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Title: Protection from Fire and Thieves
Author: Chubb, George Hayter
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           FIRE AND THIEVES

                          LONDON: PRINTED BY
                         AND PARLIAMENT STREET


 (_From a drawing supplied by the Royal Society for the Protection of
                           Life from Fire_)




                           FIRE AND THIEVES






                          GEORGE HAYTER CHUBB

                           ASSOC. INST. C.E.

                            _CAVENDO TUTUS_

                       LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

                        _All rights reserved._

                        TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE



                     FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS;


                        Respectfully Inscribed.


A small book, embracing such subjects as herein treated of, is
necessarily somewhat disconnected in its character. In endeavouring to
be strictly practical, I fear I have made some portions of the book
uninteresting to the general reader; if so, it must be remembered that
my chief aim has been to place certain facts before professional and
business men, at the same time introducing matter that may be useful to

I have to offer my best thanks to Colonel Fraser, Colonel Henderson,
Captain Shaw, and other Gentlemen, who have afforded me valuable help.

If the importance of protecting life and property becomes in the least
degree better understood and appreciated, I shall feel amply repaid for
the time and trouble incurred in the preparation of the book.

_January 1875_.





 Introduction--Locks, ancient and modern--Copying keys--Ornamental
 keys--Breaking open padlocks--Chubb’s detector lock--Sets of
 locks--Elements of a good lock--Common locks                          1



 Planning burglaries--Bank robbery--The Cornhill burglary of
 1865--Providing fit receptacles for valuables--False keys--Insecure
 premises--Modes of house-robberies, and means of prevention--Burglars’
 tools--Statistics--Police notice--South-Eastern Railway robbery--Jewel
 robberies--Notice by Colonel Fraser                                  10



 Patents for safes--Safes by Milner, Tann, Hobbs, and Chatwood--Chubb’s
 diagonal and new patent safes--Wedging open safes--Drilling, and mode
 of protection--Other methods for opening safes--The safe custody of
 keys--Amount of space required for bullion                           30



 The heat to be resisted--Three qualities necessary--Refractory and
 evaporating systems--Best materials to use for fireproofing--Public
 tests--Double enclosure for parchments--Safes once in fire to
 be re-proofed--Effects of Pantechnicon fire on safes--French
 safes--Gunpowder safes                      44



 Real and sham second-hand safes--Apparent and actual
 strength--Garden-turf for fireproofing--Bolts and locks
 unsuitable--Patentees’ names illegally used--Directions for purchasing
 safes--Weights of good safes--Worthlessness of guarantees            51



 Planning a strong-room--Its position--Dampness and
 ventilation--Robberies by excavating through floor--Floor, walls,
 and roof--Entrance--Lighting--Fixing the door--Fittings--Design
 and estimate--Strong-room in a London bank--McNeill’s floating
 strong-room--Bullion on board ships                                  57



 Fireproof buildings for business purposes--Mr. Braidwood’s opinion
 on warehouse construction--Use and strength of iron--Iron supports
 for house-fronts--Wood posts _versus_ iron columns--Captain Shaw’s
 experiments--Dennett’s column--Danger from faulty building--Stone
 and concrete as fireproof materials--Iron girders--Stairs and
 doorways--Danger from windows--Iron sashes and shutters--Roofs and
 ceilings--Brick the best material                                    70



 Names of patentees--Dennett’s construction--Patent concrete--Mode
 of constructing arches for floors, ceilings, and roofs--Vaults and
 domes--St. Thomas’s Hospital--Cost of arching--Insecurity of the
 Bodleian Library--Parliamentary report on British Museum, National
 Gallery, etc.--Extinguishing fire at South Kensington--Water-supply
 in public buildings--St. Paul’s Cathedral--Paris fires during the
 Commune                      85



 Loss from fire preventible--Official enquiries into fires--Rapid
 increase and statistics of fires--Causes of London fires in
 1873--Tin, lead, etc. combustible--Watching buildings--Sweeping
 chimneys--Precautions against fire--Detection of fire--Danger
 to life--The smoke respirator--Escape from a burning
 house--Fire-escapes--Directions for saving and restoring life--Curious
 instances of fires                                                   98



 Two methods of fire-extinction, mechanical and chemical--Sinclair’s
 fire-exterminator--Hand fire-engines--Steam fire-engines--Messrs.
 Shand and Mason’s engines--Messrs. Merryweather and Son’s
 engines--Boilers of steam fire-engines--Water-supply at
 fires--Particulars of London Fire Brigade--Fires at country
 houses--Destruction of mills                                        118





Fire-Escape and Steam Fire-Engine in action                _Frontispiece_


Master-Key of Dublin Exhibition, 1865                                  4

Ornamental Key-handles                                                 6

Ornamental Key                                                         9

Hopkinson’s Patent Window-Fastener                                    17

Chubb’s Patent Diagonal Safe; action of bolts                         33

  ”   ”   ”                      corner section                       34

Chubb’s New Patent Safe, 1874, corner section                         35

  ”   ”   ”                      elevation                   _facing_ 36

Chubb’s Patent Drill-Preventive; hole made by cutter                  38

   ”   ”   ”                     cutter used for do                   39

   ”   ”   ”                     system as applied                    39

   ”   ”   ”                     cutter destroyed by                  40

Reward Label for recovery of Lost Keys                                42

Chubb’s Gunpowder-proof Lock for Safes                                53

Strong-Room Doors, method of fixing                                   61

Strong-Room, plan of                                                  64

     ”       section of                                               65

Dennett’s Fireproof Construction; treatment of columns                79

  ”   ”   ”                       sections of arches          86, 87, 88

  ”   ”   ”                       section of vaulted roof             90

Smoke Respirator                                                     108

Sinclair’s Fire-Exterminator                                         119

Merryweather’s Steam Fire-Engine                                     124

    ”   ”   ”                    sections of boiler                  125

Shand, Mason & Co.’s Steam Fire-Engine                               127

  ”   ”   ”                      sections of boiler             128, 129

Fireproof Warehouse, plan and section                  _facing_ 138, 139






When it is known that cash and securities to the value of upwards of six
millions are almost constantly kept in the strong-room of one only of
the London banks, it will be understood that the safe custody of
valuables is a subject of very great importance. Unfortunately it is a
matter that has hitherto been greatly neglected by the general public
and professional men; and the ignorance on the part of the majority of
people as to what is real security, has given rise to this attempt to
place a few facts together that will be of general use. The incidents
relating to fires, burglaries, &c. are gathered from authentic sources,
and from private records that have been compiled during many years.

Although before the last ten years there were but few persons who
employed their skill to foil the increasing attempts of safe-breakers,
the subject of locks had long been thoroughly considered. The great
interest taken in the lock controversy at the time of the Exhibition of
1851 showed that there were many persons not indifferent to the efforts
then made to improve the quality of locks; but it was not until the
great burglary at Cornhill, in 1865, that safe-making was fairly
investigated by the public. Sufficient proof of this is that in the
sixty-four years preceding 1865 only twenty-eight patents for safes were
registered, while in the nine years following there were no less than
122. Being myself engaged in the manufacture of locks and safes, I have,
of course, some knowledge of their construction; and shall endeavour to
state facts that apply to the work of every maker, and my opinions
formed by practical acquaintance with this manufacture, and guided by
others who have previously written on various branches of the subject.

Locks have, it is said, been in use for above four thousand years in
Egypt; anciently these were mostly made of wood, and it is a remarkable
thing that the locks that have been in use in the Faroe Islands for many
centuries so closely resemble those found in Egyptian catacombs as to be
scarcely distinguishable from them. More modern, but considered now to
be old-fashioned, are the letter lock and warded lock; later still are
the patent locks of Barron, Bramah, Chubb, and others. It is not
necessary to describe the variations in all these; it may suffice to say
that the most trustworthy are those with levers and tumblers, and
protected in other ways from false keys and picks. One chief point of
security consists in a lock being so unlike any other that no key but
its own will open it; and a 3 in. Chubb’s drawer lock can have no less
than 2,592,000 changes made in its combinations. Mr. Tildesley, in an
article published in ‘Once a Week,’ mentions a lock which had a chime of
bells connected with it in such a manner that no sooner was the
skeleton-key of an intruder applied to the lock than the latter began to
chime a plaintive air, such as--

    Home, sweet home;
    Be it ever so humble,
    There’s no place like home.

A sentiment in which the housebreaker would doubtless concur as he took
his precipitate flight.

It is obvious that locks are only secure so long as their keys are
properly taken care of. This is of the utmost importance, for some keys
can under favourable circumstances be made merely from a wax impression
by a clever workman. Numbers of robberies take place through keys being
left about, and to the lock is laid the fault which ought rather to be
charged to the careless owner of the keys.

Some people expect perfect impossibilities, and imagine that, having
obtained a secure lock, they have done all that is necessary. No lock
whatever will guard against culpable negligence with regard to its key;
or, as in the famous South-Eastern Railway bullion robbery, the
treachery of supposed trustworthy servants. It will be remembered that
the notorious lock-picker Agar said the robbery on this railway would be
impossible unless copies of the keys could be taken. By the connivance
of a guard named Tester this was accomplished, and yet the duplicate
keys thus made were useless until Agar had travelled seven or eight
times to Folkestone with the chests, altering the keys until they

Since 1851 many improvements have been made and adopted in Chubb’s
locks, and more still have been tried and rejected, as interfering with
their proper working. Complexity of action in any lock will sooner or
later invariably prove fatal to its success. A lock is unlike a


watch or other delicate machine that is treated with a considerable
amount of carefulness; it is subject to every day hard wear and usage.
Absolute perfection is perhaps as unattainable in locks as in other
matters; nevertheless the present is an age of progress, and a more
perfect lock may perhaps be invented some day. Lock patents by scores
have appeared within the last twenty-one years; some good, others
indifferent or bad in principle, and many of them embracing as new ideas
certain principles of construction long since exploded or laid aside. Of
those practically defunct (and they are many), my opinion of them is
that the ingenuity of the inventors has generally been allowed to
over-run their perception of the before-mentioned fact, viz., that a
lock is a very hardworked machine, and that in its construction
simplicity is as necessary an element as security.

A good lock cannot have a key made to it unless another key is available
to copy from or the lock itself can be broken open. Of this latter fact
London burglars have not been slow to avail themselves, and they have
tried it in the following manner. It should first be said, for those not
acquainted with the mode of securing warehouse and office doors at
night, where the buildings are left unoccupied, that such doors are
usually fastened with a large rim or mortise lock of the ordinary kind.
When this is locked from the outside a small flat bar, that is secured
at one end to the door, is put across the keyhole to a staple thereon,
fastened by a padlock. The advantage of this plan is that the inner lock
cannot be touched, the keyhole being closed while the outer lock is
secure; and this padlock being visible, the police in their rounds can
tell by a glance under the light of the bull’s-eye whether or not it has
been interfered with. But there is such a thing as forcing a padlock
completely open, with proper appliances; and some clever burglar
watching the policeman off his round past a warehouse in Watling Street,
one night, wrenched the padlock off and supplied its place by a common
one, the outside of which in the dark resembled the one previously on.
He then took the patent lock away, got one side off, cut out all the
works, so that anything like a key would at once open or close the bolt,
fastened the side on as neatly as was possible, took it back to Watling
Street again, and watching his opportunity took his own lock off and
refixed the empty shell of the patent lock. The purpose in all this was
that next night he might at once open the padlock, force the inner lock,
and enter the place, while a confederate would doubtless


replace the padlock as if all were right. The success of the scheme
depended chiefly upon the padlock or its substitute always being on when
the police came round; but, fortunately for the owner of the premises,
the attempt was frustrated by the mere chance of the patent lock (now
without works and found next day to open rather stiffly) being brought
to be examined, when the burglar’s attempt was at once discovered.
Further revelations of this trick were made to the police by a convict
who died while undergoing a long term of imprisonment, and after his
disclosures no less than _twenty-seven_ padlocks were found in use in
the City the works of which had all been taken out, to await the
thieves’ opportunity, and done in such a clever manner that only the
closest inspection could detect it. Two of the locks served thus were on
a jeweller’s door, which shows the importance of preventing this mode of
robbery. Such a well-planned scheme required an improvement to be made
in the padlocks, and there is now largely in use what is known as the
‘police padlock,’ a lock which when once forced asunder is so injured
that it cannot be repaired without being entirely re-made, so that if
one should be taken off its door by a thief it cannot be put back again.

This is but one of the numberless instances that require the attention
and thought of the careful lockmaker; and the other instances that will
be given show that with respect to safes it requires yet greater skill
to foil the cunning of modern burglars.

The whole of Chubb’s locks are made by hand, and differ one from
another. The difficulty is not to make them to differ, but when such are
needed to make several alike, for a touch of the file will completely
alter a lock.

It is so essential for good locks to be totally unlike each other that
we continue to make by hand only, although the cost is in consequence
high. Machinery would and does produce well-finished and serviceable
locks, but the changes and combinations cannot vary as with hand-work.
‘So extensive are the combinations,[1] that it would be quite
practicable to make locks for the doors of all the houses in London with
a distinct and different key to each lock, and yet there should be one
master-key to pass the whole. A most complete series was constructed
some years ago for the Westminster Bridewell, consisting of 1,100 locks,
forming one series, with master, sub-master, and warders’ keys.

‘At any time the Governor has the power of stopping out the under-keys;
and in case of any surreptitious attempt being made to open a lock, and
the detector being thrown, none of the under-keys will regulate it, but
the Governor must be made acquainted with the circumstance, as he alone
has the power, with his key, to replace the lock in its original state.

‘It need scarcely be stated, that Barron’s, Bramah’s, Chubb’s, and most
other locks are adapted for all purposes, from the smallest cabinet to
the largest prison-doors or strong-room.

‘As has been already stated, various and numerous patents have been
taken out. Ingenious, however, as are some of the arrangements, they
appear to have complicated, rather than simplified, the general

‘It is submitted that the true principles of perfect security, strength,
simplicity, and durability should be combined in every good lock.

‘1st. Perfect security is the principal point to be attended to, as
without it no lock can be considered as answering the intended purpose.

‘2nd. The works of a lock should, in all cases, possess strength, and be
well adapted, especially in the larger ones, to resist all attempts to
force them open; and both in the larger and the smaller kinds the works
should not be susceptible of injury, or derangement, from attempts with
picklocks or false keys.

‘3rd. Simplicity of action is requisite, so that any person having the
key, and being unacquainted with the mechanism of the lock, should not
be able to put it out of order.

‘4th. The workmanship, materials, and interior arrangement of a lock
should be so combined as to ensure the permanent and perfect action of
all its parts, and its durability under all ordinary circumstances.’

Besides the better class of locks made in South Staffordshire there are
really trumpery locks made in abundance, and Willenhall enjoys an
unenviable celebrity for the cheapness and worthlessness of its wares.
There is a familiar saying that if a Willenhall locksmith happens to let
fall a lock while in the process of manufacture he does not stop to pick
it up, as he can make another quicker. The late Mr. G. B. Thorneycroft,
who once lived at Willenhall, is said to have been taunted with the fact
that some padlocks made there would only lock once, but when told the
price of them was twopence each he replied, ‘It would be a shame if they
did lock twice for that money.’ The total weekly production of locks in
the whole district was stated in 1866 to be no less than 31,500 dozens.
A very large proportion of this enormous supply goes to foreign markets.




In order to show the absolute necessity of secure locks and safe
depositories for property, especially in banking establishments, it may
not be out of place just to trace the systematic care and great sagacity
with which large burglaries are planned. An unsuccessful attempt, where
the booty is of any magnitude, is seldom made. The first-rate
‘cracksmen’ always know beforehand where to go, when to go, and what
they are going for. When a ‘plant,’ as it is termed, is made upon a
house or a bank, precise information is gained if possible as to the
depository of the valuables, and if it is found that the safeguards are
so strong in themselves and the locks so invulnerable that there is but
little chance of success, the affair is quietly dropped; but if
otherwise, then no expenditure of time or misapplied ingenuity is spared
to gain the desired end; the house is constantly watched, and the habits
of its inmates observed, their ordinary times of going out and coming in
being noted. Possibly the confidential servants are bribed or cajoled,
and induced to leave the premises when their employers are absent, so
that impressions may be taken from the locks, and false keys be made.

When all the keys required are ready, generally one or two men who have
not been previously initiated are called in, and receive their
instructions to be ready at a certain hour on the following day to enter
the premises. A plan is put into their hands; they are cautioned to step
over a certain creaking stair or board, and the false keys of the
different doors are given to them. The inmates of the house being
absent, their servant takes advantage of this fact to fulfil a
long-standing engagement with his or her new and liberal friends; a
signal is given; the two confederates enter; the so-called safe is swept
of its contents; all the doors in the building are carefully re-locked,
and not until the house is opened for business next morning is the
robbery discovered.

Many years ago there was a bank robbery at a town in Kent, effected as
follows: Two respectable-looking and well-behaved men went to the
principal inn of the town and informed the landlord their object was to
look out for and purchase a small estate in the neighbourhood. They
stopped there for nearly three months, taking frequent drives in their
gig, lived well and paid well; and at length took leave one market-day
between twelve and one o’clock, much to the regret of the landlord, who
felt sorry to lose such unexceptionable customers.

These men were thieves, and at a few moments past one o’clock that very
day robbed the bank of nearly £5,000.

The banking-office was the ground-floor of a house in the Market Square,
and the manager never left the cash there at night, but always took it
to his own residence near by. He was accustomed, however, with the
clerk, to be absent from one till two o’clock in the day at his dinner,
during which time the money was put into the safe and the premises
locked up.

It appeared that all the arrangements of the business were perfectly
ascertained and understood by the two sojourners at the hotel, and that
the necessary impressions of the locks had been taken on various nights
and the false keys made.

On the day in question the gig was taken just outside the town. One of
the men went back, and in mid-day unlocked the street and internal
doors, opened the safe, took out the money, and then the two set off to
London with their booty and got the notes cashed the same afternoon.
After locking the safe the burglars slipped a small ring over the
key-pin of the lock, so that when the manager on his return from dinner
tried to open it with its proper key, the key would not enter. A smith
was sent for, and it was four hours before the safe was opened--too
late, of course, for any effective pursuit.

A more recent and notable instance is that of a daring burglary which
took place at Mr. Walker’s, the well-known jeweller of Cornhill, in
1865, the whole facts of which came to light in consequence of one of
the gang volunteering a confession during an action arising out of the
robbery. I am indebted to the ‘Times’ newspaper for the following
particulars, which doubtless are still fresh in the memory of some
persons: The robbery had been elaborately schemed, and was only
accomplished by a regular expedition of well-equipped thieves. The
cleverest of the gang had taken Mr. Walker, his family, and his habits
under the closest surveillance for seven weeks before, night and day,
until at last everything connected with his business and his practice
was thoroughly known. This information being complete, a party of five
of the robbers repaired to the premises at ten minutes past six on the
evening of Saturday, February 4, 1865. The house was let and occupied in
floors, Mr. Walker’s shop being on the ground-floor, Sir C. Crossley’s
offices immediately above, and other offices above those, while below
the shop was a room tenanted by a tailor. The occupants, when the
thieves arrived, had not yet all left for the night, but the offices on
the second floor were empty, and to these three of the robbers at once
ascended by means of the common staircase, and there took up their first
position, the other two remaining in the street to watch and give
signals. At twenty minutes to eight the signal was given by the
confederates outside the house that Mr. Walker’s foreman, who appears to
have been the last on the premises, was gone, and their operations

It was past midnight before the three robbers inside began their most
important work. Mr. Walker’s shop was secured by iron doors or
partitions, but the thieves directed their attack against the floor,
which had not unnaturally been left with less protection. They got into
the tailor’s room, on the lowest floor, mounted upon his cutting-board
and forced their way through the ceiling and flooring to the shop above.
Having thus effected a lodgment against the real point of attack, they
distributed the duties of the night. Of the two thieves stationed in the
street one was to be on the watch, lest Mr. Walker or any of his people
should return to the house, while the other was to keep guard over the
police and give warning whenever a constable approached. Inside, one of
the gang sat upstairs in Sir C. Crossley’s arm-chair, at the window of
the second floor, to notice the sentries in the street, and the signals
of these men he communicated by means of a string to his comrades in the

One of these handed up such instruments as were wanted; the other at
length opened the safe (by wedging, as described on p. 36); so that at a
quarter to four they washed their hands in the office upstairs, and an
hour later were miles away on the Guildford road.

The success in this happily unique case was due to the desertion of the
premises for six-and-thirty hours together. The men did not get into the
shop till one-and-twenty hours after the commencement of their
operations. Aided by time, the science of the housebreakers was
successful. The police passed the place every nine minutes, but with
such deeply-laid plans were not likely to detect the mischief going on,
and so the thieves escaped for three weeks, when a part of the stolen
property was traced and the rascals themselves ultimately captured.
Caseley, the reputed leader of the gang, stated that he had had a great
deal of experience in opening safes, and there is no doubt he was a
clever man; but I believe a part at least of his subsequent statements
were exaggerations, likely to be indulged in by a man placed in his

Very few cases of the kind, however, show such determination and skill,
and thus almost the first robbery in which wedges were used in
safe-breaking must rank as one of the most remarkable of our times.

When a large amount of property of either cash, plate, or jewels is
deposited in one place, it really is in fact offering a premium to
robbers, unless fit receptacles for such property are provided.
Notwithstanding the cunning, ingenuity, or violence of the professional
burglars, means are at hand by which they may be effectually baffled,
and all who are interested in the matter should see that their patent
locks or iron safes are really what they ought to be--impervious to
fraud and force.

The axiom that ‘the best is the cheapest’ will hold good with locks and
safes, as with most other things. Let it be remembered that first-class
work must be done by the best and most skilful workmen, and that to
secure them a high rate of wages must be paid.

Most of the house-robberies so common in all large towns are effected
through the common street-door latches in ordinary use being opened by
false keys. It is a notorious fact that thousands are made year after
year, but which do not afford the least security, as they are all so
made that any one key will open the whole, and it is not until the
owner has his hall cleared, or his plate carried off, that he finds out
that his apparently complex key is a mere sham, there not being in the
lock a single tumbler or ward to correspond with the cuts in the web of
the key. At a very low computation at least three-fourths of the houses
in London can be entered by false keys, and it is simply owing to the
vigilance of the often-abused police that robberies are not more
constantly effected.

The following particulars, kindly furnished me by Colonel Fraser, of the
City Police, will show what facilities are placed within the reach of
burglars by careless householders.

 _Return of Premises found open, or otherwise insecure, by the Police
                        in the City of London._

  Year       Number
  1871       2,656
  1872       2,452
  1873       2,957
     Total   8,065

By using secure locks or latches on all the outer doors of houses an
immense amount of work would be saved to the police, and it is really a
question for ratepayers to decide if common and insecure locks should be
allowed to be used any longer.

While on the subject of house-robberies I may refer to other modes of
entering dwellings, with which the public ought to be acquainted in
order to be on their guard.

Admission to a house by the connivance of a dishonest servant is, of
course, sometimes obtained by thieves, and the only way of preventing
this is to be careful whom one employs in the house. But, if possible,
the thief will get into the house unaided by a confederate, who after
all might foil his plans, and in any event will claim a part of the
plunder. So the house must be carefully watched, and, if possible,
examined, in order to discover the easiest mode of access.

Frequently some coal-cellar window is found to be left conveniently
unbarred, although all other windows and doors are barred and bolted; or
perhaps all the windows have safety-fasteners but one, as was the case
in a residence near London, a short time ago, when the burglars
_happened_ (so it was said) to pitch upon the unprotected window, and
entering cleared the room of valuable jewellery.

Beggars or hawkers are often in the pay of thieves, endeavouring to get
information--that may not be used perhaps for a long time hence--and
such visitors should certainly never be allowed inside one’s house,
though their visits are too often encouraged by the weakness of the

Now, it will be asked, what are the remedies best adapted to prevent
robbery in these various ways? Firstly, be careful to have trustworthy
servants, or all other precautions are unavailing. Secondly, have
plate-glass to all windows in the house, for this cannot be broken, as
common sheet-glass can, without noise. Thirdly, as shutters are really
no protection at all, and frequently are not fastened at night, let all
windows and openings that can be reached easily from the ground have
strong bars built into the stone or brickwork, not more than five inches
apart, where this can be done without disfigurement; and let the windows
on every upper floor have either Hopkinson’s or Dawes’s patent window
fasteners, which cannot be opened from the outside, and are simple and
strong in construction and cheap in price.

The engraving shows Hopkinson’s fastener, an extremely simple and
ingenious invention. The projection on the left side, as the fastener is
moved, comes over the opening and wedges fast any instrument introduced
from the outside for the purpose of forcing back the catch.

Fourthly, keep a dog, however small, _inside_ the house; this is a
wonderful safeguard, and extremely disliked by burglars. Fifthly, have
any number of bells on shutters, electric wires, or other gimcracks that
you please, and place no reliance on any of them. Lastly, leave as
little property as possible, certainly no silver plate or jewellery,
lying about, so that if a thief should overcome all obstacles to
entrance, he may not find much ready to hand.


The sort of robbery I have alluded to is committed either at night or in
the dusk of the evening or at the dinner-hour, when the inmates are all
in one part of the house. There is also that very frequent and too often
successful plan of stealing coats, &c. from a hall, when some stranger
calls with a fictitious message that causes the servant to leave him
alone for a moment, during which he hurries off with everything within
reach that is worth stealing. To prevent such an occurrence plainly the
best thing is never to allow a stranger to wait inside one’s door.

A professional burglar’s tools comprise skeleton-keys, silent matches, a
dark lantern, a wax taper, a palette-knife used for opening windows by
pushing the fastening back; a small crowbar, generally made in two
pieces to screw together, and with one end forked; a centre-bit, and a
carpet-bag. If the object of attack is a safe, then to these must be
added chisels and steel wedges of different sizes, an ‘alderman,’ or
large crowbar, a ‘Jack-in-the-box,’ some aqua fortis, and sometimes
gunpowder for blowing open locks. Besides providing himself with tools,
the burglar will often wear a ‘reversible,’ or a coat which can be worn
inside out, each side being a different colour, so that if he happened
to be noticed he will turn his coat in some quiet corner and become
another man to all outward appearances.

The writer of an able article in the _Cornhill Magazine_ of January 1863
gives as a list of the various ways in which houses are regularly broken
into, the following: ‘Jumping a crib,’ which is entrance by a window;
‘breaking a crib,’ forcing a back door; ‘grating a crib,’ through cellar
gratings; ‘garreting a crib,’ through the roof. Entrance in this last
way, the writer states, is sometimes cleverly effected (from the leads
of an empty house adjacent) by means of an umbrella. First, a few slates
are removed, then a small hole is made, and through this aperture a
strong springless umbrella is thrust and shaken open. Again the thieves
go to work upon the hole in the roof, which they widen rapidly and with
perfect confidence, since the _débris_ falls noiselessly into the
umbrella hanging beneath. When in the house the thieves’ only care is to
move silently and to show little or no light. When the plunder is
secured and the confederates signal that the way is clear, the burden is
divided, and they at once separate, though perhaps going to the same
place. Cabs are occasionally employed by the thieves; and though the
drivers are not exactly in league, yet they must know pretty well by
whom they are being hired. The plunder is disposed of immediately to
‘receivers,’ who always drive a good bargain, and if there is any plate
or gold at once put it into the melting-pot. These receivers are the
curse of large towns, where alone they are to be found. It is entirely
owing to them that the majority of robberies are committed, for if
thieves had to run a second risk in disposing of the goods after
stealing them, they would not continue a dishonest life with the chances
of success they now have. The police are generally well aware of the men
who thus assist the thieves, but the difficulty of getting evidence
against them is extreme, although occasionally a rascal is caught and
severely punished owing to information being received from some
informer. There are no less than eighty-seven houses in London _known_
to be those of receivers of stolen goods.

