McNab & Harlin Mfg. Co. - NYC
Dresser Industries - Bradford, PA.

M&H Valve & Fitting Co. - Anniston, Alabama
M&H Valve & Fitting Co. was founded in New York City as McNab & Harlin Mfg. Co. M&H, as it would become known, had both a brass and a iron foundry on the premises of their factories in Paterson, NJ, as seen in this engraving from the 1854 McNab & Harlin catalog. They produced brass cocks, valves, and "other plumber's materials" and in the 1850s the company sold flip lid style fire hydrants, manufactured by Metropolitan Brass & Iron, from their warehouses in New York City. They also sold a no-name post hydrant similar to the National. In the 1920s M&H Valve relocated to Anniston, Alabama. It was not much longer before M&H Valve began manufacturing their own line of fire hydrants.

The company has gone through change of ownerships including Walworth Valve, Dresser Industries, and now McWane International Inc.

Dresser industries was founded as S.R. Dresser & Co. by Solomon Dresser ca. 1880. Mr. Dresser was an inventor involved in various roles with the oil and natural gas fields in and around Bradford, Pennsylvania. His first product was the Dresser Cap Packer patented in 1880. Over the years Dresser Industries was built via acquisitions: Shaw cranes, Robin conveyors, Roots blowers, Clark engines, Wayne pumps, Marion cranes --- all and more became parts of Dresser Industries. In November of 1961 Dresser Industries purchased M&H Valve & Fittings for 6 million dollars from the Walworth company. Dresser ownership of M&H would continue until October of 1984.

Patents were held by Dresser for the designs of the model 300 & 500 fire hydrants. The Dresser 500 is still produced as a New York City spec model by various companies. During the period of Dresser ownership some of the hydrants produced in Anniston had both company names/logos cast onto the barrels. Others had just "Dresser / Anniston, AL". See Dresser Industries advertisement from the 1960s

All known models of M&H, Dresser/M&H, and Dresser hydrants are shown on these pages.



  Unknown model
This hydrant is currently somewhat of a mystery to us at FireHydrant.org. It has no barrel markings but the top of the bonnet rim is marked "M&H Mfg. Co. Waterford, N.Y. 1882 Bailey's Patent 1870". Our judgment is that it was made for McNab & Harlin Mfg. Co. private label by someone else.
  • The Waterford, NY location is part of the mystery to us.
  • The 1870 patent referred to has no company assignee and doesn't offer much insight (see patent Page 1 and Page 2).
  • 2058
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~4" V.O.
    Dated: 1882
    Closeups: bonnet top, shoe
    Location: Colorado
    Photo: © 2003, Todd Grose

    We believe the first M&H manufactured hydrants to be the Model 29. The model number 29 does not appear on these hydrants.
  • The two staggered levels of bonnet fluting are a distinguishing characteristic of the Model 29; and most M&H hydrants to this day.
  • Early hydrants have a very short upper barrel and an O.D. rib on the upper end of the lower barrel.
  • Later, a conventional "full height" upper barrel version was also offered as a traffic model.

  •   Standard Model 29: 1930s - 1940s
  • This earliest known version has a bonnet with a rounded edge.
  • The upper barrel is very short.
  • 0897
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1941
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson
    0896
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1946
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson

      Standard Model 29: 1950s-1970s
  • This next version of the 29 model has a bonnet edge with an overhanging lip.
  • The same short upper barrel continued to be used.
  • Examples can be found with just M&H or both M&H and Dresser cast onto the barrel and/or bonnet rim. This is indicated below with each photo when known.
  • 0907 M&H
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1958
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson
    2146 M&H/Dresser
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1974
    (See top view)
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © 2004, J. Anderson
    2025 ??
    Nozzles: 2x 2", gated
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1970
    Location: Santa Cruz, CA
    Photo: © 2003, Steve Parmley
    1283 M&H
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~5" V.O.
    Dated: 1954
    Location: Ed M. collection
    Photo: © 2001, Ed Masminster
    0346 M&H
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1960
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson
    2465 M&H
    Nozzles: 3x 2"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1957
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo courtesy Jeff Kaminski
    0037 ??
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~6" V.O.
    Dated: 1963
    Location: Prairie du Chien, WI
    Photo: © 1999, Jim Quist
    0690 ??
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1967
    Note: Memphis spec
    Location: Memphis, TN
    Photo: © 1999, E. Kennedy

