A New Motor Fire Engine

According to the Municipal Journal of London, Eng., the leading local government paper of the great metropolis of Great Britain, the motor fire engine seems destined to play an important part in English fire-extinguishing methods. The Journal says:—

"This change from the horse to motor fire engines has met with much favor by the London fire department, which is inclined to resign horse power in favor of motive. A first-class self-propelled steam fire engine was constructed by the experienced firm of Merryweather and Sons at their Greenwich works for a fire department in India. Before being dispatched to that country the machine underwent several severe tests in South London very satisfactorily. On one occasion it ascended Blackheath, one of the steepest hills in or around London, at the rate of ten miles per hour; while on the more level roads it maintained a speed of from fifteen to twenty miles per hour without any undue strain on its working powers. The machine is propelled by means of an arrangement of spur gearing, which enables an intermediate shaft to be worked when disconnected with the fire pumps. This counter-shaft is provided with balance gear, and revolves the rear wheels by means of strong roller chains. The steering machinery comprises a handwheel placed on the right-hand side of the driver's seat, actuating a vertical shaft which is connected to the fore-carriage, a small sprocket wheel and roller chain being provided for this purpose. The pumps have a capacity of three hundred gallons per minute, and can force a jet to a height of one hundred and fifty feet. The steeringwheel, steam regulating lever, reversing lever, and brake are all within easy reach of a man sitting on the off-side on the front, and an auxiliary brake is provided to work with a screw and handwheel at the back. Accommodation is provided for the usual complement of firemen, hose, and gear. When fully equipped with fuel, coal, water, and the firemen, the entire weight is under three tons. Steam can be raised from cold water to working pressure in six minutes from the time of lighting the fire."

The Lectures
July 11, 1901

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