In February 1858 there were in Manchester alone ninety-four returned
transports, and out of the whole of that number there were not more than
six in employment or who had any known means of livelihood. In view of
this statement can it be wondered at that in the eleven years from 1857
to 1867 there were no less than seventeen successful robberies effected
in that city alone, involving a loss of property amounting to £25,788,
chiefly in cash and jewellery? This loss would have been largely
augmented had it not been for the vigilance of the Manchester police,
who could not, however, possibly frustrate every attempt made by
dishonest men let loose upon society in large numbers by a system which
is open to very serious objections. The Habitual Criminals Act proves
that the country has at length recognised the fact that the
ticket-of-leave system has been grossly abused by convicted persons, and
that to protect life and property effectually it is necessary to give
the police more power of supervision over suspected characters. For the
benefit of those not acquainted with this Act, I may state that its most
important provision is to give a Judge power to include in the sentence
of a person, who has been previously convicted, a certain term of police
supervision, to take effect after release from prison; and during this
term the person may be called upon at any time to prove that he or she
is gaining an honest livelihood--the burden of the proof resting with
the suspected person, instead of the police being required to prove

A man who commits a great robbery is not one who up to that moment was
honest and industrious; it is most probable that he has been an
associate of thieves, and has been apprenticed to it, so to speak, as to
a trade; hence the advantage of the new system by which he can be
watched and if necessary captured on suspicion. The London police have
now on their register 117,000 names of habitual criminals, and the list
is said to be increasing at the rate of 30,000 a year.

A few somewhat imperfect statistics may be given. In London, during the
years 1862 to 1867 inclusive, there were eight successful burglaries, in
which £14,845 worth of valuables was stolen; in other large towns of the
kingdom, such as Glasgow, Sheffield, &c., there were thirteen
burglaries, with a loss of £11,375; and if our Colonies were to be taken
into account, at Hong Kong alone there was a robbery (referred to more
fully on page 59), in 1865, of £50,000 from a bank.

Omitting this last, however, it will be seen that in eleven years no
less than £52,000 of property was stolen by burglars in Great Britain.
It is true a great deal of this was recovered--sometimes in remarkable
ways, an instance of which was the finding of some gold watches in the
Thames, stolen from Mr. Walker’s, Cornhill; one of the watches having
attracted the attention of a river policeman. But, on the other hand,
there were numbers of successful attempts where no booty was found; a
large number of unsuccessful attempts; and many of both kinds which
never appeared in the newspapers at all.

The total would indeed make a formidable list, and yet there is hardly a
case in which proper care combined with the use of the best safeguards
would not have prevented all loss.

In the year 1873 the total amount of property lost _by robberies of all
kinds_ within the metropolitan district alone was £84,000, of which
nearly £21,000 was subsequently recovered.

So large a proportion of this loss was occasioned by the use of insecure
fastenings on doors or windows, that the Metropolitan Police have drawn
the special attention of householders to the risks thus incurred.
Colonel Henderson not long since issued a notice, of which the following
is an extract:--

‘Caution to Householders and others.--The Commissioner considers it to
be his duty to caution householders and others that larcenies are in
most instances committed by thieves entering through windows left open
or so insecurely fastened that they can be readily opened by thrusting
back the catch from the outside with a knife, without any violence or
force whatever. The plates of window-fastenings should overlap each
other, and self-acting side-stops should be used in sashes. Attention is
also directed to the following means by which thieves effect their

‘In the absence of the family, especially on Saturday and Sunday
evenings, entering with false or skeleton keys, passing through an empty
house in the neighbourhood, going along the parapet, and entering any
window found open--climbing up the portico and entering through upper
windows--calling at houses under pretence of having messages or parcels
to deliver, and during the absence of the servant stealing articles from
the hall or passage and decamping.

‘If ordinary and necessary precautions were taken, as above recommended,
the efforts of the police in preventing crime would be materially aided,
and property more effectually secured.’

A short time since there was a robbery at the warehouse of a person who
immediately wrote to the newspapers blaming the police and making out a
plausible case. Now, the real facts were, that this person gave up
residing on his City premises without informing the police. The door had
on it only a common latch, easily opened by a false key. There was a
window up a side-passage through which it was easy to obtain entrance;
and though all these circumstances conspired to facilitate the
operations of thieves, yet this was thought a proper opportunity to
blame the City Police!

Although seventeen years have elapsed since the conviction of the men
who stole the bullion on the South-Eastern Railway, the case is still
the most remarkable of its kind--remarkable for the deliberation, the
professional spirit, and the pecuniary resources of the modern offender.

The following very condensed account I take from the ‘Times’ newspaper
of the day, merely premising that the case shows the extreme importance
of guarding one’s keys most jealously, for even up to the present time
no lock, such as can be brought within the reach of everyone for
practical use, has been invented that will permit of its keys being
carelessly used.

On the night of May 15, 1855, gold to the value of £12,000 was taken
from the van of a train on the South-Eastern Railway, between London and
Folkestone. The boxes were weighed in London and again at Boulogne; at
the second place the weight, as was subsequently discovered, differed
from the weight in London. The weight in Paris corresponded with the
weight at Boulogne. Consequently the boxes must have been tampered with
between London and Boulogne, or, as it had been impossible to touch them
while in the boat, between London and Folkestone. When the boxes were
opened, bags of shot were found substituted for gold. Of course the
surprise was great, and the search after the offender earnest. But
whatever may be the skill of the detectives, we know from sad experience
that the criminal world is more than equal to them in craft. For sixteen
months the pursuit was in vain, and the robbery was well-nigh forgotten,
when an unexpected revelation threw light on the matter. A man named
Edward Agar was convicted in October 1855 of uttering a forged cheque,
and sentenced to be transported for life. This man, after his
conviction, stated to the authorities that he could give information
respecting the great gold robbery of 1855. On being questioned he
announced himself as one of the perpetrators, and named as his
accomplices Pierce, formerly in the service of the South-Eastern
Company; Burgess, a guard; and Tester, a clerk in the traffic

Agar was forty-one years of age, and had by his own confession lived by
crime from fourteen to twenty years. His evidence was that Pierce first
suggested the scheme, but that he himself thought it impracticable.
Pierce said he believed he could obtain impressions of keys of the
Chubb’s locks by which the iron safes were secured; and Agar then
answered that if it could be done he thought the thing might be
effected. Pierce and Agar went down to Folkestone as casual visitors for
the benefit of sea-bathing. They took lodgings and employed themselves
in observing the arrival of the tidal service trains to the boats. This
was in May 1854, twelve months before the actual commission of the
robbery--so long a time can modern depredators afford to spend upon
their preparations. They went daily to the pier to enjoy the fresh air;
but their constant observation of the trains and the station aroused
suspicion, and they left, though not before they had discovered ‘what
Chapman, who had the key of the iron safe, did when the trains arrived
and the luggage was removed to the boats.’ By these means it was
ascertained where the key was kept, the impression of which it was
desirable to obtain.

But to know where the key was kept and to obtain possession of it were
very different things, and Agar, according to his own story, was much
disheartened. Not so Pierce. Pierce knew a man named Tester who was in
the office of the Superintendent of Traffic, and Tester could get
possession of the keys for them. However, time rolls on, and we are in
August, when Pierce discovers that the locks are to be altered, and that
the new keys will be in Tester’s hands. Tester was the clerk who
corresponded with Mr. Chubb on the subject of the alterations, and by
his means the impression of a key which opened one lock of each box was

But as each box had two locks it was necessary to obtain the impression
of another key, and the following device was adopted: Agar was in
possession of no less a sum than £3,000. It was arranged that a box of
bullion of the value of two hundred pounds should be conveyed in the
iron safe in the usual way, and that it should be delivered to him under
the name of Archer.

Agar goes for the box, and it is delivered to him by Chapman, who opens
the safe with a key which he takes from a cupboard. Thus Agar learns
where the second key is kept. Now, how are they to obtain an impression
of the key? Two months have elapsed since they got the impression of key
No. 1. This is October, and they are still without No. 2. But they are
not disheartened. Pierce and Agar go to Dover, and put up at the ‘Dover
Castle;’ they walk over to Folkestone, and arrive just when the train is
coming in. In the confusion of an arrival the attendants leave the
office for a few minutes. Pierce goes boldly in, opens the cupboard
which contains the key of the iron safe, hands it to Agar, who takes an
impression, and then replaces it. Thus five months after their
reconnoissance at Folkestone they have surmounted the first difficulty
which suggested itself to the reflective mind of Agar. They have
obtained wax impressions of the keys; everything else remains to be

The next thing, of course, was to make keys from the impressions. For
that purpose lodgings are taken in Lambeth and Kennington. Pierce
disguises himself in a black wig, and the next two months are spent in
filing keys. When the keys were completed to a probable similarity with
the rough wax impressions--no easy task, it would seem, for two inexpert
operators with common files--it was necessary to try them. Agar went
down several times in the van with Burgess, the guard. They did not fit
at first, but they fitted more nearly every time he went. At last they
fitted completely, and the deed was resolved on. Of course, after nearly
a year’s labour, it was not worth their while to fly at any paltry
game--they would wait till a large sum was to be sent. Two chests would
hold about £12,000, and they heard that £12,000 was shortly to be sent.

They then buy shot to replace the gold. Agar and Pierce are admitted
into the van by Burgess, and on May 15, 1855, twelve months after the
deed was planned, the boxes of Messrs. Spielman, Bult, and Abell are
securely rifled. Nineteen months after the crime was committed, and more
than two years and a half after it was planned, justice overtook the
delinquents. No sentence was passed upon the informer Agar, who was
remitted back to prison under the sentence he had incurred by an act of
forgery; but Burgess and Tester were sentenced to transportation for
fourteen years, while Pierce, through a technicality, got off with only
two years’ imprisonment: and so ends this romantic case.

One of the convicts, I have heard, has been of some use to the police,
for, like many other convicted thieves, he has been communicative, and
at least one improvement in lock-making has resulted from this man’s

Though a robbery so patiently planned, so quietly carried out, and with
such a successful result, is rare; yet we still hear of instances
wherein the same forethought and misguided talent are shown.

The dark autumn and winter evenings have latterly been chosen for the
commission of what are earning a separate name, so numerous have they
become--‘Jewel Robberies.’ At the West End of London and the fashionable
suburbs there have been numerous cases in which the thieves wait till
the inhabitants are assembled at dinner--having possibly left some of
their jewellery lying about on dressing-tables--and by entering through
a window the burglars are able to make a successful haul. Either in this
manner or by an ordinary night burglary much of the plate and jewellery
is stolen with comparatively slight risk of discovery. The residences of
Sir F. Peel, the Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley, the Countess
Waldegrave, the Countess of Donoughmore, and many other noticeable
personages have recently suffered from these unwelcome visits.

The following notice, issued some time ago, I have Colonel Fraser’s
permission to republish. It very clearly shows the responsibilities
resting with both the police and the public of large towns. If
householders would but perform their part as well as the police do in
this matter, robbery of the kind indicated would be of the rarest

                            POLICE NOTICE.

     Recent occurrences having shown that an impression somewhat
     extensively prevails in the City that the duty of protecting house
     property at night is one which belongs exclusively to the police,
     it is desirable to point out what the true functions of the police
     are with respect to the guardianship of house property, inasmuch as
     the proprietors of houses, when distinctly informed as to the
     nature and extent of the protection which they may reasonably
     expect to receive from the police force, will be in a better
     position to determine what those additional safeguards should be
     which ordinary prudence makes it incumbent on them to provide for

     Under the influence of the impression above referred to a practice
     has sprung up in the City, and is gradually increasing, of leaving
     shops and warehouses, stored with goods of great value, entirely
     untenanted at night, and throughout the whole of Sunday. Numerous
     buildings are let out in separate rooms to separate tenants, who
     require them only for purposes of business during the day; the
     street-door, during business hours, is left open, in order to give
     ready access to every part of the house; and thus, in the case of
     houses which are habitually deserted at night, not only have
     thieves great facilities for entering them, and secreting
     themselves there by day, but they may do this with the knowledge
     that they will, almost certainly, be left for many hours at night
     in the undisturbed possession of the abandoned premises.

     These risks are, moreover, greatly aggravated by want of due care
     in thoroughly searching the house before it is finally closed for
     the night, by the defective condition, in many instances, of the
     external fastenings, and by neglect in making even these fastenings

     It has, indeed, been supposed by some persons that if, during their
     absence, they leave lights burning in their shops, and openings in
     the shutters through which the interior of the shop can be
     partially inspected, the property within may be safely left to the
     exclusive guardianship of the police. This practice has never been
     approved by the head of the force, and is itself open to serious
     objection, as tending to encourage reliance on a contrivance which
     is not only untrustworthy, but which may be used by dexterous
     thieves to further their own plans.

     Nor must it be imagined that a policeman who is in charge of a beat
     can, without manifest neglect of his duty to the householders
     generally, devote to the shops where the practice in question is
     followed, the special supervision which seems to be expected from
     him. If a constable on duty were bound, each time he passed, to
     make a careful inspection of the interior of shops through the
     several apertures which individual shopkeepers may please to make
     in their shutters, he would obviously be unable to complete the
     circuit of the buildings under his charge within the time appointed
     for that purpose, and the majority of houses on the beat, as well
     as passengers in the streets, would be left without that protection
     which the police should properly afford.

     Under these circumstances it is most important to bear in mind that
     the special watching over particular premises, which it is sought
     by the adoption of the custom referred to to exact from the police,
     is a duty which the police cannot undertake to perform.

     The chief functions of police in connection with the protection of
     house property at night are to prevent, as far as possible, a
     forcible entry being made into any building from without; to afford
     protection to all houses _equally_; to be vigilant in detecting the
     first indications of fire, and to exercise a general supervision
     throughout the night over the doors, shutters, and other external
     defences of the houses.

     These functions the police can discharge, but they cannot be
     responsible for what may be occurring out of their sight, within
     deserted buildings to which they have no access--they cannot keep
     stationary guard over the doors of unoccupied warehouses unprovided
     with any locks or outer fastenings but such as are of the most
     worthless description--they cannot prevent robberies being effected
     in premises to which thieves are admitted during the day and
     secured from all interruption when locked in for the night by the
     owners of the premises themselves--nor can they, in justice to the
     legitimate claims which the majority of the ratepayers have on the
     protection of the police, employ the greater portion of their time
     in watching over the property of a few individuals, who invite
     attacks from thieves by omitting to take the precautions which
     common prudence enjoins.

Commissioner of Police.

     City Police Office, 1865.



Of late years there has been an increasing demand for strong safes, and
it is in response to this demand that such a multitude of patents have
been taken out. Of these very few have been introduced to the public,
for most of the inventions are by persons not practically acquainted
with the trade, who consequently have not the opportunity of foreseeing
the practical difficulties in the working of their patent, nor often the
means of introducing it to public notice.

Perhaps one patent in six is ultimately used, but even of these many are
but unwitting copies of former ones. As an instance, a special mode of
making an angle-iron frame is claimed by three inventors. However, after
the great robbery at a jeweller’s in Cornhill, in 1865, among the
numerous patents introduced there were some of undoubted advantage, the
object in all being to give greater strength to the door and its
fastenings, and (in some patents) to close all joints in a safe against
the operation of wedging.

The employment of wedges for forcing open safes was then quite novel,
and therefore the many improvements suggested or patented were intended
chiefly to baffle this new mode of attack. It is necessary to notice
very briefly the salient points of the best of those inventions which by
being now used have proved to some extent their utility. Perhaps the
safes most generally known are Milner’s, Tann’s, Hobbs’s, Chatwood’s
and Chubb’s. There are many other makers, most of whose names appear in
the list of patentees, but whose productions have hardly obtained the
notoriety belonging to the five names here mentioned. Respecting the
first-named makers, so many different qualities are made that it is
difficult to give any definite opinion of their work, but it may be
safely said that the makers rely more upon the general construction of
their safes than upon any special invention to overcome the ‘wedge’ or
other instrument. They use to a large extent wedge-shaped pieces of iron
fastened to the inner face of the door, which fit into, as the door
shuts, corresponding holes in the frame or lining face. These cannot,
however, be used well at the back of the door, in consequence of the
clearance required when it is swinging open; otherwise, if fastened in a
solid manner, they give some additional strength. One of the noticeable
features of Messrs. Milners’ safe is the use of an outside band or frame
round the body, the advisability of which position for it is sometimes
questioned, although it adds somewhat to the appearance of strength.
They also use hinges in place of the pivot or centre working in a
socket, the more general mode of construction.

One of their stronger safes has been described as follows: ‘Its
dimensions being 83¼ inches high; 58¼ inches wide, and 36½ inches deep,
and secured by one single and two pairs of double doors. The first,
which is of massive strength, and well provided with lock, bolts, and
wedge-guards, secures a small chest or treasury designed for bullion,
which is in fact the principal object for which the safe was intended.
Over this door close a pair of equally strong double doors, each
shooting eight massive bolts, and coated, like the inner door, with a
layer of hardened steel. Over these second doors close a third pair,
consisting, like the inner ones, of two ½-inch plates of iron separated
by a plate of ½-inch cast steel. The composition is 3½ inches thick.
The weight of the safe is thirteen tons (?), and the cost £300.’

The safes made by Messrs. Tann, of Newgate Street, make no pretension to
any special novelty beyond having, in the strong qualities, a projecting
rim _all round_ the inside of the door, which fits into a corresponding
recess, in order to foil the action of wedges. The finish of most of
these safes is decidedly good, showing careful workmanship.

The following is a published description of one of Messrs. Tann’s safes:
‘No special provision as against fire was made, strength being the first
object. The size of the safe is 5 feet 6 inches high, and 2 feet 4
inches deep, about four tons weight of iron being used in its
manufacture. The case consists first of boiler plate of ½-inch, then of
⅜-inch plate of steel and iron welded together, a third outer case
being of ⅜-inch iron plate. The frame is six inches by 1¼ inches, with
solid corners; and the construction of the doors is novel. They are
folding, and fit into each other at their meeting with dovetails seven
inches high and one inch wide of solid ½-inch iron, which effectually
prevents any attempt to force them apart by wedging. The back edge of
each door is provided with what is technically called a hook rebate,
with the same view.’

Messrs. Hobbs’s safes are also of various qualities, their strongest
having bolts of a hooked or claw shape, and the outer edges of the body
plates being protected in a peculiar way by a covering under which
molten metal is run to cover or close the joints.

The safe made by Chatwood has a door with a curved edge,[2] and bolts of
hooked shape which slide behind projections on the frame; sometimes he
uses also projecting pieces on the inner edge of a door, somewhat in
Milner’s way, and his stronger safes have hard metal run in while hot
between two iron plates to form the sides. Some of his safes are very
ponderous, and more work is spent on them than seems necessary for any
but the most extraordinary requirement. The finish is good, and the
general plan of construction more elaborate than that used by some
makers. The number of applications for patents made by Mr. Chatwood will
be seen by reference to the list to be large, but only some of them or
parts are in use.


Messrs. Chubb and Son’s safes are chiefly in two distinct qualities, the
best being made as shown by the annexed engravings. The advantage of
the diagonal bolts will be obvious; they fasten into a solid frame,
which in its turn overlaps the body-plates, so that if it were possible
to get a wedge past the rebate on the door, the moment the wedge was
inserted the bolts would grip the sides and bind it tightly. The edges
are joined by angle-iron, rivets and screws, and are rebated and
dovetailed together.


Messrs. Chubb and Son have lately (1874) patented a new mode of
construction, with the object of providing a stronger safe at a less
cost than has hitherto been charged. The frame of the safe, on which the
door hangs, is a solid T-iron, its outer edge overlapping the
body-plates, and the flange receiving behind it the bolts. Though the
inner lining has no screw or rivet, yet it is most securely fastened in
the process of joining the other parts. In order to increase the
fire-resisting properties of this new safe, besides the usual casing of
fire-resisting material, a tube is introduced into the open space behind
the T-iron, filled with a substance that will on the approach of fire
cause steam to be projected into the interior of the safe. The engraving
shows a section of one corner of this patent safe, and an elevation of
it will be found facing page 36.

[Illustration: CHUBB’S PATENT.]

Beyond the fact that its simplicity of construction enables it to be
produced at a moderate cost, the chief advantages claimed for this
particular safe are:--

1. The door being slightly recessed when shut, a wedge cannot be
inserted with the same ease as if it were flush; and if it is inserted,
the pressure is exerted against the point of greatest strength and away
from the door.

2. The frame being a special T-iron section with a thickened corner, its
strength is enormous, and the power necessary to bend it can hardly be
applied but by machinery.

3. The bolts fasten behind this solid iron, in place of, as is usually
the case, into the lining.

4. The edges of the outer plates are recessed into the frame, so that
there is not an open joint.

5. The outer plates are fastened to the frame by a new screw rivet,
which can neither be driven in nor taken out.

6. Even if one of the plates should be taken off, the lining cannot be
got out, in consequence of the mode adopted for securing it at the

7. The adoption of the Patent Steam Tube adds greatly to the fireproof
qualities of the safe at the part most subject to the entrance of heat.

Among safe manufacturers I may name Messrs. Mordan and Co., Mr.
Whitfield, Mr. Elwell, Messrs. Perry and Co., Mr. Price, and others,
whose productions I have not space to describe.

There are in Staffordshire certain firms who make safes of the lightest
and most trumpery description, chiefly for export. A partner in one of
these establishments once told me that as long as the safes were strong
enough to stand the rough voyage round the Cape to India they were all
that was needed! I need hardly say that a safe need be no stronger than
a packing-case to stand _that_ test. There are, however, already signs
of a much better article being required in the East; and the export
trade in good English safes to India, China, Australia, and other parts
is rapidly becoming of much importance.

Wedging has already been mentioned as an ingenious and somewhat new mode
adopted by burglars to force open safes. It is accomplished by means of
a number of steel wedges, thin and small, and about two inches long by
half an inch broad; these are driven in one by one at different parts
round the edge of the door; gradually


_To face page 36_]

thicker ones are put in until the side has been sprung away sufficiently
to allow a crowbar to be inserted, and then if the bolts are not of the
very best the door is likely to be wrenched open. The sound of hammering
the wedges is deadened by a leather pad being put under the hammer, so
that it becomes almost a silent operation.

A convicted burglar, who had enjoyed the advantage of some experience in
wedging safes, stated that on first trying the door of a safe, if the
wedge sprang out and would not remain in the joint without being held,
it was generally hopeless to proceed with wedges; but if the first wedge
took ‘a bite’ in the joint and stayed in, he was almost certain of

But besides this method there is that of using drills, a very favourite
way formerly with thieves, and one that has lately again become popular,
because of the increased facilities for procuring better drilling
instruments. The object sought in drilling is to get at the lock or
working parts, so that by destroying the works and bolt of the lock the
handle of the safe merely has to be turned and the door comes open. It
is quite easy to drill any number of holes into an ordinary _iron_ safe,
but unless the holes are near the lock the contents of the safe cannot
be reached without much labour and time. Therefore to counteract the
drilling it is necessary to protect the lock by steel or some other hard
substance. A plate of steel well fixed is usually employed, but in
addition to this Mr. John Chubb invented a very simple but effective
mode of protection. A number of small holes are made in the door-plate
from the inside almost through the plate; the holes are tapped, and then
filled up with hard steel screws; so that when a drill touches, however
slightly, even one of the steel screws, its edge immediately breaks and
the drill becomes useless.

The construction and operation of the powerful instrument which made
large holes was unknown until one of them, with all its tools, was
captured by the police, and a more powerful, well-made, and compact
instrument has seldom been seen. By the courtesy of the Metropolitan
Police Authorities Mr. Chubb was allowed to experiment with the
instrument, and his attention was directed to provide some means to
baffle and destroy its operation. This has been effectually done, and
the improvement secured by letters patent.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

It would be obviously improper to publish any description or
illustration of the machine itself, but fig. 1

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

shows a part of an iron door with a hole two inches in diameter cut
through it. Fig 2 is the cutting tool used, and uninjured, as it was
when taken from the machine after cutting the hole. Fig. 3 also shows a
part of an iron door, having the patent improvement, upon which a trial
was next made by the instrument _with the same cutter_. No impression,
farther than taking a mere skin off the surface, could be made, and the
cutter was utterly destroyed, as shown in fig. 4.

Another and more powerful machine was taken by the Manchester police,
with cutters capable of making much larger holes, but the improvement is
equally effective in destroying the tools.

[Illustration: Fig. 4]

A third and more desperate mode of opening safes is by introducing
gunpowder into the locks, destroying them, and thus opening the door
with ease. This, however, has not lately been tried to any extent; the
noise made is likely to lead to detection. It is rather a dangerous
thing to try, and the locks of good safes have generally received such
improvements as enable them to resist the shock of an explosion without

There have been other methods said to be used by burglars to obtain
their object, such as softening steel with a blow-pipe, so as to get a
drill through it, or using drills made of diamonds, which are said to be
very powerful, or employing acids to act upon and destroy hard steel,
but I have not known of any burglaries proving successful by these

There is no doubt a vast amount of low ingenuity and cunning always at
work, quietly scheming or planning the best mode of getting at the
treasure so often kept in safes, and the only safeguard against this is
to get the best safe possible, and then not to rely upon its being
utterly impregnable (for no safe can be that), but to use ordinary
watchfulness and care, so that it may not be exposed to unusual risks.

A safe is protected as much by having careful and honest persons in the
employ of a firm as by its own strength; and the common-sense view of
the matter to take is to advise all who wish to obtain the best security
to pay what is necessarily a good price for a good safe, and to take
good care of it--and its keys.

The careless way in which the keys, not only of safes, but of warehouse
doors, private boxes, and bags are left about, has been the cause of
many robberies.

The great gold robbery on the South-Eastern Railway in 1855 was effected
through the thieves obtaining, though only for a few moments, possession
of the keys and taking an impression from them. A jewel robbery at the
West End of London in 1872 was owing to the key of the jewel-case being
left in the same room as the case. It is often found that important keys
instead of being in personal custody are kept in some drawer or box
having only a very common lock.

Even bankers, careful as they are, need a caution about this, for their
keys are so numerous in most instances that great care should be
exercised to prevent them from ever getting into improper hands;
whatever kind of keys are used, they should never be out of the
possession of their rightful owners.

A plan, to which I may call attention, because of its complete success
and simplicity, has been extensively used for the recovery of lost keys.
It consists of a chain with a label attached to it, engraved as shown
in the accompanying illustration, the object being to ensure the return
of the keys without the finder becoming aware to whom they belong, thus
preventing their possible unlawful use. The bunch of keys being brought
to the address on the label, by reference to a register kept of each
label, the rightful owner is known and communicated with. Several
thousands are now in use, and their value is proved by the constant,
almost daily, recovery of keys.


Some of the instances in which this plan has been successfully used are
somewhat remarkable, and among these may be mentioned the loss of a
gentleman’s keys on one of the Swiss mountains. All hope of finding them
was given up and a fresh set accordingly made; but the following year a
bunch of keys was found where the snow had melted, and these, brought
home by an English traveller, were found to be the missing ones.

Perhaps a more curious case, in which an unexpected use was made of the
register, occurred at the time of the terrible Abergele accident to the
Irish mail train. Mr. Lund, a passenger in the train, was killed, but
nothing could at first be found upon him as a likely means of
identification. He happened, however, to have a registered chain, and
upon telegraphing to my firm the number on the label his name and
address were at once discovered.

It may be of use to add a few particulars respecting the amount of coin
that can be stowed in a certain space, in order that it may be easily
calculated how much any safe will hold. The Bank of England reckoning
for the room required to stow away gold coin in bags is 79 cubic inches
to 1,000_l._ One cubic foot will contain no less than 21,875_l._ In
order to allow a slight margin and to be on the right side, it may be
considered that 80 cubic inches will contain 1,000_l._ in bags of

For silver coin the Bank reckoning is that 157 cubic inches will hold
100_l._, and that one cubic foot will hold 1,235_l._ in bags. To allow a
margin as before, it may be said that 160 cubic inches contain 100_l._
in silver coin.



Perhaps there is a greater demand for fire-resisting than for
thief-resisting safes, and certainly it is in the former character that
they are most often put to the test. The consideration, therefore, of
what is the best form of construction to cope with fire is most
important; while it is also a much simpler matter than when strength
against thieves is required.

In fire we have an element whose character is known, and which cannot
attack us in some new way for which we are not fully prepared. All that
it can do to a safe is to exercise upon it a certain heat, the intensity
of which may be pretty nearly determined, and which cannot in actual
practice last beyond a certain time. Probably heat that will melt iron
in a large mass is seldom produced in the burning of an ordinary
dwelling-house; but in a warehouse with inflammable contents such fierce
heat often exists, so that a safe should be proof against it for two or
three hours. Unless a safe were very bulky it could not well preserve
its contents without any damage for a much longer time; and indeed it is
not necessary, for no safe is very likely to be exposed to an intense
all-round fire longer than three hours; by that time it will either have
fallen into rubbish, or the _débris_ from above will have covered it in,
and protected it from immediate contact with the fire. It will be seen
from this that it is advisable not to build a safe partially into a
wall or recess; the chances being that it will be kept in its place long
enough to have the full force of the fire expended upon its exposed
portion, and then fall a greater distance and upon harder material than
if it had fallen when the wooden floor first gave way.

