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Introduction

This portion of FireHydrant.org could be called a "Field Guide to North American Fire Hydrants". We are calling it the "HydeGuide". It is designed so that it can be printed out and carried along by those who enjoy finding and photographing previously undocumented hydrants for inclusion in this website. Collectors who trade and communicate with other collectors should find this guide of value because it assigns Type #s to hydrants of unknown models; and lists all known variations, sizes, and nozzle configurations with the corresponding FireHydrant.org photo number. The hundreds of photos found in the "Pictures of Fire Hydrants" and "Collectors Club" pages of FireHydrant.org are linked to this guide.

Hopefully in the future enough photos of hydrants worldwide will be available to create similar field guides for hydrants of other continents. So, worldwide visitors of FireHydrant.org, please take these comments as a challenge!

How is the HydeGuide Organized?

This guide is divided into three sections; dry barrel hydrants, wet barrel hydrants, and specialized hydrants. In each section the hydrants are listed alphabetically by the manufacturer's name as it appears cast onto the hydrant.
Dry barrel hydrants are found everywhere in North America and are what most of us are most familiar with. This section has multiple webpages split by the letters of the alphabet due to its length.
Wet barrel hydrants are in their own separate section because they look different (than dry barrels) with their individual nozzle valving arrangement and because they are generally only found in use in southern California.
Specialized hydrants include the "misfits" that we wanted to include but didn't know where else to put them. Portable hydrants, standpipe hydrants, and wharf hydrants can be found in this section.

Understanding the HydeGuide Information

Each entry represents one size of one model of hydrant. For each entry the known nozzle configurations and corresponding photos are listed in the right column. Please refer to the sample entries at the bottom of this page for the explanations which follow:

Catalog Model / Cast Model / Vintage & Additional Detail
The hydrant's model designation from company literture is listed if known, otherwise ???? is listed.
The hydrant's model as cast onto the hydrant is listed if known, otherwise ???? is listed. The location of the model is on the barrel unless indicated to be on the bonnet.
The balance of this field includes: known patent date(s) and distinguishing characteristics. Also noted is the year of manufacture found cast onto the hydrant. With additional observations we will be able to establish the complete range of manufacture for models of hydrants that have a year of manufacture cast onto them.
"Type #s" are assigned when there are two or more hydrant models from the same manufacturer and neither the catalog or cast model is known. These arbitrary "Type #s" will allow us to better communicate which hydrant we are talking about to another person, e.g. a "Bourbon Type 1" is certainly more definitive than saying the "upper right hand hydrant on the Bourbon picture page".
"Var. #s" are assigned when there are two or more distinguishable variations of the same model. These variations could be almost anything; different cast wording, different patent dates, 1 pc. vs 2 pc. barrels, etc.

Barrel Detail
Wet or dry barrel design is listed.
Either one piece cast upper/lower barrels or two piece bolted barrels are indicated. When a O.D. rib is cast onto the barrel at the ground line this is listed. The number of bolts on a two piece joint is also listed as a further aid to identification.
The surface texture of the upper barrel casting is also indicated. Most are either smooth or vertically fluted.

Size (dry barrel hydrants only)
Main valve opening size is listed for dry barrel hydrants. This number is cast onto the barrel in most dry barrel hydrants manufactured in the past 75 years. If size is unknown either "?" or an estimated size is listed.
In an attempt to help distinguish different sizes of older hydrants from each other (when size is not cast onto the barrel) the number of bolts into the bonnet from the upper barrel is listed. This bolt quantity should not be confused with the number of bolts that protrude through the top of the bonnet; which can be a lesser quantity because the bonnet is covering up shorter bolts.
Wet barrel hydrants are just that; so they have no main valve. No indication of size (such as pipe diameter) can be found on wet barrel hydrants.

Bonnet Detail (wet barrel hydrants only)
A distinguishing characteristic of wet barrel hydrants is the type and shape of the bonnet. Many early hydrants had bolted bonnets similar to dry barrel designs (but without the operating nut of course). Later the bonnet was cast integral with the barrel. Some were made to look like a separate piece for appearance's sake; and one style is known as 'mushroom head', and the other as 'frisbee-shaped'. Newer designs simply enclose the top of the barrel without making a design statement.

Valve Stem Guide (wet barrel hydrants only)
Another distinguishing characteristic of wet barrel hydrants is the valve stem guides of the individual valves as to how they were designed to be removed. There are three basic styles of valve stem guides; completely recessed, exposed (an EBMUD exclusive), and bolted (known as the 'LA sleeve').

Nozzle Configuration & Photo Number
Symbols representing a top view of a hydrant are used to indicate relative size, quantity, orientation, and relative height of the nozzles.
Pumper and hose nozzles can be distinguished from each other by the relative sizes on the symbols.
If a symbol shows all nozzles colored black that means they are all at the same height from the ground (or nearly so). Hydrants can be found where the centerline of the pumper nozzle is perhaps an inch lower than the hose nozzles. This difference in height can really only be noticed if you are on your hands & knees. This guide considers these nozzles to be of the same height. Red nozzles are lower than black. And blue nozzles, commonly used for wet barrel hydrants are lower yet. Those who print this guide will therefore need a color printer to avoid confusion.
Nozzles with internal independent gate valves are indicated with an "I". These nozzles are controlled with a separate operating nut; generally on the bonnet.
Nozzles with external independent gate valves are indicated with an "EI". These 'hand-wheel' valves are mounted inline with the nozzles.
What is the difference in nozzle configuration between these symbols; , , and ? The distinction is established by the location of the manufacturer's name cast onto the barrel. This name is 'down' as the symbol is viewed; which is the same as saying it is closest to the person standing in front of a hydrant. When the first symbol (representing a 'wye' nozzle configuration found commonly on older hydrants) is used the angle between nozzles can range from 90 to perhaps 150. The nozzles are always 90 apart with the other two symbols.

Cheeseville Iron Works - Cheeseville, WI
???? / ???? / Type 1 - Pat. Nov. 5, 1889 on bolted on bonnet Dry: 1 pc. w/O.D. rib, vert. fluted ? (6 bolts under bonnet) 0256
???? / ???? / Type 2 - bonnet integral with upper barrel Dry: 2 pc. w/8 bolt joint, vert. fluted ? 0305; 0257
???? / 75 / Var. 1a - early style, model # surrounded by large semi-circle of wording, 1955 noted Dry: 2 pc. w/8 bolt joint, smooth 4" (8 bolts under bonnet) 0186
5" (8 bolts under bonnet) 0186
???? / 75 / Var. 1b - later style, model # surrounded by small full-circle of wording Dry: 2 pc. w/8 bolt joint, smooth 4" (8 bolts under bonnet) 0475
D-67M Premier / D-67M / modern appearance, 1988-92 noted Dry: 2 pc. w/6 bolt joint, smooth ~5" 0213

Additions and Corrections

Users of this guide are encouraged to offer suggestions and corrections as to it's content to john@firehydrant.org. In many cases a judgment call had to be made as the data was entered into the guide. An example being as to whether the model is a catalog model or a cast model. Also those submitting photos for inclusion in FireHydrant.org are encouraged to record and submit details such as size, patent dates, year of manufacture, as well as the location on the hydrant (barrel or bonnet) of this cast detail for inclusion in this guide. Your help can make this a more accurate and complete guide.

Each page of the HydeGuide carries a revision date. Those who print out the guide will find this date of value.



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