THE BERLIN IRON BRIDGE COMPANY,
CORRUGATED IRON DOORS AND SHUTTERS—Continued.
were all placed in exactly the same exposure, and the fires were lighted. It soon began to burn fiercely, but for the first half hour it did
not show itself on any of the shutters, but so great was the heat the walls commenced cracking. The first signs of giving way under
this severe heat was shown in about half an hour, by the wood shutter covered with tin, which commenced to emit smoke and wood oil
through the holes in the tin where the latches and stays were bolted on. The corrugated iron shutters at this time showed no effect
of the heat, except the single thick shutter, which became quite warm so that the paint commenced to smoke. The box door was so
cool that a person could hold their hand on it. At the end of an hour, the wood shutter covered with tin, which had been for some
time throwing off streams of smoke through the cracks, showed unmistakable signs of giving out, and had it not been for the heavy iron
bands forming the outer frame, it would have fallen from its place. The single thickness corrugated iron shutter was, at the same
time, so hot that the paint was all burned off, and the others began to show the intense heat by the burning paint on the outside, but
still held their places, and beyond the burning paint showed no signs of distress. It now became evident that the wood shutter covered
with tin could not withstand this severe heat much longer, and soon the flames were seen to eat through it at the top, showing that
the inside cover of tin had been burned off, and the shutter, as a fire protection, was useless. The corrugated shutters held their
places firmly and closely to the wall. At the end of three hours the fire had nearly subsided, and the shutters were all opened out for
examination. On the inside of the wood shutter, covered with tin, a large hole had been burned through the inside covering, and when
the shutter was opened, about one-half of the inside wood work dropped out, a mass of burned and charred wood. The shutter had
been evidently held together by the wrought iron band about the outside, and the strap pieces forming the hinges which were all firmly
bolted through and through with large washers inside—a form of construction which the superintendent informed us they alone use on
shutters of this kind, and without which the shutters, no doubt, would have failed completely to do the duty. As it was, it came out
of the fire in a very damaged and useless condition, while the corrugated iron shutters were, apparendy, as good as new, except the
single thickness shutter, which was warped a very little on one lower corner, but not enough to allow the fire to leak through.
The test was witnessed by several, but it is to be much regretted that it had not been more generally advertised, so that more of
our large manufacturing companies, to whom fire proof construction is such an important item, could have been represented. The test
was very satisfactory indeed, as showing merits of the corrugated iron shutters over the wood covered with tin, although for moderate
exposure these latter stood a good test. The building with the shutters still attached is to be left standing, just as they now are, and
parties interested in fire proof shutters can see them if they wish."
EAST BERLIN, CONNECTICUT, U. S. A.