Fire Hydrants: Epilogue

The fire hydrants that dot almost every sidewalk in Pittsburgh are not a uniform lot.

First, they come in different designs and sizes. Some are tall and thin while other are fat and short. Some have pointed caps and some have disks on top. Second, while many hydrants in the city are painted in traditional red-and-white, many more have been altered aftermarket in imaginative color schemes. And some, of course, have been tagged.

Third, our hydrants tell a brief history of public works in a given neighborhood. A date is stamped onto every hydrant telling when it was installed, and a name indicates the manufacturer, such as American Darling of Beaumont, TX, or Kennedy of Elmira, NY.

The manufacturers also stamp other important information onto their hydrants, a prime example being these two from the 1980s. They bear the slogan: “City of Champions.”

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