Friday, November 17, 2006

Fire Hydrant: Brooklyn

New York City (Brooklyn) fire hydrant. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"If you want to make Brooklyn in words or film or paint, you must see the way the sun defines the silent streets on an early Sunday morning, sculpting trees, buildings, fire hydrants, stray dogs, and wandering people with an almost perfect clarity." ~ Pete Hamill
A hot summer day in New York and the kids are out in the streets, gathered at the fire hydrant; water flowing in the streets and shooting high into the air with the kids running through the cool spray. This is the picture I see surrounding a New York City fire hydrant. Probably not very realistic, but fun nonetheless.

New York City's first fire hydrant was installed in 1808 and was probably a wooden case type. In the later part of the 1800's, several companies started supplying New York with more modern iron hydrants. This fire hydrant in Brooklyn, New York was manufactured by the A.P. Smith Company of East Orange, New Jersey, who patented this "O'Brien" model in 1896. By 1902 the city demanded hydrants with uniform specifications and began buying primarily one style of fire hydrant, the "O'Brien" model or "Series S" you see here. Eventually in 1920, A.P Smith lost exclusive rights to the design and other manufacturers began production. New York's specifications of one single hose nozzle (2.5") and one single pumper (4.5") still remain today. In 1966 the hydrant division of A.P. Smith was purchased by US Pipe which was at the time located in Chattanooga, TN. While I don't know the exact date of this hydrant, it is from the original exclusive A.P. Smith company which makes it earlier than 1966 and more likely from the early 1940's or before.

Other fire hydrant posts include Fire Hydrants ~ One and A Splash of Blue, and Bubblegum And Blueberries.
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