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  1. #121
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    Thanks Dave, that's great, appreciate the info.

    Gary

  2. #122
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    Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    Dave I appreciate your ongoing efforts in the history section of the Forum. Please keep up the good work.

  3. #123
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    Post Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    Thanks Squire it means alot to know people like the story of Publicker I put forth. Another important thing in the reasons there was never any major fires or explosions at Kinsey was all the monthly fire drill's done there with the Linfield Fire Company and our Company fireman and truck and the very thing this thread started with, that way back in 1946/47 the Compnay decided to put a fire observation room on top of Explosion proof Warehouse Q at the High Point of the Plant and a double decker one so that you could see arcoss the roof toward the game lands and woods.

    Publicker learned from explosions and other things that happened in Phila and put lots of safety measures when they Built the 14 new Buildings. No short cuts on switches all being Explosion proof. Explosion and fire protected fire escapes walls and floors 2 foot thick. and tons of Sprinklers including spending the money to Put sprinklers in every Old Kinsey Building with large water capasity Piping there were sprinkler heads running all 6 levels of the wooden racks in the old Warehouses like H warehouse.
    1. Here is a Picture of the Fire observation Tower and room!

    I always feel very proud of our Safety records at Kinsey there was never a time I ever worried about explosions or getting hurt. Continental may have made some terrible mistakes in the big Phila Plant but from the moment Kinsey reopened as a division of Publicker Industries even when the Old DSP-pa-12 Distiller was running from late 1940 which it did till spring 1951 there was never any fires or explosions and our Fire drills were very well done and mostly in the Oldest Buidlings even when they were not used anymore they still had heat and Power and Sprinklers working and great roofs with no leaks. IT is this also that made Kinsey very safe.
    Dave Z
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory
    America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
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  4. #124
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    Post Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    During the time the Kinsey Plant has been abandon the Old Explosion Proof warehouses have proved how well they were built. Way back in the early 2000's vandels set some almost empty corn whiskey barrels on fire on the third floor of Q warehouse the warehouse with the fire observation room.

    The fire company came and put the fire out the only major damage was that they punched a hole in the wall to put water on the fire. The fire was so hot the window glass melted in the fire observation room and ran down the walls. And the window frames bent from the heat.

    How ever the building is still strong and I have been in the room around 3 to 4 times. The other time was in warehouse "I" where when the plant was abandoned, there was one corner of this building that had whiskeys and Liquor's abandoned there. They were on skids from the floor to the ceiling 22 feet above on the first floor.

    Someone got in there in the late 1990's to early 2000 when no one was watching the place. Long before I ever got there, and they set fire to the spirits, most likely Kids. The fire from all the research I did when I saw its remains burned till it was all burned up. When I went in there was no smell of smoke only cracking on the brick inside the wall next to the fire area, and the broken burned up glass from the labeled bottles. So you had a very hot major fire burning till it went out by itself with almost zero damage to the Explosion proof warehouse.

    This is a great testament to the Buildings, their Builder Mc Cuskie Builders of Phila and Kelly for Brick and Continental Distilling's engineers.

    I was able to salvage a bit of Peanut Liquor from the very bottom of the Pile but everything else burned up. And the reason I know it burned itself out was the lack of any water on the floor or Fire fighting chemicals. So it may well have burned for days with no one knowing till it burned out.

    Seeing this I have no doubt that they would have done their job had there ever been an explosion in one of them to contain it! Those buildings may be forgotten and abandoned but in my Heart they bring great memories of a great company and great products and great people working there!
    Dave Z
    The Best Old Fashioneds Are You'll Find
    The Mellow, Made With Kinsey Kind!
    ================================================== =

  5. #125
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    Post Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    Last week I when I walked around Kinsey as I walked in I looked over to see the Fire control room where Cal Roberts and Harry Martin used to hang out and work out of, now Hidden by weeds and trees. Back in the day they would walk behind the old Grain prep Building around the still and get the Old Fire truck out of 1892 Number 10 Rye Barn where it was kept when I worked there, back it down the lane and drive it through the Plant once a week to the delight of the people working in the plant as they would test the sirun as they drove around.

    Once a month they would get it out for the Monthly Fire drills. During the week every week they would go down the list of Buildings testing a couple every day opening Hydrants and testing presure. Both Men were well liked by everyone and I never felt any danger from fire.

    Every building as I have said many times was sprinkeled and had heat and power including the Old DSP-Pa-12 and rye Barn even though they were not used anymore for the most part. It was these safety things that kept us from ever having any type of fire there.
    Dave
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory
    America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

  6. #126
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    Post Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    When I think about how big a place the Kinsey Distillery was 2/3 more land then the Phila plant I offten wonder how we kept everything so good. The people working there when I did had a great work Ethic and did not miss much time from work.

    Just the job of going to the the fire hydrents in the plant and opening them all once a month was a really big job over 100 acre's of land with hydrents down in the woods out back near the river to protect the second set of 1/2 million gal storage tanks which were filled from the pump and weigh house out back by rail tanker and dumping.

    We would see Cal, Harry and Stan opening and checking presures and flow of different Hydrents almost every day. They had to go check the pumping station down back to make sure it was working and that the Cummins engine that pumped water started and operated ok.

