HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » Maryland (Group) » On this day, Sunday, Febr...

Sun Feb 7, 2021, 03:03 PM

On this day, Sunday, February 7, 1904, the Great Baltimore Fire began.

Hat tip for reminding me, Wikipedia

Thu Feb 7, 2019: Happy unofficial start of the lacrosse season, on the 115th anniversary of the Great Baltimore Fire

The Great Baltimore Fire started 115 years ago today. By coincidence, NCAA lacrosse also starts up for the season at this time, almost to the day.

Great Baltimore Fire



The aftermath of the fire

The Great Baltimore Fire raged in Baltimore, Maryland, United States on Sunday, February 7 and Monday, February 8, 1904. 1,231 firefighters helped bring the blaze under control, both professional paid Truck and Engine companies from the Baltimore City Fire Department (B.C.F.D.) and volunteers from the surrounding counties and outlying towns of Maryland, as well as out-of-state units that arrived on the major railroads. It destroyed much of central Baltimore, including over 1,500 buildings covering an area of some 140 acres (57 ha). From North Howard Street in the west and southwest, the flames spread north through the retail shopping area as far as Fayette Street and began moving eastward, pushed along by the prevailing winds. Narrowly missing the new 1900 Circuit Courthouse (now Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse), fire passed the historic Battle Monument Square from 1815-27 at North Calvert Street, and the quarter-century old Baltimore City Hall (of 1875) on Holliday Street; and finally spread further east to the Jones Falls stream which divided the downtown business district from the old East Baltimore tightly-packed residential neighborhoods of Jonestown (also known as Old Town) and newly named "Little Italy". The fire's wide swath burned as far south as the wharves and piers lining the north side of the old "Basin" ( today's "Inner Harbor" ) of the Northwest Branch of the Baltimore Harbor and Patapsco River facing along Pratt Street. It is considered historically the third worst conflagration in an American city, surpassed only by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Other major urban disasters that were comparable (but not fires) were the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and most recently, Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico coast in August 2005.

One reason for the fire's long duration involved the lack of national standards in firefighting equipment. Despite fire engines from nearby cities (such as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. as well as units from New York City, Virginia, Wilmington, and Atlantic City) responding with horse-drawn pumpers, wagons and other related equipment (primitive by modern-day standards, but only steam engines were motorized in that era) carried by the railroads on flat cars and box cars, many were unable to help since their hose couplings could not fit Baltimore's fire hydrants.

Much of the destroyed area was rebuilt in relatively short order, and the city adopted a building code, stressing fireproof materials. Perhaps the greatest legacy of the fire was the impetus it gave to efforts to standardize firefighting equipment in the United States, especially hose couplings.

I had a coworker whose grandfather had a farm well north of Baltimore. The grandfather told my coworker that you could see the sky lit up all the way up to the Mason-Dixon Line.

Once the anniversary of the Baltimore fire of 1904 rolled around, it was time for Baltimore's channel 2, WMAR, to warm up the tubes for their Saturday afternoon broadcasts of lacrosse. From then until May, Channel 2 broadcast NCAA Division 1 lacrosse on Saturday afternoons. Every game involved some Baltimore-area team. That was no problem, as the Baltimore area, including Annapolis and DC, has a good half-dozen lacrosse teams in the NCAA's Division 1. In Baltimore city and Baltimore County alone you had Towson, Loyola, UMBC, and Hopkins. Go over to Annapolis to find the Naval Academy. Go down Route 1 a piece, and you had Maryland. Keep going, and you get to Georgetown. Cross the river and go down Route 29, and there's UVa. It was a hotbed then and now, as each team was highly regarded, year after year.

For some reason, Baltimore TV has always come in in northern Virginia better than DC TV. Even in the analog days, I had no problem watching and taping the games. In 2009, the games were broadcast in analog and digital, as the original final date for the switch from analog to digital broadcasting was pushed back to June 2009. By that time, I could watch in digital. Even in a bad location for over-the-air television, the digital signal from channel 2 was strong enough to make it to Alexandria, Virginia, though there are some dropouts. My equipment consisted of rabbit ears and a Zenith DTT901 converter box, which fed an analog signal to a CRT TV.

Those were the days.

{Edited}

Sure enough, this weekend: Loyola Greyhounds 2019 Men's Lacrosse ScheduleGreat Baltimore Fire started 115 years ago today. By coincidence, NCAA lacrosse also starts up for the season at this time, almost to the day.

