Thread: Jones Snap

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    Default Jones Snap

    I saw in the siamese thread that someone had mentioned the 'Jones Snap' couplers. It had been my understanding that they were a relatively local device (I'm from Delaware County PA). Does anyone know the origins of this coupler? My town and surrounding towns are slowly but surely phasing the Jones snap out. Just curious about the history. Thanks!

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    Correct. Jones Snap couplings were exclusive to the Philadelphia and surrounding area. CE11 is from Montgomery County, where JS male couplings still exist on some older hydrants- requiring some Montco companies to have to carry JS-NST adapters if they want to hook a pony line onto a hydrant......
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Correct. Jones Snap couplings were exclusive to the Philadelphia and surrounding area. CE11 is from Montgomery County, where JS male couplings still exist on some older hydrants- requiring some Montco companies to have to carry JS-NST adapters if they want to hook a pony line onto a hydrant......
    In addition we still have a few sprinkler/standpipe connections that are Jones. I believe that one or two departments in Camden or Gloucester Co., New Jersey were still using them or just recently had phased them out. Maybe someone from over there could enlighten us.

    There's a bit of history on them that I'd have to research before I would try to answer Squad 50's question. I have a few, I'll try to take and post some pictures. And yes, I do still carry a hose pick (used for uncoupling them) on my key ring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    In addition we still have a few sprinkler/standpipe connections that are Jones.
    Too bad you don't have a real code enforcement official.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    There's a bit of history on them that I'd have to research before I would try to answer Squad 50's question. I have a few, I'll try to take and post some pictures. And yes, I do still carry a hose pick (used for uncoupling them) on my key ring.
    What DONT you carry on that key ring? It was massive!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue View Post
    What DONT you carry on that key ring? It was massive!
    When he dies I am taking it to the scrap yard and getting the kids their college fund.
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    My first in and my whole township is full of jones snap on the side outlets of our older hydrants. Id say that 30% and decreasing by 10% per year have jones snap in my area. It is great to fill the tank after a demo or even a job or for top offs. Just pull the 15' pony snap in and you are good to go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue View Post
    What DONT you carry on that key ring? It was massive!
    For you old Navy types, I still have my DC motor controller key, too.

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    does anyone have pictures of them? I'm unfamiliar with the type of coupling.

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    I started at Spring Mill in Whitemarsh Township in 1975 and we were all given JS picks. Still have mine, have used it to break home windows when needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    does anyone have pictures of them? I'm unfamiliar with the type of coupling.
    I've been meaning to take and post some. I'll try to remember to do it tomorrow.

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    Default jones snap

    just went to drill with Bryn Mawr Fire company and took a few pictures of jones snap couplings still in use. I ran with them in the late 70s and we used Jones snap on all of our 2 1/2.
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    Default jones snap pictures

    These are from the Bryn Mawr Fire Co. still in use today.
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    Nifty !!!!!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1 View Post
    Nifty !!!!!!!!!!!
    In their day they served their purpose, Josh, but they had their drawbacks, too. You had to know how to couple them or you would wind up with leakers. There was an expandable gasket in the female end. Members who weren't trained on them would try to put the male end in under one ear of the female, then push it around the other ear. This would cut the gasket and leave it permanently leaking. Replacing the gasket was an artform. I still have a few gaskets and the mandrel for resetting them.

    To the best of my knowledge, Jones Snap couplings were only used on 2-1/2" hose. The ears of the female were always in line with the fold or the hose. The era when Jones couplings were in common use was when most of us used 2-1/2 as supply line, and also before flat packing hose became a common practice. We packed hose either accordion or horseshoe. When laying a supply line, as the couplings came out they would hit the street right on the ears. Sometimes when they hit, they would pop open. In many volunteer departments hydrant catching was a duty assigned to junior members (16 - 18 year olds). Two juniors jumped off of the back step with the end of the supply line and whatever fittings were used. They would dress the hydrant, then one would stay there and await the signal to charge it while the other would walk the line looking for and recoupling any that had come apart.

    There never were any Jones couplings made from Pyrolite or any other lightweight material. They were brass and very heavy. After hose had been pressurized you frequently couldn't just pull the ears apart by hand to uncouple. You had a tool called a "hose pick" to pry them open. Every member had one. I still have and carry mine.

    Actually, a flat screwdriver worked just as well. My first hose pick had been made from a screwdriver that had had its handle removed and had the shank bent into an eye.

