented, the causes of their origin being so numerous, and varied, still, every possible precaution should be taken to prevent them.

Capitalists, architects and builders should avail themselves of all the scientific and practical knowledge possible, that safety, as against swift destruction by fire, should be the rule of their practice.

Chief and Assistant Engineers being qualified by experience should in all cases equip their Departments, and any attempt of Fire Committees of cities or towns to purchase inferior fire apparatus or supplies should receive the unanimous and unqualified protest and condemnation of Firemen. Our Firemen as a general rule are active, daring and intelligent; quick to discern and decide, qualities of no mean order; possessed of a personal spirit of esprit de corps, and as an organized force of minute men, no other organization of equal numbers can boast of discipline superior to that of the Volunteer Firemen of the old Bay State, l’he Fire Departments in most of our cities have passed through many changes since their organization. Laws and ordinances have been passed from time to time that were so illiberal, that they have provoked opposition of so strong a character as to demoralize the force to the exclusion of that discipline which is so essential to efficiency.

Experience and management in the control of men have clearly taught that any law or ordinance, which does not elevate, must, of necessity, degrade the man and the service. Dignity need not be erected on stilts to find its proper plane, and those in authority would do well to consider the mutual relationship that ought to exist among officers and men. It is an old adage tluft men cannot put in motion, and run like machine; discipline and efficiency are best secured by liberal laws, which would command the respect and esteem of those who are called upon to execute them.

These interests being closely allied, the method on which their business is conducted and practiced should be fully considered and discussed by all Firemen’s Conventions as to whether their practice tends to encourage rather* than diminish the number of fires. They do tneir business through the energy and devotion of their enrolled Firemen of our country, and fully sixty percent, of them perform this labor without emolument of any kind, rendered at the loss of life, health and limb, and entailing upon their homes want, privation and suffering; answering the alarm in summer’s heat and winter’s cold, by day and night. Look at this from any standpoint you please, and find a parallel if you can, where labor, privation and suffering are rendered without any return. By the labor thus rendered, the insurance companies are enabled to pay large dividends on surplus capital, and retain for the expense of carrying on the business large sums for the payment of salaries, amounting from ten to twenty thousand dollars to each company doing service. This branch of business is indebted to the Firemen of our country for its life, health and perpetuity. Thoughtful, conservative Firemen have given this subject a careful consideration. By the necessities of the case, the insurance business has become thoroughly identified with the industries of our country, and it can be well and truthfully said to be the warp, woof and filling of our business fabric. It pays a generous tax for all the business privileges it enjoys, but not to that class of men who arc its life and strength, depending entirely upon their exertions in the extinguishment of fires. This tax heretofore spoken of and paid into the State treasury is classified as follows:

The foreign companies pay a tax on the market-value of their stock, home companies, upon their investments. Without attempting to discuss the merits or demerits of this tax, as levied on insurance companies, I have long entertained the opinion that the State should not profit by the unpaid labor of its citizen Firemen, but should enact a law that the two per cent thus paid should be collected and held by the proper authorities and appropriated to worthy exempt Firemen who have served the city or town a period of five years, and received a certificate of such service, and to the widows and orphan children of such Firemen who may have lost their lives in the faithful discharge of their duties.

By the appropriation of the tax thus levied, insurance companies would recompense in some degree the service rendered in saving life and property. In brief, let me state, that you may have an adequate idea of the amount of insurance business done in this country, I quote the returns in Massachusetts as made by the Insurance Commissioners, namely: Risks written on property in this State last year aggregated one thousand million dollars; premiums paid upon this amount, nine and one half millions; the amount of tax levied by the State on companies doing business within its borders, $139,126.00, classified as follows:

Entrance fees, blanks and licenses to agents, $34,298; two per cent tax on premiums collected, $104,828; the expenses of the State through the insurance department, $18,460. Thus it will be seen that the State has a large balance, which should, in my judgment, make a fund for those who actually earned the money.

MUTUAL AID AND PROTECTION.

The immense amount at risk, the almost daily call to duty, the loss of life by the destroying element, with the vast number that annually respond to the roll call, the result of exposure, while in the discharge of duty; with all the disastrous consequences to the home demand, that men are constantly periling life and limb, should organize a ” Mutual Aid and Relief Bureau,” and to this Convention of representative Firemen do the Firemen of the State appeal for such an organization. One that can and will respond to the cries of the widow and orphan. I will not detain the Convention longer than to say that I hope every opportunity afforded to the members to investigate will be improved, but whatever may be presented the motto of this Convention is “business, and that accomplished, we are at liberty to give some attention to pleasure.

The address was received with applause, after which letters of regret were read from Fire Officials of other States who were not present. Adjourned until 2 p. M.

AFTERNOON SESSION.

The Committee on Credentials reported 153 delegates present. The annual report of the Secretary was read, after which, on motion of W. H. Turner, of Haverhill, a committee of three was appointed to take into consideration the admirable address of the President and to report on some practical method of presenting the suggestions therein contained to the State Legislature. Mr. Turner stated that the life and business of Firemen was intensely practical; he had listened to the practical and valuable suggestions contained in the address with a great deal of interest, and in order to get the benefit of the suggestions, he favored dealing with it in a business-like manner and getting the benefit of it in a practical way. He thought it all important to work up public sentiment throughout the State on the importance of matters pertaining to the Fire Department, and the efficiency of the force could thus be brought about. He thought it the most important matter that could interest a tax-paying community,because it seeks to save that which would otherwise be, and often is, swept out of existence. He thought the life of a Fireman was a selfsacrificing, yet a most noble one, and he considered that the Firemen of Massachusetts were a power in themselves, and the loss of one hundred million dollars a year to the people of the country made it a matter of the utmost importance that the Fire Departments be made as effective as possible.

Chief Kerr, ol St. Johns, New Brunswick, and other visiting Chiefs addressed the Convention, after which his Honor the Mayor bade the delegates a hearty welcome, not only to the cradle of liberty in which’they were gathered, but to the utmost limits of the city. He reviewed the great fires that had visited Boston for the past two hundred years. He was most happy in his remarks, and we regret that we have not space for his address in full.

The discussion of the set topics was then gone into, which lasted until five o’clock, at which time the Convention adjourned until seven o’clock, at which time they pro ceeded in a body to the Industrial Fair.

(To be Concluded in our Next Issue.)