While I was putting together some information about another subject, I came across an article about New York City fire hydrants. Most of the following has been condensed, by me, from very detailed articles. http://www.firehydrant.org
None of this is my original work.
A Little History Lesson
In the beginning, the original “hydrant” may have been something like this iron cauldron from China.
Have you ever heard of the term “Fire Plug”?
The term “fire plug” dates from the time when water mains were made from hollowed out logs. The fire company (usually volunteers) would head out to the fire, dig up the cobbles down to the main, then bore a hole into the main so that the excavation would fill with water which they could draft using their pumper. When finished fighting the fire, they’d seal the main with — you guessed it — a “fire plug“.
Cast iron would come to replace wooden water mains, and in 1802, the first order for cast iron hydrants was placed.
New York City
New York City’s first fire hydrant was installed in 1808 at the corner of William and Liberty Streets, this hydrant was most likely a wood case hydrant.
By 1817, the first regular iron hydrants were being installed throughout the city. These were most likely flip lid hydrants.
The two fire hydrants pictured below are both original New York City fire hydrants. This style of fire hydrant was popular from as far back as 1840
Starting in 1902, the city began buying mainly one style of fire hydrant’
There is much more on this subject on the web. You can look at more pictures at: