WHAT THEY SAY
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
BINGHAMTON, N, Y.
BINGHAMTON, August 31.—If fire matters have been dull here for the past three months, they are now making up for lost time. Saturday, August 23, Rockbottom Hose Company went to Hiawatha Island, Owego, taking with them a large picnic party. Everything passed off pleasantly, and the Company won praise from all as usual.
Wednesday, August 27, Crystal Hose Company went to Owego, taking the Department Officers and City Guard’s Band, to join in celebrating the Twenty-sixth Annual Parade of that Department. It was the first tftne the good people of Owego had seen their new Carriage, costing nearly $6000, but, if we may judge trom report, it will not be the last. The universal expression was—the finest Company I ever saw. Had they known the boys personally, as your correspondent does, they would not have been surprised at their good looks and behavior. They are perfect gentlemen in every respect, and too much praise cannot be given them. More of such organizations leaving Binghamton would not only be a card for the place, but a full grown circus poster.
After an exchange of cards and badges came the finest parade Owego ever had. Then a trip on the Lyman Truman, chartered by Chief Purple, to Hiawatha, where games of all kinds filled up the spare time, George Martin, of Crystals, giving a song of greeting composed by himself. After supper at the Ahwaga, the City Guard Band gave a concert from the front of the Court-house, during which time Crystal’s Carriage was lighted up and surrounded by an admiring crowd. The boys returned home on No. 4, all well pleased with their trip to Owego. Where was Chief DeWitt when the lights went out ? We know where Ex-Chief Lentz, Uncle Sam, Brommy, and Ex-Chief Cambell were.
The Excelsiors are still at the foot of the list, but are expected to do some heavy work—on the corporation, after they get. their r.ew shield-shaped shirt fronts. The new service rules are good, but as the Ttllerman generally has command at night fires, I don’t see how they can be made to work, if carried out. Dan is good at cutting up men, but guess he would object to operating on himself. The Annual Parade of this Department occurs September 11. BALBRIGGIN.
CINCINNATI, September 13.—The great interest that will be manifested in the approaching industrial exposition, held in this city, and which will be the means of inducing hundreds of thousands of persons, including government and state officials, to visit the Paris of America,’’ it has been deemed a fitting opportunity to hold in Cincinnati a Firemen’s Tournament covering three days, viz.; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, October 1, 2 and 3, 1879, to be given on the grounds of the Chester Park Association ; $1250 in gold, besides medals, belts, etc., will be awarded in prizes to the successiul competing Steamers, Hand Engines, Hose Carriages, Hook and ladder Companies, and to the swiftest runners of each. The following is the list of premiums, open .to all Companies in the United States and Canada, for the three days, commencing with a grand parade on the morning of October 1. The following is the list of premiums ;
FIRST DAY—WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER I,
Trials for Sweepstakes—Hand Engines. Premium $200 in gold. First prize $125; second, $50 ; $25 to third.
Half-mile Championship Foot Race for members of Hand Engines. Gold medal. Each Hand Fire Engine Company present to select one man “to enter from its Company.
Half-mile Championship Foot Race, for members of Hook and Ladder Companies. Gold medal. Each Hook and Ladder Company present to select one man from its Company to enter.
Steam Fire Engines, regularly organized. Premium $150 in gold. First prize $100; second, $50; half-mile, best two in three, lor Steamers drawn by two herses. To hitch and start at the tap of gong.
Special Premium, $25—Foot Race—150 yards; open only to members of the old Cincinnati Volunteer Fire Department.
SECOND DAY—THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2.
Competition Trials of Steam Fire Engines, regularly organized. Premium $175 in gold. First prize $100; second, $50; third, $25.
A gold medal, presented by Ahrens Steam Fire Engine Manufacturing Company of Cincinnati, will be given to the Steam Fire Engine Company making the best average time in hitching with four men. Three tests to be allowed.
Volunteer Hose Companies, premium $200 in gold. First prize $123 ; second. $50; third, $25.
Half-mile Championship Foot Race for members of Hose Carriage Companies. Gold medal presented by E. F. Bradford & Co., Hose manufacturers, 124 West Second street. Each Volunteer Hose Company present to select one man from its Company to enter.