    They had to monitor the Pyrotronics fire warning systems in certain area's, go up on the Fire tower room at least once a week to look for danger and then there was the upkeep of the Old Fire truck which Continental Distilling got when Kinsey lost the plant and it was updated when ever needed to make it right for the protection of the plant.

    The hardest job had to be climbing down in the sub floor area's of the Old Kinsey wood & brick warehouses to make sure all the valves on pipes for the sprinklers were working!

    Go up in the fire escape stair wells to make sure fire doors were working to escape if needed. They were busy every day and I fondly remember them riding around in the fire truck sounding the alarm.
    Dave Z
    ===========================================
    Join The Swing To Kinsey The Unhurried
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    Last edited by dave ziegler; 04-06-2011 at 09:50.

  7. #127
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    Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    The grain storage silos had to be of immense concern as well with the explosion risk of grain dust. Controlling fuel, oxygen and combustion in those situations is tricky.

  8. #128
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    Post Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    Yes Jono and there was never any problems till the still shut down in spring 1951, they always had their fire drills from fall 1940 when Publicker bought it till the end of spirits in 1980 and the plant sold and some stuff leasted back through 1986. It is always hard for me to see the place the way it is but I have today off yet from work and going to take a walk in a few minutes over at Kinsey. Also take a few pictures.
    Dave Z

  9. #129
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    Post Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    Walking through the Plant it hard not to notice some of the fire waring stuff still in the plant.
    1. Back Water Tower for fire fighting.
    2. Pyrotronics panel on warehouse Q the fire observation room building at the high point of the plant.
    3. Inside of the Pyrotronics panel, there were at lease 10 of these all over the plant on warehouse docks in the fire house and in the big bottling house.
    4. Fire Sprinklers on top of the back 1/2 million gal tank middle of the plant.
    5. Double set of Fire sprinklers on top on the other 1/2 million gal front side tank in the middle of the plant.

    There is a master panel in the old Kinsey Fire house that monitors the whole plant and I have seen these on Warehouse Q, P, and the big bottle house plus other warehouses around the plant. Cal Roberts and his helpers Harry Martin and Stan Stafoniwitz would monitor these every day while running hydrents and other duties.

    One of the things I was always proud of working there, was the fact there were NO FIRES AT KINSEY WHEN IT OPERATED! Even when the Old DSP-pa-12 was running it was the safest Distillery in the world at the time Continental Distilling operated it from fall 1940 through till the end in Fall 1986. Also there were never any fires when Mr Kinsey operated it from 1892 through 1939.

    The reason - Because People cared and were careful everyday long before companies started counting days without loss we were safe and operating wide open.

    The people who engineered stuff and the Plant bosses really had their act togther those days. Our Best Engineer was Joe Trish and He spent most of his time in Phila but he lived in Phoenixville 10 miles from Kinsey and did all the important engineering at Kinsey also, it was Joe who engineered the detension basin around the two 1/2 million gal storage tanks, and it was Joe who engineered the Potato Project in Phila, the making of Potato flour at Publicker at the end of WWII to feed the starving at wars end.

    Publicker was always ready for the action and all the years except the last few after Mr Neuman died, were filled with R&D Ideas many of which today are considered State Of Art. People try to say they invented them like the floaters in barrels that Makers mark did Last year. Continental did their first Floaters in 1962 and I have posted one of the pieces of Letterhead about that on my writing here.

    As you can see I am still very proud to have worked for in my opinion The Greatest Distiller in History and the biggest in its time!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dave Z
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory
    America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
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    Last edited by dave ziegler; 04-26-2011 at 09:05.

  10. #130
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    Post Re: The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

    Well this saturday was a very busy one as 3 Times I took people through Kinsey for tours! First I took Mike, Then Sunday after Church I took Ethen and his wife, aand finally I took 5 people from my church who live near the plant and have always wanted to go in and look! I could hardly walk after the last trip in but what great fun and on to trips got some pictures inside buildings that had been broken open and told my friends so they could secure the area's for the safety of Very young people that walk in there.

    Here are some Fire Observation roon shots.
    1. Fire room standing on the roof.
    2. Looking down the sealed shaft that is in the top bucker on the fire roon the floor fell in when the build had a fire many years ago.
    3. Tower Room from the ground.
    4. Looking out the back door of the observation room to roof and edge of roof.
    5. Looking in the old top bunker room showing no floor and window and heat radiator on wall. Thankfully the door is breoken and will not open as walking in there in the dark would be the last walk you ever took as the shaft is sealed all the way down to the ground.
    6. Whats left of the Fire observation room
    7. Melted glass on the window sill where it ran out of the windows due to the heat from the fire.
    8. Shot through Window Frame
    9. shot of the fire room
    10. Another shot of the room
    11. Sign at door to roof from front stairwell.
    12. Shot form roof to back of Plant.

    I always enjoy the view of the Plant from the Fire Observation room on the high spot of the plant on Explosion proof warehouse Q.
    Dave Z
    ==============================================
    It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory
    America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
    Last edited by dave ziegler; 05-16-2011 at 09:56.

 

 

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