19 MAY 1866, Page 20

Fires, Fire - Engines, and Fire Brigades. By C. F. T. Young,

C.E. With numerous illustrations. (Lockwood.)—In this bulky volume the author gives us the result of the observation of many years. He also gives us a bit of his mind, in the popular acceptation of the phrase ; he is of opinion that "the proper study of fire-extinguishing, its principles, and requirements, as a rule, have been entirely neglected in this country; and it is a question if it has ever been thoroughly considered." We quote this sentence, because it exemplifies a habit that the author has of saying the same thing twice over in different words, which has led to a most unnecessary and =desirable expansion of his volume. Having taken this preliminary objection, however, we hasten to add that he is evidently in earnest in dealing with his subject, and has taken great pains to collect information of every kind and from every quarter in connection with it. He enters at length into the history of fire brigades, the construction and management of engines, the provisions for ex- tinguishing fires in tho various cities of Europe and America; finally (and we cannot help suspecting that this is his main object in writing the book), he enlarges on the utility of the volunteer principle, and gives quite a startling list of volunteer brigades in this country, whose merit we are quite prepared to admit, though we do not see any neces- sity for pitting them against the Alpine Club, or substituting them for that excellent paid body which is to protect us for the future under the control of the Metropolitan Board of Works. There is plenty of room for volunteer effort in subordination to the London Brigade, for London is still very inadequately sm-ved in this matter, having but 1 engine to 3 square miles, and 1 fireman to 20,0)0 inhabitants, whilst in Paris the proportion is 1.63 engine to 1 square mile, and 1 fireman to 1,338 inhabitants ; and in New York, 114 engine to a square mile, and a fire- man to every 676 of the irlabitants.