Great Baltimore Fire



The aftermath of the fire

The Great Baltimore Fire raged in Baltimore, Maryland, United States on Sunday, February 7 and Monday, February 8, 1904. 1,231 firefighters helped bring the blaze under control, both professional paid Truck and Engine companies from the Baltimore City Fire Department (B.C.F.D.) and volunteers from the surrounding counties and outlying towns of Maryland, as well as out-of-state units that arrived on the major railroads. It destroyed much of central Baltimore, including over 1,500 buildings covering an area of some 140 acres (57 ha). From North Howard Street in the west and southwest, the flames spread north through the retail shopping area as far as Fayette Street and began moving eastward, pushed along by the prevailing winds. Narrowly missing the new 1900 Circuit Courthouse (now Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse), fire passed the historic Battle Monument Square from 1815-27 at North Calvert Street, and the quarter-century old Baltimore City Hall (of 1875) on Holliday Street; and finally spread further east to the Jones Falls stream which divided the downtown business district from the old East Baltimore tightly-packed residential neighborhoods of Jonestown (also known as Old Town) and newly named "Little Italy". The fire's wide swath burned as far south as the wharves and piers lining the north side of the old "Basin" ( today's "Inner Harbor" ) of the Northwest Branch of the Baltimore Harbor and Patapsco River facing along Pratt Street. It is considered historically the third worst conflagration in an American city, surpassed only by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Other major urban disasters that were comparable (but not fires) were the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and most recently, Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico coast in August 2005.

One reason for the fire's long duration involved the lack of national standards in firefighting equipment. Despite fire engines from nearby cities (such as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. as well as units from New York City, Virginia, Wilmington, and Atlantic City) responding with horse-drawn pumpers, wagons and other related equipment (primitive by modern-day standards, but only steam engines were motorized in that era) carried by the railroads on flat cars and box cars, many were unable to help since their hose couplings could not fit Baltimore's fire hydrants.

Much of the destroyed area was rebuilt in relatively short order, and the city adopted a building code, stressing fireproof materials. Perhaps the greatest legacy of the fire was the impetus it gave to efforts to standardize firefighting equipment in the United States, especially hose couplings.

I had a coworker whose grandfather had a farm well north of Baltimore. The grandfather said to my coworker that you see the sky lit up all the way up to the Mason-Dixon Line.

Once the anniversary of the Baltimore fire of 1904 rolled around, it was time for Baltimore's channel 2, WMAR, to warm up the tubes for their Saturday afternoon broadcasts of lacrosse. From then until May, Channel 2 broadcast NCAA Division 1 lacrosse on Saturday afternoons. Every game involved some Baltimore-area team. That was no problem, as the Baltimore area, including Annapolis and DC, has a good half-dozen lacrosse teams in the NCAA's Division 1. In Baltimore city and Baltimore County alone you had Towson, Loyola, UMBC, and Hopkins. Go over to Annapolis to find the Naval Academy. Go down Route 1 a piece, and you had Maryland. Keep going, and you get to Georgetown. Cross the river and go down Route 29, and there's UVa. It was a hotbed then and now, as each team was highly regarded, year after year.

For some reason, Baltimore TV has always come in in northern Virginia better than DC TV. Even in the analog days, I had no problem watching and taping the games. In 2009, the games were broadcast in analog and digital, as the original final date for the switch from analog to digital broadcasting was pushed back to June 2009. By that time, I could watch in digital. Even in a bad location for over-the-air television, the digital signal from channel 2 was strong enough to make it to Alexandria, Virginia, though there are some dropouts. My equipment consisted of rabbit ears and a Zenith DTT901 converter box, which fed an analog signal to a CRT TV.

Those were the days.

{Edited}

Sure enough, this weekend: Loyola Greyhounds 2019 Men's Lacrosse Schedule

1 replies, 787 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply On this day, Sunday, February 7, 1904, the Great Baltimore Fire began. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 7 OP
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 10 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Feb 10, 2021, 12:32 PM

1. The Joy of Standards

Hat tip, someone who is on an ANSI standards-writing committee.

Opinion

The Joy of Standards

Life is a lot easier when you can plug in to any socket.

By Andrew Russell and Lee Vinsel
Dr. Russell and Dr. Vinsel study technology.

Feb. 16, 2019

Our modern existence depends on things we can take for granted. Cars run on gas from any gas station, the plugs for electrical devices fit into any socket, and smartphones connect to anything equipped with Bluetooth. All of these conveniences depend on technical standards, the silent and often forgotten foundations of technological societies.

{snip}

The basic irony of standards is the simple fact that there is no standard way to create a standard, nor is there even a standard definition of “standard.” There are, however, longstanding ways that industries and nations coordinate standardization efforts. In the United States, the system of voluntary consensus standards is coordinated by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute.

The standards-development organizations accredited by ANSI follow a bottom-up process. It begins when someone proposes a draft standard, which then goes through a period of public comment. A panel of stakeholders and interested parties then seeks to resolve points of friction. Eventually this process, which often takes years, results in a final published standard.

ANSI was first known as the American Engineering Standards Committee, which was created to address rampant incompatibility throughout American industry. (It was eventually reconstituted in 1966 and took on the name ANSI in 1969.) Its founders came from engineering organizations and departments of the federal government that all published their own standards, which were of limited value because they varied from group to group. The consequences could be catastrophic, as with the 1904 fire that destroyed much of downtown Baltimore: Buildings could have been saved if fire departments from neighboring cities had hoses that fit Baltimore’s fire hydrants.

{snip}

Andrew Russell, the dean of arts and sciences at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, and Lee Vinsel, an assistant professor of science and technology studies at Virginia Tech, are working on a book about innovation and maintenance.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

A version of this article appears in print on Feb. 17, 2019, Section SR, Page 9 of the New York edition with the headline: The Joy of Standards. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread