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The Fire Hose is Invented *

The Dutch artist, Jan van der Heyden, has been placed in charge of the volunteer fire department. Up to this point, firefighting equipment has been unsatisfactory, so Jan and his brother redesign the water pump and tank so that firefighters don't risk their lives by dragging a heavy water pump and tank near a burning building. They have added a 50 foot leather hose to the pump so that a firefighter can bring the water to the fire. They have also designed cloth water buckets to make it easier to fill the tank from a nearby stream. Later they will redesign the pump itself and add a suction hose held rigid by wire. The fire hose will be introduced to the United States in 1794 in Philadelphia. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The early firefighting pump consisted of a large wash tub sitting on a tripod with a light pump apparatus mounted over the top of the tub. A crank was turned to create pressure in a rigid, angled pipe at the top. You aimed the stream toward the flames but the stream didn't go far so several people had to drag that heavy contraption next to the building. Thus using a leather pipe was a stroke of genius.

The First Military Martinet is Killed by 'Friendly Fire'

In the modern day a "martinet" refers to someone who rigidly adheres to the rules. The word actually comes from the name of the Inspector General of the French Army, John Martinet. He was assigned to drill the troops and mold them into a disciplined fighting force. His program becomes the model for a standing army in the 17th Century. England finds such discipline needlessly stringent and ridicules his program. Thus we get the Inspector General's name being used as an insult. Martinet also developed the depot system. Supplies are stored so that they are readily available to the troops. This system prevents troops from having to "forage" for food, which is just another word for pillaging. Along with the new system of roads being built, supplying an army this way has become the standard. Unfortunately for France, the Inspector General is killed this year in battle, probably by "friendly fire". Make what you will of it. [4] [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
King Louis the 14th was itching to conquer the Holy Roman Empire which was essentially Germany and the Netherlands. That is what motivated him to whip the army into shape. 1672 was also the year when the France attacked the Netherlands, causing so many rapid changes for the worse that the Dutch called it "The Year of Disaster." The city of Amsterdam attempted to stop the French Army by opening the flood gates, but the tactic didn't work. Thus began the decline of Amsterdam. [8]

This New Medicine is a Toss-Up *

This extract from the root of a Brazilian plant has come into use as a medicine, mostly to help with dysentery. Depending on its concentration it can be used to settle the stomach or to induce vomiting. In the modern day it is often called "Syrup of Ipecac". [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the 1950s "Syrup of Ipecac" used to be in most medicine chests in case a child would find some cleaning fluid under the kitchen sink and drink it. As time went on, doctors began discouraging the use of vomiting to treat poisoning. WebMD cautions that "Syrup of Ipecac" might reduce the effectiveness of poison antidotes. Check with your own doctor or poison control center to find out if you need "Syrup of Ipecac" in your medicine cabinet today. I've never had a use for it. When I searched for it on Amazon.com I couldn't find any. [10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1672, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Informatie (Information). brandweerhoekvanholland.nl (Volunteer Fire Department of Holland) (June 9th, 2013). Retrieved on 1 September 2015. “Tot 1672 maakte men vooral gebruik van de zogenaamde 'Hautsch-spuit': een door Johann Hautsch ontworpen brandspuit. Er zaten duidelijke nadelen aan de spuit: het was een groot, log geval, waarvoor tientallen mannen nodig waren om hem te verplaatsen. Daarnaast moest de spuit zo dicht mogelijk bij de brandhaard worden geplaatst, waardoor er bij instorting van het brandende gebouw vaak slachtoffers vielen. (Google translation: Until 1672 they mainly used the so-called Hautsch spray 'a fire engine designed by Johann Hautsch. There were obvious disadvantages in the syringe: It was a big, unwieldy case, where dozens of men were needed to move it. The spray had to be as close as possible to the fire, causing casualties were often at collapse of the burning building.)”
  2. Fire engine - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 September 2015. “One of the simplest forms of hand tub type fire engines, engraving from the mid 17th century in Germany”
  3. Jan van der Heyden - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 September 2015. “He improved the fire hose in 1672, with his brother Nicolaes, who was a hydraulic engineer.”
  4. Words from History (PDF), Books on Words, Houghton Mifflin. “Louis XIV found it necessary, then, to have his soldiers trained to march in line, hold their places under fire, shoot in volley at command. They had to be drilled, drilled, drilled and for the purpose Louis found Jean Martinet. Between 1660 and 1670, Martinet beat soldiers into shape by relentless drill. Naturally, he was hated.” 
  5. Jean Martinet - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 July 2015. “He was a severe drillmaster, which made him unpopular among his troops. Martinet revolutionized the early modern army by instituting a standardized system capable of turning raw recruits into a disciplined fighting force, thereby eliminating the mercenaries and soldiers-of-fortune who had been the mainstays of earlier armies. He also introduced the bayonet into the French army and the depot system, which put a stop to the army feeding off the enemy land, making war more humane.”
  6. Martinet - definition of martinet (2015). Retrieved on 3 November 2015. “someone who stubbornly adheres to methods or rules.”
  7. French Expansion after The Thirty Years’ War. Big Site of History (June 6, 2008). Retrieved on 3 November 2015. “They also introduced two new ranks of officer, major and lieutenant colonel, to give more opportunity to talented commoners; these new commissions were awarded only for merit and were not available for purchase, like the ranks of colonel or captain. Supplies were more abundant, pay was more regular, and an effort was made to weed out the lazy. The inspector general of infantry, Jean Martinet (d. 1672), was so rigorous in drilling and discipline that his name added a word to the modern vocabulary.”
  8. Russell Shorto. Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City. Doubleday. 0385534574. ISBN 9780385534574. “De Witt, Spinoza concluded, had been naive. And so had he. The year 1672 lives on in Dutch memory as the rampjaar, 'disaster year.' The country was invaded and overrun. A whole portion of captured territory would never again be Dutch. Much of the land was intentionally flooded in an effort to block the invaders, leaving a sodden mess: a landscape in retrogression. The republican form of government had collapsed. The soaring Dutch economic miracle came to an end.” 
  9. Ipecacuanha - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 November 2015. “Ipecacuanha, a drug, the dried root of Cephaelis ipecacuanha, a plant from Brazil. The ipecacuanha from that country is called annulated, to distinguish it from the striated kind from Peru. The active ingredients reside chiefly in the cortex. It contains a feeble alkaloid called ceretin. Its preparations are pills, powders, lozenges, and wine. In large doses it is an emetic; in smaller ones it is an expectorant and an restorative.”
  10. IPECAC: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings. WebMD (2015). Retrieved on 3 November 2015. “Poisoning. Taking syrup of ipecac causes vomiting. This might help remove up to 54% of ingested poison when taken within 10 minutes of poisoning. However, taking ipecac 90 minutes after poisoning does not seem to be effective.”

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