The first quality that a fire-resisting safe should possess is strength
in its construction sufficient to prevent its being damaged by a heavy
fall, or sustaining injury through the plates warping from heat. This
cannot be obtained unless the outer plates are at least a quarter of an
inch thick (or upwards, in big safes), strongly joined at all the edges
by stout angle-irons well rivetted to them. Other and more expensive
methods are used to join the edges, and are doubtless better than the
foregoing; but this is at once a cheap, effectual, and most generally
used method.

Secondly, it is essential to make the safe as nearly airtight as
possible, to do which it is only necessary that the door should fit very
closely at its edges, and that its inside face touches at every possible
point the interior of the safe.

The third thing to be considered is the fire-proofing--the most
important feature of the safe. Almost everything that one can think of
has been either proposed or used for proofing--water, wood, paper,
plaster-of-Paris, chemicals of all sorts, and many other things besides.
But of all these what may be termed a combination of water and wood, in
the forms of alum and sawdust, has been most extensively used.

There are two walls of wrought iron in the safe, and the intervening
space has to be filled with a fire-resisting material, which may be
either of a refractory nature, such as fire-clay, sand, or any other
practically infusible slow conductor of heat; or it may be an absorbent
substance containing chemicals that will evolve moisture when heated.
The former of these two methods is now seldom used except by makers of
cheap common safes, who sometimes use clay, ashes, or mould. The
evaporating system is generally adopted, and as a rule the absorbent
material is common sawdust, with which is mixed ordinary alum, the water
of crystallisation in the alum being gradually parted with under the
continued heat generated by fire. Mahogany sawdust is preferred, as
being less combustible than that of white woods.

At one time tubes of glass or fusible metal containing alkaline
solutions were imbedded in the sawdust and were supposed to burst or
fuse at a given temperature, but it was found that the glass
accidentally broke or the fusible metal became corroded, and allowed the
liquids to escape, thus damping the contents of the safe. But the
mixture of alum with sawdust is open to two objections. Owing to the
hygroscopic nature of sawdust the alum is liable to decomposition,
thereby producing a certain moisture in the safe; and, secondly, there
is of course a limit to the production of moisture from the alum when
under the action of fire, after which the sawdust will become gradually
dry, and although it may not actually ignite, it will become charred,
and even red hot, under sufficiently continued heat. It is but fair,
however, to say, as I have previously suggested, that such instances of
continued heat are but rarely probable; yet, for the before-mentioned
reasons, I prefer and use an _incombustible_ material, very light and
absorbent, and which does not possess the bad qualities of sawdust, but
which is more expensive. Supposing the alum to become exhausted, there
still remains the protection of a substance which is both infusible and
a bad conductor of heat.

Of course the actual amount of resistance to fire depends largely on the
capacity of the proofing chambers. When advisable the thickness of
these may be increased to any extent desired, or the safe may have
several chambers, all containing proofing, or intermediate ones left as
air-chambers only.

To sum up the qualities which are requisite to make a safe proof against
an ordinary fire, it must, first, be made entirely of wrought iron;
secondly, the outer plates must be at least a quarter of an inch thick;
thirdly, there should be a space of three to four inches all round it of
an evaporating non-conducting composition. With such a safe as this,
properly put together, the general run of fires may be defied; but there
are cases where extra precaution should be taken, and the safe kept in a
brick, stone, or iron strong-room. No safe inside a strong-room has, to
my knowledge, ever been destroyed; but many--always light ones--in
warehouses or offices have had their contents burnt.

And here I would caution those not acquainted with the subject to put
little faith in the tests, either public or private, that are sometimes
made, unless they are conducted by persons quite disinterested. When it
is done in this way of course the result is one that may, if certain
conditions are fulfilled, be valuable; but so frequently are these
‘tests’ arranged, either by making a safe specially for a trial, by
carefully packing its contents, or by constructing the fire in a
particular mode, to turn out such wonderful successes, that it will be
well not to rely upon anything but actual experience gained from the
result of safes which have been known to be subject to an ordeal in the
ordinary course of things. Plenty of such instances can be investigated,
but it will obviously be unadvisable to give here the numerous results
that have from time to time been chronicled by the daily papers and
other publications.

It should be borne in mind that certain things are less liable to
injury from heat than others; and therefore it is that books will
sometimes sustain no injury, whilst loose papers in the same safe may be
more or less damaged. For this reason it is advisable that all
parchments and papers be kept in a drawer or cupboard of a safe, as the
second enclosure (though with no more fire-proofing round it) gives a
slight extra security.

Another caution I would give is that, after being in one fire, a safe
should not be relied on to resist fire again until it has been examined
and re-proofed by the maker or a thoroughly competent person. The
resisting properties are certain to be damaged, if not destroyed
altogether; and although I know of safes still in use that have not been
renovated since preserving their contents, I would not place any faith
at all in their power to prove again successful.

The destruction of the Pantechnicon has presented an opportunity of
fairly ascertaining the effect of great heat upon various safes, and,
strange as it may seem, scarcely one of the many safes survived the
conflagration without injury. One French safe had nothing but its four
sides left intact, its front, back, and inside having disappeared as if
driven out by a cannon-ball. The cast-iron safes, of which there were
several, proved, as might be expected, utterly useless, being found when
pulled out of the ruins twisted into all sorts of shapes, or cracked and
broken like glass. Other safes, by makers whose reputation can hardly be
affected by damage done in such an unprecedented fire, had their
contents very seriously injured; and only a few safes came out of the
trial in at all a satisfactory state.

Speaking of French safes, I may here say that, as a rule, they and most
of the Continental safes cannot be trusted in English fires, nor against
the more advanced skill prevailing among our English thieves. Without
offence their character may be summed up as being really
‘French’--pretty in outward appearance (which is more than can be said
for our safes), with peculiar locks requiring no keys, and certain other
un-English things about them; they are quite unsuitable for our market,
and _vice versâ_ our British safes find little sale in France.

Safes and other receptacles to contain gunpowder and preserve it from
explosion have recently been talked about; and there is no doubt that
one result of such a calamity as the late Regent’s Canal explosion will
be to expedite legislation on the subject of the transit and storage of
gunpowder and other explosives. It may appear curious that gunpowder can
be preserved from damage by fire with much greater ease than such a
substance as parchment, but the former can only be destroyed by being in
contact with actual fire, or becoming subject to a most intense heat
(about 560 degrees); while a moderate heat or exposure to steam, such as
is necessarily generated by the fire-proofing of a safe, often
irretrievably damages parchment. A well-made safe, on the principle of
evaporation already described, may be relied on to preserve gunpowder
from considerable heat, but to avoid the possibility of flame or sparks
entering the space round the door, a second safe of lighter make may be
placed inside the ordinary one. Major Majendie, in a recent report to
the Government on this subject, suggests that there should be public
trials by the various makers, of safes, such as they severally think
most suitable for this special purpose. It remains to be seen if this
advice will be followed, and if so, upon what principle the trials will
be conducted, and whether the safes or chests so tested will be
precisely the same as the makers intend to retail, or are made specially
for the occasion. It is extremely doubtful if the Government would be
acting wisely in affording facilities at the public expense for private
firms to experiment with safes the merits of which are pretty well
known; but should the trials take place, no doubt the results will, in
some instances, be of a nature to astonish those not practically
familiar with the action of fire in such cases.



In the broadest sense of the term there cannot be such a thing as a
burglar-proof or fire-proof safe, but in the usually restricted sense of
these words it is easy to obtain a safe that combines both qualities,
provided what is considered to be a good price is paid.

But it will be well to begin by warning those who hunt after so-called
second-hand safes that a real second-hand one, by a good maker, is
seldom to be obtained; also that the majority of safes advertised and
sold as genuinely second-hand, and with which a warranty is often said
to be given, are absolutely worthless, being made by small makers in
London and Birmingham, chiefly on purpose to be sold as second-hand, and
constructed of the lightest and poorest materials. The parts that are
visible of these safes of course look strong; for instance, the edge of
the door is sometimes about an inch thick, thus making it appear as if
of that thickness throughout; while the fact is that the door is made of
two thin sheets of iron with a thick narrow bar all round the edge, thus
showing apparent strength where there is none in reality, for nothing is
easier than to drill through this door and force back the bolts.

It is well for the reputation--such as it is--of these second-hand safes
that they are covered with paint; the more the defects the nicer the
safe frequently looks, outwardly; for it is easy enough to cover up
cracks, bad joints, &c. with putty, and then paint it all as smooth as a
carriage-panel. The angle-iron, by which the plates are fastened
together, is very slight, the rivets are small and few and far between;
the plates themselves are but sheet-iron, often of less thickness than
the mere linings of good safes; and as for the fireproofing material, it
is sometimes the ashes from the hearth, and sometimes garden-mould. It
is a fact that, at an auction in Scotland, whilst a safe of this
description was being ‘put up’ as one of the best ever made, it suddenly
fell to the ground, broke open in the fall, and out came the
fireproofing in the shape of fresh garden-turf, with live worms in it.

At a dealer’s at the West End of London, within the last few months,
there was one of these _new_ second-hand safes, its outer plates being
less than an eighth of an inch thick. The safe, about five feet high,
was so top-heavy and badly made that upon being touched it rocked like a
jelly, and had to be supported by boards at the back. Such is a sample
of many a wretched safe bought by unsuspecting and naturally ignorant

As to the fastening of such safes, the bolts are two or three in number,
thrown to the front of the door, while at the back of the door are what
are called ‘dogs,’ that is, immovable bolts, of little or no use, and
put in merely to make the fastenings look stronger. The hinges, too,
which ought to be well-made and of the best wrought-iron, are of
cast-iron, so that not only does the movement of the door quickly wear
them away, but a sharp blow would at once smash them in pieces.

The lock, which is generally used as a bait to catch the purchaser, is
frequently of good make, but of a kind never intended for a safe. Locks
made for wooden drawers are constantly bought and used for this purpose,
although totally unsuitable, and in spite of all proceedings that can
be taken to prevent it. Neither my firm nor any of the large
safe-manufacturers make safe-locks for any but safes of their own make.
A lock for this purpose requires to be, first, very strong, and
protected by hard steel, so as to be drill-proof; second, completely
gunpowder-proof; third, simple in construction, so that it may never be
liable to derangement. Locks on such safes as we are now describing are
seldom anything but the last, and not always that. So weak and poor in
its construction is this most important part of most of these safes,
that workmen with the simplest tools have, with ease and without noise,
forced open many of them in from five to fifteen minutes. The lock most
suitable for safes is shown in annexed engraving.


It is, in short, a most obvious truth to all who care to enquire into
the matter that of all cheap things a cheap safe as a general rule is
the most worthless.

Every lock or safe maker of any repute has, at one time or another, had
his name used unlawfully in order to deceive purchasers of these common
safes. My firm has been compelled to bring nearly a dozen actions in
cases of this kind. It had a case lately in which a dealer attempted
twice within twelve months (the second time in defiance of the
injunction previously granted against him) to sell most worthless goods
as being Chubb’s patent make.

I had thought of giving a few instructions to guide a purchaser of a
second-hand safe, that he might secure the best; but, as I believe it is
a pure waste of money to buy even the best of the class alluded to, I
will note what will assist the purchaser who desires a good safe by a
good maker.

First, be satisfied that the lock is gunpowder-proof, and covered by
some arrangement that will effectually prevent drills reaching it; then
that the spindle or handle is made so that it cannot be pulled out or
forced in. There ought to be at least three bolts at the front and three
at the back of the door, proportionate to the height of the safe. The
lock-case, containing lock and bolts, should be most strongly fastened
to the door-plate, which ought never to be less than ½ in. throughout.
Respecting the body or outer plates of the safe, these should not be, in
smaller safes, less than ¼ in. thick, while in safes above 5 feet high
they should be at least ⅜ in. The frame on the safe (for the use and
description of which see page 35) must be at least 2¼ × ½ in. in small,
and 4 × ⅞ in. in large safes. The rivets used ought to be no more than
3 inches apart; this may sometimes be tested by scraping off the paint,
when the rivet-heads may be seen. Attention should be paid to the holes
in which the bolts go, for unless these are strong, a wedge and crowbar
would tear the bolts out of them without difficulty. Be sure also that
the fireproofing is of the best material; and lastly, choose a safe of
the best finish in every respect.

It may be said that notwithstanding the disparagement of the cheap
second-hand safes some of them have at times resisted burglars or
preserved their contents from fire. This may be true, but it has been
owing rather to the burglars’ want of skill or the little risk they ran
in the fire. On the other hand, I could cite dozens of instances where
their worthlessness has been shown under real exposure to fire or the
attempts of burglars.

A tolerably correct guide in the purchase of a safe is its weight,
wherein the light plate and thin proofing cases are sure to betray
themselves. Insist upon the weight being stamped on the safe, and see
that it does not deviate largely from the following instances:--

          In.    In.    In.
         wide   high   deep                    Cwt.
  A safe  22  ×  17  ×  16  should weigh about   3
    ”     44  ×  28  ×  24    ”         ”       11
    ”     48  ×  39  ×  25    ”         ”       16 (folding doors)
    ”     60  ×  39  ×  26    ”         ”       23     ”      ”
    ”     84  ×  48  ×  30    ”         ”       42     ”      ”

No safes of the sizes mentioned should weigh less than these amounts;
but safes lined with steel, and made stronger than usual in other ways,
will, of course, be very much heavier.

It is so easy for a safe to be made that will deceive any but an
experienced eye, and when one is bought it is so requisite that it
should be one to be trusted in, that if only for the sake of peace of
mind it is advisable to purchase from one of those firms whose
reputations depend upon the quality of their work, and whose name is a
guarantee that the safe is a safe.

A guarantee is a capital thing to bait a hook with in most trades, but
it is a doubtful advantage at the best, for if an article is not good
enough to stand upon its own merits a guarantee cannot improve it; and
to say broadly, ‘Oh, yes, we guarantee this to be fire and thief proof,’
is to warrant a safe to withstand any amount of fire and any number of

There obviously must be a limit to the endurance of safes; therefore a
guarantee is as obviously an absurdity, and ought not to be blindly
believed in.



In the planning and construction of a strong-room it must be remembered
that the object sought is to obtain a place secure against both the
attack of thieves and the ravages of fire.

There are many cases, however, where the latter is the chief object; and
as the attainment of this is more difficult than the former, it will
necessarily come before us more prominently. In many respects this
subject is the most important in this treatise, and it is one concerning
which there is a great amount of ignorance. Bearing in mind the rapid
spread of banking and other businesses requiring the security a good
strong-room affords, it will be my object to show the faults of many
constructions now relied upon, and to suggest the simple ways by which
they may be avoided.

Building a single strong-room is a very different matter from erecting a
fireproof building; the latter is a larger and more difficult question,
which will be noticed by itself; but the room that is to be made secure
may be and generally is part of a building with no pretensions to
special safety against fire or thieves.

Now, the first thing to consider is the position best adapted in any
bank, mansion, or warehouse for placing the more valuable part of its
contents. There may be certain parts which seem most convenient for
access or other reasons, but such considerations ought never to be
taken first, especially as the best place happens to be often rather
inconvenient. The basement is undoubtedly the right position; any part
of the basement will do, but a room on the ground or first floor has at
once a source of weakness in itself, for it has to depend for support on
what is not a strong-room. Let some spot be chosen in the basement
where, if possible, the room will have none of its walls adjoining any
other buildings. Should it be next to a street or thoroughfare, it will
not matter; but it should not adjoin a court or area, where burglars
might have an opportunity of working unobserved. It would undoubtedly be
an excellent precaution to build all the walls quite distinct from the
main walls of the larger structure, but this is not absolutely
necessary, and the extra expense is a drawback to it, though I would
give a caution against false economy in such a matter as this.

Any position likely to be damp should be avoided; but if this is not
possible every precaution should be taken to remedy the evil, for the
trouble caused by damp when once it has got into a closed room of this
kind is endless. A few air-bricks connecting the inside by a hollow flue
formed in the wall, with its outlet as far as possible from the inlet,
should be sufficient to ventilate any strong-vault. But if other
ventilation is necessary in the room, have a jet of gas always alight;
and over the gas place a bell-shaped covering communicating with the
outer air, or with a chimney flue in preference, by a two-inch iron

In excavating for the foundations, if the subsoil and the situation are
not well known, it is important to see that there is no drain or pipe of
any sort under the surface, and that the ground is stiff enough for the
heavy weight that will be on it. One of the most important parts of a
strong-room is the floor, although there is a popular delusion that
because it is the floor it is quite secure without any protection. A
circumstance showing the necessity of being careful to make the floor
strong occurred in the early part of the year 1865, at Hong Kong. The
Central Bank of Western India, situated there, had a strong-room for its
securities, but unfortunately the defence of the floor seems to have
been forgotten. Accordingly some thieves commenced to make a tunnel from
a neighbouring house, and after considerable labour obtained entrance
through the floor and carried off plunder to the amount of fifty
thousand pounds. The affair was managed during Saturday and Sunday by
means of this tunnel dug between a drain and the floor of the treasury,
a horizontal distance of sixty feet.

A New York bank was also entered in a similar manner, through an
excavation which must have taken two or three weeks to make. Although
such approaches may occupy some time, they can be carried on unnoticed
until the removal of a stone in the floor is at last only the work of a
few minutes. For the floor to be secure, it should certainly be formed
of half-inch boiler-plates rebated and fastened together, laid upon a
good thickness of brick and cement. Stone has been constantly
recommended and used for flooring, but it is not advisable; there ought
not to be any stone in a strong-room except for the sill and lintel of
the doorway, where it is almost necessary.

The walls must be at least fourteen inches thick, brick and cement, and
there ought to be the boiler-plate lining inside wall and roof to
correspond with the floor.

The roof must be brick-arched, and the arches should be made in the
strongest possible way, in order to resist if necessary the weight of a
great portion of the building above falling on them. If the span cannot
be from one wall to another, then a wrought-iron girder may be
introduced, but should be most carefully covered by cement or plaster
at every exposed part. On no account use a cast-iron girder.

The entrance to the room has to be well protected, for it is here that
attack is to be expected from thieves, and that fire might possibly
creep through.

The best plan is to use a fire-resisting door and gate joined together;
the door being flush with the outside of entrance and opening out, the
gate flush with the inside, and opening inwards; as a general rule the
door only is used, but the addition of a gate not only gives extra
security, but allows the door to stand open in the daytime to ventilate
the room, when other openings for ventilation are impossible or
undesirable. There certainly should not be any other _direct_ opening
besides the doorway either for light or air. Light is, I know,
frequently desirable, but if it is obtained through a window or skylight
the strength of the room is lessened, even if these openings have strong
iron shutters. If gas is to be introduced the pipes must be laid on with
care; it is best to have no pipe inside, but a swing bracket outside the
entrance, which, when the door is open, can be swung through the opening
and thus light up the interior. Fixed lamps may be used, but there is a
certain amount of risk--though it is small--of their being forgotten,
and of sparks from them igniting loose papers. It will follow from this
that no stove or fireplace should be used inside a strong-room; for if
there is a flue a source of weakness is introduced, besides the contents
of the room being liable to damage from fire.

But the fixing of the door is an important and hitherto much-neglected
point. The annexed drawing shows almost at a glance the proper mode of
doing this:--


I have taken it for granted that it is understood iron doors are made
with a frame surrounding them of bar-iron, to which the hinges of the
door hang, and the corners of which project, to give greater strength.
Now, if this door and frame be fixed while a building is in progress,
the locks and bolts are exposed to injury from dirt and damp, and the
frame is liable to be thrown out of position by settlement of the wall.
It is, therefore, better to leave such an opening as shown in the
engraving sufficiently large for the intended door-frame, toothed at the
sides, and having an arch above it. The door can then be fixed when the
building is nearly ready for occupation, the surplus opening being
filled with brickwork. The drawing shows a stone sill, and it is usual,
though not necessary, to fix a stone lintel over the top of the door, as
shown by dotted lines; or the arch may all be filled with brickwork. The
bottom of the frame should be grooved about two-thirds of its thickness
into the sill, leaving enough room for the door to open clear of the
floor-level; or if it be wished to let the bottom frame entirely in, the
same end may be obtained by slightly sloping away the floor outside it.
The top and sides of the frame should be rebated into the head-stone (or
brick) and jambs the whole of their thickness, so that the inside of the
wall-opening may be flush with the inside of the frame.

The door must be placed level and upright in the position prepared for
it, and temporarily supported there; it should be received from the
makers locked, and must have its brass furniture fixed, and be unlocked
by the key before attempting to turn the handle of the main bolts. If
after unlocking it there is any difficulty in turning the bolts back
with the handle, no great force should be used, but the position of the
frame must be adjusted until the bolts move easily and the door opens
without binding anywhere. In case of any such difficulty, a little
wedging up of the top arm against the shutting side of the door (marked
A in drawing), will usually remove it. Try the door with a spirit-level
applied to three parts, viz.: 1. The face or edge of frame (right and
left sides), with door shut. 2. The inside shutting edge of frame, with
door partly open. 3. The inside of bottom of frame; and adjust until the
bolts work properly. It should then be fixed in this position, taking
care not to force the sides of the frame inwards while so doing.

During the fixing, the opening and shutting of the door should be tried
frequently. As cement swells in setting, it is possible a door-frame
which appears to be properly set may afterwards be found bulged or bound
when dry. This should, therefore, be guarded against by wood struts
placed across the inside of the frame. On no account must a frame be
fixed without its door, but always with the door hung and open, in
accordance with the foregoing directions.

As the keys are not required by the workmen after the door is unlocked
before fixing, they should be kept by the owner, lest by being left
about they may be mislaid or wrongfully used.

A strong-room door of ordinary quality should have the outer plate ½ or
⅝ inch thick, with the lock-case and fireproofing-case in addition;
and at least six bolts, three at front and three at back; the frame of a
strength proportionate to the size and weight of the door, and with arms
and lugs projecting, to build into the wall.

The interior fittings of the room are of course determined by the
requirements of the owner. If there is much shelving it may be of
perforated metal or mere strips of iron for boxes to rest on, so as to
allow of free circulation of air. For particularly valuable articles or
documents a safe either small or to take to pieces may be introduced, as
is usually done by bankers. I give a plan of a first-class strong-room,
which for all practical purposes is secure, and combines strength with
economy in construction.

[Illustration: PLAN OF STRONG-ROOM.]


The side and back walls are about 2 ft. thick, in hard brick laid in
cement. At 9 inches from the inside of wall is a continuous rough iron
grating of vertical bars, built in as a part of the solid wall.
Hoop-iron is used in the horizontal courses. The entrance wall is 2½ ft.
thick, but in other respects similar to the side walls.

The roof is formed of a brick arch 18 inches thick, with curved bars in
the centre; and is covered with a layer of concrete.

The floor is brick and concrete as shown; with a layer of asphalte on
the surface.

At the entrance to the room is a steel door of great strength, with two
locks throwing 12 bolts, and with a fire-resisting chamber. Next to this
is a pair of iron folding-doors, not fireproof; which, when open, lie
within the thickness of the wall. There is next a wrought-iron gate
opening inwards; the frames of the doors and gate being all connected by
wrought-iron plates.

In the room itself, at the further end, is a fire-resisting iron and
steel strong-room; and the space in front of it (sides, roof and floor)
is lined with ½-inch iron plate, placed a slight distance from the wall
to allow of an air-space between. The fittings are of iron; shelves on
one side and cupboards on the other.

The cost of such a room complete, of the best materials and highest
finish (including brickwork), would be about 1300_l._

The following is a condensed description of a strongroom constructed a
few years ago for a London bank, and which might serve as a model for
others. The walls, two feet thick, are formed of hard bricks laid in
cement, with hoop-iron worked in. The room is lined throughout with
wrought-iron, ½ inch thick. There are two doors, the outer one a strong
iron one, with two locks; and the inner one of combined iron and steel,
of extraordinary strength, with two locks throwing ten bolts. A safe
placed inside, weighing eight tons, and having twenty bolts, contains
the cash and securities. An alarum in the resident clerk’s bedroom is
attached to the inside of the strong-room, so that if the outer door be
opened a gong is set going. A porter sleeps on a bed in front of the
outer door, and by pulling a handle he can set the alarum off if
necessary; and there is a watchman always on duty. With such a room as
this, situated in a building constantly and carefully watched by
trustworthy servants, robbery is made practically impossible.

As an instance of what peculiar inventions are sometimes brought out, I
annex a description of McNeill’s Patent Safe, which seems to be a sort
of floating strongroom for the preservation of mails, specie, and other
valuables during transit on shipboard from shipwreck, fire, and theft;
but it will be seen to be rather a curious contrivance, and hardly
capable of general adaptation, to say the least. The object of the
invention, it is stated, is to meet a want which has long been felt,
viz., the safety of mails, specie, &c. on board vessels at sea. By the
ordinary system of carrying these, the public have had to put up with
the inconvenience of occasionally losing or receiving in a damaged state
their letters and despatches, and underwriters have had to pay large
sums on the total or partial losses occasioned by the wreck or burning
of vessels containing large amounts of specie.

The safe is constructed of steel or iron plating, lined with wood,
leaving a space, which is filled with fire-resisting composition, of a
rectangular form and dimensions suited to the position in which it is
placed--say between decks of a vessel--and is placed inside a steel or
iron case attached to the main deck, and running up through the upper
deck, forming a hatchway large enough to admit the safe to pass through,
being held in position by guides fixed at vertical angles, forming

The door of the safe is supposed to be both water-tight and fireproof.
When the safe is placed within its case, the upper part of which forms a
hatchway, it may be covered either with an ordinary hatch-cover or a
deck-house corresponding with other houses on deck, and secured down
with hook-bolts fixed to the sills of the hatch-cover or house, and
engaging into eyes rivetted into the sides of the case or hatchway. The
hook-bolts are connected by iron bars, and communicate with a strong
cross-bar, to which is attached a powerful lever placed close to the top
of the safe.

In the event of foundering, as soon as the water inside the vessel
reaches the upper deck it will flow into the case through holes provided
for that purpose; the safe will ascend the slides, forcing up the lever,
which will disengage all the fastenings of the hatch-cover or house, and
permit the safe to lift it off, and float away clear of the vessel as
she sinks.

Strong ringbolts are provided on the top of the safe for lifting it in
and out of the case; also for towing or lifting on board any vessel
finding it adrift. The boats of the sunken vessel may be made fast to
the floating safe, which will serve as a buoy, keeping them altogether
with their heads to the sea, with a much better prospect of being seen
and picked up by a passing vessel than if scattered over the ocean. The
name of the vessel to which it belongs painted on the door of the safe
would lead to its restoration to the proper quarter.

I am not aware that this peculiar invention has ever been carried out,
but the idea which probably gave rise to it is one that has never been
thoroughly solved. Ocean-going mail-steamers, as a rule, continue to
carry enormous sums of bullion in such a way that if the vessel is
wrecked (as is too often the case now-a-days) the money is scattered and
lost. The plan of making a small so-called strong-room by partitioning
off a part of the vessel, is open to many objections, and is far
inferior to the practice of having strong iron safes, which can be
recovered if the vessel should be lost in comparatively shallow water.
When the terrible wreck of the ‘Royal Charter’ occurred there was a
large quantity of specie on board, and all that had been deposited in a
safe was recovered uninjured by the divers many weeks after, while the
loose money was scattered.



I. _General Construction._

When such buildings as the City Flour Mills and the Pantechnicon--types
of many other and similar structures in London and the provinces--are
burnt out, in spite of their supposed fireproof qualities, it becomes a
question of lasting importance as to what is the cause of failure, and
whether any so-called fireproof buildings are really so or not. The
panic caused in many minds by the newspaper reports of such disasters
lasts but a short time, and the true lessons are seldom learnt. With the
object, therefore, of endeavouring to place certain facts and
suggestions on permanent record, I have collected from many sources
various particulars connected with this subject--so intimately connected
with the manufacture of fire-proof receptacles.

Much that has been written on fireproof construction is of little value,
because the practical bearings of the subject have been lost sight of,
and theories of construction are broached that may be good in themselves
but cannot be brought into use, because of expense and other

I remember, for instance, some gentleman recommended that every room of
a building should have floor, walls, and roof lined with galvanised
tanks of water, connected by an elaborate system of pipes and so
on--not at all a bad idea, but utterly impracticable for business
purposes. Another suggestion was that there must be no windows in a
building, as through them a draught passes to increase fire.

But in these instances, as in many others, the main fact is forgotten,
viz., that what is wanted is the best possible mode of making a
fireproof structure that is also adapted for ordinary business purposes.
This is what I take to be the point. Cases where exceptional security
from fire is needed seldom occur and are more easily met. Dealing,
therefore, with an ordinary warehouse, which is to be a fireproof
building, it should be remembered that its fire-resisting qualities are
determined not only by the materials of the actual structure, but also
by its interior fittings, and, above all, by the goods stored or
manufacture carried on in the place. A house of brick only obviously
will not burn, but fill it with cloth or cotton goods, and the house as
well as the goods may be destroyed. No hard-and-fast line can,
therefore, be laid down, for every case may be different. I will
endeavour to notice the _risks_ of buildings commonly erected and the
remedies for each--a combination of which remedies will make a good
fire-resisting structure. Among the numerous books and papers on fires
to which I have been able to refer I have found no information so clear,
precise, and practical as that to be had from the late Mr.
Braidwood’s[3] paper, read before the Society of Arts in 1856, and the
excellent book entitled ‘Fire Surveys,’ by Captain Shaw, the present
Chief of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Mr. Braidwood laid down certain
rules, which have never been improved upon; while both he and Capt. Shaw
express views so alike, and with the confidence of men who have gained
their experience from actual results, that it seems better to be guided
by them than by all other writers put together. Not that I would
disparage these latter, for it is well known that there are architects
and others who have contributed much to the solution of the mystery
which was so long attached to fireproof building. Mr. Braidwood gives a
comparison to demonstrate that what would be safe construction for one
building would not be for another. He says: ‘Supposing an average-sized
dwelling-house, 20×40×50=40,000 cubic feet, built with brick partitions,
stone or slate stairs, wrought-iron joists filled in with concrete, and
the whole well plastered. Such a house will be practically fireproof,
because there is no probability that the flooring in any one room would
make fire enough to communicate to another. But suppose a warehouse
equal to twenty such houses, with floors completely open, supported by
cast-iron pillars, and each floor communicating with the others by open
staircases and wells; suppose farther that it is half-filled with
combustible goods, and perhaps the walls and ceilings lined with wood.
Now, if a fire takes place below, the moment it bursts through the upper
windows or skylights the whole place becomes an immense blast-furnace;
the iron is melted, and in a comparatively short time the building is in
ruins; and, it may be, the half of the neighbourhood destroyed.’

Such a warehouse, as here described, is the type of many now in
existence, and yet people wonder how they can burn. The wonder is rather
why so few are burnt; and one explanation is, that the majority are
scarcely used when gas and lamps are required, the hours when the
workpeople and clerks are about having been so much restricted that for
at least a great part of the year the work does not extend beyond
daylight. When a fire has once got hold of a warehouse, unless it is
built in compartments, the firemen can do nothing but prevent its
spreading to adjoining erections; and, as this cannot always be done
successfully, a badly-built warehouse is likely to bring disaster upon
its neighbours.

But a building may be built to give security; and Mr. Braidwood’s
opinion was ‘that the real fireproof construction for such buildings is
brick arches, supported on brick pillars only.’ This mode of building,
however, involves so much expense, and occupies so much space, that it
cannot be used with advantage. The next best plan is to build warehouses
in compartments of moderate size, divided by party walls and double
wrought-iron doors, so that if one of these compartments takes fire
there may be a reasonable prospect of confining the fire to that
compartment only.

Cast-iron is largely used in building because of its cheapness; but it
is exceedingly dangerous, for it gives way from so many different causes
that it is impossible to calculate _when_ it will give way. The castings
may have flaws in them, or they may be too weak for the weight they may
have to support, being sometimes within ten per cent. or less of the
breaking weight. The expansion of girders may thrust out the side-walls.
For instance, in a warehouse 120 ft. × 75 × 80 ft. there are three
contiguous rows of girders on each floor, with butt-joints; the
expansion in this case may be 12 inches. The tie-rods to take the strain
of the flat arches must expand and become useless, and the whole of the
lateral strain be thrown on the girders and side-walls, perhaps weak
enough already. Again, throwing cold water on the heated iron may cause
an immediate fracture. For these and similar reasons the firemen are not
permitted to go into warehouses supported by iron _when once fairly on
fire_. The effect of fire on cast-iron, as stated by the late Sir
William Fairbairn, F.R.S., of Manchester (Seventh Report of the British
Association, vol. vi. p. 409), is, that the loss of strength in
cold-blast cast-iron, in a variation of temperature from 26° to 190° =
164° Fahr., is 10 per cent., and in hot-blast at the variation of from
21° to 169° Fahr. is 15 per cent. Now, if the loss of strength advances
in anything like this ratio the iron will be totally useless as a
support long before the fusing-point is attained. Respecting the
strength of cast-iron columns here alluded to, I may state that Capt.
Shaw says: ‘At a temperature of 212° Fahr., or the boiling-point of
water, cast-iron loses 15 per cent. of its strength. At the temperature
of molten lead, 612° Fahr., it has probably no strength at all; and at
the temperature 2,787° Fahr., which is probably much below that of the
centre of a large building, it becomes liquid.’ A very clear proof of
the inability of cast-iron to resist the effects of fire was given at
the destruction of a chapel in the Liverpool Road, Islington, on Oct. 2,
1848. The chapel was 70 feet in length and 52 feet in breadth, and was
completely burned down by a fire which commenced in a cellar. After the
fire it was ascertained that of thirteen cast-iron pillars, used to
support the galleries, only two remained perfect; the greater part of
the others were broken into small pieces, the metal appearing to have
lost all power of cohesion, and some parts were melted. It should be
observed that these pillars were of ample strength to support the
galleries when filled by the congregation, but when the fire reached a
certain point the pillars crumbled under the weight of the timber only,
lightened as it must have been by the progress of the fire. In spite of
such a case as this, which is but an example of what has often happened
to other buildings, cast-iron continues to be used not only for ordinary
purposes but actually for so-called fireproof buildings. It may safely
be asserted that _no place in which there are unprotected iron-supports
can possibly be fireproof_; and if this test is applied to many
erections thought to be secure, it will soon be seen how few there are
that can be relied upon to withstand excessive heat.

The reckless mode of running up houses, as speculative builders appear
to delight in doing, and supporting the front on light columns, is a
most dangerous proceeding. Capt. Shaw has cited a case of a corner
building lately put up, 90 ft. long and 70 to 80 ft. high, supported
entirely on iron columns, without any wall, wood, or brickwork. There is
no doubt that at the ordinary fire temperature of 600° to 700° Fahr. the
whole building must inevitably fall down, and such a heat could easily
be created by the combustion of a very small quantity of household
furniture. The fashion of having all the available space for large
shop-fronts gives rise to this dangerous work. Most of the elaborate
shops and offices lately built in London depend entirely upon iron
supports; and some day, when a fearful accident is the result, the
public will appreciate the danger.

In the early part of this year large corner premises were built not far
from the Elephant and Castle, in the South of London, and I watched
their erection with some interest. The house of four storeys was run up
(a better term than built) in a month. The corner angle is supported by
two thin iron columns, and between these and the other ends of the
building are two wooden posts, but the weight chiefly rests upon the
iron columns, which are most certainly unable to sustain the tons of
brickwork above it in case of severe fire. As long as architects and
builders and their employers give up security for the sake of economy
and space, this sort of work will continue to be put up, unless
interfered with by a new Building Act.

What ought, then, to be used for supports? If the brick columns are
inadmissible, then, strange to say, wood posts are the best, or an iron
support, well protected by brickwork, cement, or plaster. The fact is,
though iron is incombustible, it is itself not fireproof; and, on the
other hand, though wood is combustible, it may be used in such a manner
as to resist fire for a great length of time. Capt. Shaw’s recent
experiments with a wooden post had such an extraordinary result that,
with his permission, I append the particulars, from a letter of his
inserted in ‘The Times’:--

‘A few months since a fire occurred in one of the enormous warehouses
for which the docks in this metropolis are remarkable, and raged with
great fury from a little before six in the morning till about eleven in
the forenoon, when it was extinguished, and a very large proportion of
the building and its contents saved. The warehouse was constructed of
brick walls; it had wooden floors, supported on wooden beams, which, in
their turn, were carried on wooden storey-posts about twelve inches
thick; and although serious damage was done, not one portion of the
heavy woodwork was destroyed. After the fire I was allowed to remove one
of the storey-posts, with a section of the beams, and other parts
surrounding it above and below. This post had been subjected to the full
action of the fire during the whole of its duration, as already
mentioned; or, making full allowance for everything, including the delay
of the fire attacking the particular spot on which it stood, and the
time at which the cooling process commenced, certainly not less than 4½

‘As we had used large quantities of water, and it was probable that the
wood might have been somewhat saturated, I had it carefully dried for
several days before a strong fire until not a trace of moisture remained
in it.

‘I then set it on end in an open yard exactly as it had stood in the
warehouse, with the pedestal underneath, the cap above, and the beam
across the cap; placed more than a ton of shavings, light wood and heavy
wood, round it, and after saturating the whole heap with petroleum
applied a light to it. After this I kept men pumping petroleum on it
until my stock was exhausted. At the end of 2½ hours I withdrew the
post, beam, and other parts from the fire, and within a few minutes from
the time they were withdrawn they ceased to burn.

‘I then sawed off, horizontally, a few feet of that part which had
suffered most from the flames, and afterwards split the same piece
longitudinally with steel wedges, in order to examine its condition.

‘The post was of pitch-pine, about the most inflammable wood I know, and
yet after exposure to fire for seven hours, the fury of which could not
be exceeded except in blast-furnaces, it contained, and still contains
within it, a quantity of uninjured and apparently fresh wood, probably
capable at this moment of supporting the whole weight which the original
post may have been designed to carry.

‘Immediately after the saw-cut, and again after the cleaving with steel
wedges, I carefully examined the centre, and found it just perceptibly
warm to the touch, but nothing more, thus proving that the fibre, in
which the strength lies, must have been quite uninjured.

‘The lessons to be drawn from this I take to be as follows: A massive
storey-post of even the most inflammable wood is absolutely and
perfectly proof against any heat that can be applied to it--will not of
itself burn at all, but requires a continual supply of highly
inflammable substance to keep it burning, and when the supply is
withdrawn ceases to burn; and lastly, after being exposed to flames for
seven hours of very great intensity, is not injured to a greater depth
than about two inches from the original outer surface, and still shows
a centre as clean and fresh as when it was first put in.

‘There may be other materials suitable for this purpose which are
capable of resisting the effects of heat, and, if so, I hope we may one
day hear of them; but, in the meanwhile, I venture to submit what I
consider to be strong practical testimony in favour of massive timber
for the internal supports of heavily-loaded buildings. Oak or elm is the
best wood to use, and will defy destruction for hours.’

Messrs. Dennett, whose name is better known in connection with the
Dennett Arch, have introduced a new mode of covering up iron columns in
such a manner that they stand through intense heat, and have the
advantage of being small in bulk. The accompanying engraving will make
the following explanation clear.

Strips of corrugated hoop-iron are fastened at intervals by wire close
to the iron column, and all is then encased with concrete 3½ inches in
thickness, made as described on page 86. An experiment was tried at
Nottingham with one of these columns placed in a fire of wood and
shavings saturated with gas-tar, and allowed to burn with a fierce heat
for a space of 4½ hours. When half the time had elapsed the column was
thrown over, so as to lie horizontally in the fire, and have its whole
length exposed to the flames. The fire was at length extinguished by
water being thrown on, in order to make the test still more severe, but
on examination the concrete casing had not cracked or broken in any
part, while the column underneath, as soon as a portion of its covering
could be removed, was cool enough to be handled with impunity. It will
be interesting to note the development of this invention; for in the
event of farther tests in actual practice being as satisfactory as that
already named, it is likely to come into very prominent use.

The careless way in which chimneys are built is the cause of frequent
danger. By communicating with each other in the same gable, fire will
often spread and wrap the whole house in flames. One of the principal
streets in Edinburgh had scarcely a chimney-head that was not in this
condition. The ends of joists or pieces of timber are sometimes allowed
to protrude into chimneys, and then it is generally by accident if the
building does _not_ catch fire.



Buildings full of these and other ‘scamping’ work, and so likely to
spread fire around, are certainly opposed to the rule that ‘a man may
burn himself and his own property, but he shall not unduly risk the
lives and property of his neighbours.’

Covering timber--that is, joists or the thin wood of partitions--with
sheet-iron is often done, but it is quite useless. When it is known that
the Pantechnicon floors were so covered, proof of its uselessness will
be at once admitted.

It may be thought that an important fire-resisting substance has been
omitted to be mentioned, namely, stone; for in many books, and even in
Acts of Parliament, the expression ‘stone, or other fireproof material,’
may be found. But all competent authorities are now agreed that stone of
nearly every kind is incapable of resisting the heat of ordinary fires;
and when used for supporting weights, or even if hanging unsupported, as
in a staircase, frequently is a source of great mischief and probable
danger. A flight of stone steps, heated by the conflagration of the
house in which it was situated, has been known to collapse immediately
upon the admission of cold air through the outer door being suddenly

Stone is therefore inadmissible for fireproof purposes, and should not
be used for strong-rooms, or as supports for joists or for any part
excepting the floor, where it may crack or crumble without affecting the
rest of the building. Granite is, as far as experience goes, capable of
resisting immense heat; and it is said the great fire at Boston, U.S.,
in 1873, was stopped when it came to a huge granite warehouse. But the
cost of this material and working it are too great for it ever to be
extensively used.

Concrete has been lately brought forward as a good, cheap, and fireproof
material for making walls and floors, but if used it should be most
carefully made; if broken limestone is used it will not be fireproof;
but with a mixture of flints, brickbats, sandstone, pebbles, and cement
in suitable proportions, a good wall may be erected. One advantage it
has over brick is, that being stronger (if plenty of hoop-iron is used
as a bond), it occupies less space, and no plastering, or very little,
is needed inside.

There has been no case, as far as I am aware, of a large concrete
building being subjected to a severe test; therefore, unless other
objects were aimed at, I should prefer a brick building. But some
warehouses and mills are so large that brick cannot be used internally
in arches; and a subdivision by party walls would destroy the business
purpose of the building, and allow of only small compartments in it.
Cannot iron girders be used in _any_ way to make them safe? To a certain
extent they can, if protected over the entire surface by cement or lumps
of fire-clay. There should be but few employed, and allowance must be
made for the girders, in case they get heated, to expand without
thrusting out the walls. They should be supported on corbels of brick,
and be as light as possible consistently with the strength required. If
used as means to carry a wall they must be covered as suggested, and
with the utmost care, for in this case any twisting or bulging sideways
will endanger the wall above.

Whatever system of construction is adopted, there are three things not
yet mentioned of high importance to the fireproof quality of the
building; namely, the communication between the various floors, the
style of window, and the construction of the roof. With regard to the
first of these, there is little doubt that the ordinary staircase and
the open lift are important aids to the spread of fire; by them the
various floors of a warehouse are, when combustion begins, converted
into so many furnaces with a connecting flue, and the extension of fire
is accelerated by the draught rushing upwards. Though the stairs may be
uninflammable and even indestructible, they will be in some measure a
source of weakness, unless completely separated from the open rooms, as
shown in the designs engraved in the Appendix. For these designs of a
thoroughly fire-proof warehouse, I am indebted to Mr. E. Hoole, of
Russell Square, London; who has succeeded in planning a building adapted
to commercial requirements, and yet possessing the necessary elements of
a fireproof structure.

All openings must be fitted with _double_ iron doors if perfect security
is required, but with a single door if only ordinary risk is to be
guarded against. The construction and fixing of these doors are a most
important matter, and should be quite as carefully attended to as if the
doorway were to a strong-room. Details of fixing them will be found in
the chapter on strong-rooms, and the strength of doors should be the
same as there shown. The outer plate of door being a half-inch solid
boiler-plate, there must be an air-space behind it, partly occupied by
the working parts of the lock, and inside that a casing of
non-conducting material. The bolts should be six in number, three in
front and three at the back, secured by a lock; and the frame into which
they fasten must be solid iron, well built into the wall. The price of
such a door, 6 feet high by 2 feet 4 inches wide, is 22_l._ 10_s._, and
money thus spent would many a time have saved thousands in property.

The Building Act can be complied with by providing a sheet-iron door
with a plain barrel-bolt, such a division forming no security whatever,
as the iron immediately warps, and allows flame or heat to pass through
the opening. In this particular the Act has done much harm, for a false
sense of security has been felt when its provisions have been met, and
money has been wasted in buying, and labour constantly lost in closing
and opening doors that are unable to hinder fire from spreading and
ensure safety. Cast-iron hinges are sometimes used for these doors,
giving another element of danger. Not long since I saw the ruins of a
building which had been divided in its various blocks by such doors.
Most of the doors were down in the rubbish, while the openings where
they had been high up on the walls had the broken hinges left in the

No regulations for fireproof building can be complete without most
stringent rules for using the best fire resisting doors, for what the
door of a boiler-furnace is to the fire within, the door of a room is to
combustion going on inside: it will, if insecure, allow air in to feed
the flames so long as there is fuel to burn.

But there are other openings necessary to warehouses; and this leads to
the subject of the windows, which are in the fireproof sense a necessary
evil. The danger consists in the draught which comes through to feed the
fire; but the risk can be lessened by using very thick glass, in small
squares, and taking care that no broken panes are allowed to remain in
the windows. If anyone takes the trouble to notice such a thing, he will
scarcely find a warehouse without some broken squares, which will admit
air enough to fan a fire to the temperature of a blast-furnace in a very
short time.

Iron sashes should be used; and iron shutters may be also used to cover
the windows, capable of being opened easily on the outside by firemen if
required. Capt. Shaw states that heavy losses have been caused through
the firemen being unable to open iron shutters from the outside, in
consequence of their expansion from heat. He also gives a warning
against the too common practice in cheap buildings of using glass with
bullseyes or dents, through which the rays of the sun become
concentrated and set fire, as has been the case, to the interior.
Projecting or bow-windows must not be adopted, as fire can more easily
pass in this way from one opening to another.

The remaining particular to be noticed is the construction of the roof,
by the falling in of which the destruction commenced below it is so
often completed. The high Mansard roofs appear to have largely
contributed to the destruction of Chicago and other American cities. It
is somewhat alarming to see the extent to which they are being employed
in England; but whatever form of roof is used, the materials of which
the framing is composed should be incombustible, and the ceiling beneath
it ought to be perfectly fireproof, so that fire beneath cannot ascend
to the roof, or descend from the roof to the rooms. A fireproof ceiling
is also valuable for preventing the building being deluged with water
from the engines, when fire has attacked the roof only. If any openings
to the roof are necessary, they must be constructed with care and placed
in a room--not at the top of a staircase, as is so frequently done,
where the draught of air is likely to be concentrated.

A mill at Leeds, at which a fire took place in 1827, was, with the
exception of the roof, supposed to be wholly fireproof. The upper floor
was filled with flax. The roof fell in, and the heat so affected the
iron beams of the floor as to cause them to give way and involve the
whole building in destruction.

In concluding the particulars of the general construction of fireproof
buildings, I would again urge the use of brick, as the best known
material for the purpose of resisting heat; or failing this, iron,
protected by plaster, concrete, or brickwork. During the space of a few
months there were calamitous fires in some large waterside premises, and
at each of them Capt. Shaw states the following results were observed:
‘The bricks were uninjured, the wood was seriously damaged, but only
partially consumed; the iron was fractured, and consequently rendered
worthless; and the stone was shivered into fragments and totally



II. _Patent Systems of Construction, and their Application._

Many of the suggestions in the preceding chapter have been embodied in
the numerous patents brought out by engineers and others for what are
termed ‘Fireproofing Systems.’ Among these inventions may be named
Messrs. Moreland and Son’s, Messrs. Fox and Barrett’s, Mr. Nasmyth’s,
Messrs. Dennett and Co.’s, &c.

Messrs. Fox and Barrett’s patent is one of the oldest, and is still
largely used, having been, among other instances, recently applied to
portions of the Criterion, in Piccadilly Circus. It consists mainly in
substituting iron for wooden joists; and upon the lower flanges of these
iron joists are placed pieces of wood, which bear the concrete filling
up the space to the floor-boards or tiles above.

The other systems have all, more or less, ordinary concrete as a
constituent part, depending largely for its support upon iron or wood
beams, and thus probably being, after all, only fireproof to a certain
point. One exception must be made in favour of the Dennett system, as in
this is introduced a new concrete, treated in a novel and somewhat bold
though successful fashion.

This system, known as the ‘Dennett Fireproof Construction,’ is one of
great advantage, inasmuch as iron is dispensed with as far as possible,
while the space occupied by arched floors is reduced to a minimum. In
some cases, indeed, no iron at all is wanted, and yet no room is wasted
by heavy piers or supports of brick.

A very superior description of concrete is the body which forms the
fireproof medium in this construction. This concrete, unlike that used
for foundation and other purposes, is not mixed with any of the ordinary
limestone cements, the action of which under fire is well known. A piece
of the hardest limestone, when deprived by calcination of its carbonic
acid, becomes a body which may be crushed by the least pressure, or if
treated with water assumes double its original bulk and falls to powder.
Concrete composed of the ordinary lime, inasmuch as it approximates,
when set, to the original carbonate, would of course manifest the same
characteristics under similar treatment. The concrete which forms the
chief element of the Dennett construction has, however, for its
cementitious component the _sulphate_ of lime, a body which loses little
of its cohesion by calcination. Experiments as to the character of this
concrete prove that it remains intact though reduced to a white heat,
and that the application of water while in that state does not
materially impair its strength or cohesion.

[Illustration: DIAGRAM A.]

The arch form is that which is usually adopted for the construction of
floors (diagram A), the spandrels of the same being, however, in some
cases filled in with the material, so as to form a horizontal floor
(diagram B). These arches, when thoroughly set, exert no thrust upon the
outer walls, and, in fact, from their slight rise and thoroughly
homogeneous character, they possess as much the nature of a beam or
landing as that of an arch. For this reason their use is, in many cases,
advantageous, where that of brick arches would be altogether
inadmissible. The arches are supported at the points where they abut
upon the walls by projecting courses of brickwork, and at intermediate
points by rolled iron joists or rivetted girders. They have a minimum
rise in the soffit of one inch to every foot of width, and they are
turned in this proportion up to spans of 10 or 12 feet. Corridors and
cottage floors are formed in this manner without the introduction of any
joist or beam whatever (diagram C); the soffits of the arches, after the
removal of the centres, simply require to be finished with the last or
setting coat of plastering. In cellars or other basement offices no
extra coat whatever is necessary.

[Illustration: DIAGRAM B.]

[Illustration: DIAGRAM C.]

The floor or upper surface can be finished in the material itself, at a
small cost, equal to stone in durability and appearance. When covered
with kamptulicon or other similar material a floor at once noiseless to
the tread and free from vibration is obtained. These qualities are, for
banks and other public offices, very important _desiderata_. The arch
may, of course, if preferred, be paved with any other material, such as
stone, tiles, asphalte, or cement.

Floors formed in the simple manner described are excellent in a sanitary
point of view. They are clean, non-absorbent, and are non-conductors of
sound and heat. These qualities particularly recommend them for adoption
in hospitals, unions, barracks, and other large buildings; while for
houses of the artisan class, especially in crowded districts, no other
method of construction presents so many advantages.

[Illustration: DIAGRAM D.]

If a flat ceiling is required, ceiling-joists are fixed to the lower
flanges of the iron girders, and lathed and plastered in the ordinary
manner (diagram D). It is generally preferred, however, in buildings of
a public character, such as banks, offices, &c., to leave exposed the
lower flanges of the iron girders. This is the most constructional mode
of treatment, and by the judicious application of coloured decoration a
very effective ceiling is obtained. The ceilings of the bedrooms at
Kelham Hall, Notts, a building designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, are
finished in this manner. This mansion was made thoroughly fireproof on
its re-erection nine years ago, after the destruction of the former
building by fire. The ceilings of the reception-rooms are formed by
groined vaults of considerable rise springing from carved stone corbels.
The roof is protected from fire by light segmental vaults springing from
wall to wall.

When used for flat roofing--for which purpose the strength and freedom
from vibration of the construction renders it particularly adapted--a
layer of asphalte or other impervious coating is required to protect the
arches from the weather.

The description of asphalte most approved for this purpose, and used by
the patentees with the greatest success, is that known as the
‘Pyrimont,’ and supplied by the Seyssel Asphalte Company.

The formation of vaults or domes, particularly those of an ornamental
character, is one of the most advantageous applications of the concrete.
As no expense is involved in the cutting of groins, coffers, ribs, &c.,
it is in itself less costly than brick or stone, besides saving
considerable expense in the strength of the outer walls, which would be
required to withstand the lateral thrust of ordinary vaulting. It is
moreover better adapted for decorative treatment in colour or relief.

Large vaults have recently been formed over the principal apartments of
the Foreign Office. The ceiling of the principal staircase-hall, 70 feet
long by 26 feet wide, is divided into three compartments, two of which
are semi-cylindrical coffered vaults, and the centre one is formed as a
dome, with solid pendentives. The ceiling over the Cabinet-room has a
span of 36 feet; it is semi-circular in form, with groined openings to
the side-windows, and is divided into compartments by plain arched rims
formed in the concrete. The vault itself is only 9 inches in thickness.
A section of this ceiling is shown (diagram E).

The largest work upon which the Dennett system of fireproof flooring has
yet been adopted is the new St. Thomas’s Hospital. It is here applied in
the ordinary flat-arched form to the corridors, wards, and other rooms
as the foundation for the asphalte covering of the flat roofs, and as
coffered vaulting in large spans to the chapel, Governor’s hall, &c.
Some idea of the extent of this building may be formed when it is
stated that the fireproof arching covers an area of more than eight

[Illustration: DIAGRAM E.]

The strength of the arches has been frequently tested by actual
experiments, both as to their capacity for bearing dead pressure and
with regard to their resistance to impact from falling weights, moving
loads, &c. These experiments have been generally instituted by the
architects upon whose works the construction has been adopted, and they
have invariably produced the most satisfactory results.

The cost of the construction varies somewhat, according to the distance
from the gypsum quarries, which are almost entirely confined to the
counties of Derby and Nottingham. The cost of the arching in London, in
ordinary spans, as shown by diagram A, including centreing, is about
75_s._ per square of 100 superficial feet. A finished upper surface,
where such is required, involves an additional expense of from 15_s._ to
25_s._ per square. These prices do not, of course, include iron girders;
but as so few of these are required, as compared with other methods of
fireproof construction in which concrete is used, this system will be
found to possess, besides the acknowledged merits of strength, rigidity,
and highly fireproof character, the advantage of economy, being from 25
to 50 per cent. cheaper than other methods.

But whatever the cost of these highly advantageous systems of
construction, there are certain buildings which demand the application
of the very best methods of erection in order to secure their safety
from the devouring flames. In public museums and art galleries we have
buildings which cannot have too much attention and money paid to make
them safe; and their safety from or liability to fire is a topic of much
interest. It is but seldom that one hears of a serious fire in any of
these places; the truth is, though many of them would, if once a-light,
make a wonderful blaze, they are generally so well watched that fire can
obtain no hold without being discovered. The real danger is more from
surrounding buildings being on fire than from within.

The Bodleian Library, at Oxford, about which there has been some stir
lately, is a noticeable example. The building is itself highly
combustible; it is filled with combustible though invaluable contents,
for which there is no fireproof receptacle; and around it are other
structures at least as likely to burn, and if burnt to cause the
destruction of the library. Captain Galton has reported on this state of
affairs, and it is now probable that one of the remedies suggested may
be adopted.

A return has been made to Parliament of the state of some of the public
buildings, and from the digest which has appeared in the ‘Architect’ I
take the following:--

‘The return from the British Museum acknowledges that generally, except
in the basement, the materials of the building are only partially
incombustible. The basement is constructed chiefly of brick, with piers
and groined arches, except in a few cases, where cast-iron columns are
used, the floors being either stone, slate, or cement. The principal
staircases are of stone, and the smaller ones of iron. The ceilings
throughout are lath-and-plaster, with fir ceiling-joists. The roofs are
of wood and iron, covered with copper, the principals being in most
cases cast-iron.

