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  • Automatic Fire Sprinkler Head Collection

    1878-2004

    2.5 linear feet and 276 fire sprinkler heads

    Processed by Audrey Belanger

    May 2013

    Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library

    Archives and Special Collections St. Johns University

  • Automatic Fire Sprinkler Head Collection, 1878-2004

    Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library

    2

    Table of Contents

    Source 2

    Abstract 2

    Access 2

    Preferred Citation 2

    Copyright 2

    Historical Note 2

    Scope and Content 3

    Subject Terms 3

    Organization 4

    Box and Folder List 5

    Series 1 Fire Sprinkler Head Collection 5

    Series 2 General Information on Fire Sprinklers 5

    Series 3 Installation & Maintenance of Fire Sprinklers 9

    Series 4 Residential Fire Sprinklers 10

    Series 5 Fire Sprinkler Freezing 11

    Series 6 Fire Sprinkler Leakage 12

    Series 7 Edward R. Hardy 14

    Appendix A: Sprinkler Head Inventory 15

    Appendix B: Additional resources 21

  • Automatic Fire Sprinkler Head Collection, 1878-2004

    Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library

    3

    Source

    The bulk of the Automatic Fire Sprinkler Head Collection is comprised of the sprinkler head specimens

    of Dr. Benjamin Durham, which was acquired by the Insurance Society of New York between 1910 and

    1927, and the sprinkler head specimens of Henry C. Klein, which was donated in 1941. The remaining

    sprinkler heads specimens were donated by the manufacturers after 1944.

    Abstract

    The first automatic sprinklers to be put to significant use in the United States were invented by Henry S.

    Parmelee in 1878. As industry grew, and factories and warehouses increased in size and value, the need

    for adequate fire protection grew as well. The Automatic Sprinkler Head Collection is comprised of over

    200 sprinkler heads and documents relating to sprinkler systems, including reports, speeches, court

    cases, insurance forms and policies, and correspondence.

    Access

    An appointment is necessary to use this collection. Please review the librarys access and membership

    policies. Access to certain materials may be restricted at the discretion of the library due to preservation

    concerns.

    Preferred Citation

    Automatic Fire Sprinkler Head Collection. Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library, St. Johns

    University.

    Copyright

    Materials may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to request

    permission from the copyright holder for further reproduction.

    Historical Note

    Although automatic fire extinguishers were invented as early as 1723, the first automatic sprinklers to be

    put to significant use in the United States were invented by Henry S. Parmelee in 1878. As industry

    grew, and factories and warehouses increased in size and value, the need for adequate fire protection

    grew as well. This need opened the door for numerous automatic sprinkler inventions and innovations.

    Sprinklers significantly reduced insurance costs. Insurance companies such as Factory Mutual became

    major proponents of automatic sprinkler systems.

    Reference:

    Kavanagh, Joseph V. Development of Automatic Sprinklers. New York: Insurance Society of New York, 1962.

    Unknown. Q: Whats a Sprinkler? Norwood, MA: Factory Mutual Engineering Corporation, 1974.

  • Automatic Fire Sprinkler Head Collection, 1878-2004

    Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library

    4

    Scope and Content

    This collection is composed of sprinkler head specimens and documents related to fire sprinkler

    systems.

    The Fire Sprinkler Head Collection series is comprised of photographs and a book about the Davis

    Librarys sprinkler head collection as well as the collection of automatic sprinkler head specimens from

    1878-1958 and one perforated brass bulb sprinkler that was not automatic (c. 1878). The oldest

    automatic sprinklers in the collection are the Parmelee 5 sprinklers, invented by Henry S. Parmelee.

    The General Information on Fire Sprinklers series is comprised of documents relating to general

    information about sprinklers, including their history, how they work, why they are needed, and

    insurance coverage. Documents include clippings, pamphlets, flyers, books, reports, speeches, court

    cases, and syllabi from the School of Insurance.

    The Installation & Maintenance of Fire Sprinklers series is comprised of clippings, pamphlets, and

    reports dealing with the installation, care, and maintenance of automatic sprinkler systems.

    The Residential Fire Sprinklers series is comprised of clippings and U.S. government documents

    pertaining to the use of sprinklers in residential buildings.

    The Fire Sprinkler Freezing series is comprised of clippings, pamphlets, flyers, and reports dealing with

    cold weather hazards to sprinkler systems.

