There are very few persons in a commuuity who have not, more or less, partaken of the intense excitement and sympathy always consequent upon fires taking place in their midst; and it' is not strange, therefore, that a large am'unt of thought should be expended toward their prevention and extinction. In view of their frequent occnrrence in this country, and the vast amonnt of property annually destroyed in this manner, it becomes the duty of every good citizen to exercise his mind and skill, and endeavor to avert and remedy this terrible evil, and to encourage the efforts of others to tnese ends. Of late years the attention of inventors has been di-rf S,ed to the application of steam to the suction and forcing of water in fire engines ; and many powerful fire engines worked exclusively by this force are in successful operation in many of our western cities. Our engraving represents a side elevation of a compact form of steam fire engine, manufactured by Silsby, Mynderse Co., which is a modification of theplai and arrangement of the parts of the one previously manufactured by them, and which was illustrated in No. 10, VoL XII, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. A represents the steam boiler, provided with three hundred Ii inch upright tube" and connected to the supply water tank, B, by a suitable pipe. C is the smoke pipe, in the lower part of which is placed a blower or fan, D, which receives its motion by a band passing around a wheel on its shaft, and around .another wheel, secured to one of the hind wheels. E is a rotary engine, constructed on the plan of Holly's patent, as shown in our former illustration. F is a rotary pump, also constructed aft0r the plan of Holly's patent. G is a take-off for a hose for conducting water to the fire to be extinguished. H is a 4J inch suction opening, for attachment of the suction pipe or hose usually carried with fire engines of this description. It can be used to draw water from cisterns, rivers, and other places, or attached to the ordinary hydrant. I is the pump for supplying the boiler with water, geared to and worked by the shaft on which the rotary engine, E, and rotary pump, F, are secured. J is a rotary donkey pump and engine combined, cOllstructed and operating in every respect similar to the engine, E, and pump, F. This additional supply pump is for the purpose of supplying the boiler with water when the machine is not in operation, and cannot, therefore, receive a supply of water from the pump, I. K is the steam supply pipe. L is the exhaust steam pipe. M M are india rubber springs, on whioh the machine rests. N is the driver's seat. 0 is a tongue, to which the horses for drawing the machine are attached. This tongue is made to disconnect by means of a lever under the control of the driver. P is a steam whistle, Q a steam gage, and R the platform for firemen. S is the the pressure of steam required to produce these effects will only range from 40 to 60 pounds per 'quare inch. A working pressure of steam can be generated in the boiler in heater for feed,or supply water. T is a safety valve, and U the throttle valve. We think this a simple and convenient form of steam fire engine, and admirably adapted from eight to ten minutes, and this can be maintained constantly ts force one or two streams of water of the sizes mentioned. Its main working parts are constructed under to the object for which it is designed. Its weight is from 4,500 to 5,000 pounds, with capacity to force two 1 inch streams 175 feet, or one 1J inch stream the same distance; and Birdsill Holly'S patent, issued in 1855, by Messrs. Silsby, Mynderse Co., Island Works, Seneca Falls, N. Y., who will furnish any additional information desired.
This article was originally published with the title "Steam Fire Engine" in Scientific American 13, 38, 297 (May 1858)