‘The reading-room has a cement floor, with brick arches beneath. The
main ribs of the dome are iron, with brickwork between them, this being
covered externally with copper, and internally with papier mâché
fastened to wood ribs. The lantern is of wood and iron. The new
libraries on basement and ground floors are built externally of brick,
internally chiefly of iron.

‘Some of the floors of the National Gallery are arched with brick, on
iron girders; the floors of a portion of the rooms of the ground storey
in each wing, the rooms under the dome, and others adjoining them, are
of ordinary timber construction, with iron girders. The floors of the
picture galleries and of most of the rooms are boarded; those of the
other rooms, the entrance-halls, lobbies, staircases, and principal
parts of the passages, are of stone. All portions of the floors on each
storey traversed by hot-water pipes are of stone, on brick chambers,
with metal gratings. The ceilings of the rooms generally are of
lath-and-plaster, with fir ceiling-joists; internally the rooms are
plastered or cemented, except those of the picture galleries, which are
lined with wood, for dryness and facility of hanging. The roofs and
lantern-lights are constructed of iron and wood, covered with lead. The
lanterns of the westernmost galleries have iron shutters. Those on the
top and the sides opposed to adjacent buildings are closed every night.

‘At South Kensington the floors, except the official residences, are
fireproof, on Fox and Barrett’s principle. In the Museum they are
covered with tiles or marble mosaic, and in the schools, offices, &c. in
some places with wood, and others with asphalte. The floors of Bethnal
Green Museum are of wood, and not fireproof, and the same may be said of
the Kew Museum. The whole of the ground floors, and in some cases the
one-pair floors, of the Royal Hospital, Greenwich, are constructed on
brick groined arches, and with the exception of the wood floor covering
are fireproof. The remainder of the floors are of framed timbers and
joists, with boarded floors, which would readily ignite. In the
Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art, the whole of which is not yet
completed, the greater portion of the main floor is formed of stone
arches, with encaustic tiles, but the two galleries surrounding the
principal halls are of wood, supported by iron columns or girders. In
the east wing there is a lecture-room, with rooms, one for the
exhibition of specimens, of which the floors are entirely of wood. This
building would appear to be in danger if a fire occurred in any of the
neighbouring premises. The National Gallery of Scotland is constructed
of stonework of the best kind, and is therefore little liable to
conflagration. Of museums in Dublin, the College of Science alone
appears to have floors which may be considered to be incombustible. The
wood in the Dublin Society’s house is returned as being “very old and
dry.” In the Royal Irish Academy, which contains a collection of
antiquities, there is but one room which is fireproof. The Hibernian
Academy has also wooden floors.

‘The means for prevention of fires differ much in the different
buildings. The British Museum has connection with the mains, with
sufficient hydrants and hose-pipes and buckets, and the tanks contain
26,000 gallons of water. There are sixteen fire-engines, six of them
being kept on the roof, and two firemen are constantly on duty; besides,
the police employed are drilled in the use of the engines and
appliances. The National Gallery has also hydrants and hose; the tanks
contain 3,900 gallons. There is only one hand-pump. There are no
watchmen, and no resident officer is charged with the duty of
supervision. The care of the building is entrusted to the police. In
South Kensington the arrangements to secure safety are very complete,
and far superior to those in any other public building. Four-inch mains
are used throughout the building and grounds, but the supply is constant
only as long as the company’s mains are in action. A tank in the
grounds, which holds 25,000 gallons, is, however, always available,
should the supply from the mains be deficient. The return says that a
tower is to form part of the South Kensington building when the design
is complete, and in it there are to be tanks at sufficient elevation to
command the buildings by means of hydrants. Pending the erection of the
tower, it is recommended that tanks to contain 50,000 gallons should be
placed in the highest possible positions. There is always a fire-brigade
of Royal Engineers resident on the premises, who daily examine all the
appliances; and one of the assistant-directors, who is also an officer
of Engineers, has the superintendence. A story is told in the
Parliamentary paper which is worth giving, not only as showing that
there are two ways of extinguishing a fire, but as proving the
superiority of a special to a general system:--‘In March 1857, at about
4.30 A.M., a fire broke out in one of the temporary wooden buildings, at
that time used as art schools. The alarm was given by the police, and a
man was despatched in a cab to the nearest Fire Brigade station. But
before the arrival of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade engine the
detachment of Royal Engineers had completely got the fire under, and had
saved the contents, principally pictures, of the building. Mr.
Braidwood, then Chief of the Metropolitan Brigade, on his inspection
complimented the Royal Engineers on the way in which the fire had been
put out. He said it was the “prettiest stop” he had ever seen, but
unscientific, and that with his men he would not have attempted to
extinguish the fire, but would have directed their efforts to pulling
down adjoining buildings, in order to prevent the fire spreading. The
fire originated from some woodwork touching a stone, in the immediate
neighbourhood of a hot air heating apparatus which had been put in by
the Office of Works before the buildings were handed over to the charge
of the department. Since this time the use of hot air apparatus has been
discontinued, and the permanent buildings are all heated by hot water.
The Geological Museum has a tank and other appliances, and the watching
is wholly in the charge of the police.

‘The Edinburgh Museum has an insufficient provision in water supply. In
the forenoon there is no water available from the hydrants on the upper
floor of the building, which is forty feet below the ridge of the roof,
and there are no fire-engines. The Scottish National Gallery has six
cisterns, each containing 100 gallons, but in the opinion of a
superintendent of the Fire Brigade the building is adequately protected
against fire. The Dublin buildings, owing to the high pressure of water
supply, are supposed to be sufficiently secure without tanks.

‘In nearly all of the buildings there has been hitherto no fire, and in
those where there was the damage was not very great. A fire in one of
the out-buildings of the British Museum, in 1865, caused a loss of a
little beyond 500_l._ The fire at South Kensington has been already
described. In all the buildings there is more or less constant
supervision, and with this, risk is reduced to a minimum. Still the
reports show how much need there is of the constant service being
generally extended over the metropolis. At South Kensington, in the
daytime, the pressure is usually not sufficient to command the lower
roofs of the Museum buildings, and sometimes is as low as 20 feet,
although at night (when there is often most danger) it rises to 160

Respecting St. Paul’s Cathedral I believe the arrangements for
extinguishing fire are fairly good, but the building itself is far more
combustible than most persons imagine; and though the risk of fire
commencing from the interior is very slight (except when the enormous
quantity of timber is introduced for seats at special festivals), there
is always a certain amount of danger from the tall warehouses so closely
hemming it in on all sides. The chief director of the Salvage Corps
thinks it very possible that the conflagration of one of these buildings
would set on fire the dome of St. Paul’s, provided the building burnt
freely and the wind was strong in the direction of the Cathedral. The
inevitable plumber is doubtless often at work on some portion of the
roof with his open fire and the mode of handling it that almost burnt
Canterbury Cathedral, and thoroughly succeeded at the Alexandra Palace.

The following is from the ‘Bulletin de la Société Centrale des
Architectes,’ 1871, communicated by the Secretary of that society to the
Royal Institute of British Architects, and is most valuable, as the
practical experience of the results of fires at Paris during the

‘1. Walls of freestone.--The walls constructed of freestone are
seriously deteriorated, the stone being destroyed by disintegration and
the calcination of the limestone. 2. Walls of rough stone.--Rubble
walls, covered with a thick layer of plaster, have, owing to this
preservative coating, remained unchanged, and generally they will be
retained in the process of reconstruction. 3. Brick and (calcareous
Sicilian) millstone walls.--Walling of these kinds has generally
resisted better in cellars and underground construction; and as to the
brick in partition-walls, the brick flues of chimneys remained almost
intact. 4. Floors, roofs, and timber partitions.--Wood in floors and
roofs has been completely consumed, but in wooden partitions, where a
coat of plaster sufficiently thick was exposed to the action of the
fire, the wood has been completely preserved. Some curious facts have
been the result. An angle-post having been attacked in an upper storey,
the fire afterwards extended itself in the interior of the post without
gaining the external surface, so that the post assumed the appearance of
a pipe, the interior of which had been hollowed out by the fire.

‘Oak lintels covered with plaster have resisted without injury the
flames which traversed the bays of which the lintels formed the upper
part. 5. Floors and roofs of iron.--Iron has not resisted the action of
fire. If it has not been consumed like wood, it has undergone twisting
and contortion, which render it unfit to be used again. Numerous
fantastic examples have been observed, especially at the Palais de
Justice, the Hôtel de Ville, and the Théâtre Lyrique. The character of
iron is not to propagate combustion, but, under the influence of a very
high temperature, to undergo such extension that it allows the escape of
the masonry it was intended to retain.’



Fire, although most useful in its proper place, is the source of almost
countless loss and destruction, and has well earned the character often
given it, of being the best of servants but the worst of masters.
Everyone knows how it has been feared by men from the world’s
commencement, and worshipped by idolaters even to the present day, when
millions still bow down to what they fear instead of to a Being they can

And perhaps it is not only its destructive power that causes fire thus
to be reverenced by the ignorant, and dreaded in many forms by the more
enlightened. Its mysterious origin and power of spontaneously coming
into existence help to characterise it as the most remarkable of the
elements, and to increase the liability to dangerous results when it has
fuel to feed upon.

It is not my purpose to notice the various applications of fire in ways
that cause it to bring about incalculable good to mankind. A moment’s
thought as to what would result if fire could not be applied in
numberless needful instances, and we had nothing to supply its place,
will convince us that its value is far greater than all the loss it
causes. But there often is loss, and to a considerable extent; and as
this is generally preventable, it will be well for us to consider what
are the proper means to adopt in order to guard against it.

The buildings in which fires occur most frequently are our ordinary
dwelling-houses, because they largely outnumber all other classes of
buildings--not perhaps because they are more liable to be burnt than
others. I can find no authentic return of fires that have occurred
throughout Great Britain, and therefore cannot give statistics of the
relative proportions of the various kinds of structures that have been
burnt. It seems to me a great mistake not to have an accurate report of
every fire that happens, with full details of its cause, the damage
done, &c.; the particulars might be registered more easily, and with
less expense, than births and deaths are; and it is open to question if
the benefit derived from such a course would not be of at least equal
good. When a death results from fire the inquest often discloses facts
which, if known before, might have prevented death; and it would be
little trouble to arrange for the coroner or some qualified official to
hold an enquiry--without a jury, of course--concerning every fire
reported to him by the fire brigade in his district. If this had been
done in bygone years there would not now be that ignorance of
construction and of the right means of saving life and property which
unhappily prevails. Why the insurance offices have not supported and
carried into practice some such idea is possibly to be explained by the
undoubted fact that a good fire brings them fresh business.

The number of fires is increasing rapidly every year in a proportion
quicker than the increase of building or population; the explanation
being that as the houses get crowded together they are more liable to be
set on fire by external agency. But the increase, serious as it appears,
is curiously small when one takes into account the causes, multiplying
every day, by which this destruction may be effected. In the last few
years London and many large towns have become intersected by railways,
and the fires and sparks of engines are frequently scattered about as
if the stations and dwellings near were bomb-proof. Vessels may be seen
on the Thames and elsewhere getting up steam close to the windows of
warehouses with inflammable goods inside; steam, with its attendant
dangers, is used in places and for purposes never thought of a short
time since. Gas, with its unmistakable smell, however, making it
somewhat safe, is in large use; while its modern rivals, the explosive
oils, are being too carelessly used in an increasing extent.
Friction-matches only a few years ago were not to be found in the houses
of the poor, but are now used by everyone. The use of tobacco has
extended, and there is reason to believe very many fires are due
directly or indirectly to it. Stoves, instead of the open fireplaces,
are in larger request, and their flues are more dangerous than the
old-fashioned wide chimneys. These, and other less important facts, will
explain the following statistics given in evidence by Captain Shaw
before a Parliamentary Committee: ‘During the 34 years since 1840, the
population of London has increased from 1,907,036 to 3,342,490, or 75
per cent.; and the number of houses from 258,425 to 479,329, or 82 per
cent. But during the same period the number of fires has more than
doubled, having jumped from 681 to 1,548--equal to an increase of 127
per cent. The total number of fires throughout the 34 years was 38,241.’

Only a small proportion of these 38,000 fires were very serious ones;
yet the majority of them might have been so but for the precautions and
appliances at hand to prevent the mischief spreading. The best way of
combating this foe for the future is to ensure better house-building,
and to hold an enquiry into the cause of each fire, as already
suggested. But we have to deal with cities and towns already built, and
with the greater part of their buildings ready to form bonfires when any
carelessness lets even the smallest portion ignite. In another chapter
I have spoken of fireproof construction, and have given instances of the
danger many of our public buildings are in. But dwelling-houses are
scarcely ever built to be fireproof, space and cheapness being the
_desiderata_, and it will ever be so. The construction of the older ones
causes them to burn out, when once fairly alight, in an incredibly short
space of time, affording but little opportunity for the escape of
inmates, even should they be able to withstand the choking smoke.

The following is a complete list of causes of fires in London for the
year 1873:--

  Airing linen                                               17
  Bleaching baskets                                           3
  Boiler, overheating of                                      8
  Boiling acids                                               1
  Boiling over, chemicals, oil, pitch, spirits, tar, &c.     23
  Burning out paint-pot                                       1
  Candle                                                    187
  Chemicals, bottle of, breaking                              1
  Chemicals, explosion of                                     1
  Children playing with cartridges                            1
  Children playing with fire                                 21
  Children playing with lucifers                             29
  Clothes coming in contact with fire                         7
  Copper, overheat of                                         1
  Copper, leaking                                             1
  Cylinder, overheat of                                       1
  Damper, defect in                                           1
  Detonating caps                                             1
  Doubtful                                                   14
  Drawing off paraffin oil                                    1
  Drying apparatus, overheat of                               1
  Drying-room, overheat of                                    1
  Fire, goods placed too near                                 1
  Fireplace blocked up                                        2
  Fireplace, defect in                                        1
  Fireplace adjoining, defect in                              1
  Fireworks, explosion of                                     1
  Fireworks, letting off                                      1
  Flue, blocked up                                           10
  Flue, defect in                                            58
  Flue, foul                                                 24
  Flue, overheat of                                          10
  Flue, timber in                                             1
  Flue, adjoining, defect in                                 15
  Flue, adjoining, foul                                       5
  Flue, adjoining, overheat of                                4
  Flue, copper, defect in                                     4
  Flue, copper, overheat of                                   4
  Flue, furnace, defect in                                    1
  Flue, furnace, overheat of                                  3
  Friction of machinery                                       6
  Friction of vesuvians                                       1
  Fumigating bags                                             4
  Furnace, overheat of                                        5
  Furnace, hothouse, overheat of                              1
  Furnace, adjoining, overheat of                             1
  Gas, escape of                                             45
  Gasfitters at work                                          6
  Gasfitters at work in street                                1
  Gas, lighting                                               6
  Gas, seeking for an escape of, in street                   17
  Gas, swinging bracket                                      21
  Gaslight                                                    2
  Gaslight, curtains or window-blinds coming in contact with  8
  Gaslight, goods coming in contact with                     12
  Gaslight, goods placed too near                             4
  Gaslight, overheat of                                       7
  Gaslight, holly placed too near                             1
  Gaslight, paper blown on                                    1
  Gaslight, sunblind placed too near                          1
  Glue, heating                                               1
  Hearth, defect in                                           4
  Hearth, fire on                                             4
  Hearth, adjoining, fire on                                  2
  Hot ashes                                                  37
  Hot plate, overheat of                                      1
  Hot iron                                                    2
  Hot rivets                                                  3
  Hot soldering-iron                                          1
  Incendiarism                                               11
  Intoxication                                                6
  Kiln, overheat of                                           2
  Lamp, bag falling on                                        1
  Lamp, lighting                                              1
  Lamp, lighted, falling on benzoline                         1
  Lamp, gas, upset                                            1
  Lamp, curtains or window-blinds coming in contact with      2
  Lamp, oil, upset                                            1
  Lamp, paraffin, explosion of                                3
  Lamp, spirit, upset                                        41
  Light thrown down                                         115
  Light thrown down area                                      9
  Light thrown from street                                   19
  Lighted taper                                               2
  Lime-slaking                                                7
  Lime slaked by rain                                         5
  Lucifers                                                   43
  Oven, overheat of                                           5
  Paraffin oil coming in contact with lighted candle          1
  Phosphorus                                                  3
  Pipe-stove, overheat of                                     6
  Pipe, steam, overheat of                                    2
  Plumbers at work                                            3
  Rags, overheat of                                           1
  Roasting chicory                                            1
  Smoke-hole, overheat of                                     1
  Smoking tobacco                                            36
  Spark from fire                                           172
  Spark from copper fire                                      1
  Spark from copper flue                                      1
  Spark from copper flue adjoining                            2
  Spark from furnace                                          5
  Spark from locomotive                                       9
  Spark from oil-lamp                                         3
  Spark from oven fire                                        1
  Spark from smoke-hole                                       1
  Spontaneous ignition                                       15
  Spontaneous ignition of red fire                            1
  Still, overheat of                                          1
  Still, leaking                                              1
  Stove, overheat of                                         11
  Stove, adjoining, overheat of                               3
  Stove, improperly set                                       4
  Stove, drying, overheat of                                 11
  Stove, drying, adjoining, overheat of                       1
  Stove, drying, rags falling on                              1
  Stove, ironing, rags falling on                             1
  Stove, ironing, overheat of                                 1
  Stove, ironing, linen falling on                            1
  Stove, gas, overheat of                                    10
  Sun, heat from                                              2
  Tar-pot upset                                               1
  Turpentine upset                                            1
  Vapour of spirits coming in contact with flame              8
  Varnish coming in contact with flame                        1
  Unknown                                                   276
                         Total                             1548

The proportion of unknown causes so frequently reported is far too
large. An intelligent consideration of the circumstances which may give
rise to chemical action would often solve the difficulty. There were
lately reported some curious fires which occurred at Manchester, caused
by the slow combustion of green wax-tapers which had been blown out but
imperfectly extinguished. The smouldering wick gradually consumed away,
setting the wax and surrounding materials on fire.

It has long been known that _green wax_ office-tapers would thus
gradually smoulder away if they are not carefully extinguished after
they have been used. This danger arising from tapers may be guarded
against by using any other colour than green.

Many things popularly deemed uninflammable are far from being so; for
instance, tin is not a common combustible, but it will burn with
considerable energy under peculiar conditions. This may be proved by
placing a small portion of nitrate of copper upon a sheet of tin-foil.
Both materials are inactive as long as they are dry, but upon moistening
them with water the chemical action first heats the tin, which
eventually will break out into flame. Lead is not usually regarded as
liable to do more than melt, but under favourable circumstances it will
burn with vehement heat. On the other hand, a room filled with coal-gas
is by many persons supposed to be dangerously explosive, whereas it
cannot even take fire excepting at the openings of the room, where, by
coming into contact with the air, the necessary combination of atoms
occurs so as to let the gas ignite and burn.

As most fires break out at night, the necessity is shown of examining a
building at the latest possible hour. In warehouses, factories, and such
like, a watchman should be employed.

The tell-tale clocks frequently used to prove whether the watchman has
done his duty are of doubtful service, for it is better to rely upon an
honest man’s carefulness than to compel him to go certain fixed rounds
which may prevent his being able to give an alarm at the right moment.

One watchman is generally best even in very large buildings. ‘An
instance[4] is on record in which a building standing in its own
grounds was watched by four men, two of whom patrolled within and two
without the walls, and yet the alarm of fire which happened in this
building was first given by a street-constable who happened to see the
light while going round his beat. If there had been but one watchman, or
two, it might have been possible to impute some blame to them, but as
there were four it was much more reasonable to assume that they were
engaged in pegging clocks or carrying out some other so-called
self-registering scheme of recording their duties instead of really
transacting them.’

With regard to watching private houses this must be left chiefly to the
police, but it should be seconded by an examination made by the master
himself every night the last thing before retiring to rest. Many fires
commence from a spark or ash falling out of the fire when it is not
properly protected by a guard or fender. The habit of raking out a fire
at night is a popular but mischievous one. If left to burn in the grate
there is far less chance of danger than in raking out the hot ashes,
which are likely to split the hearth-stone or fall on the floor or
carpet. Gas-burners are dangerous when placed near the ceiling. A
remarkable instance of this took place where a gas-jet set fire to a
ceiling 28½ inches from it.

More attention should be paid to keeping chimneys swept, which operation
should be done at regular intervals, and not left till the occupier
_thinks_ it is time they were done, or is reminded of it by a black
shower of soot falling some wet day.

Notwithstanding that all owners of chimneys on fire can be fined for
neglecting to have the flues cleaned, it has been recorded that as many
as 2,435 cases of burning chimneys occurred in 1873 in London to which
the firemen were called. The number is so large that the penalty
appears to be too small to effect its object, and might with advantage
be increased, as the risk to property from these chimney-fires is
considerable. A district in Liverpool occupied by the Irish poor is
stated to have had its chimneys freed from soot by the summary process
of purposely setting fire to them; and I have read a statement giving a
description of the curious sight witnessed when a whole district had its
chimneys alight at once. This is fortunately not a fashionable way of
‘sweeping,’ but more care must be taken by those who prefer the
customary mode.

Dustbins very often cause serious losses. In one instance 30,000_l._ to
40,000_l._ were lost, apparently from hot ashes being thrown into a
dustbin. No heaps of rubbish or lumber of any sort should be allowed in
a building of any value, and dustbins should always be placed in the
open air.

The following with reference to the prevention of fires appeared in the
‘Builder’ for May, 1867:--

‘Keep matches in metal boxes, and out of the reach of children; wax
matches are particularly dangerous, and should be kept out of the way of
rats and mice; be careful in making fires with shavings and other light
kindling; do not deposit coal or wood ashes in a wooden vessel, and be
sure burning cinders are extinguished before they are deposited; never
put firewood upon the stove to dry, and never put ashes or a light under
a staircase; fill fluid or spirit lamps only by daylight, and never near
a fire or light; do not leave a candle burning on a bureau or a chest;
always be cautious in extinguishing matches and other lighters before
throwing them away; never throw a cigar-stump upon the floor or spitbox
containing sawdust or trash without being certain that it contains no
fire; after blowing out a candle never put it away on a shelf, or
anywhere else, until sure that the snuff has gone entirely out; a
lighted candle ought not to be stuck up against a frame-wall, or placed
upon any portion of the woodwork in a stable, manufactory, shop, or any
other place; never enter a barn or stable at night with an uncovered
light; never take an open light to examine a gas-meter; do not put gas
or other lights near curtains; never take a light into a closet; do not
read in bed, either by candle or lamp light.

‘The principal register of a furnace should always be fastened open;
stove-pipes should be at least four inches from woodwork, and well
guarded by tin or zinc; rags ought never to be stuffed into stove-pipe
holes; openings in chimney-flues for stove-pipes which are not used
ought always to be securely protected by metallic coverings; never close
up a place of business in the evening without looking well to the
extinguishing of lights, and the proper security of the fires; when
retiring to bed at night always see that there is no danger from your

If these directions can all be constantly observed, we may have a
tolerable sense of security.

With respect to the detection of fires there is very little to say; for
though many plans for arranging electric wires, or tubes with certain
chemicals inside, have been tried, I know of none that have met with
general acceptance. The truth is, if there were any pressing demand for
such a thing, plenty of sensible inventions would be forthcoming; but
fire generally discovers itself before _anything else_ would show that
it existed, and therefore our energies are chiefly directed to the
extinction of it when once begun.

The number of lives endangered by fire is so numerous that I feel the
subject would not be complete without a few words respecting escape from
a burning house. The apathy that exists as to the best means of getting
safely from such a perilous position can only be accounted for on the
supposition that the probability of fire is too small to induce people
to think seriously of it. But a time is likely to come in the lives of
some of us when previous thought on the subject may become of enormous
importance; and although at such a critical moment, when, perhaps
aroused from a sound sleep, one finds oneself in a house on fire,
presence of mind is the first thing required, yet a few simple
suggestions that will start to the memory may be of value.

If on the first discovery of the fire it is found to be confined to one
room, and to have made but little progress, it is of the utmost
importance to shut, and keep shut, all doors and windows. On this
particular Mr. Braidwood said: ‘It may often be observed, after a house
has been on fire, that one floor is comparatively untouched, while those
above and below are nearly burned out. This arises from the doors on
that particular floor having been shut, and the draught directed
elsewhere. If the fire appears at all serious, and there are
fire-engines at a reasonable distance, it is best to await their
arrival, as many buildings have been lost from opening the doors and
attempting to extinguish fires with inadequate means. If no engines are
within reach, and you have not a hand-pump or an extincteur, the next
best thing is to collect as many buckets outside the room on fire as can
be obtained, keeping the door shut while more water is being collected.’
Since the above was written, a valuable invention has been brought
forward, by use of which a person may enter dense smoke that it would be
otherwise impossible to exist in. The Smoke Respirator, which has the
unattractive appearance shown by the engraving, is an apparatus to act
as a filter for the separation of the pure air from an atmosphere
charged with impurities detrimental to the healthy action of the lungs.
It is on the system spoken of and recommended by Professor Tyndall, in
his popular lectures upon ‘Dust and Smoke,’ and is useful for other
purposes than that already named, such as in the case of metal-grinding,
or in cleaning cotton, where the operators are subject to inconvenience
from particles of dust. I mention this respirator because it not only
serves the firemen in entering buildings, but would prevent many of the
deaths caused in case of fire by suffocation. In lieu of this, however,
a rough-and-ready protection from breathing the smoke may be had by
thoroughly wetting a towel and fastening it firmly round the face over
the mouth and nostrils. If I remember rightly, a man saved his life by
doing this when the Star and Garter Hotel, at Richmond, was destroyed by


But if the flames have too great a hold to allow of escape by the
staircase or roof, and the window of the room is the only means of
egress, the situation becomes a serious one, unless its possibility has
been foreseen and guarded against.

Only as _the last_ resource should a person run the risk of jumping to
the ground; either endeavour by tying the bedclothes together to make
some sort of rope, fastening one end to a heavy piece of furniture, and
going down the rope hand-over-hand--a rather difficult thing to do
without practice--or, if within reach of one, wait as long as possible
for the arrival of a fire-escape or ladder. Some people always keep a
stout knotted rope in their room, and have an iron hook fixed inside the
window, to which it may be affixed. This certainly gives a chance of
escape, but after all it is from the _outside_ that the most effectual
assistance can be had. Captain Shaw’s experience is that the danger to
life is increasing, because of the enormous height to which buildings in
London are being carried, without any precautions whatever for safety in
the upper storeys. He states that a ‘fire-escape such as those now in
use can, immediately on its arrival, reach a height of 30 feet; after
about half a minute’s delay, about 40 feet; after a minute’s delay, it
can reach 50 feet, but it cannot reach higher; and, consequently,
persons living in the lofty buildings so common in the metropolis should
invariably make their own arrangements for getting down externally to
spots within reach of these machines, which are at present the only
means of escape available from the outside. For this purpose there are
many obvious plans which might be adopted, but among these there are two
which appear to be specially easy of attainment, and within the reach of
all concerned, at a moderate cost. The first is to fix on buildings
external ladders of wrought-iron or some other material able to resist
the effects of fire at its commencement, and extending from the roof to
within 40 feet of the ground; the other, to provide on every storey
continuous balconies of wrought-iron or any other material proof against
immediate destruction by heat; and if the balconies on the several
storeys were made to communicate with each other by means of external
stairs, great additional safety would be attained. Indeed, with such an
arrangement it is certain that heavy loss of life would be most
improbable in any fire, however rapid in its action and otherwise
serious in its results. In rows of houses the use of balconies is
manifest, but even in detached buildings there can be very little doubt
that, if sufficiently long, they would serve as a means of egress for
those inside, and of access for those giving help from without. It may
be assumed that the reason of their not being generally adopted is the
double fear which owners of premises have--first, of their servants and
other inmates getting out too frequently; secondly, of persons breaking
in for improper purposes. But those who guard themselves from these
dangers should remember at what cost they do so, and should be prepared
to accept the results of a fire, causing loss of life or property, as
the direct and inevitable consequence of their own state of
preparation.’ Captain Shaw goes on to say: ‘I have always hoped to
procure higher ladders than those now in use, within the limits of
weight to which, for the sake of rapid travelling, I have been compelled
to restrict myself; and I take this opportunity of repeating here what I
have for years explained to all inventors who have come to me from
various parts of the world on the subject, viz., that our present
machines, the running weight of which is under 14 cwt., are capable of
throwing to a height of about 50 feet, and of carrying half-a-ton weight
on the weakest part when so extended, and that any machine which can be
rapidly run and worked as these are by one skilled man and two unskilled
assistants, and can throw to a greater height, would be considered an
improvement, provided that it can safely carry the same weight and is
free from any complicated gearing likely to cause delay or difficulty
when subjected to rough usage in the dark.’

Mr. Wright, the Secretary of the Royal Society for the Protection of
Life from Fire, has kindly placed at my disposal the following
directions for saving life at fires, being the result of long and varied
experience. I understand he is desirous of spreading the knowledge thus
gained, and will be happy to send these directions, printed on a large
scale, to any person who will get them hung up where others may read and
profit by them:--


The want of coolness and presence of mind at the time of an alarm of
fire is by far the greatest hindrance to an escape, and for this no
regulation can be laid down; but a few simple directions to be observed
by the bystanders and inmates, well considered and reflected upon in
time of safety, will in a great measure tend to discreet and successful
efforts in the hour of danger.

_For Bystanders._

1. Immediately on the fire being discovered give an alarm to the nearest
fire-escape station, not delaying an instant; do not wait to see if it
is wanted. Life is more precious than property, and events have too
often proved how fatal even a moment’s hesitation is in sending for the
fire-escape. It is the fire-escape man’s duty to proceed to the place of
alarm immediately.

2. In the absence of a fire-escape, or pending its arrival, ladders and
ropes should be sought for. Two constables or other qualified persons
should ascend to the roof through the adjoining houses. The most
efficient assistance can sometimes be rendered by an entrance to the
upper part of the house on fire, either by the attic windows, the
loft-door, or by removing the tiles; or sometimes the aid of one end of
a rope (knotted) might be afforded from the adjoining window, which,
being passed by the person in danger round some article in the room, he
could lower himself or others into the street, and the other end of the
rope being controlled of course by those rendering the aid from the
adjoining house. A short ladder can often be made available at the
second or perhaps the third, floor of houses built with a balcony or
portico, by the constable or other person first ascending to the
balcony, and then placing the ladder thereon, reach the rooms above.

3. In a narrow street or court assistance may be given from the windows
of the opposite house, particularly by a ladder placed across the street
from window to window.

4. When no other means present themselves the bystanders had better
collect bedding at hand, in case the inmates throw themselves from the
windows. A blanket or carpet held stretched out by several persons will
serve the purpose. The Metropolitan Fire Escape Brigade carry
jumping-sheets with them for use upon emergency.

5. Do not give vent to the fire by breaking into the house unnecessarily
from without, or, if an inmate, by opening doors or windows. Make a
point of shutting every door after you as you go through the house.

_For Inmates._

1. Every householder should make each person in his house acquainted
with the best means of escape, whether the fire breaks out at the top or
the bottom. Provide fire-guards for use in every room where there is a
fire, and let it be a rule of the household not to rake out a fire
before retiring for the night, but to leave the guard on. In securing
the street-door and lower windows for the night avoid complicated
fastenings or impediments to immediate outlets in case of fire.
Descriptions and drawings of fire-escapes for keeping in dwelling-houses
may be seen upon application at the offices of the Royal Society for the
Protection of Life from Fire, 66 Ludgate Hill.

2. Inmates at the first alarm should endeavour calmly to reflect what
means of escape there are in the house. If in bed at the time, wrap
themselves in a blanket or bedside carpet; open neither windows nor
doors more than necessary; shut every door after them (this is most
important to observe).

3. In the midst of smoke it is comparatively clear towards the ground;
consequently, progress through smoke can be made on the hands and knees.
A silk handkerchief, worsted stockings, or other flannel substance,
wetted and drawn over the face, permits free breathing, and excludes to
a great extent the smoke from the lungs. A wet sponge is alike

4. In the event of being unable to escape either by the street-door or
roof, the persons in danger should immediately make their way to a
front-room window, taking care to close the door after them; and those
who have the charge of the household should ascertain that every
individual is there assembled.

5. Persons thus circumstanced are entreated not to precipitate
themselves from the window while there remains the least probability of
assistance; and even in the last extremity a plain rope is invaluable,
or recourse may be had to joining sheets or blankets together, fastening
one end round a bedpost or other furniture. This will enable one person
to lower all the others separately, and the last may let himself down
with comparatively little risk. Select a window over the doorway rather
than over the area.

6. Do not give vent to the fire by breaking into the house unnecessarily
from without, or, if an inmate, by opening doors or windows. Make a
point of shutting every door after you as you go through the house. For
this purpose doors enclosing the staircase are very useful.

_Accidents to Persons._

1. Upon discovering yourself on fire reflect that your greatest danger
arises from draught to the flames, and from their rising upwards. Throw
yourself on the ground, and roll over on the flame, if possible, on the
rug or loose drugget, which drag under you; the table-cover, a man’s
coat, anything of the kind at hand, will serve your purpose. Scream for
assistance, ring the bell, but do not run out of the room or remain in
an upright position.

2. Persons especially exposed to a risk of their dresses taking fire
should adopt the precaution of having all linen and cotton fabrics
washed in a weak solution of chloride of zinc, alum, or tungstate of

3. As a means for the prevention of accidents, especially where there
are women and children, the provision of a fire-guard is urgently
recommended. These are now made at such a reasonable price that it is
incumbent upon even the poorest to obtain them. The Royal Society have
it in contemplation to give orders on manufacturers at a reduced price
to subscribers’ recommendations.

_Treatment of Injuries._

1. Send for medical aid. Let the sufferer be put to bed as quickly as
possible; remove all remains of clothing about the injured parts,
cutting with extreme caution, as it is of the first importance to avoid
tearing the skin or breaking a blister.

2. As the readiest thing at hand, cover all the injured parts tenderly
with clean cotton or wool, what is commonly known as wadding, the
cleaner and purer the better (the best for the purpose is kept by
druggists); it relieves by excluding the air. Linen rag soaked in a
mixture of equal parts of lime-water and linseed-oil also forms a good
dressing. Common whiting is very good applied wet, and continually
damped with a sponge.

3. It is better to avoid cold applications; they certainly allay pain,
but unless the cold be maintained the momentary relief is followed by a
considerable aggravation of the suffering. In extensive burns, moreover,
cold water freely applied is not unattended by danger.

4. From thirty-six to fifty hours after the injury the blisters will
present a milky appearance, and show surrounding inflammation. When this
is the case they may be opened with the point of a large needle.
Dressing for burns may then be simply wax and oil spread on lint; but so
much depends on circumstances and the state of health of the sufferer,
that it is desirable as soon as possible to secure medical attendance.

5. To recover a person in a state of insensibility from the effect of
smoke, dash cold water in the face, or cold and hot water alternately.
Should this fail, turn him on his face, with the arms folded under his
forehead. Apply pressure along the back and ribs, and turn the body
gradually on the side; then again slowly on the face, repeating the
pressure on the back. Persevere with these alternate rolling movements
about sixteen times in a minute, until respiration is restored. A warm
bath will now complete the recovery.

As to the origin of fires, a list has already been given of the various
causes of fires last year, but I may supplement it by one or two
instances worthy of notice. Spontaneous combustion is often a cause of
destruction, and a curious example of this was when a mass of iron
filings and turnings, which had been allowed to accumulate at a large
factory, ignited. The heap was sprinkled day by day with water in the
process of laying the dust previously to sweeping the floor. One night,
after all the men had left, a fire broke out, which was soon arrested;
but was most clearly traced to the spontaneous combustion of the iron
turnings. It is well known that iron decomposes water, combining with
its oxygen and liberating its hydrogen, and in this case the grease on
the turnings was oxydised at the expense of oxygen, condensed by the
finely-divided metal, and so lent its aid in raising the temperature;
and thus the heat soon reached a point that set fire to the wood in the

The uselessness of covering wood with sheet or cast iron, which has been
but recently shown at the Pantechnicon, was also exemplified in a fire
which happened at the Bank of England many years since. The hearth on
which the stove was placed was cast-iron an inch thick, with 2½ inches
of concrete underneath it, but the timber below that was fired. It is
difficult to account for this unless there had been some bad workmanship
or an undiscovered flaw existing in the iron or a crack in the concrete.

A rather uncommon case, although it might have been serious in its
results, was that of a fire caused by an incendiary in the
counting-house of a relation of mine. One night a man got access to the
adjoining warehouse, and intending to steal the wages he wrongly
suspected were in the office ready for paying away on the morrow, broke
through the lath-and-plaster wall. With much difficulty he got in; but,
finding no plunder, in his disappointment he set fire to a heap of
papers and hastened to retreat. But the hole he came in at formed, in
consequence of the broken laths, a sort of eel-trap, and he was in great
danger of being burnt alive. Finally he got through, the fire burnt
itself out without great damage, and the burglary was discovered. The
man not long afterwards was caught, and sentenced to the penal servitude
he so richly deserved.



One of the most primitive ways of preparing to extinguish any fire that
might arise is the following rule adopted by the City of London in the
reign of Richard I. ‘Item. That all persons who occupy great houses have
in summer time, and especially between the Feast of Pentecost and the
Feast of St. Bartholomew, before their doors a barrel full of water for
quenching fire, if it be not a house which has a fountain of its own.’

But there was sound wisdom in this, for the water would be at hand for
instant use, and, as stated elsewhere, a gallon of water at the
commencement of a fire is worth more than hundreds of gallons a little
later. It is well known that a small engine at a large fire does more
harm than good; and it is also well known that a small quantity of water
thrown on a large amount of burning substances becomes decomposed and
increases the activity of the burning. Mr. Grove has published
particulars of some interesting experiments conducted by him, in which
he found that water in contact with highly-heated platinum was
decomposed and resolved into its elements, oxygen and hydrogen, and that
the gaseous mixture thus produced burned with an activity amounting to
an explosion.

Water acts in extinguishing fire by its cooling influence alone, and
contains in itself the very elements of fire, so that when decomposed by
a high temperature it will burn vigorously. Thus it is that a small
quantity of water thrown on a large fire often does serious mischief.
The methods of extinguishing fire are two, mechanical and chemical. The
use of water, for the before-named reasons, ranks among the former, and
its most successful application is by means of the _steam fire-engine_.
There are many substances that chemically oppose combustion, and perhaps
the best-known medium of these for the purpose is Sinclair’s _fire
exterminator_. These being representatives of their respective classes,
a short description may be of some value:--

The fire-exterminator appears outwardly as shown by the engraving, and
is arranged so that it can be speedily and easily carried on a man’s
back. There are various details as to the inner structure which need not
be given here, but in brief it has inside it a solution of carbonic acid
gas. It may be called a large soda-water bottle charged with gas and
incombustible chemicals under great pressure.


The charge of acid is contained in a glass vessel, and this is so
arranged that when the machine is wanted, a blow on the top with a
mallet causes the chemicals to unite, and produce, when in operation, a
stream of fluid which can be projected fifty feet against fire with
certainty of success. The value of this machine is increased by the fact
that a certain measure of incombustibility is communicated to burning
bodies after they have been operated upon by the chemical solution. So
many serious fires could be stopped in their commencement if proper
means were at hand, that the importance of powerful machines in small
compass, such as these, cannot be over-estimated; and their efficiency
is proved by there being no less than 45,000 in use, and 6,000 fires
having been extinguished by them. It is calculated by actual operations
that one gallon of the chemical charge in an exterminator will do as
much good as twenty-five gallons of water.

Passing to the highest type of mechanical methods now in use, we have to
consider a more complete but wonderful machine, the steam fire-engine.
Within the lifetime of a young man such an invention was unknown to the
bulk of people, and had not come into general adoption; in its place
were parish hand-engines, and a few kept up by the Fire Insurance
Companies of London. There was no system under which the firemen worked,
no one responsible if the engine was out of order, or any untoward
accident happened; and until the great Tooley Street fire discovered the
alarming possibility of another Fire of London, the public seemed well
content to leave their protection from fire chiefly to chance. Some
remarkable revelations concerning the state of fire-engines in these
early days may be found in Mr. Young’s exhaustive work on ‘Fires and
Fire Engines.’ He gives an instance in which a woman was found to be
manager of two parish engines; her husband had been sexton and parish
engineer; and when he died, the parish authorities, not knowing what to
do with the widow, appointed her as engineer. A writer in the
‘Quarterly Review’ for December 1854 relates that Mrs. Smith might be
seen at conflagrations hurrying about in her pattens directing the
firemen of the engine.

The present extensive application of steam-power for working
fire-engines has arisen from the manifest inability of hand-worked
machines to arrest the progress of large fires; from the very beneficial
results that are attained by the use of steam fire-engines even at small
fires; and, lastly, from the great improvements that have been made in
the portable steam-engine within the last twenty years.

The first steam fire-engine was constructed by Braithwaite, of London,
in 1830 (before the formation of the London Fire Brigade), but the
recognition of this valuable invention as a regular fire brigade
appliance did not take place till twenty-two years later, when its
public use was established in New York. In the same year (1852) the
London Fire Brigade employed Messrs. Shand and Mason to apply steam
power to one of their hand-worked floating fire-machines, and were so
satisfied with the results that they immediately procured an entirely
new self-propelling floating steam-engine, constructed upon designs
supplied in competition by Messrs. Shand and Mason, after receiving the
approval of the late Mr. Walker, engineer, of Great George Street. This
is still the most powerful efficient steam floating fire-engine that has
been constructed, and is in use for river-side work in London. In 1861
the same firm supplied the first land-engine (single horizontal)
purchased by the London Fire Brigade, which is still in excellent order.
Many others have been since built by them, and also by Messrs.
Merryweather and Sons, these two firms being the best known fire-engine
makers. Steam fire-engines comprise three classes; land, floating, and
fixed. The appearance of the land-engine is now familiar to all the
dwellers in our large towns, most of whom have seen it in its rapid
progress to a fire, drawn by horses, and carrying its complement of
firemen. Floating steam-engines are desirable in ports and docks, where
warehouses and storehouses of goods are in immediate proximity to water.
They are self-propelling, or are placed in a vessel to be moved about by
steam tugs. Fixed steam fire-engines are placed in manufactories and
other places where the steam boilers are already in use, the steam from
which is available both day and night for working the engine. The use of
these fixed engines is of course limited to the premises where they are
situated, but these they protect efficiently by means of an arrangement
of fixed cast-iron pipes, with outlets for attaching flexible hose; and
being without the boiler, carriage, axles, springs, &c., of the land
steam fire-engine, the cost is very much reduced.

Messrs. Shand and Mason’s engines (see engraving on page 127) are all
direct-acting, the steam and water pistons being connected by rigid
rods, without the intervention of any joints, so that the force
communicated by the steam to the steam-piston is instantaneously
transmitted to the water-piston without any shock or blow. A crank is
used to fix the length of the stroke, and to obtain a rotary motion with
which to work the slide valve by an ‘eccentric,’ as in the ordinary
steam-engine: a small fly-wheel is used in their single vertical, but
none is required in their double or treble cylinder, nor in the patent
horizontal engines. A great advantage, in Messrs. Shand’s opinion,
attending the use of a rotary motion for steam fire-engines is, that it
can be put in motion by hand in the engine-house as often as is
necessary to prevent any of the working parts getting fixed through
being out of use. In engines having no rotary motion this cannot be done
without getting up steam, and frequently at fires the pistons have been
found immovable, causing much valuable time to be lost. An engine with
rotary motion does its work in a smooth and even manner, with a minimum
of attendance on the part of the man in charge, and without the shocks,
jerks, and irregular movement frequently found in those constructed
without it.

The engines made by Messrs. Merryweather are in outward appearance
somewhat similar to those just mentioned, but differ in constructional
detail; the rotary motion is altogether dispensed with; the power is
transmitted direct; and the working parts are perhaps fewer. This firm
adopts long strokes of piston, and large cubical contents of cylinders;
there are no cranks or dead centres, and thus the engines are stated to
do a full amount of work with lower steam pressure and at less speed.
Being direct acting, without fly-wheels, they work at any required speed
to the maximum; it is stated they can be started in any position, and
never set fast.

The engine engraved on page 124 is named the ‘First Grand Prize,’ and is
provided with seats for firemen, coal bunkers, water tanks, &c. It is
said to raise steam from cold water to working pressure in seven to
eight minutes from the time of lighting the fire; and to be capable of
pumping 600 gallons per minute to a height of 180 feet. The present
price of this engine, including the various fixtures and fittings, is

The most important part of a Steam Fire-Engine is the boiler, which
should be of such a nature as to supply the greatest amount of steam in
the shortest possible space of time. Messrs. Merryweather have adopted
the system invented by Mr. Field, which has already for some years given
such excellent results in England. The distinctive feature consists in
closed tubes suspended in such a manner as to be completely surrounded
by the frame of the furnace; these tubes communicate by only one
extremity with the boiler: inside of them are smaller tubes, open at
both ends, and with the upper ends widened out in the form of a funnel.
The release of the steam produced, and



the supply of fresh water for conversion into steam, is very rapid and
takes place with ease.

Messrs. Shand, Mason and Co.’s ‘Patent Inclined Water-tube Boiler’ is
now applied by them to all Steam Fire-Engines of their construction, as
well as for a variety of purposes where it is desirable to secure the
greatest possible amount of power in the smallest space, combined with
efficiency, economy of fuel, and durability of construction.

For Steam Fire-Engines, steam of 100 lbs. pressure can be raised in six
minutes and thirty-five seconds from lighting the fire, while for
general purposes an increase in the number of layers of tubes is made,
to the extent of rendering the boiler most economical as regards fuel.

The boiler is constructed in two pieces, bolted together by an angle
iron-faced joint, which affords immediate access to the whole of the
interior; but on account of the rapid circulation of water in the tubes,
this feature, although retained, is not found necessary in practice.

Bowling iron only is used, with the longitudinal seams welded, and all
holes, whether for rivets or bolts, are drilled and not punched. The
tubes are of homogeneous metal, and as the pressure is inside, and the
ends are removed from the hottest part of the fire, no leakage whatever
takes place, while the complete through passage in the tubes, combined
with their inclined position, prevents the accumulation of deposit,
which in practice invariably takes place in tubes where one of the ends
is closed.

The Cylindrical Tube Plate and the tubes being exposed to equal amounts
of heat, it follows that the diameter of the tube plate increases by
expansion to exactly the same extent as the tubes lengthen, so that no
displacement of the ends of the tubes can take place from alternate
expansion and contraction.

The Fire Box is surrounded by a water space, which economises fuel, and
avoids the necessity for a lining of


fire-bricks and fire-clay, the replacing and keeping in order of this
being in some Steam Fire-Engines a fruitful source of annoyance.

The working steam pressure of Shand, Mason and Co.’s Engines in the
Metropolitan Fire Brigade is 100 lbs. on the square inch, and the safety
valves are constructed so that the man in charge cannot exceed this; but
the boilers are proved to 300 lbs., and the engines may be worked with
the greatest safety at a pressure of 150 lbs. on the square inch.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

Fig. 1 is a sectional elevation of boiler; fig. 2, an elevation of
absorption chamber; fig. 3, a plan of same.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

A, the furnace; B, the absorption chamber sectioned on the line I, J,
fig. 3; C, the chimney or funnel; D, the outer shell; E, the steam
chest; F, the narrowest part of eccentric water space through which the
tubes are supplied with water at their lower ends; K, the widest part of
eccentric water space through which the upper ends of the tubes deliver
the steam produced from the heat absorbed by the tubes, and transmitted
to the water during its passage through them. By the arrangement of
tubes shown at G, fig. 2, and at H, fig. 3, and water spaces shown at F
and K, figures 1 and 3, a general circulation of water is obtained in
the boiler, and especially through the tubes, while the water space at K
increasing upwards allows of an easy separation of steam from the
accompanying water, and of its rising into the steam chest separated,
thus materially preventing priming, while the water returns to the lower
ends of the tubes, thereby maintaining a constant circulation through
them in the direction shown by the arrows; and by crossing the tubes in
alternate layers, a constant flow towards and into their lower ends is
induced, and a constant discharge from the upper ends throughout the
other half, thus causing general and uninterrupted currents of water and

As a conclusion to the subject of Fire-Engines, I may state that, when
compared with manual engines, the steam-engines show an immense saving.
From a return made to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade authorities, it was
proved that at a fire in St. Katharine’s Docks there were nine
steam-fire-engines at work from three to ten hours, the total cost of
fuel being £3 18_s._ 5_d._, while the quantity of water thrown on the
fire was estimated at 938,480 gallons.

The number of manual engines required to produce the same result would
be forty-one, requiring 1,904 men to work them, at a cost of £476,
including refreshments, showing a balance in favour of employing the
steamers of £472 1_s._ 7_d._ The proportion of the cost was as 1 to 121;
or, in other words, steamers for 20_s._ expenditure pump 251,000
gallons, and manuals for the same sum only 2,227.

These Steam Fire-Engines have frequently been used for other purposes
than that of quenching fire. After the Sheffield inundation, one was
used for a week continuously to raise water from the basements of
dwellings; and many towns have had their water-supply kept up by the use
of these invaluable engines, which will no doubt come into yet more
extended use.

The most that can be done after constant care has failed to prevent
fire, is to rely upon extraneous help to put it out; and this too often
fails, in London at all events, because of the absurdities of the water
supply. The work that can be done in attempting to extinguish a fire at
an early stage is worth everything, and yet matters are so arranged that
the firemen may get to a fire and watch it burning, while the turncock
is sent for to find the plug and get the required supply of water; and
if the pressure happens to be low in the main the supply runs short. Now
this occurs at comparatively small fires; what if a whole street were
ablaze, or a fire like that in Tooley Street broke out, away from the
river with its friendly supply of water? Consequences of a most serious
nature may result from the present system, which all persons, excepting
the Water Companies, blame, and nobody alters. Constant water pressure
and a good system of hydrants are urgently needed in every town. Without
this the most efficient fire brigade in the world would be hampered, and
it seems a crime to let anything stand in the way of the full
development of the energy displayed by fire brigades like that in
London--certainly the best in existence. By the kindness of its chief I
am enabled to supply a few particulars about this energetic body of men,
to whom the public are so indebted, and of the work they perform.

The strength of the brigade at present is as follows:--

   50 Fire-engine stations.
  105 Fire-escape stations.
    4 Floating stations.
   53 Telegraph lines.
   85 Miles of telegraph lines.
    3 Floating steam fire-engines.
    1 Iron barge, to carry a land steam fire-engine.
    5 Large land steam fire-engines.
  16 Small land steam fire-engines.
   15 Seven-inch manual fire-engines.
   56 Six-inch manual fire-engines.
   12 Under six-inch manual fire-engines.
  125 Fire-escapes.
  396 Firemen, including the chief officer, the
  superintendents, and all ranks.

The number of firemen employed on the several watches kept up throughout
the Metropolis is at present 90 by day and 181 by night, making a total
of 271 in every 24 hours; the number of those sick, injured, on leave,
or under instruction, is generally between 40 and 50. The remaining men
are available for general work at fires.

The number of journeys made by the fire-engines, during the year 1873,
of the 50 stations, was 6,556, and the total distance run was 20,503

The number of calls for fires, or supposed fires, received during the
year was 1,703. Of these, 83 were false alarms, and 1,548 were calls for
fires, of which 166 resulted in serious damage, and 1,382 in slight

These figures refer only to the regular calls for fires, or supposed
fires, involving the turning out of firemen, fire-engines, horses and
coachmen; they do not include trifling damage by fires which were not
sufficiently important to require the attendance of firemen; neither do
they include the ordinary calls for chimneys on fire, which are
separately accounted for further on.

The fires of 1873, compared with those of 1872, show an increase of 54;
but compared with the average of the last ten years there is a decrease
of 17.

The proportion of serious to slight losses in 1873--166 to 1,382--is
about as favourable as hitherto.

The following table gives it both in actual numbers and percentages, and
shows that there was considerable success in reducing losses during the

  | Years |           Numbers        |        Percentages       |
  |       +---------+--------+-------+---------+--------+-------+
  |       | Serious | Slight | Total | Serious | Slight | Total |
  | 1866  |   326   | 1,012  | 1,338 |   25    |   75   | 100   |
  | 1867  |   245   | 1,152  | 1,397 |   18    |   82   | 100   |
  | 1868  |   235   | 1,433  | 1,668 |   14    |   86   | 100   |
  | 1869  |   199   | 1,373  | 1,572 |   13    |   87   | 100   |
  | 1870  |   276   | 1,670  | 1,946 |   14    |   86   | 100   |
  | 1871  |   207   | 1,635  | 1,842 |   11    |   89   | 100   |
  | 1872  |   120   | 1,374  | 1,494 |    8    |   92   | 100   |
  | 1873  |   166   | 1,382  | 1,548 |   11    |   89   | 100   |

The number of fires in the Metropolis in which life was seriously
endangered, during the year 1873, was 74, and the number of these in
which life was lost was 20.

The number of persons seriously endangered by fire was 140, of whom 105
were saved and 35 lost their lives. Of the 35 lost, 12 were taken out
alive, but died afterwards, in hospitals or elsewhere, and 23 were
suffocated or burned to death.

The number of calls for chimneys was 3,602, of these 1,167 proved to be
false alarms, and 2,435 were for chimneys on fire. In these cases there
was no attendance of engines, but only of firemen with hand-pumps.

The quantity of water used for extinguishing fires in the Metropolis
during the year was 22,610,379 gallons, in round numbers a little more
than 22½ million gallons, or about 101,000 tons. Of this quantity 66,113
tons, or almost exactly two-thirds of the whole, were taken from the
river, canals, and docks, and the remainder from the street pipes.

During the year there were 6 cases of a short supply of water, 29 of
late attendance of turncocks, and 17 of no attendance, making altogether
52 cases in which the water arrangements were unsatisfactory.

The monthly summary of fires for the same year is as follows:--

  |           | Seriously | Slightly |       |
  |   Month   |  damaged  |  damaged | Total |
  | January   |     8     |   102    |  110  |
  | February  |    11     |    98    |  109  |
  | March     |    14     |   102    |  116  |
  | April     |    14     |   120    |  134  |
  | May       |    17     |   118    |  135  |
  | June      |    16     |   129    |  145  |
  | July      |    20     |   139    |  159  |
  | August    |    18     |   118    |  136  |
  | September |    11     |   107    |  118  |
  | October   |    18     |   102    |  120  |
  | November  |     6     |   105    |  111  |
  | December  |    13     |   142    |  155  |

Many a damaging fire has been stopped by the _immediate_ application of
water, and many more would have been if a little common sense and
presence of mind were oftener displayed. As a simple precaution in one’s
own house, always keep the bedroom water-jugs full, and have an
exterminator in a handy place ready for immediate use. For places liable
to fire--and what building is not--this latter handy instrument, with
its peculiar liquid, is invaluable, its contents being worth several
times the same quantity of water. For some purposes it is better than
the pumps and portable engines so largely employed, and is always a
valuable addition to them; the effects I have witnessed of its operation
are so remarkable that its general adoption should be only a matter of

Country mansions need special appliances for putting out fire, which are
determined by the style of building, its position, whether or not near a
good water supply, &c., but all the fixed apparatus should not supersede
the little engines just mentioned. A large mansion in Hampshire, burnt
not long since, was specially constructed with a view to have a good
water supply in case of fire; the tank at the top to charge fixed pipes
being kept full by a pump, and everything else possible done to ensure
safety. But the fire broke out when the pump was out of order, and no
water could be had, and so the house that took years to build was burnt
in a few hours. No precautions, however ample or costly, can be reckoned
on unless constant supervision is exercised over them, and care taken to
keep the various appliances ready for action.

The destruction of Messrs. Hadley’s great steam flour mill in Thames
Street, close to Blackfriars Bridge, did not fail to call attention to
the problem of protecting large buildings from fire. The ‘Engineer’ of
November 1872 states that the mill was erected in 1852. It had a
frontage of 65 feet to the river, was 250 feet long, and 7 storeys high.
Originally the machinery was driven by the condensing side lever engines
which were specially designed and built to work the Blackwall Railway
with ropes, a duty they performed for several years. About four years
ago these engines were replaced by a pair of fine compound horizontal
condensing engines, capable of working up to about 500 horse-power. The
mill was considered to be fireproof, and no doubt deserved the title as
well as many of the so-called fireproof buildings in London and the
provinces. The fire broke out in one of the upper floors, some time on
Sunday morning, Nov. 10, 1872, and in a very few hours the mill, with
the exception of the outer walls, and portions of the lower part, was
utterly destroyed. At one time no fewer than thirty engines were
present; eighteen of them, including the Thames floating engine, being

A correspondent of the ‘Builder’ stated that the following mills were
destroyed by fire in four consecutive weeks in 1872. Oct. 26, Waterloo
Cotton Mills, loss £30,000. Hyson and Sharpe’s Cotton Mills, Blackburn,
£6,000. Nov. 14, Dean’s Cotton Mills, Swinton, £10,000. Nov. 10,
Hadley’s Mill, London, say £20,000. Nov. 15, Parker’s Cotton Mills,
Preston, £16,000. Nov. 18, Whateley’s Cotton Mill, Aberdeen, £18,000.
Nov. 22, Bury and Heap’s Cotton Mills, £10,000. Nov. 23, Gomersall Bros.
Woollen Mills, Dewsbury, £15,000. Total loss, £132,000.