Half-mile Dash. Premium $iooand the Championship Belt for the best running time made by Volunteer Hose Companies.
THIRD DAY—FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3.
Hook and Ladder Companies. Premiums. $aoo in gold. First prize, $100; second, $75; third, $25.
Championship Half-mile Foot Race. Premium $25, and the Belt, between the winners of the Hand Engine, Hose Carriage, and Hook and Ladder Foot Races.
Hand Engine Companies on distance. Premium, $175 in gold. First prize $roo; second, $50; third, $25.
Entries close September 27, but the managers would be pleased to have the companies intending to participate to signify such intention immediately to the secretary, so that the necessary accommodations can be secured for them. This is Important in view of the vast numbers who are likely to be in the city at the time. All railroads carry companies to participate in the Tournament at the usual Teduced rates given on such occasions. Companies intending to enter should arrange with their local railroad agents at once for transportation. The advantages as to the adaptability of Chester Park for this Tournament are manifold ; one of its beauties isthe even, beautiful and wide track, one-haif mile around, with a hard, smooth surface, which can be seen from all points. Fronting almost the grand stand in the field is a lake of water; which will prove most serviceable on this occasion. Chester Patk being located within easy access by steam and street cars, a better spot could not be chosen. Companies intending to enter for the prizes will state the number of men that will accompany them, and also the time of their departure and probable arrival at Cincinnati. The necessity of this is apparent, as it affords the managers of ihe Tournament time to promote, as far as possible, the comfort of the visiting companies. Companies unable to bring their apparatus will be furnished with such by notifying the secretary at an early day ; but the presence of apparatus is particularly desired. Railroads usually pass apparatus free. Arrangements will be made by the secretary for hotel accommodations for visiting companies when so desired. State hotel if you have a preference. Every effort will be made by all concerned to make this visit a memorable one. Members of the Firemen’s Association of Cincinnati will act as reception and other committees. It is respectfully requested that every company will so time their arrival that they can participate in the parade on Wednesday, October i, should such take place. Formation of line at 9 A. M. Suitable places, easy of access as possible, will be provided for the housing of apparatus, and complete arrangements made for the transportation of such to Chester Park. This Tournament will take place under the immediate supervision and management of Mr. R. E. J. Miles, assisted by members of the old Fire Department.
HAVERHILL, September 2.—“ Merrimack.” in the la.t issue of THE JOURNAL under date of Lynn, Mass., presents, for the edification and instruc ion of Firemen, a bundle of words and punctuation marks, occupying a column of space, which, condensed into four lines, would read thus: “The Elmira, N. Y., man is prejudiced. One leather hose is as good as another. It’s all good, bu’ it’s greasy. James Boyd & Sons have manufactured fire hose for sixty years. The leather and riveted cotton hose made by this firm is the best; likewise the Eureka, which they sell. Proof—New York City has 4500 feet of the latter in service “
Now, Mr. Editor, I have carefully read this effusion of” Meirimack’s,” and I come to but one conclusion ; and that is that he has a grievance which so pricks that he rushes into print ferociously, determining to impale the Elmira man on the point of his pen for presuming to indulge in a warm advocacy of Samuel Eastman & Co.’s leather hose. But ” Merrimack” is more zealous than wise, for he commits the vtry same error for which he arraigns “ Excelsior,” and deliberately proceeds to bolster up a particular hose, notwithstanding that he starts off with the assertion that this bolstering “ is all in your eye.” “ Merrimack ” has an undoubted right to pin his faith to any particular make or species of hose, but he should be consistent and allow to others the same latitude of opinion that he appropriates to himself. For myself I am willing to meet ” Merrimack ” or any other man in a fair discussion of the hose question, but the public as well as myself is pretty well disgusted with the style of discussion so much in practice. I have no desire to conce 1 from him or the reader that lama” leather man,” first, last and every time, and if I needed anything to keep me firm in the faith I should only require to listen to the denunciations which the opponents of leather hurl at one another.
