When packing hose to avoid a coupling being near the end of the bed, it is folded in the middle. This is often called a "Dutchman". Any ideas where this came from?
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10-27-1999, 04:57 PM #1Jonathan H. AllenFirehouse.com Guest
11-04-1999, 07:54 AM #2Vinny Del GiudiceFirehouse.com Guest
Good question! I'm going to make a few calls on this.
11-13-1999, 01:24 PM #3Vinny Del GiudiceFirehouse.com Guest
Still hunting ... Anyone else have any clues?
11-14-1999, 10:39 PM #4cacfpdFirehouse.com Guest
Is it possibly related to the dance that the dutch do, ie kicking legs almost backwards.
Yeah your right, I really don't have a clue, but am interested in the answer.
11-17-1999, 02:51 PM #5EPFD-ALFirehouse.com Guest
OK. Here goes:
The term "dutchman" is not exclusive to the fire service.
Carpenters who cut decayed sections out of a beam or sill plate replace it with a dutchman. Stagehands lock scenery
drops with a dutchman. Painters fold drop cloths into a dutchman.
Firefighters use a dutchman in racking hose so that the hose will come out straight, so that it won't bind up against a baffleboard, and so that couplings can be staggered in the hose bed.
The dutchman we firefighters use has it's origins not with hose, but with rope, and it goes back to the late 1600s.
Back then rope was at a premium. Sailing ships used miles of it. It was in short supply and very, very expensive; so whenever it broke, it had to be spliced. Dutch sailors, who greatly prefered to be called Hollanders, were known to be master splicers.
Splices were big problems aboard ship. They would not fit through sail grommets or through the sheaves of a block and tackle, and they would bind in hawseholes.
Ropes aboard sailing ships had to be stored in a manner that would allow them to be rapidly deployed without entanglements or binding.
Normally rope would be coiled on deck, but numerous splices made this impossible; so the Hollanders devised a sysytem of folding the rope accordion style. When they came to a splice, they added a fold, assuring that the rope would deploy quickly and properly; just like we do with hose couplings.
The British sailors saw this rope folding technique, copied it, and they called the extra fold for rope splices a "dutchman."
The British relished using the term. They looked down at the Dutch, knew the Dutch preferred to be called Hollanders, and it furthered their views that the Hollanders were cheap; too cheap to even buy new ropes.
Don't forget, it was also the British sailors who came up with the term "dutch treat" from their experiences with Dutch sailors, who they said "had short arms and deep pockets" whenever they met in port.
Also, if you are staggering your folds when racking hose, (one out - one in - one out - one in), you're doing a "dutchlap" another old rope term.
11-17-1999, 11:28 PM #6Brian JohnsonFirehouse.com Guest
You're the best. I have asked everyone I know this question and have always got a blank stare back. The guys are going to be real impressed next time a rookie asks me where does the term Dutchmen come from?
Asst. Chief, Training
MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
11-18-1999, 07:20 AM #7Jonathan H. AllenFirehouse.com Guest
Thank you very much for your in depth reply. Now I too will be able to astound the probies with an answer. I am also conversant with nautical rope usage, but missed that explaination in any of the books I've read. Thanks again.
11-19-1999, 08:30 PM #8AffFirehouse.com Guest
You need more hobbies for you spare time!LOL
11-24-1999, 12:06 PM #9Vinny Del GiudiceFirehouse.com Guest
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