In reckoning the losses occasioned by fire, we cannot, however, confine
ourselves to the mere cost of the building; the wages lost by workpeople
thrown out of employ, the trade gone into other hands, and possibly
never recovered--these, and other considerations, should lead to extreme
care being taken to prevent fire, and to having proper appliances at
hand to extinguish it, if, unfortunately, it breaks out.


_Description of the Plan and Section of Fireproof Warehouse._

The photo-lithographs of a fireproof warehouse are from drawings by Mr.
E. Hoole, architect; and it will be seen that these concise designs
embody the principles enunciated in the preceding chapters.

A building for the reception of combustible goods must not only be
constructed of materials that will not burn, but must be so built that
it will remain uninjured, even if its contents are destroyed by fire.
Like a furnace, it must be made to contain a fire; and it is only a
building which, under such circumstances, maintains its strength, that
is entitled to be termed fireproof.

In the accompanying plan and section, brick is proposed as the material
for the construction of the walls and floors. These are so arranged as
to divide the building into eighteen separate compartments, each of
which is so completely cut off from those which surround it, that a fire
originating in any one of them might burn itself out without being able
to spread to the next one.

The interior of each compartment is so constructed that it will not be
damaged by the combustion of its contents. It is assumed that it will be
subjected to intense and continued heat; and the same precautions are
taken to secure the stability of the structure and protect it from
injury as would be adopted in building a furnace or in setting a
boiler. Each compartment is lined with fire-brick, which is here and
there attached to the walls to keep it in position, but not sufficiently
to communicate the heat it may receive.

Between the fire-brick lining and the building itself an air space is
left, which the heat cannot traverse. This lining bears no part of the
weight, either of the building or of its contents; and consequently,
however hot it may become, it cannot be crushed or distorted, having
only its own weight to sustain. This fire-brick lining is set in

Iron columns filled with concrete support the vaulting of the various
floors, and are protected by a casing of fire-brick, between which and
the column an air space is left. In warehouses in which the brick casing
of the columns is likely to be damaged by the shifting of the goods it
can itself be protected by a covering of sheet-iron. But this, of
course, is no additional safeguard against the action of fire.

The thrust of the vaulting is counteracted by iron tie-bars embedded in
the brickwork below the flooring of each compartment; the ends of the
bars are well turned up and down in the external walls, besides being
connected to the brickwork near the base of each column. It will be seen
that all parts of the building which have to sustain any weight are
protected from any great change of temperature, and that all iron-work
is especially screened from it.

In constructing the staircase the same precautions are adopted. A wall
carried up the centre affords a springing for the arches carrying the
steps and landings, which are constructed entirely of brick, and may be
covered either with tiles, stone, or even wooden treads, if desired. The
thrust of the arches carrying the steps is overcome by building in a
tie-bar above each arch, which thus protects it from any contact with

In order to prevent the staircase from acting as a flue in case of fire,
and causing a draught of air to rush through the parts of the building
opening into it, one side of it is left open to the external air, being
only enclosed by a light arcade of open arches on each floor. Thus it
gains the advantage of





an outside staircase, all the doors leading to it being treated as
external doors. The lift is similarly treated.

Double iron doors, lined or cased with heat-repelling material, separate
the various compartments on each floor from the staircase and from each
other. These doors are so arranged that they can be closed from the
external balconies, and thus any compartment in which a fire occurs can
be isolated without the necessity of entering it, or indeed of entering
the building.

The windows are closed by external sliding shutters, running upon rails
projecting from the outside face of the walls. These shutters are so
constructed that they can be opened by the firemen from the outside; and
easy access is given to them by the balconies, which are carried round
the building at the level of every floor. Iron balconies are shown on
the plan and section, since in most cases the heat issuing from the
windows will not be sufficient to affect its strength; but where very
inflammable goods are to be stored it will be best to corbel out in the
brickwork, and to arch from corbel to corbel to form the balconies.
Permanent means of access to the exterior of every opening in the walls
is a most important provision, allowing any part of the building to be
inspected independently, and fire discovered or extinguished, without
opening the doors of the adjoining compartments.

The roof is nearly flat, having but fall enough to carry off the water.
It may be made water-tight by a layer of asphalte, and then paved with
tiles; but a flat roof is not an essential feature of fireproof
construction, since, if the ceiling be vaulted in brick, as shown, a
roof of any pitch may be constructed above it, framed entirely of iron,
and covered with slates tied by copper wire to iron laths, or with metal
tiles. It is obvious that nothing combustible must be stored in the
space between the roof and the ceiling.

A tank is shown at one angle of the roof, to contain a supply of water
in case of fire, and it can be kept full by the ordinary means of supply
of the neighbourhood. If a portion of the top storey can be given up for
the purpose, the rain-water of the roof can be stored without incurring
a water-rate. From the tank, pipes are conducted outside the building
and furnished with unions near the windows of each compartment; so that
a hose-pipe can be instantly attached by anyone standing in the balcony,
and the whole contents of the tank discharged into any of the
compartments, without the building being entered.

In the case of a fire occurring in any compartment, two methods of
proceeding are available. The compartment can be isolated and completely
shut up until the fire either burns itself out or is extinguished for
want of air; or the shutters can be opened, and a larger quantity of
water can be discharged upon the burning goods, immediately the fire is

_Patents for Locks and Safes._

The want of a complete list of the patents taken out from time to time
for Locks and Safes has induced me to publish the following tables,
which have been most carefully compiled from the Patent Office records.
It has been impossible to give even a summary of the claims made by each
patentee of locks, on account of the space which would be thus occupied;
but I have endeavoured to increase the usefulness of the lists by
distinguishing between expired and unexpired patents. For the detailed
particulars of each I must refer the enquirer to the specifications
themselves, which can be purchased at the Patent Office, near Chancery
Lane, London. An inspection of these will astonish many persons who may
not be prepared to find the same inventions patented several times. But
such is the case; and if patents are necessary as a protection to
inventors (which I am somewhat inclined to doubt), the system adopted
ought certainly to be such as would avoid the heavy fees ever being paid
for an invention already secured to another person.

From the list of Patents for Locks I have omitted all such as are merely
fastenings for railway-carriage doors, for hand-bags, pocket-books, &c.,
or for windows. I have also not included the ‘furniture’ of locks,
_i.e._ the handles, spindles, &c., but all locks and latches used for
doors will be found in the list.

The list of Patents for Safes includes all parts of, or apparatus
connected with, Fire and Thief-resisting Safes.

Those marked * had either Provisional Protection only, or (in a few
cases) were void for want of filing the complete specification. Those
marked + lapsed at the end of three years from the date given in the
lists; and those marked ± lapsed at the end of seven years. Those
without any mark and not in italics ran their full term and expired at
the end of fourteen years.

Only in the instances wherein the patentee’s name is in italics are the
patents now (December 1st, 1874) in force.

In the list of Safes, wherever the patents are in some respects similar
to previous inventions, a reference to such invention is appended.


   Year |   Day    | No. of |                Name
        |          | Patent |
   1774 | May 27   |   1071 | Black, George
   1778 | Oct. 31  |   1200 | Barron, Robert
   1779 | May 28   |   1226 | Henry, Solomon
   1780 | March 4  |   1247 | Ampion, John
   1782 | Jan. 18  |   1317 | Hutchinson, Samuel
   1784 | April 2  |   1430 | Bramah, Joseph
   1789 | July 7   |   1692 | Cornthwaite, Thomas
   1790 | Feb. 23  |   1730 | Rowntree, Thomas
    ”   | Oct. 29  |   1778 | Bird, Moses
   1791 | July 19  |   1819 | Ferryman, Robert
    ”   | Nov. 3   |   1835 | Antes, John
   1795 | Aug. 28  |   2062 | Spears, James
   1797 | Nov. 18  |   2203 | Langton, Daniel
   1798 | May 3    |   2232 | Bramah, Joseph
    ”   | Dec. 8   |   2277 | Turner, Thomas
   1799 | April 11 |   2306 | Davis, George
   1801 | June 23  |   2521 | Holemberg, Samuel
   1805 | May 18   |   2851 | Stansbury, Abraham Ogier
   1808 | Dec. 29  |   3188 | Tompson, William
   1813 | May 15   |   3695 | Bullock, William, and Boaz, James
   1815 | March 7  |   3891 | Mitchell, William, and Lawton, John
   1816 | May 14   |   4027 | Ruxton, Thomas
    ”   |  ”  27   |   4036 | Kemp, Robert
   1817 | Feb. 1   |   4096 | Higginson, George Montague
    ”   |  ”   8   |   4101 | Clark, William
   1818 |  ”   3   |   4219 | Chubb, Jeremiah
    ”   | June 30  |   4275 | Roux, Albert
   1819 | Oct. 18  |   4402 | Strutt, Antony Radford
   1820 | April 11 |   4443 | Jennings, Henry Constantine
    ”   | Dec. 14  |   4519 | Mallet, William
   1823 | July 10  |   4812 | Fairbanks, Stephen
   1823 | Nov. 13  |   4862 | Ward, John
   1824 | June 15  |   4972 | Chubb, Charles
   1825 | May 14   |   5171 | Young, John
   1828 |  ”  17   |   5656 | Chubb, Charles
   1829 | June 1   |   5798 | Gottlieb, Andrew
   1830 | Jan. 18  |   5880 | Carpenter, James, and Young, John
   1831 | April 14 |   6105 | Rutherford, William
    ”   | May 23   |   6116 | Barnard, George
    ”   | July 27  |   6143 | Young, John
   1832 | Dec. 20  |   6350 | Parsons, Thomas
   1833 |  ”   3   |   6516 | Parsons, Thomas
    ”   |  ”   20  |   6527 | Chubb, Charles, and Hunter, Ebenezer
    ”   |  ”       |   6532 | Pierson, Josiah Gilbert
   1834 | Sept. 6  |   6674 | Longfield, William
    ”   | Oct. 11  |   6694 | Audley, Lord Baron
   1835 | March 18 |   6792 | Hill, Richard
    ”   | Dec. 16  |   6960 | Warrick, John
   1836 | Feb. 10  |   7000 | Fenton, Samuel
   1838 | June 30  |   7715 | Uzielli, Matthew
    ”   | Nov. 13  |   7872 | Thompson, Sally
   1839 | Feb. 21  |   7972 | Uzielli, Matthew
    ”   | June 12  |   8106 | Sanders, Joseph
    ”   | July 3   |   8140 | Cochrane, Alexander
    ”   |  ”   20  |   8163 | Schwieso, John Charles
    ”   | Aug. 1   |   8181 | Williams, William Morrett
    ”   | Dec. 2   |   8293 | Guest, James
   1840 | Feb. 27  |   8402 | Williams, William Morrett
    ”   | March 20 |   8440 | Gerish, Francis William
    ”   | May 2    |   8489 | Peirce, William
    ”   | June 13  |   8543 | Wolverson, Joseph, and Rawlett, William
    ”   | Oct. 22  |   8666 | Clark, Thomas
    ”   | Dec. 23  |   8747 | Baillie, Benjamin
   1841 | March 29 |   8903 | Tildesley, James, and Sanders, Joseph
    ”   | May 6    |   8953 | Hancock, James
    ”   | July 14  |   9029 | Berry, Miles
    ”   | Sept. 28 |   9104 | Strong, Theodore Frederick
   1841 | Nov. 9   |   9144 | Smith, Jesse
   1842 | Jan. 15  |   9224 | Poole, Moses
    ”   | May 24   |   9364 | Duce, Joseph
    ”   | June 13  |   9395 | Williams, William Morrett
    ”   | Dec. 29  |   9578 | Rock, Joseph, jun.
   1843 | Nov. 25  |   9963 | Tann, Edward, Edward, and John
    ”   |  ”       |   9965 | Rock, Joseph, jun.
   1844 | Jan. 30  |  10032 | Fletcher, William
    ”   | May 14   |  10182 | Pitt, Benjamin
   1845 | April 15 |  10611 | Carter, George
   1846 | March 25 |  11152 | Cotterill, Edwin
    ”   | July 6   |  11283 | De La Fons, John Palmer
    ”   |  ” 15    |  11299 | Thomas, William
    ”   | Dec. 14  |  11491 | Chubb, John
   1847 | Jan. 11  |  11523 | Chubb, John, and Hunter, Ebenezer
    ”   | April 16 |  11659 | Collett, Charles Minors
    ”   | Sept. 16 |  11869 | Hancock, William
   1848 |  ” 28    |  12274 | Newall, Robert Stirling
   1849 | May 8    |  12604 | Wilkes, Samuel
   1850 | July 22  |  13184 | Bradford, James
   1851 | April 15 |  13595 | Newell, Robert
    ”   | Nov. 4   |  13802 | Dismore, George
    ”   |  ”   6   |  13806 | Parnell, Michael Leopold
    ”   |  ”   13  |  13807 | Sinclair, William
    ”   |  ”   22  |  13824 | Restell, Thomas
    ”   | Dec. 8   |  13852 | Restell, Thomas
   1852 | Feb. 23  |  13985 | Hobbs, Alfred Charles
    ”   | Oct. 21  |    472 |+Rose, Joseph
    ”   | Nov. 23  |    828 |+Parnell, Michael Leopold
   1853 | Jan. 21  |    160 |+Chubb, John, and Goater, John
    ”   |  ”   29  |    229 |+Whishaw, Francis
    ”   | Feb. 11  |    367 |+Choppin, William
    ”   | May 3    |   1074 |+Goble, George Frederic
    ”   |  ”  23   |   1266 |+Simson, William
    ”   |  ”  27   |   1310 |±Bentley, William Henry
    ”   | July 5   |   1600 |+Tripe, Decimus Julius
    ”   |  ”   6   |   1617 |+Newton, William Edward
    ”   | Aug. 11  |   1866 |*Rushbury, John
    ”   |  ”   18  |   1932 |+Pigé, Alexis
    ”   | Sept. 9  |   2076 |±Parnell, Michael Leopold
    ”   |  ”    9  |   2077 |*Martin, James
    ”   | Nov. 7   |   2587 |±Newton, Alfred Vincent
    ”   |  ”  21   |   2698 |+Tucker, Walter Henry, and Reeves, Rashleigh
    ”   | Dec. 10  |   2879 |*Du Bost, Hippolyte Laurent
    ”   |  ”   22  |   2980 |+Gibbons, James, Jun.
   1854 | Feb. 1   |    256 |+Daniel, Alfred
    ”   |  ”  20   |    405 | Milner, William
    ”   | March 1  |    505 |+Holland, John Simon
    ”   |  ”    2  |    514 |+Tann, John
    ”   | June 12  |   1288 |±Young, John
    ”   | July 1   |   1441 |*Jones, Robert Lewis
    ”   |  ”  11   |   1514 |+Wolverson, Edwin
    ”   | Aug. 1   |   1697 |+Holland, John Simon
    ”   |  ”   4   |   1709 |±Miles, Louis Player
    ”   | Sept. 2  |   1917 |+Lewis, George
    ”   |  ”   25  |   2060 | McConnel, Robert
    ”   | Oct. 3   |   2122 |+Newton, William Edward
    ”   | Dec. 9   |   2592 |*Button, Reuben
    ”   |  ”  12   |   2611 |+Larkin, Richard
    ”   |  ”  13   |   2616 |+Stansbury, Charles Frederick
    ”   |  ”  20   |   2684 | Milner, William
    ”   |  ”  23   |   2712 |*Giroux, Barthélemy Martin
   1855 | Jan. 29  |    218 |+Imray, John
    ”   | April 25 |    934 |+Bellford, Auguste Edward Loradoux
    ”   | May 1    |    978 |*Wright, Lemuel Wellman
    ”   |  ” 11    |   1063 |+Henderson, Constantine
    ”   |  ” 21    |   1127 | Tucker, Walter Henry
    ”   | June 9   |   1315 | Nettlefold, J. S., E. J., and J. H.
    ”   | July 18  |   1623 |+Scully, Vincent, and Heywood, Bennett John
    ”   | Aug. 13  |   1837 |+Butler, Thomas
    ”   |  ”   15  |   1851 |+Avery, John
    ”   |  ”   30  |   1959 |*Stansbury, Charles Frederick
    ”   | Sept. 4  |   2001 |+Mueller, Charles Gustav
    ”   | Nov. 14  |   2572 |+Newton, Alfred Vincent
   1856 | Jan. 21  |    156 |*Fenton, Samuel
    ”   | Feb. 5   |    310 |±Parnell, Michael Leopold
   ”   | March 28 |   744  |+Daniel, Alfred
   ”    | April 21 |   950  |*Dortet, Jules
   ”    |   ”   24 |   989  | Blacket, Frank William
   ”    | June 18  |  1436  |±Tucker, Walter Henry
   ”    | July 1   |  1544  |*Newton, Alfred Vincent
   ”    |   ”  18  |  1690  |+Leuchars, William
   ”    | Aug. 7   |  1860  |*Weber, Lionel
   ”    | Dec. 11  |  2944  |+Miles, William Player
   ”    |   ”  26  |  3066  |*Newburgh, Sidney, and Steinhart, Charles
  1857  | Jan.  8  |    68  |±Harris, James
   ”    |  ”   15  |   120  |+Hobbs, Alfred Charles
   ”    | April 2  |   916  |+Morrison, Duncan, and Lilley, Samuel
   ”    |   ”  15  |  1070  | Safran, Jacob
   ”    | May  6   |  1284  |+Newton, William Edward
   ”    |  ”  12   |  1331  |*Cotterill, Edwin
   ”    | July 13  |  1942  |*Hinks, Joseph Lester, and Day, John Rock
   ”    |  ”   28  |  2059  |+Dortet, Jules, and Dénis, André Barthélemy
   ”    | Dec. 24  |  3160  |+Hart, George William
  1858  | Jan. 20  |    94  |+Nixon, Christopher Nugent
   ”    |  ”   21  |   110  | Wilson, Peter; Northall, Samuel; and James,
        |          |        |  Thomas
   ”    | Feb. 23  |   355  |+White, George Frederick
   ”    | March 31 |   682  |+Duce, Joseph Warner
   ”    | May 24   |  1160  |*Hamilton, George, and Nash, William Henry
   ”    | June 11  |  1332  |+Hart, George William
   ”    |   ”  30  |  1470  |*Wheatcroft, William Smith, and Smith, James
        |          |        |  Newton
   ”    | July 6   |  1513  |*Davies, John Taylor
   ”    | Sept. 1  |  1989  |+Newton, William Edward
   ”    | Oct. 5   |  2212  | Hamilton, George, and Nash, William Henry
   ”    |  ”  11   |  2263  |*Platt, Joseph
   ”    | Nov. 9   |  2506  |*Henry, Michael
   ”    |  ”  11   |  2533  |+Newton, Alfred Vincent
  1859  | Jan. 17  |   132  |+Brooks, Edward
   ”    | March 16 |    660 |[+]Ash, Isaiah
    ”   |  ”    16 |    669 |[*]Hamilton, George, and Nash, William Henry
    ”   | April 27 |   1059 |[*]Hamp, Charles
    ”   | May 7    |   1149 |[±]Henry, Michael
    ”   |  ”  17   |   1228 |[+]Law, Charles
    ”   |  ”  26   |   1302 |[+]Young, John
    ”   | June 23  |   1513 |[*]Prince, Alexander
    ”   | Aug. 13  |   1869 |[*]Clegg, Robert Dawson, and Saunders, Thomas
    ”   |  ”   17  |   1895 |[+]Brooman, Richard Archibald
    ”   | Oct. 14  |   2343 |[±]Price, George
    ”   | Nov. 25  |   2672 |[+]Tildesley, Matthew
   1860 | Jan. 2   |      2 |[+]Luis, Jozé
    ”   |  ”   6   |     43 |[+]Fowler, John
    ”   |  ”   11  |     78 |[+]Newton, Alfred Vincent
    ”   | March 5  |    598 |[+]Price, Cyrus
    ”   | April 24 |   1021 |[*]Brodie, James
    ”   |  ”    27 |   1071 |[*]Withers, George
    ”   | May 11   |   1158 |[±]Price, George
    ”   |  ”  16   |   1208 |[+]Newton, William Edward
    ”   |  ”  28   |   1308 | _Chatwood, Samuel_[5]
    ”   | June 2   |   1360 |[+]Newton, William Edward
    ”   |  ”   15  |   1460 |[*]Mackrow, Isaac
    ”   |  ”   19  |   1487 |[*]Brooman, Richard Archibald
    ”   |  ”   26  |   1550 |[*]Hudson, Wm. Henry, and Evans, John
    ”   | July 17  |   1731 |[±]Loysel, Edward
    ”   | Aug. 23  |   2032 |[+]Spence, William
    ”   | Sept. 8  |   2172 |[*]Hoare, Deane John
    ”   |  ”    15 |   2250 |[+]Newton, William Edward
    ”   |  ”    16 |   2827 |[*]Morrison, Alfred
    ”   | Dec. 13  |   3071 |[±]Chubb, John, and Hunter, Ebenezer
   1861 | Feb. 9   |    324 |[*]Grimshaw, O’Donnell
    ”   |  ”   18  |    401 |[+]Price, Cyrus and Elihu
    ”   | April 10 |    882 |[*]Morel, Auguste Victor
    ”   | May 2    |   1098 |[+]Winkler, Michael
    ”   | June 19  |   1577 |[+]Pradel, Peter
    ”   | July  22 |   1835 |[*]Mennons, Marc Antoine François
    ”   |  ”    24 |   1850 |[*]Hirschfeld, Ferdinand
    ”   |  ”    30 |   1902 | _Hart, John Matthias_
    ”   | Aug.   5 |   1943 |[+]Brooman, Richard Archibald
    ”   | Sept.  5 |   2206 |[±]McConnell, Robert
    ”   | Nov.  20 |   2915 |[±]Croxford, Joseph Cooper
    ”   | Dec.  17 |   3159 |[+]Tucker, Walter Henry
   1862 | Jan.  20 |    140 | _Mappin, Walter Sandell_
    ”   |  ”    25 |    200 |[+]Lefort, François Joseph Lalmand
    ”   | March 15 |    723 | _Hamilton, George_
    ”   | April 12 |   1057 |[*]Sweet, Andrew
    ”   |  ”    19 |   1145 |[+]Loysel, Edward
    ”   |  May   5 |   1328 |[±]Allman, Herbert
    ”   |  ”    17 |   1504 |[*]Tessier, Charles Hippolyte
    ”   | June  17 |   1791 |[*]Pringle, Archibald
    ”   | Oct.  13 |   2750 |[+]Chatwood, Samuel
    ”   |  ”    16 |   2791 |[*]Berry, George
    ”   |  ”    16 |   2796 |[*]Harold, Thomas George
    ”   |  ”    27 |   2889 |[+]Pilgrim, Thomas
    ”   | Dec.   1 |   3349 |[+]Phelps, William
   1863 | Jan.   9 |     73 |[+]Tucker, Walter Henry
    ”   |  ”    13 |    109 |[*]Tildesley, Matthew
    ”   |  ”    15 |    131 |[+]Barraclough, Thomas Critchley
    ”   |  ”    26 |    228 |[*]Smith, Andrew
    ”   | Feb.   7 |    347 | _Parigot, Claude, and Grivel, Antoine_
    ”   |  ”    16 |    417 |[+]McEntee, Withers, and Withers
    ”   | March 26 |    790 |[+]Parnell, Michael Leopold
    ”   | April 14 |    934 |[*]Berry, George
    ”   |  ”    15 |    951 |[*]Morton, John Sanderson
    ”   |  ”    16 |    959 |[+]Oldfield, William
    ”   | July   8 |   1702 |[+]Newton, William Edward
    ”   | Nov.   5 |   2742 |[*]Hancock, Henry, and Vickers, William Henry
   1864 | Jan.   5 |     28 |[±]Fenby, Joseph Beverley
    ”   | Feb.  13 |    379 |[+]Bedford, Joseph
    ”   | March 12 |    633 |[*]Hancock, Henry, and Vickers, William Henry
    ”   | July   6 |   1679 |[+]Von Rathen, Antony Bernhard
    ”   | Sept.  6 |   2174 |[+]Weaver, Frederick
    ”   |  ”    27 |   2367 |[*]Adams, Arthur John
    ”   | Oct.   5 |   2446 |[+]Bonneville, Henri Adrien
    ”   | Nov.  25 |   2954 |[*]Newton, Alfred Vincent
   1865 | Jan.  11 |     92 |[*]Heather, John Fry
    ”   | March  1 |    570 |[+]Whitfield, Samuel
    ”   |   ”   20 |    778 | _Chatwood, Samuel_
    ”   | April  4 |    944 |[*]Nabbs, Richard
    ”   |   ”    7 |    999 |[*]Kimberley, Nathan Gold
    ”   |   ”   12 |   1043 | _Walker, John_
    ”   |   ”   12 |   1045 | _Hart, John Matthias_
    ”   |   ”   29 |   1194 |[*]Tucker, Walter Henry
    ”   |   ”   29 |   1201 |[+]Clark, William
    ”   | May   22 |   1402 |[*]Gedge, William Edward
    ”   |  ”    22 |   1406 |[*]Hodson William
    ”   |  ”    27 |   1462 |[+]Diele, Ludwig
    ”   |  ”    30 |   1485 |[*]Grafton, Sidney
    ”   |  ”    30 |   1487 |[+]Calvert, John
    ”   | June   9 |   1578 |[±]Meek, G. E., and Howes, W. H.
    ”   |  ”    29 |   1735 |[+]Newton, William Edward
    ”   | July   6 |   1782 |[+]Carter, George
    ”   |  ”     8 |   1812 |[+]Heather, John Fry
    ”   |  ”    21 |   1902 | _Walton, James_
    ”   | Aug.  12 |   2092 |[+]Newton, William Edward
    ”   |  ”    26 |   2198 | _Hodgson, Edmund Dorman_
    ”   | Sept. 28 |   2484 |[+]Price, Cyrus
    ”   | Nov.   4 |   2852 |[+]Gardner, William
    ”   |  ”     8 |   2879 |[+]Rainé, Jules Adolphe
    ”   |  ”    21 |   2991 |[±]Pope, Frederic
    ”   | Dec.   9 |   3169 |[*]Grivel, Antoine, Jun.
    ”   |  ”    23 |   3324 |[*]Groves, Joseph, and Robinson, George, Jun.
    ”   |  ”    30 |   3382 |[+]Newton, William Edward
   1866 | Jan.   6 |     48 |[+]Tolhausen, Frederick
    ”   | March 17 |    799 |[+]Hinton, Frederic
    ”   | April 20 |   1118 |[+]Allen, James
    ”   | June   4 |   1545 |[+]Fenby, Joseph Beverley
    ”   |  ”    12 |   1597 |[*]Kurz, Frederick William
    ”   |  ”    16 |   1635 |[*]Macdonald, Archibald
    ”   |  ”    16 |   1638 |[*]Hopps, George Henry
    ”   | July   2 |   1750 |[+]Bonneville, Henri Adrien
    ”   | Nov.  14 |   2987 |[*]Clark, William
    ”   | Dec.  29 |   3420 |[*]Adams, Arthur John
    ”   |   ”   31 |   3441 |[*]Allman, Herbert
   1867 | March  8 |    654 |[+]Pope, Frederic
    ”   |   ”   29 |    937 |[+]Wolverson, Joseph, Jun.
    ”   | May    6 |   1326 |[+]Lake, William Robert
    ”   |   ”    7 |   1353 |[*]Saxby, Henry John
    ”   | July  27 |   2184 |[+]Jones, Thomas
    ”   | Nov.   9 |   3166 |[+]Hall, Samuel, and Whittingham, Maurice
   1868 | Feb.   7 |    422 |[+]Lake, William Robert
    ”   |   ”   26 |    651 |[*]Dowell, William and James
    ”   | March 27 |   1061 |[+]Hughes, Henry, and Jones, Charles
    ”   | April  4 |   1144 | _Nabbs, Richard_
    ”   |   ”   27 |   1372 |[*]Tidmarsh, Samuel
    ”   | June   5 |   1842 |[+]Clark, Alexander Melville
    ”   |   ”    8 |   1874 |[+]Coffey, Dominic
    ”   | July  11 |   2199 |[+]Brooman, Clinton Edgcumbe
    ”   | Sept.  8 |   2764 |[+]Fraser, Alexander John
    ”   | Oct.  15 |   3153 |[+]Gumpel, Charles Godfrey
    ”   | Nov.  23 |   3549 |[+]La Penotière, William
    ”   | Dec.   3 |   3676 |[+]Maréchal, Louis Jules
    ”   |   ”   14 |   3796 |[*]Brooman, Clinton Edgcumbe
    ”   |   ”   21 |   3887 |[+]Whitaker, Richard
   1869 | April 22 |   1245 |[+]Lake, William Robert
    ”   |   ”   27 |   1293 |[+]Lake, William Robert
    ”   | June  18 |   1878 |[*]Andrew, Matthew
    ”   | Sept.  8 |   2636 |[+]Hodges, Richard Edward
    ”   |   ”   11 |   2672 |[*]Andrew, Matthew
    ”   |   ”   15 |   2700 |[*]Clark, Alexander Melville
    ”   |   ”   30 |   2846 |[+]Dewe, John
    ”   | Oct.  12 |   2963 |[+]Andrew, Matthew
    ”   | Nov.  11 |   3250 |[+]Lake, William Robert
    ”   |   ”   11 |   3256 | _Harris, William_
    ”   |   ”   11 |   3257 | _Wilson, Peter_
    ”   |   ”   15 |   3290 |[+]Brampton, Frederick
    ”   |   ”   16 |   3300 | _Tucker, Walter Henry_
   1870 | Jan.  21 |    187 | _Whitfield, Frederic_
    ”   | April 30 |   1242 |[*]Massi, Charles
    ”   | July   7 |   1927 |[*]Murdoch, Hunter Henry
    ”   | Sept.  9 |   2440 | _Tildesley, James_
    ”   | Oct.  22 |   2785 | _Samels, Abel Edgar_
    ”   | Nov.  26 |   3108 |[+]Murdoch, Hunter Henry
    ”   |   ”   28 |   3114 |[+]Abel, Charles Denton
    ”   |   ”   28 |   3115 |[+]Abel, Charles Denton
    ”   | Dec.  22 |   3356 | _Morrison, James_
   1871 | Jan.  12 |     87 | _Pocock, Alfred Willmer_
    ”   |   ”   30 |    240 |[+]Lawrence, Charles Lewis
    ”   | Feb.   1 |    265 |[*]Harvey, Henry Cummins, and Walton, Thomas
    ”   | May    1 |   1160 |[+]Imray, John
    ”   | June   8 |   1514 |[*]Hutchins, Henry Edward
   1872 | Jan.  25 |    252 | _Mills, Benjamin Joseph Barnard_
    ”   | March 22 |    881 | _Brolly, William Stuart_
    ”   | May   18 |   1523 |[*]Pichery, Jules Léandre
    ”   | July  10 |   2074 | _Lancaster, Henry_
    ”   | Aug.  20 |   2472 | _Brodie, James_
    ”   | Sept. 18 |   2764 |[*]Osborn, William
    ”   | Oct.   5 |   2940 | _Kromer, Theodore_
   1873 | March 21 |   1057 | _Morgan-Brown, William_
    ”   | May   29 |   1932 | _Fox, Howard Busby_
    ”   | June  26 |   2219 | _Mansbridge, Thomas_
    ”   | July  25 |   2545 |[*]Greenwood, Henry Brown
    ”   | Aug.  25 |   2793 | _Hunt, Bristow_
    ”   | Sept. 16 |   3029 |[*]Edwards, John
    ”   |   ”   19 |   3081 | _Harrington, John_
    ”   |   ”   27 |   3159 |[*]Vaughan, Henry
    ”   | Oct.  24 |   3453 | _Ratcliff, Daniel Rowlinson_
    ”   |   ”   31 |   3550 | _Chatwood, Samuel_
    ”   | Dec.  17 |   4139 | _Barton, Charles_
   1874 | Jan.   3 |     44 | _Harrington, John_
    ”   | Feb.  19 |    642 | _Worrell, Thomas Boyle_
    ”   | March  5 |    818 | _Clarke, Henry_
    ”   |   ”   30 |   1095 | _Whitworth_
    ”   | April 16 |   1320 | _Turner_
    ”   |   ”   21 |   1377 | _Wheeler_
    ”   |   ”   29 |   1495 | _Rutter_
    ”   | June   6 |   1974 | _Faddy_
    ”   |   ”   23 |   2174 | _Titley_