      Traffic Model 29/129: 1950s - current
    1960's company literature refers to Model 29 hydrants; but current literature shows an identical looking hydrant called a Style 129 hydrant. And later hydrants have a 129 model number cast onto barrel, e.g. see #1338 rear view below.
  • Same bonnet design as the Standard above but with conventional "full height" upper barrel.
  • Examples can be found with just M&H or both M&H and Dresser cast onto the barrel and/or bonnet rim. This is indicated below with each photo when known.
  • Most hydrants have a cast loop under each nozzle for cap chain attachment. Those that do not are so indicated below.
  • Also note that some hydrants have no gussets at the barrel flange; while others have 4 or 2 gussets. This difference appears to be related to vintage and change of ownership to Dresser and then not. The hydrants below are grouped by this difference.

    First, those with no gussets:
  • 1123 M&H
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Note: no cast chain loops
    Size: ~4" VO, no gussets
    Dated: 1954
    Location: Eugene N. collection
    Photo: © 2003, E. Newbry
    1856 M&H
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~4" VO, no gussets
    Dated: 1954
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson
    0032 ??
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x ~5"
    Size: ~4" VO, no gussets
    Dated: ?
    Location: Stanton, VA
    Photo: © 2000, E. Kennedy
    2254 M&H
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~5" VO, no gussets
    Dated: 1955
    Location: Jack S. collection
    1064 M&H
    Nozzles: 3x 2"
    Size: ~5" VO, no gussets
    Dated: 1970
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    1795 M&H
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" VO, no gussets
    Dated: 1960
    Location: Eugene N. collection
    Photo: © 2002, E. Newbry


    Next, those with 4 gussets:
    1420 M&H / Dresser
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" VO, 4 gussets
    Dated: 1979, (rear view)

    Location: Morrison, IL
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson
    0259 M&H / Dresser
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x ~5"
    Size: ~4" VO, 4 gussets
    Dated: 1980
    Location: Harrisonburg, VA
    Photo: © E. Kennedy
    1284 M&H / Dresser
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: ~5" VO, 4 gussets
    Dated: 1975
    Location: Ed M. collection
    Photo: © 2001, Ed Masminster


    Next, those with 2 gussets:
    1338 M&H
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Note: no cast chain loops
    Size: 5" VO, 2 gussets
    Dated: 1985, (rear view)

    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson

      Model 129i "Regent"
    This model was designed as a direct competitor of the Clow Medallion. A production run of less than 5000 hydrants was made. They were made in both 4" and 5" main valve opening sizes.
    0790 M&H
    Nozzles: 1x ~4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: ?
    Note: Kansas City Spec

    Location: Kansas City, MO
    Photo: © 2001, M. Dieckman
    1855 M&H
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1995
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: J. Anderson

      Style 33 Yard Hydrant
    This yard hydrant, called the Style 33 in company literature, has a close family resemblance to the full height Model 29 hydrant.
  • Examples can be found with just M&H or both M&H and Dresser cast onto the barrel and/or bonnet rim. This is indicated below with each photo when known.
  • 1388 (neither)
    Nozzle: 1x 1"
    Size: ~2" V.O., 1970
    Location: Jack S. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson
    1897 ??
    Nozzle: 1x 2"
    Size: ~2" V.O.
    Location: Bill H. collection
    Photo: © 2003, B. Houston
    2373 M&H
    Nozzle: 2x 1"
    Size: ~2" V.O., 1997
    Location: Jeff K. collection
    Photo: © 2006, J. Kaminski
    1436 M&H / Dresser
    Nozzle: 2x 1"
    Size: ~2" V.O., 1974
    Location: Jeff K. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski


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