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History

Sprinkler Protection from Corrosion

In the beginning there was brass and it was good. Brass while a good metal for use in water, is was not suitable for corrosive atmospheres found in some industrial facilities.

I live near the coast in Florida and have seen many sprinklers installed in areas such as parking garages, apartment breeze ways, etc. All a nice shade of green. My company makes good money replacing heads in places such as this. Early on in the sprinkler industry they discovered this and worked to develop finishes and coating to protect against corrosion.

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Glass Bulb Sprinklers

Grinnell Quartz Bulb 1931

I’m sure everyone is familiar with glass bulb fire sprinklers. So much so in fact that they may not be familiar with fusible link sprinklers. The glass bulb is considered the standard type of sprinkler operation today. But, us older folks in the sprinkler community remember a time when the fusible link sprinklers were the standard. But did you know that the glass bulb sprinkler has been around over 80 years!

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The History of Automatic Sprinkler Protection Part 4 – Frederick Grinnell

The History of Automatic Sprinkler Protection
Part 4 – Frederick Grinnell


Frederick Grinnell was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1855, he graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Earlier in his career, he was draftsman, construction engineer, and manager for various railroad manufacturers. He designed and oversaw construction of more than 100 locomotives.

Frederick Grinnell’s career in fire protection began at the age of 33 with his purchase of the Providence Steam and Gas Pipe Company. In the early days the company started in fire protection installing perforated piping systems, one of the first to do so. Grinnell took out a large number of patents. Under him the company became the leading fire protection company in the country. Many of the installation rules can be traced back to this company.

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The History of Automatic Sprinkler Protection Part 3 – Henry S Parmelee

The History of Automatic Sprinkler Protection
Part 3 – Henry Pamelee

Henry S. Parmelee is credited with inventing the first practical automatic sprinkler. Objecting to the high insurance rates he determined there had be a way to protect his piano factory that would reduce the rates.

His first attempt was not practical as it used a cord holding a spring mechanism which, when burned would release the device. Upon showing the head to an acquaintance it was suggested to him that the device should operate by heat as well. His first patent was for a perforated head with a spring holding am internal valve shut and released by a fusible link. It was complicated and never known to have been used.

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