    There were several distinct advantages to Jones couplings. Practiced members could couple them much more quickly than screw couplings. During freezing weather you could usually (not always) get them apart more easily.
    During hose laying operations if brass screw couplings hit the street hard enough they could become egg shaped. The slightest amount of egg shaping made it impossible to get a screw coupling apart. You could always get a Jones coupling apart. They were forgiving enough that if they weren't badly bent they could continue to be used.

    As others have mentioned, we still have many hydrant that have Jones "ears" as well as some sprinkler and standpipe connections. So most or all of us carry Jones to NST adapters in the engineers' compartments of our engines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jake2250 View Post
    just went to drill with Bryn Mawr Fire company and took a few pictures of jones snap couplings still in use. I ran with them in the late 70s and we used Jones snap on all of our 2 1/2.
    Hey, jake2250, here's a bit of trivia for you. Bryn Athyn and Bryn Mawr are both in Montgomery County (even if you can't get from one to the other). But I have never been able to find another "Bryn" anything anywhere else in the U.S.

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    On the subject of snap couplings, here's one I wonder if anyone has anything on. Back in the '60s I was at the state fire school in Lewistown, Pa. where I remember seeing some different couplings on display. One was called an "Anderson" snap coupling. It was a quarter turn brass coupling and had a few similarities to today's Storz coupling. But it was not unisex, it did have a male and a female. It did have a locking latch similar to Storz. It was a pretty slick item but complex, too. The one I saw operated very easily.

    I remember being told by one of the instructors, Bob Groening or maybe Bob Foresman (Fuzzy), that the only place it was ever used was by the Fame of West Chester, Pa. Anyone have anything on it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    Hey, jake2250, here's a bit of trivia for you. Bryn Athyn and Bryn Mawr are both in Montgomery County (even if you can't get from one to the other). But I have never been able to find another "Bryn" anything anywhere else in the U.S.
    http://www.gscapartments.com/site/pr...igh/brynathyn/
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    I remember seeing that, now that you mention it. It's an apartment complex or something like that. I think there's also a street name right there. I'll be interested to see how long that lasts. If I ever cross paths with McGrath again I'll have to ask him if he knows the story.

    Some years back a developer was putting in a subdivision near BA and was calling it "Bryn Athyn Estates." There was a big sign put up at the field where it was going to go. Wasn't too long before that sign came down and a sign with a different name went up. Shortly after I think there was an application made to get the boro's name copyrighted.
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 10-11-2009 at 09:24 AM.

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    very interesting coupling.

    Is the brass looking device an adapter to threaded couplings or is it the female end that just isn't hooked to a hose?

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    Completely OT: How you pronounce those PA names?

    I seem to remember that Bala Cynwyd is "Bale-a Kenwood" or something, no?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    very interesting coupling.

    Is the brass looking device an adapter to threaded couplings or is it the female end that just isn't hooked to a hose?
    In the picture "Jones Snap 2" you see a brass 2-1/2 Jones male to 3" screw adapter. It's connected to a chrome plated Jones double female.

    Jones couplings were always brass. Adapters were frequently but not always chrome plated. We had both. I don't ever remember seeing a hose coupling chromed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Completely OT: How you pronounce those PA names?

    I seem to remember that Bala Cynwyd is "Bale-a Kenwood" or something, no?
    Bala Cynwyd would be like Ba′ la Kin′ wid. Your "Bale-a Kenwood" probably came from someone in South Philadelphia.

    The Bryn in Bryn Athyn and Bryn Mawr is like Brin. A′ thyn is much the same. The "A" is as in "after." Mawr would be like Mahr.

    The names, as are many in our area, are Welsh. There used to be a sign at the Bryn Athyn borough line that said that the name in Welsh meant "Hill of Cohesiveness." Story has it that someone from Wales who was visiting saw the sign and said that was wrong. It meant "Hill of Stickiness."
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 10-12-2009 at 04:03 AM.

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    The coupling looks like something you would see on a diesel fuel truck. What kind of pressure rating does it have? From the looks of it, I would be a little nervous about putting a couple of hundred psi. to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    very interesting coupling.

    Is the brass looking device an adapter to threaded couplings or is it the female end that just isn't hooked to a hose?
    That would be an adapter.

    I also still have my "pick". Carry it in my pocket and have used it to break a few panes of glass over the years.
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