• Now, ” Merrimack ’’ is horrified at the idea of 250-pounds pressure, and has grave doubts if the La France Steamer carries that pressure at every fire; yet he speaks very flatteringly of a cotton hose which claims to be able to withstand double that pressure. When he talks about leather he doubts its being put to 250 pounds, but strength is one of the points the cotton men brag about. 1 herefore, while an Engine would not carry any such a pressure at a fire, it sounds big to say our hose will stand 500 pounds, because if there is an order in view some rubber hose “ fiend ” will step in and blandly remark : “ My hose will stand 600 pounds.” Just look at it, “ Merrimack” 1 What is the use of offering the Fire Service an article that they don’t want and can’t use ? Water-gauges registering 290 pounds are about the limit that we find, and if is necessary to have hose to stand fire and 6oo-pounds pressure, we want water-gauges to show it, and with such a stream ” Merrimack ” can hold the pipe if he likes—I won’t.
But about those denunciations: “ Gum hose is pretty cheap stuff,” says the cotton “ fiend.” “Just look at Philadelphia, where it dropped apart hanging in the tower.” ” Umph ;’’retorts gum’“ your patent seamless Eureka rotted out in forty-five days in San Francisco.” This is about the argument that we are treated to when the hose question is te the fore; only varied by the howl of “ grease and fogyism ” by the united voices of cotton and gum, when a solid and substantial leather man puts in an appearance. Such charge and countercharge must, and does, have some foundation in fact. Only recently I saw a section of gum hose, warranted at 400 pounds, burst at half that pressure, and I reinember well the experienceof our steamer City of Haverhill, at the Fall River muster. The boys went there for the prize, but instead of taking a line of reliable leather hose with them, they bought some new Eureka, warranted at 400 pounds. This line they carefully locked, sealed and watched, and when the proper time arrived, they confidently attached it to their Engine, and went for the prize; but alas ! rip went this very reliable Eureka at 210 pounds, and up went all chance for the prize. This little episode lost them the prize, and damaged their steamer about one hundred dollars worth ; but, of course, the boys did’nt mind this. Oh ho 1 as “ Merrimack” would say, “ Our firemen are loud in its praise, because it is lighter and better to handle, and does not spoil the clothes.”
“ Merrimack” also considers it very unfair on the part ofthe Elmira Department to go back 10 l-ather hose without first filing with him a bill of particulars as to their experiments wi h fabric. It strikes me, however, that Elmira was satisfied when (hey quit their experimenting, that fabric hose was fabric hose, no matter what ” patent” name it bore. But for ” Merrimack’s ” satisfaction I shall be glad to inform him that my eyes have looked upon the ghastly remains of some eleven months old Eureka, so ” nice to handle,” which lies condemned in the Elmira fire station.
As thete seems to be such a demand for the article, judging from the representations of ” Merrimack ” and others, it occurs to me that a grade of hose should be made expressly for parlor use, covered with velvet and satin, and handsomely embroidered. We must do something for posterity, and why not in this emulate the firemen of the past in their tender care of feather beds ?
” Metrimack” makes one more assumption, which common sense utterly overcomes, and I cannot refrain from calling his attention to it. He says in substance this: One firm can and does, if paid for it, make as good leather hose as another. Now, this is against all experience in the world of manufacturers, for it is a fact, as firmly established as the granite hills down from which flows the beautiful river whose name he appropriates, that there are many articles made of ordinary materials, the price and quality of which depends upon a special manufacture. He has but to open his eyes and he will see, for example, the Concord coach, the Fairbank’s scale, the Amesbury buggy, and the American wood screw, float down the tide of Commerce, rejoicing in a world-wide reputation. It is the crucial test of time and services that establishes these distinctions, and it is therefore quite possible lor one leather hose to be belter than another. In respect to leather hose, I should think jhat as long as “ Merrimack ” hails from a shoe town, he ought to be aware that the value of leather is dependent solely on the tannage, and that one tannage is far from being as good as another. J. D. A.
