AN AMUSING INCIDENT


| September/October 1967



Center Road, Homeworth, Ohio 44634

I've been doing some research in the library and came across this item from the Alliance Weekly Local, which I thought might interest you. (Alliance, Ohio)

May 30, 1874 - Our new steam fire engine, the first we ever had, arrived in New Castle (Pennsylvania) the other day, and of course the entire population of the village turned out to witness the trial of the machine. Mr. Bob Parker secured the post of honor as holder of the service pipe, and he was mighty proud of it. The engine was down at the wharf, getting ready to pump water from the river, and Parker stood almost four hundred yards off, at the end of a line of hose, waiting for the steam to come, so that he could squirt it over the Court house steeple.

There was a great deal of delay while the men were fixing the engine, and Parker cautiously held the muzzle of the pipe toward his waistcoat while he discussed the question of a third term for Grant with the Rev. Dr. Hopkins. At the most interesting moment of the debate the engine suddenly began to work, and the next instant a two inch stream struck Parker in the stomach with a terrible force, and rolled him over in the gutter. He felt as if the Gulf Stream had been shot through him from front to back. Then the pipe gave a few eccentric jerks, smashed Dr. Hopkins' hat into black silk chaos, and emptied a hog-shed of water into his open mouth. It concluded the exercises by getting into such a position that it would play a million gallons a minute up the left trousers' leg of the prostrate Mr. Parker. Parker seemed to lose all interest in the capacity of the engine. He went home for his Sunday clothes, and he has since intimated to his confidential friends that if Grant should spend the whole of the third term squirting a stream fifty thousand feet high with that diabolical fire extinguisher he, Parker, would not go round the comer to witness the spectacle. Max Adeler.

This was in the library, understand, and I nearly burst myself to keep from laughing out loud and disturbing the other patrons. I come across quite a few interesting gems in those old newspapers. END