  Year |    Day   | No. of |            Name        |       Chief Claims
       |          | Patent |                        |
  1801 | Feb.  10 |  2477  | Scott, Richard         | Fireproofing
  1834 |   ”   13 |  6555  | Marr, William          | Fireproofing
  1835 | May    1 |  6832  | Chubb, Charles         | Case-hardening plates
  1839 | June  11 |  8100  | Chubb, Charles and     | Well safes
       |          |        |   Jeremiah             |
  1840 | Feb.  26 |  8401  | Milner, Thomas         | Fireproofing
  1843 | Nov.  25 |  9963  | Tann, Edward; Edward,  | Fireproofing. A disclaimer
       |          |        |   Jun., and John       |   afterwards published of
       |          |        |                        |   certain parts
  1851 | March  3 | 13540  | Milner, William        | Fireproofing and bolts
  1853 | Nov.   7 |  2587  | Newton, Alfred Vincent | Chilled cast-iron
  1854 | July  12 |  1533  |[*]Gardissal, Charles   | For postage and other
       |          |        |   Durand               |   stamps
   ”   | Dec.  20 |  2684  | Milner, William        | Wood for lock-cases
  1855 | Jan.  31 |   236  | Price, George          | Painting interior and
       |          |        |                        |   case-hardening exterior
   ”   | Aug.  21 |  1888  |[+]Longsdon, Robert     | Hydraulic apparatus
   ”   | Nov.  22 |  2632  |[+]Price, George        | Steam-tight chests
  1856 | April 24 |   989  | Blacket, Frank William | Fixing locks and
       |          |        |                        |   detachable heads to keys
   ”   | Aug.  16 |  1919  |[+]Lilley, Samuel       | Chilled cast-iron.
       |          |        |                        |  (Newton, 1853, No. 2587.)
  1857 | Jan.  20 |   172  |[+]Johnson, John Henry  | A ship safe
   ”   | April 16 |  1075  |[*]Crook, Samuel Thomas | Casting and welding
   ”   | Sept. 25 |  2481  |[±]Chubb, John          | Steel plugs and corrugated
       |          |        |                        |   steel
   ”   | Nov.  25 |  2947  |[*]Hogg, James          | Revolving shutter for door
  1859 | March 21 |   717  |[+]Rhodes, William      | Water for fireproofing
  1860 | April 27 |  1071  |[*]Withers, George      | Welding iron and steel
       |          |        |                        |   plates, &c.
   ”   | May   28 |  1308  | _Chatwood, Samuel_[6]  | Fluid metal run in between
       |          |        |                        |   two plates
   ”   | Sept. 13 |  2211  |[*]Price, George        | Coating doors with steel
  1862 | Jan.  29 |   232  |[*]Pulvé, Louis         | Wool and sand fireproofing
       |          |        |   Alexandre            |
   ”   | Oct.  13 |  2750  |[+]Chatwood, Samuel     | Tee-iron frame. Nine
       |          |        |                        |   claims
   ”   | Dec.  12 |  3327  |[*]Winiwarter, George   | Fireproofing. Tubes bound
       |          |        |                        |   with straw, clay, &c.
  1863 | March  3 |   594  |[±]Price, George, and   | Angle-iron frame.
       |          |        |  Dawes, William        |   Electro-gilding lock
  1864 | Oct.  10 |  2485  |[+]Gardner, William.    | False bottom
  1865 | Jan.   9 |    71  |[+]Wiese, Friedrich     | Fireproofing (Milner,
       |          |        |                        |   1840, No. 8401)
   ”   | Feb.   6 |   326  |[+]Shaw, Robert         | Shop-window safe
   ”   |   ”    9 |   364  |[+]Chubb, John          | Recessed door, &c.
   ”   |   ”   15 |   439  |[*]Clark, Alexander     | Chilled cast-iron, &c.
       |          |        |                        | (Lilley, 1856, No. 1919.)
   ”   | Feb.  16 |   450  | _Thompson, Joseph_     | Solid flanges, &c.
   ”   |   ”   17 |   459  |[*]Fergusson, James     | Sliding doors
   ”   |   ”   22 |   499  |[*]Shore, George        | Curved edge to door
       |          |        |  Nathaniel             |
   ”   |   ”   23 |   507  | _Whitfield, Samuel_    | Screw-bolts
   ”   |   ”   23 |   508  |[*]Mappin, Walter       | Flanged plates and rivets
       |          |        |  Sandell               |
   ”   |   ”   23 |   514  |[*]Taylor, Henry Kinden | Exposed safe
   ”   |   ”   27 |   543  |[*]Tucker, Walter Henry | Casting and welding
   ”   |   ”   28 |   559  | _Hart, John Matthias_  | Holding bolts
   ”   | March  2 |   585  | _Chatwood, Samuel_     | 15 claims. (Shore, 1865,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 499; and Whitfield,
       |          |        |                        |   1865, No. 507.)
   ”   |   ”    6 |   619  |[*]Varley, Cromwell     |
       |          |        |  Fleetwood             | Electric apparatus
   ”   |   ”    6 |   621  |[*]Phillips, Samuel,    |
       |          |        |  and Groves, Joseph    | Undercut angle-iron, &c.
   ”   |   ”    8 |   653  |[*]Taylor, Arthur Edwin | Sliding door
   ”   |   ”    9 |   660  |[*]Harris, Joseph Thomas| Fire-resisting doors
   ”   |   ”   11 |   695  |[*]Tann, John           | Ten claims
   ”   |   ”   13 |   702  |[*]Hill, Henry          | Sliding door. (Taylor,
       |          |        |                        |   1865, No. 653.)
   ”   |   ”   14 |   714  |[*]Hodgson, Edmund      | Sliding door. (Hill, 1865,
       |          |        |  Dorman                |   No. 702.)
   ”   |   ”   15 |   728  |[*]Loysel, Edward       | Spiegel-eisen, &c.
       |          |        |                        |   (Chatwood, 1865, No.
       |          |        |                        |   585.)
   ”   |   ”   31 |   903  |[*]Milner, William, and |
       |          |        |  Ratcliff, Daniel      |
       |          |        |  Rowlinson             | Ribs, hooks, &c.
   ”   |   ”   31 |   904  |[*]Cook, Thomas         | Circular door
   ”   | April  4 |   946  |[*]Thompson, George Curr| Screw-bolts. (Chatwood,
       |          |        |                        |  1865, No. 585; Whitfield,
       |          |        |                        |  1865, No. 507.)
   ”   |   ”    7 |  1000  |[+]Skidmore, Thomas     | Inner angle-iron frame
   ”   |   ”   12 |  1045  | _Hart, John Matthias_  | Actuating bolts
   ”   |   ”   13 |  1056  |[*]Chubb, John, and     | Projections on door
       |          |        |  Goater, Robert        |
   ”   | June  20 |  1657  |[+]Parish, James;       | Dovetailed door
       |          |        |  Thatcher, Charles;    |
       |          |        |  and Glasscock, Thomas |
   ”   | July  22 |  1911  |[*]Diaper, William      | Z iron frame; revolving
       |          |        |                        |   steel rods.(Tann, 1865,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 695.)
   ”   | Aug.   2 |  1995  |[*]Andrew, Thomas; and  | Screw-bolts. (Thompson,
       |          |        |  Taylor, James Whiteley|   1865, No. 946, &c., &c.)
   ”   |  ”     2 |  2006  |[+]Allman, Herbert      | Chilled cast-iron, &c.
       |          |        |                        |   (Thompson, 1865, No.
       |          |        |                        |   450.)
   ”   |  ”    11 |  2081  |[+]Kjellberg, Peter     | Suspended safe
       |          |        |  Carlsson              |
   ”   |  ”    17 |  2121  |[+]Phillips, Samuel;    | Dovetails, curved edge, &c.
       |          |        |  and Groves, Joseph    |   (Chubb, 1865, No. 1056;
       |          |        |                        |   Shore, 1865, No. 499.)
   ”   | Sept.  2 |  2265  | _Chatwood, Samuel_     | Casting with soft metal
   ”   |  ”     7 |  2294  |[+]Hart, John Matthias  | Joining plates by metal in
       |          |        |                        |   tubes
   ”   |  ”     9 |  2318  |[+]Nordenskiöld, Adolf  | Connecting safe with
       |          |        |  Eric, and             |   water-pipes
       |          |        |  Smith, John William   |
   ”   | Sept. 26 |  2457  |[*]Parigot, Claude, and |
       |          |        |  Grivel, Antoine       | Locking apparatus
   ”   | Nov.  20 |  2979  |[*]Fenby, Joseph Beverly| Expanding bolt
   ”   | Dec.   1 |  3085  |[*]Batho, William       |
       |          |           Fothergill            | Stamped safe
   ”   |   ”    9 |  3169  |[*]Grivel, Antoine      | Keyless lock, &c.
   ”   |   ”   21 |  3305  |[+]Blackman, John       |
       |          |        |  William               | Connecting safe with
       |          |        |                        |  water-pipes. (Nordenskiöld,
       |          |        |                        |  1865, No. 2318.)
   ”   |   ”   23 |  3321  |[±]Chatwood, Samuel     | Casting safes
   ”   |   ”   23 |  3324  |[*]Groves, Joseph, and  |
       |          |        |  Robinson, George      | Projecting pieces, &c.
       |          |        |                        |   (Phillips, 1865, No.
       |          |        |                        |   2121.)
  1866 | Jan.  11 |    96  |[*]Rudling, William     |
       |          |        |  Atkins                | Electric apparatus
   ”   | Feb.  21 |   541  |[*]Deakin, William      | Projections on doors, &c.
       |          |        |                        |  (Groves, 1865, No. 3324.)
   ”   |   ”   23 |   552  |[+]Haddan, J. C., and   |
       |          |        |  Haddan, H. J.         | Circular safes, and
       |          |        |                        |   vitrifying exterior
   ”   | March  2 |   641  |[±]Tansley, James       | Interlocking doors
   ”   |   ”    3 |   648  |[*]Hosking, Albert      | Gaslight detector
   ”   |   ”    6 |   685  |[+]Chubb, John          | Tie-bars, rivets, and hinges
   ”   | March  7 |   694  |[+]Price, George        | Plate-iron frame
       |          |        |                        |   projections, &c. (Tann,
       |          |        |                        |   1865, No. 695.)
   ”   |   ”    9 |   717  |[*]Moxon, Thomas Bewsher| Electric apparatus
   ”   |   ”   13 |   754  |[+]Jessop, Joseph, and  |
       |          |        |  Warburton, William    | Serrated edge to door
   ”   |   ”   17 |   792  |[+]Sagar, Thomas, and   |
       |          |        |  Keighley, George      | Cylindrical safe. (Haddan,
       |          |        |                        |   1866, No. 552.)
   ”   |   ”   17 |   799  |[+]Hinton, Frederic     | Circular door. (Sagar,
       |          |        |                        |   1866, No. 792.)
   ”   |   ”   27 |   895  |[*]Bracher, John        | Frame and angle-iron
   ”   |   ”   29 |   911  |[+]Noake, Reuben        | Joining edges. (Bracher,
       |          |        |                        |   1866, No. 895.)
   ”   |   ”   31 |   930  |[+]Hindshaw, George     | Serrated door, &c. (Jessop,
       |          |        |                        |   1866, No. 754.)
   ”   | April  4 |   954  |[*]Maddocks, John, and  |
       |          |        |  Dunn, William         | Sliding doors and
       |          |        |                        |    dovetailed bars
   ”   |   ”   19 |  1106  |[±]Evans, Daniel        | Welding and joining plates.
       |          |        |                        |    (Hart, 1865, No. 2294.)
   ”   | May   16 |  1387  |[+]Gisborne, John       |
       |          |        |  Sacheverell           | Electric and clockwork
       |          |        |                        |   apparatus
   ”   |   ”   16 |  1390  |[+]Price, Elihu and     |
       |          |        |  Cyrus                 | Moveable bars; fireproof
       |          |        |                        |   inner door
   ”   | June   7 |  1570  | _Grivel, Antoine_      | Nine claims. Locking
       |          |        |                        |   apparatus
   ”   |   ”   11 |  1587  |[*]Baxter, John, and    |
       |          |        |  Hunt, John            | Serrated door and casting
       |          |        |                        |   No. safe. (Hindshaw,
       |          |        |                        |   1866, 930; Tucker, 1865,
       |          |        |                        |    No 543.)
   ”   | June  12 |  1598  |[*]Kurz, Frederick      |
       |          |        |  William               | Double sliding-doors.
       |          |        |                        |   (Maddocks, 1866, No.
       |          |        |                        |   954.)
   ”   |   ”   22 |  1671  |[+]Peyton, Edward       | Circular door
   ”   | Aug.   1 |  1977  |[+]Billing, Edwin Isaac | Spherical safe
   ”   |   ”    2 |  1993  |[*]Chillcott, Isaac     |
       |          |        |  Eldon                 | Serrated door. (Baxter,
       |          |        |                        |   1866, No. 1587, and
       |          |        |                        |   others.)
   ”   |   ”   22 |  2152  |[+]Minns, Henry Royall  | Claw-bolts, and
       |          |        |                        |   fireproofing. (Milner,
       |          |        |                        |   1840, No. 8401.)
   ”   | Sept.  3 |  2256  |[+]Hosking, Albert      |
       |          |        |  Whitford              | Gaslight detector. (Hosking,
       |          |        |                        |    1866, No. 648.)
   ”   | Nov.   3 |  2856  | _Chubb, John_, and     |
       |          |        |  _Chalk, William Henry_| Diagonal bolts, and
       |          |        |                        |   overlapping frame
   ”   |   ”    7 |  2894  |[+]Goodbrand, Walter,   |
       |          |        |  and Holland, Thomas   |
       |          |        |  Eccles                | Gaslight detector. (Hosking,
       |          |        |                        |   1866, 2256.
   ”   |   ”   22 |  3064  |[*]Nicholson, James     | Overlapping door
   ”   | Dec.  12 |  3265  |[±]Chatwood, Samuel     | Locking apparatus
  1867 | Jan.  23 |   176  |[*]Pinney, John         | Chilled casting. (Tucker,
       |          |        |                        |   1865, No. 543.)
   ”   |   ”   29 |   229  |[±]Snell, William       | Water fireproofing. (Rhodes,
       |          |        |                        |   1859, No. 717.)
   ”   | Feb.  13 |   400  |[+]Westwood, Jos., and  |
       |          |        |  Baillie, Robt.        | Rebated door, &c. (In use
       |          |        |                        |   many years before.)
   ”   | June  14 |  1741  |[*]Bryant, Hezekiah     |
       |          |        |  Hazard                | Water fireproofing.
       |          |        |                        |   (Snell, 1867, No. 229.)
   ”   | Aug.  19 |  2382  |[*]Cowper, Edward Alfred| Welding plates
   ”   | Sept. 25 |  2696  |[*]Ratcliff, Daniel     |
       |          |        |  Rowlinson             | Angles dovetailed to bars
  1868 | Jan.   1 |     2  |[+]Lake, William Robert | Spherical safe, &c.
   ”   |   ”   29 |   307  |[+]Snell, William       | Wood fireproofing, &c.
   ”   | March 18 |   926  |[*]Wailes, George       | Joining angles
   ”   | April 22 |  1311  |[*]Fiddes, Augustine,   |
       |          |        |  and Curtis, Charles   |
       |          |        |  John                  | Locking apparatus. (Chubb,
       |          |        |                        |   1857, No. 2481; Price,
       |          |        |                        |   1863, No. 594; Diaper,
       |          |        |                        |   1865, No. 1911.)
   ”   |   ”   30 |  1415  | _Chatwood, Samuel_     | Welding plates, &c.
       |          |        |                        |   (Cowper, 1867, No. 2382;
       |          |        |                        |   Chubb, 1866, No. 2856;
       |          |        |                        |   Bracher, 1866, No. 895.)
   ”   | June  17 |  1971  |[+]Rhodes, William and  |
       |          |        |  James                 | Frames. (Chubb, 1865; No.
       |          |        |                        |   1056; Chubb, 1866, No.
       |          |        |                        |   2856.)
   ”   | July  15 |  2228  |[*]De Bergue, Charles,  |
       |          |        |  and Haddan, John Coope| Circular safes, &c.
   ”   | Aug.   7 |  2469  |_Curtis, Charles John,_ |
       |          |        | and _Fiddes, Augustine_| Skeleton frames, revolving
       |          |        |                        |   rods, &c. (Diaper, 1865,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 1911; Price, 1866,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 694; Wailes, 1868,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 926.)
   ”   | April  5 |  1026  |_White, William George_ | Hooked bolts, and trough
       |          |        |                        |   iron. (Minns, 1866, No.
       |          |        |                        |   2152; Chubb, 1866, No.
       |          |        |                        |   2856.)
   ”   | May    6 |  1399  | _Hart, John            |
       |          |        |   Matthias_            | Jointless body; hooked
       |          |        |                        |   bolts, &c. (White, 1869,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 1026.)
   ”   |  ”    19 |  1552  |[*]Fuller, William      |
       |          |        |  Frederick             | Screw night-bolt
   ”   | Sept. 22 |  2759  |_Minns, Henry Royall_   | Hooked sliding bolt.
       |          |        |                        |   (Minns, 1866, No. 2152.)
   ”   | Nov.  24 |  3388  |[+]McNeill, Andrew      | Floating safe
   ”   | Dec.   9 |  3564  |[+]Ballou, Russell      |
       |          |        |  Arnold                | Lampblack fireproofing
  1870 | Jan.  19 |   162  |[*]Mawe, William        | Circular screw door
   ”   | March  9 |   694  |[*]Duffey, James        | Fireproofing. (Bryant,
       |          |        |                        |   1867, No. 1741; Snell,
       |          |        |                        |   1867, No. 229; Rhodes,
       |          |        |                        |   1859, No. 717.)
   ”   | May    5 |  1289  |_Johnson, John Henry_   | Fireproofing; steam safe
   ”   | June   7 |  1648  |[*]Schäfer, Frederick   | Steel shutter
   ”   | July  14 |  1992  |[*]Curtis, Charles John,|
       |          |        |  and Fiddes, Augustine | Fireproofing. (Johnson,
       |          |        |                        |   1870, No. 1289.)
   ”   |   ”   29 |  2132  |[+]Minns, Henry Royall  | Locking apparatus. (Minns,
       |          |        |                        |   1869, No. 2759.)
   ”   | Oct.   6 |  2654  |[*]Chatwood, Samuel, and|
       |          |        |  Tobin, Thomas William | Air chambers, &c.
   ”   | Nov.   1 |  2876  |[+]Newton, William      |
       |          |        |  Edward                | Electro-magnetic apparatus
  1871 | May    5 |  1221  |_Ratcliff, Daniel       |
       |          |        |    Rowlinson_          | Compound hooked bolt
   ”   | July   6 |  1761  |_Farrel, John_          | Spiegel-eisen, angle-frame,
       |          |        |                        |   &c.(Chatwood, 1865, No.
       |          |        |                        |   585; Price, 1863, No.
       |          |        |                        |   594.)
   ”   | Nov.  16 |  3108  |_Haseltine, George_     | Electro-magnetic apparatus
   ”   |   ”   18 |  3128  |_Corliss, William_      | Spherical safe. Fourteen
       |          |        |                        |   claims
  1872 | Feb.  14 |   458  |[*]Cottam, Edward       | Supporting safes
   ”   |   ”   20 |   542  |[*]Nickson, Philip Henry|
       |          |        |  Hammond               | Mica lining. (Snell, 1868,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 307.)
   ”   | March  4 |   668  | _Fothergill, Benjamin_,|
       |          |        |   and _Rumble, Thomas  |
       |          |        |    William_            | Constructing safes. (See
       |          |        |                        |   all patents relating to
       |          |        |                        |   steel, chilled iron,
       |          |        |                        |   &c.)
   ”   | May   28 |  1611  |_Hobbs, Alfred Charles_,|
       |          |        |and _Hart, John Matthias_| Use of steel, &c.
       |          |        |                        |    (Fothergill, 1872, No.
       |          |        |                        |   668.)
   ”   | July   6 |  2048  | _Elwell, James Fenton_,|
       |          |        |   and _Grove, Joseph_  | Knuckle-bolts
   ”   |   ”   12 |  2103  |[*]Chambers, John       |
       |          |        |  Wilkinson             | Electric signals
   ”   | Oct.   7 |  2953  | _Gardner, William_     | Securing safe to floor
  1873 | Jan.  15 |   165  | _Hipkins, Edward_      | Tee-iron frame, &c.
       |          |        |                        |   Chatwood, 1862, No.
       |          |        |                        |   2750; Tann, 1865, No.
       |          |        |                        |   695.)
   ”   |   ”   17 |   194  |_Perman, Charles        |
       |          |        |Hayward_, and _Whitaker,|
       |          |        |  Richard_              | Lids of boxes
   ”   | Jan.  18 |   226  | _Lake, William Robert_ | Water fireproofing.
       |          |        |                        |   (Duffey, 1870, No.
       |          |        |                        |   694, &c.)
   ”   | May   21 |  1846  | _Chatwood, Samuel_     | Air-pipes round safe
   ”   | June   9 |  2048  | _Whichcord, John_, and |
       |          |        |   _Anderson, William_  | Constructing safes.
       |          |        |                        |   (Fothergill, 1872,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 668.)
   ”   |  ”    10 |  2050  | _Hayward, Walter Frank_| Angles and doors.
       |          |        |                        |   (Phillips, 1865, No.
       |          |        |                        |   621; Phillips, 1865,
       |          |        |                        |   1866, No. 2121;
       |          |        |                        |   Chubb, No. 2856;
       |          |        |                        |   Price, 1863, No.
       |          |        |                        |   594; Price, 1866,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 2121.)
   ”   |  ”    19 |  2149  |[*]Easton, Edward; Pole,|
       |          |        |  William; and          |
       |          |        |  Whichcord, John       | Doors sliding by
       |          |        |                        |   hydraulic pressure
   ”   | Sept. 18 |  3065  | _Cottam, Edward_       | Series of safes
   ”   | Nov.  13 |  3689  |[*]Fear, Henry, and     |
       |          |        |  Wilson, Peter         | Hinges and hooked
       |          |        |                        |   bolts. (White, 1869,
       |          |        |                        |   No. 1026, &c.)
   ”   | Dec.  10 |  4066  | _Taunton, John Richard |
       |          |        |    Cromwell_           | Rotating steel discs
  1874 | Jan.  24 |   320  | _Chubb, George Hayter_,|
       |          |        |   and _Chalk, William  |
       |          |        |    Henry_              | Fixing lining, and
       |          |        |                        |   locking apparatus.
       |          |        |                        |   (Chubb, 1866, No.
       |          |        |                        |   2856.)
   ”   | Feb.  13 |   552  | _Goater, John_         | General construction.
       |          |        |                        |   Ten claims
   ”   | June  10 |  2029  | _Brannon_              |

                          LONDON: PRINTED BY
                         AND PARLIAMENT STREET


 [1] ‘Construction of Locks and Keys,’ by the late Mr. John Chubb. Read
 before the Institute of Civil Engineers.

 [2] A curved edge had been previously patented by Shore, February
 22nd, 1865.

 [3] Mr. Braidwood was at the head of the London Fire Brigade; and,
 after a hardworking and useful life, was killed at the post of duty
 during the great Tooley Street Fire in 1861, by the sudden collapse
 of a wall. This fire burnt for a fortnight, and caused the loss of
 property valued at 2,000,000_l._ sterling.

 [4] See ‘Fire Surveys,’ p. 73.

 [5] Extended until 1879, by Judicial Committee of Privy Council.

 [6] Extended until 1879, by Judicial Committee of Privy Council.

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