Darling Valve - Williamsport, PA
An excerpt from Darling Catalog No. 17: "Founded in 1888 as Darling Pump & Mfg. Co., Ltd., the company was organized to manufacture and sell Darling oil well pumps and supplies and engage in the business of general brass founding and machining." In 1902 the company began making fire hydrants in addition to other fire protection and water-line accessories. In 1917, after the death of one of the founders, it was incorporated as Darling Valve and Mfg. Co.

Darling hydrants were also produced in Canada by Dominion Steel and Canada Valve and Hydrant.

Darling Valve was purchased by American Cast Iron Pipe Company in 1969. The company was then relocated to Birmingham, Alabama under the name of American Darling. The currently manufactured hydrants look much the same as the older Darling Valve fire hydrants.

Most of the Darling hydrant models look very similar and are therefore difficult to tell apart. The information presented below attempts to show the differences by separating them by time period and markings.
  • The barrel diameter of Darling hydrants is larger, for a given V.O. (valve opening) size, than those of other manufacturers.
  • For all but the first model, it can be noted that 4" V.O. size hydrants have 6 bonnet bolts, 5" V.O. size have 8 bonnet bolts, and 6" V.O. size have 10 bonnet bolts. This makes size determination easy.
  • For all but the first model, V.O. size is cast onto the barrels of all models and vintages of Darling hydrants.
  • For all but the first model, "DARLING" is plainly cast onto the top of the bonnet.
  •   "DARLING P & M CO"
    We believe this to be the first Darling model. The two hydrants shown below may actually be different models. The hydrants have the company name and location cast into the top surface of the bonnet between the bolt heads. There is no embossing indicating model designation nor valve opening size.
  • All known examples have a frost jacket.
  • All known examples are a 1 piece barrel design.
  • 1616
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~4" VO
    Location: Ed Frey collection
    Photo: 2002, Ed Frey
    2273
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~5" VO, 7" ID
    Note: see bonnet embossing
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: J. Anderson

      "DARLING P & M CO" (1902-17)
    These Darling hydrants had "DARLING P & M CO" (Darling Pump & Manufacturing Co.) cast on the barrel; with no apparent model designation.
  • All known Darling hydrants of this vintage are of a 1 piece barrel design.
  • This group is divided below into three subgroups by bonnet shape. Firehydrant.org does not know if there was a functional reason for the different shapes or the reasons were simply appearance. Within each subgroup they are listed in increasing V.O. size and increasing number of nozzles.

    The bonnets of this first subgroup have the familiar shape of today's Darling hydrants. Included with this group is #2195 which has a fluted bonnet; perhaps representing a transition in design thinking between the first model shown above and subsequent hydrants.
  • 2195
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~4" V.O. (not marked)
    Dated: 1907
    Note: see fluted bonnet closeup, back view
    Location: Jeff K. collection
    Photo: 2004, J. Kaminski
    1460
    Nozzles: 3x 2" ext. gated
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1908
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: 2001, J. Kaminski
    2384
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1908
    Note: Rounded OD rib
    Location: Private collection
    Photo: 2006, J. Kaminski
    0373
    Nozzles: 3x 2" ext. gated
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1908
    Location: Tyrone, PA
    Photo: E. Kennedy
    0416
    Nozzles: 4x 2" ext. gated
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1913
    Location: ??
    Photo: E. Kennedy
    1540
    Nozzles: 3x 2", 1x 5"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Note: JAN 6 1914 patent date on barrel
    Location: Connecticut
    Photo: 2002, J. Kaminski
    0788
    Nozzles: 4x 2", 2x ~5"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1907
    Note: This very hydrant is in this 1911 Darling Advertisement
    Location: Williamsport, PA
    Photo: 2001, Ed Frey

    The bonnets of this subgroup have a sharply squared-off upper edge ...
    1010
    Nozzles: 3x 2" internally gated
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 19??
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: 2001, J. Kaminski
    1011
    Nozzles: 3x 2"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1908
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: 2001, J. Kaminski
    0927
    Nozzles: 4x 2"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1908
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: 2001, J. Kaminski
    2017
    Nozzles: 2x 4", one is internally gated
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1908
    Location: Minnesota
    Photo: 2003, Jim Cunnien

    And the bonnets of this subgroup have a squared-off shape with a rounded edge.
    1269
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1907
    Location: Ed M. collection
    Photo: 2001, E. Masminster
    2413
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1907
    Location: Private collection
    Photo: J. Kaminski
    0689
    Nozzles: 2x ~2", 1x ~5"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1908
    Location: Roanoke, VA
    Photo: E. Kennedy

      "DARLING V & M CO" (1917-??)
    These next Darling hydrants had "DARLING V & M CO" (Darling Valve & Manufacturing Co.) cast on the barrel; again, with no apparent model designation.
  • All known Darling hydrants of this vintage are also of a 1 piece barrel design.
  • Note that #1516 below is marked with confusing info: dated 1908 and patent date of 1914!
  • The hydrants shown below are arranged by increasing valve opening size without any 'subgroups' by bonnet shape.
  • 0993
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: ?
    Note: JAN 6 1914 patent date on barrel
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: 2001, J. Kaminski
    0994
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: ?
    Note: JAN 6 1914 patent date on barrel
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: 2001, J. Kaminski
    1875
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: (none)
    Note: no patent date
    Location: Eugene N. collection
    Photo: 2003, E. Newbry
    1516
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1908!!
    Note: JAN 6 1914 patent date on barrel
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: 2001, J. Anderson
    1462
    Nozzles: 2 x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: ?
    Location: Rhode Island
    Photo: 2001, J. Kaminski
    2196
    Nozzles: 4x 2"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Note:: JAN 6 1914 patent date on barrel
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: 2004, J. Kaminski
    1541
    Nozzles: 4x 2" internally gated
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1919
    Location: Connecticut
    Photo: 2002, J. Kaminski
    1542
    Nozzles: 4x 2", 1x 5"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Note:: JAN 6 1914 patent date on barrel
    Location: Connecticut
    Photo: 2002, J. Kaminski
    2398
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: (none)
    Location:
    Photo: J. Kaminski
    1271
    Nozzles: 2x 2.5", 1x 4.5"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: (none)
    Location: Ed M. collection
    Photo: 2001, E. Masminster
    2414
    Nozzles: 3x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: (none)
    Location: Private collection
    Photo: J. Kaminski
    2500
    Nozzles: 4x 2", 2x 4"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: J. Kaminski
    1461
    Nozzles: 4x 2" internally gated
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Note: 1919 patent date on barrel
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: 2001, J. Kaminski


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