    The Fire Sprinkler Leakage series is comprised of clippings, pamphlets, flyers, reports, speeches, court

    case information, and insurance forms and policies dealing with sprinkler leakage.

    The Edward R. Hardy series is comprised of correspondence between Hardy and various others

    concerning sprinklers, and a scrapbook of sprinkler data compiled by Hardy. Hardy was a member of the

    Insurance Society of New York, and chairman of the Societys Library Committee.

    Subject Terms

    Fire sprinklers

    Fire prevention

    Fire insurance

    Sprinkler leakage insurance

    Freezing of fire sprinklers

    Fire extinction Equipment and supplies

    Dana, Gorham, 1868-

    Hardy, Edward Rochie, 1862-1951 Correspondence

    Insurance Society of New York Correspondence

    Conference on Low-Cost Residential Sprinkler Systems

    Associated Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Companies

    National Fire Protection Association

    United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency

  • Automatic Fire Sprinkler Head Collection, 1878-2004

    Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library

    5

    Organization

    The Sprinkler Collection is arranged into seven series:

    Series 1 Fire Sprinkler Head Collection

    Inventory & Historical Photographs

    Fire Sprinkler Head Specimens

    Series 2 General Information on Fire Sprinklers

    Clippings

    Publications & Reports

    Speeches

    Court Cases

    Syllabi

    Books

    Series 3 Installation & Maintenance of Fire Sprinklers

    Clippings

    Publications

    Series 4 Residential Fire Sprinklers

    Clippings

    U. S. Government Reports

    Series 5 Fire Sprinkler Freezing

    Clippings

    Publications & Reports

    Series 6 Fire Sprinkler Leakage

    Clippings

    Publications & Reports

    Speeches

    Court Cases

    Insurance Forms & Policies

    Series 7 Edward R. Hardy

    Correspondence

    Scrapbook

  • Automatic Fire Sprinkler Head Collection, 1878-2004

    Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library

    6

    Container List

    Series 1 Fire Sprinkler Head Collection

    Inventory & Historical Photographs

    Box 1

    Folder Title Dates 1 Photographs n.d.

    - Kavanagh, Joseph V. Development of Automatic Sprinklers.

    New York: Insurance Society of New York 1962.

    Series 1 Sprinkler Head Collection

    Sprinkler Head Specimens

    See Appendix A Sprinkler Head Inventory

    Series 2 General Information on Fire Sprinklers

    Clippings

    Box 1

    Folder Title Dates

    2 Clippings 1894-1979 3 Clippings 1980-1987

    4 Clippings 1990-1993, n.d.

    Series 2 General Information on Fire Sprinklers

    Publications

    Box 1 Folder Title Dates

    5 Publications 1890-1936

    Automatic Sprinkler Protection, by Factory Improvement Committee of the New England Insurance Exchange (Frank Wood, Printer) 1890

    Eliminating the Conflagration Hazard, by Everett Crosby (Journal of the New England Water Works Association, Vol. XV, No. 2) 1900

    Automatic Sprinkler Protection for Factory Workers: an open letter to the New York Industrial Board and an address before the Safety

    and Sanitation Conference in New York City, by Edward Bunnell

    Phelps 1914 Suggestions on Fire Protection: automatic sprinklers, by J. F.

    Ancona (Eastman Kodak Company) (2 copies) c.1916

    Heads You Win, Tails You Win: renowned statistician writes about sprinklers, by Roger W. Babson (Doubleday, Page & Company) 1925

    Automatic Sprinkler Protection, by Wilfred Jones (Springfield Group of Fire Insurance Companies) (2 copies) 1936

  • Automatic Fire Sprinkler Head Collection, 1878-2004

    Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library

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    6 Publications 1940-1974

    Automatic Sprinkler Protection, by R. J. Paul (Insurance Institute of Toronto) 1940

    Notes on sprinkler heads, by (unknown) 1948 The Automatic Sprinkler System: an invaluable auxiliary to water

    utilities, municipalities and the public, by National Automatic Sprinkler and Fire Control Association 1950

    15 Types of Fire Protection, by Rockwood Sprinkler Company 1952 Fire Prevention in Retail Furniture Stores, by Federation of Mutual

    Fire Insur