R. D. Wood Co - Philadelphia, PA
2-tier Bonnet Models, Part 1 (1 piece barrels)

There were several companies that produced hydrants with a "double-decker" or 2-tier fluted bonnet; but the brand found most often is R.D.Wood. The 2-tier fluted bonnet design was probably inspired by the design of the dome of the U.S. Capital building. R.D. Wood produced this bonnet design from at least 1887 (likely earlier) until 1962 or 1963. In this span of 75+ years a number of design variations can be found and are documented on these next two pages.
  • All variations except the first one below have wording (company name and location) cast onto the top of the LOWER tier rim between the bolt heads.
  • Some variations ALSO have wording (typically model and patent info) cast onto the top of the UPPER tier rim.
  • Most, if not all, of these hydrants were manufactured with a frost jacket encasing the lower barrel.
  • In approximately the year 1939 the design changed from 1 piece to 2 piece barrels. The year of manufacture can be found most 1 pc. barrels just above the O.D. rib. On the 2 pc. barrel models the year is either on the barrel below the bonnet or mid-height of the back of the barrel.
  • The variations presented below are not necessarily sequential. Substantial date overlap can be found between variations.
  • Several Canadian examples of this R.D. Wood model have been found, none with any markings revealing the manufacturer. At this time it is presumed that these hydrants are "clones", and were made by foundries other than R.D. Wood, produced locally in Canada. F. X. Drolet was one such foundry.

  •   MATHEWS model
    This hydrant may be the first 2-tiered R.D.Woods hydrant based on the date of the two known examples shown below. It differs from the rest of the hydrants shown on this page as follows:
  • MATHEWS PATENT is found on the vertical face of the upper tier rim rather than the top surface.
  • R D WOOD & CO PHILADA found on the vertical face of the lower tier rim rather than the top surface.
  • 1274
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~5" V.O.
    Dated: (18)93
    (back view 1274b)
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson
    1468
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: ~5" V.O.
    Dated: (18)93
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski

      "IMPROVED" model
  • MATHEWS IMPROVED HYDRANT PATENT JULY 12 1898 found on WIDE upper tier rim
  • MANUFACTURED BY R D WOOD & CO PHILA found on lower tier rim

    These have a SHORT bonnet dome:
  • 1290
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Ed M. collection
    Photo: © 2001, E. Masminster
    1418
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 5"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Rhode Island
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    0969
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Ed M. collecton
    Photo: © 2002, E. Masminster
    0985
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Note "Capitol Water" emblem (city spec?)
    Location: Madison, WI
    Photo: © 2001, J. Anderson
    2071
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: (none)
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2003, J. Kaminski
    1904
    Nozzles: 2x 2" ext. gated
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2002, J. Kaminski
    1864
    Nozzles: 1x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: (18)99
    Location: Mike V. collection
    Photo: © 2003 M. Vacanti
    2093
    Nozzles: 3x 2" gated independently (gates plugged off as shown)
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © 2003, J. Anderson
    1914
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Jeff K. collection
    Photo: © 2003 J. Kaminski
    1104
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: none
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    0981
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 5"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    0919
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    0968
    Nozzles: 3x 2"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2002, J. Kaminski
    1861
    Nozzles: 3x 2" externally gated
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Ohio
    Photo: © 2003, E. Masminster
    1416
    Nozzles: 3x 2" externally gated
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    1882
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Jeff K. collection
    Photo: © 2003, J. Kaminski
    0982
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 5"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    0917
    Nozzles: 4x 2"
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    1702
    Nozzles: 4x 2" externally gated
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: New Hampshire
    Photo: © 2002, J. Kaminski
    And these have a TALL bonnet dome:
    0921
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    1415
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 5"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Note: 1.5" tall 'DV' on bonnet
    Location: Rhode Island
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski

      ???? model
  • No wording found on NARROW upper tier rim
  • R D WOOD & CO PHILA MATHEWS PAT found on lower tier rim
  • Details of the unique independent gate valve arrangement of the hydrants shown in photos 1009, 1716, 0918, 0472, & 2504 below can be found in this NOV 23 1886 patent.

    These have a SHORT bonnet dome:
  • 1300
    Nozzles: 1x 4"/2"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1921 (back view)
    Note: upper barrel groove for 8 bolts
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © J. Anderson
    2301
    Nozzles: 1x 4"/2"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1912
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © J. Anderson
    1496
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: (18)92
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    1744
    Nozzles: 2x 2" externally gated
    Size: 5" V.O., 1904
    Note: 2 pc. barrel!
    Location: Ed M. collection
    Photo: © 2003, E. Masminster
    1328
    Nozzles: 2x 4"/2"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: (18)99
    Location: John A. collection
    Photo: © J. Anderson
    0231
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 3"
    Size: ~5" V.O.
    Dated: 1906
    Location: Eddie W. collection
    Photo: © 1999, E. Walden
    0967
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1904
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    1103
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 4"
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    2504
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    independently gated
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © J. Kaminski
    1009
    Nozzles: 3x 2" independently gated
    Size: 5" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    1716
    Nozzles: 1x 2"; 1x 2"/4" combo independently gated
    Size: ~6" V.O.
    Dated: ??
    Location: Minnesota
    Photo: © 2002, B. Dunn
    0727
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x ~4"
    Size: ~6" V.O.
    Dated: ??
    Location: Indianapolis, IN
    Photo: © 2000, E. Kennedy
    0918
    Nozzles: 4x 2" independently gated
    Size: 6" V.O.
    Dated: 1898
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    0472
    Nozzles: 3x 2", 1x 4" all independently gated
    Size: ~6" V.O.
    Dated: ??
    Location: ??
    Photo: R. Porterfield
    And these have a TALL bonnet dome:
    2044
    Nozzles: 1x 4"
    Size: ~4" V.O.
    Location: yard of the East Broad Top Railroad in Rockhill Furnace, Pa.
    Photo: © 2004, Lawrence Biemiller
    1289
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: ~4" V.O.
    Dated: 87
    Note: 1.5" tall 'DV' on bonnet
    Location: Ed M. collection
    Photo: © 2001, E. Masminster
    0970
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1909
    Location: Jeff K. collection
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    1419
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1922
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    0922
    Nozzles: 2x 2"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1939
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski
    0230
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x ~4"
    Size: ~4" V.O.
    Dated: ??
    Location: ??
    Photo: © E. Kennedy
    0920
    Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 5"
    Size: 4" V.O.
    Dated: 1925
    Location: Massachusetts
    Photo: © 2001, J. Kaminski


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