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being one not altogether dependent upon the extinguishing service, I propose now to direct attention to the question of fire losses as affected by the absence or presence of efficient hydrant services.

In describing the hydranted cities, I have already given the fire losses in four of them, viz., Glasgow, Manchester, Dublin and Birmingham, in accordance with the published estimates, and I have shown that the losses are-in Glasgow £215, in Manchester £234. in Dublin £125, and in Birmingham £26 11s. per 1000 of the population. In the case of New York, the losses are published in detail, and amount to about £710 per 1000 of the population, as compared with £588, the loss in the metropolis, as estimated by myself.

The Table A (on p. 562), has been prepared in accordance with the facts I have stated; but in order to give the figures a practical bearing in the case of the metropolis, I have added two columns which give the costs and losses of a place having the population of London, at the same rates as each of the places considered. It will be seen that the annual cost of extinction by hydrants, if it were at the same rate as Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, and Birmingham, would be from £30,000 to £40,000 ; and at the same rate as Dublin, £50,000; while if it were at the same rate as New York, the cost would be £886,000, instead of 699,880, the average annual cost in London in the years 1880-2.

The diagram H (shown on the wall) has been prepared from Captain Shaw's table already referred to, and it seems to place the value of efficient hydranting in a very striking light. From the table referred to have been compiled the figures, giving the cost of the fire brigades in a number of important towns at the date of the compilation of the table (1877). The cost in the hydranted cities, viz., Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, and Dublin, has been shown in red. The blue line shows the cost in a number of American cities. Paris and London, having populations respectively twice and over threefold as great

as New York, are not shown, but from the table and the remarks upon it, it will be gathered that in both those cases the cost would be far above the rates shown by the red colour, which has been extended to embrace a place of the size of New York.

In the foregoing remarks, I have simply taken population as the basis of comparison between the several places. I do not pretend to say that there are not exceptional considerations apart from the question of water supply, such as areas, character and proximity of buildings, habits of people, and so on, which would, and no doubt do, materially influence results, but the distinction between the hydranted and unhydranted places is so broad and marked where the places are of such different characters on the one hand as Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, and Dublin, and on the other hand as London, New York, Paris, and Birmingham, that it must appear to all that the absence or presence of efficient hydranting far outweighs any other consideration.

It now remains for me simply to add that, having for some years devoted much study to the subject, I believe that, notwithstanding all the difficulties, only the chief of which have been adverted to here, there are methods-or perhaps I ought rather to say there is a method-by which such cities as London, New York, and Paris may be efficiently hydranted at a comparatively small cost, and practically with very trifling inconvenience, which method I have already described in papers read at the last meeting of the British Association, and before the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

It is, however, obviously impossible, within the limits of a single paper, to discuss the whole question. I therefore content myself on this occasion by advancing the proposition that efficient hydrants form, as far as our experience goes, the only effective weapon with which fire brigades can successfully cope with fires.


£ s.

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£ s. 9 14 IO 6 10 8 13 3 7


£ 37,000 39,290 39,670 50,200 30,115

7 16

215 234

€ 821,542 895,644 476,050 101,287

110,000 80, 180 31,144 10,931

124 16




8 3


2, 242,400

880,000 ||431,300

587 19 709 14 || 192 IO

2, 242,400 2,707,150

734, 300




Average of 3 years, 1880, 1881, 1882.

Population, 1881.

Area Square


Cost of Fire


Cost of Fire
Cost of Fire

Brigade of Me-
Brigade per 1000

tropolis at same


Loss.- Property

Loss.- Property
destroyed by

Loss of Property
destroyed by

in Metropolis
Fire per 1000

at same rate.






Birmingham, 1882-3.

341, 508








New York
Paris, 1883-4

1, 240,000



26 232 $ 38



• The term "hydranted" and "unhydranted " indicate the presence or absence in each place of a complete system of hydrants which are used for fire extinction without the intervention of fire engines.

† The cost of the Fire Brigade has been reduced from £3616 in 1880, to £3053 in 1882.

A large number of fire hydrants have been put down, and some have been used without the intervention of fire engines, but the average pressure is not such as to
admit of this being generally done.

Average of 1883 and 1884, exclusive of rent and repair of quarters, barracks, &c.
Average of 1880, 1881, and 1882.



By JOSEPH QUICK, Jun., M. Inst.C.E. Next to the importance of securing a supply of water of good quality for the requirements of a city or town, is that of its distribution, for however superabundant the source may appear to be, the advantages to be derived from its use, and the number of those whom it may benefit, must necessarily be in a great measure dependent upon the way in which it is distributed.

The author does not propose to enter here into the question as to the works necessary to bring an ample supply of water into a city or district, but assumes, for present purposes, that such works have been well executed, and that properly proportioned distributory pipes have been laid, and service reservoirs or other means provided for affording a supply of water at high pressure throughout the district to be supplied.

The history of the water supply in England is eminently instructive, as showing not only the various phases through which it has passed as refinement and sanitation have advanced; but also as proving the absolute necessity of proper control being exercised with regard to its distribution.

Not to weary my hearers with unnecessary detail on this point, it may suffice to refer to the discussions which have taken place during past times, as to the relative merits and practicability of the systems known as “intermittent" and "constant” supply respectively.

It is within the author's recollection when it was the exception, instead of being, as it is to-day, the rule for towns in England to enjoy the advantages of constant supply; but up to this moment there are many instances, notably in the metropolis itself, where the intermittent supply still, either wholly or partially, prevails. It is hardly necessary to explain that by “constant ” as opposed to “intermittent" supply, the author refers to the difference between the mains and house-service pipes being always charged with water, so that it can be drawn off direct from the main at any hour of the day or night by the consumer, instead of, as on the intermittent system, the supply being only turned on for a limited time, varying from half-anhour to two hours per day, during which time any receptacles, cisterns, &c., provided by the consumer, have to be filled, and suffice for use until the operation of refilling them is repeated on the next and subsequent days.

Of the advantages of the constant supply for domestic purposes, independent of its being immediately in case of fire, it is almost needless to speak, especially for the poorer class of houses in cities and towns, whose only receptacle frequently consists of a dilapidated and uncovered waterbutt, the water in which is exposed to all the evils of contamination from the atmosphere and other sources. No one who has travelled by the railway in any part of London can have failed to observe, in the crowded districts traversed, innumerable instances of this kind, which are amongst the most prolific causes of disease amongst the lower classes of the population. It is, indeed, little short of a crime on the part of those responsible for this order of things, that human beings should be compelled to obtain their drinking water from such contaminated receptacles; and it is doubly wrong that, after the suppliers of water have done all in their power to improve, by filtration and other means, the quality of the water, and to prevent its pollution at its source, it should, after delivery to the consumers, be allowed to thus become deteriorated in quality, and a source of danger to health.

One of the great advantages offered by the constant supply system, as already stated, is to abolish the necessity for any of these miserable receptacles; and it is difficult to imagine a greater blessing, or one more conducive to sani

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