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the following report on the requirements and specifications for the construction and equipment of electric signs was adopted for laboratory use. These rules will not appear in the revised edition of the Code; but will be printed in the “List of Fittings” for information. Signs not conforming to these regulations will not be approved by the underwriters:
1. Wiring and devices in all signs located outside of buildings will be considered as exposed to moisture.
2. Wires carried on the outside of the sign structure nust be run in approved metal conduit or approved armored cable.
3. Wires within structure of sign must be double-braided, and may be carried within half inch of each other and of surrounding metal. Where such spacing is impracticable, such wires may be cabled if half-inch spacing is maintained, and if cable contains wires of only one polarity.
4. Must be constructed entirely of metal or other non-conbustible material, except that wood may be used on the outside for borders if kept at least 2 inches from nearest lamp or socket. In case of ornamental scrollwork or similar design, where impracticable to support wires as above provided, they may be separated from such metal by sections of porcelain or glass not less than one-eighth inch in thickness.
5. Sheet metal must not be less than No. 26 B. and S. gauge.
6. Must be braced by angle iron of such thickness and so placed as to secure sufficient strength and rigidity.
7. All metal must be galvanized or enameled, or treated with at least three coats of anti-corrosive paint or compound.
8. If the terminals of receptacles are not the enclosed type, the receptacles must be so constructed that the terminals will be at least 1 inch from surface wired over. Wires must be soldered to such terminals and exposed parts treated to prevent corrosion.
9. Bottom of sign must have at least a one-quarter-inch drainage hole for each square foot of its surface.
10. Where wires cross each other, pass out of letters or into cutout boxes, they must be protected by porcelain or approved tubes or bushings.
11. Must have maker's name or trade-mark permanently attached to the exterior,
A subject of general interest is the adoption of uniform
symbols for wiring plans. This was taken up at the Cleveland meeting of the National Electrical Contractors' Association last year, with the result that a general agreement was reached, and the association has now done an excellent public service in issuing a large card schedule of such symbols for general information and for the convenience of all engaged in wiring work. It is suggested that as in the case of the insurance Code, such work should have the support and approval of your association.
The work and scope of state lighting commissions are being extended, but, as in the case of New York, they appear subject to great change in personnel and function. In New York state the Public Utilities bill may affect the matter, but it deserves note that the existing commission had informed the various lighting companies in the state that it had under consideration a uniform system of bookkeeping, and it invited them to furnish a classification of accounts employed, with suggestions. As a result, a system of accounting has already been adopted. The United States Bureau of the Census will shortly make its valuable fiveyear report on the electric-lighting industry, and it would seem that in regard to methods of accounting, therefore, the association has also an opportunity of useful and beneficial co-operation.
THE PRESIDENT: This report is now open for discussion.
MR. SAMUEL SCOVIL (Cleveland, Ohio): To discuss this report would be to discuss the various conditions of the electriclighting industry. I think we shall be able to discuss this report as we discuss the various papers of the convention as we proceed. I therefore suggest that we go on to other matters, at the same time wishing to express my personal appreciation of the great work that Mr. Martin has done.
MR. ALEX Dow (Detroit, Mich.): I suggest that it be announced to be in order, in discussing any of the papers that are to come before the meeting, that reference may be made to the report of the committee on progress. Many things will come up in future papers that will have reference to this report, and members should understand that they are privileged to refer to it.
THE PRESIDENT: The chair will be pleased to adopt the suggestion. The next business will be the paper on Accidents, by Mr. Paul Lüpke, of Trenton, N. J. Mr. Lüpke desires Mr. Martin to read the paper.
"An Accident," says Webster, "is an event that takes place without one's foresight or expectation; an event that proceeds from an unknown cause, or is an unusual effect of a known cause and therefore not expected.”
This definition makes it clear at once that Nature does not recognize accidents; to her only a miracle happens unexpectedly. It is further quite clear that we shall probably never be able to catch up to Nature in this respect, but the man that does not put forth his best efforts to shorten the distance in this stern chase is not true to his colors. The more we can foresee, the less can happen to us unforeseen, and, in our business, a goodly percentage of what we can foresee we can prevent.
No conditions can well be conceived under which the prevention of accidents is of more importance than in the business of electric lighting. We must meet instantaneously every demand made upon us by any one and all of our consumers, and we must sell instantly all that we manufacture. Every accident advertises itself more thoroughly and effectively than anything could possibly be advertised by the cleverest scheme of the best expert.
Our market reaches no further than the end of our lines; spoil it, and we are undone. If, therefore, any one condition can be said to stand out head and shoulders above all others as contributing to the success of an electric-lighting company, it is the furnishing of continuous and satisfactory service—the freedom from accidents-and to this end our first and best efforts must be directed.
The welfare of a plant, like that of a child, must have due consideration long before its birth. The construction of a central station means something more than the mere mounting and housing of various kinds of apparatus offered by the lowest bidder. Do not leave matters absolutely in the hands of your consulting engineer. He may do violence to local conditions to make them fit his rigid standards and preconceived ideas. Again, do not call too many things mere details and leave them to the
draftsman to work out; he may burden your plant with a chronic disease merely because he wanted to catch the 5:10 car.
Think for yourself. Doing a thing for the sole reason that somebody else bigger than you did it, has no more sense in it than a woman's "because."
Do not be backward in adopting new things, but, as the development charges will surely appear on your bill anyhow, be reasonably convinced that the apparatus is developed, else you pay double.
Be wary of prevailing tendencies. There is no “deadbeat” instrument to measure their true value, so do not get caught taking a wild swing for a true reading.
The fittest will surely survive in the end, still the unfit does not commit suicide-you must take a hand in killing it. But be careful not to condemn any piece of apparatus until you are absolutely sure of your ground, otherwise you run the risk of having somebody make you feel very cheap. Yet when you have bought a gold brick and the seller of it sends his next prospective victim to you to see for himself how bright it is, hand him the drop of acid that will show him what is under the polish.
Provide everything that will help to keep the place clean, but keep out, as much as possible, things that must be kept clean. There is no more unsightly thing than tarnished brass, there is no more unprofitable labor than polishing brass; then why the brass? Bric-à-brac and business don't mix. Ornaments earn no dividends. As long as your plant is in operation you will have to deal with human nature in taking care of it. Human nature rebels against useless and difficult jobs. Bear that in mind in your design. It is a wonderful help in getting and keeping the right kind of men.
And now, as to men. I say get them green whenever that is feasible. Have a standard of your own and educate them up to it. Starting with nothing is easier than starting heavily in debt. The right time to look out for your head fireman is when you hire a coal-passer; for your chief engineer, when you hire an oiler; for your chief electrician, when you hire a machinewiper. This plan avoids much shifting. Floating help is a
a most serious hindrance to economy and good service. Any bully can discharge a man, but it takes a sage to hire a better one in