TITUSVILLE, Sept. 7.—Fire matters arc dull here; no tires to speak of for sevctal months. Work on the new hose house in the west end is at a stand still. The plank roadway in front of Hurricane Hall has been torn up, and replaced with gravel and cinders. The Fire Committee have ordered alterations to be made at Drake Hose House. The Committee have also ordered all companies to keep off the sidewalks of streets that are paved, except between the hours of to P.M., and 6 A.M., under a penalty of $5 fine for the first offense, $10 for the second, and expulsion for the third. The Hooks gave a grand excursion to Casadaga Lake, N. Y., September a. Tickets for the round trip (a distance of 75 miles), were sold at the low price of 50 cents. The boys had 8 passenger coaches packed full, and netted a good sum for their treasury. Our thanks are due to D, Thayer, H. O. Potter and D. H. Mitchell, of the D. A. N. & P. R. R., also to Conductor B. Harrison and Engineer Campbell, of the same road, for favors shown us. The 14th annual.ball of this Department will be given September 10; there will be no parade this year. The annual parade and inspection of the Franklin, Pa.. Department, will be held on the uth inst. PETE ROLEUM.
IDAHO SPRINGS, MA.
IDAHO SPRINGS, August 24.—Idaho Springs is situated in a valley on South Clear Creek, at the front of Virginia canon ; fourteen miles from Georgetown, and six miles from Central. The hot and cold soda springs of this place give it a world wide celebrity, and the result is a watering place and pleasure resort of the first order. Thousands visit the spring every Summer from all parts ol the world to partake ofthe health-giving mineral waters,*or to escape the heat and bustle of pent up city life. The population of this beautiful little city is something like woo, composed of all nationalities, but comprises wonderful enterprise, energy, intelligence and refinement—all bent on achieving a fortune.
The Fire Department was organized April 1, 1878, and consists of one Hook and I-adder Truck built by the Caswell Fire Department Supply Company of Chicago, and thoroughly equipped with all necessary appliance for extinguishing fires.
G. H. Warner, the Chief Engineer to whose efficient management the Department was confided after its organization, is a gentleman and the right man In the right place, his aid, M. J. McKenny, is a right good fellow and fills the place with credit to himself and the city.
The Company officers—Edward Zwicky, Foreman ; R. Olsen, First Assistant; J. Curin, Second Assistant; Don Aspel, Treasurer; W. F. Dority, Secretary; are all men whose every effort is calculated to bind together in harmony a Volunteer Fire Company.
The citizens of this place take a great interest in the boys ; each for all and all for each is their motto. FKSSIMO.
BOSTON, September it.—It is with sorrow that we record the death of Commissioner Chamberlin; he died at North Adams, Mass, at 7.15 A.M. September 4. Commissioner Chamberlin had been connected with the Fire Department a long term of years, beginning September 1, 1842. and continuing, in various offices, until 1871, when he was made Inspector of Buildings; and on the reorganization of the Department in 1873 was elected Fire Commissioner. He continued his connection with the Department until his death. In discharging the duties of Fire Commissioner he won the respect of all members of the Depaitment and the citizens generally; and all who knew him will join us in saying one thing, which cannot be said of all public men ; that is, he was an honest man, and had the interests of the city as much at heart as though he was working for himself. He was a strict disciplinarian, but it was with the intention of benefiting the city that he was such. In his death the community loses a good citizen and a faithful servant. Commissioner Chamberlin leaves a widow, son and daughter. His birthplace was Boston, and his age 56 years. Such is the greed of office-seekers in Boston that there were five applications for the Commissioner’s position before he was dead, and now they are rattling in by the score. Amongst the prominent ones mentioned as his successor are ex-Chief John Donnell, ex-Assistant Engineer T. E. Smith, and Alderman J. J. Flynn. The Boston Transcript says that it would be more seemly if discussion were delayed as to the successor of Commissioner Chamberlin until the remains were deposited in their last resting-place. But as several candidates have been suggested in the papers to fill the vacancy, would it not be a wise move to transfer the Chief Engineer to the Board, and give the Commissi n the advantage of his experience as a practical Fireman, entirely familiar with all details of the department ? This would give a chance to advance one of the Assistant Engineers, and, in turn, a chance for some worthy Foreman. The opportunity to encourage in the Fire Department the idea that some chance exists for promotion should be taken advantage of. Commissioner Gorman, of the New York Fire Depaitment, visited the Hub during the past week, and was well pleased with what he saw of the Department. KEY.