Thank you for visiting my blog.  As of 2019 the database is approaching 400 posts identifying cast iron drinking fountains located around the world. To search for a specific item use the Search Box by entering a relevant detail e.g. city, memorial name, etc. The blog can also be searched using the Category Box which offers a search by country, foundry, historic registers, etc.

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Torgbrunnen Fountain

Location: Nyköping, Sweden

A drinking water fountain located in the central square in front of the County Administrative Board’s building in Nyköping was donated in January 1930 by the Nordic Company to celebrate 25 years of operation in the city. It stands on a site where water has been sourced from the Kung Rönnes since the beginning of the 19th century.

The fountain is a vertical rectangular column hosting a clam shell spigot which spouts water into a large basin in the form of a shell.

The structure terminates with a sculpture created by the Swedish architect and artist Ragnar Östberg. Although online references claim the sculpture shows two salmon, the barbels hanging beneath the chin deem it more likely to be two catfish. One of the entwined fish holds a key in its mouth. The key is a symbol of the city and relates to a legend from 1317.

King Birger Magnusson of Sweden and his two brothers, the Dukes Valdemar and Eric, had been involved in a long struggle for control of the country which had eventually led to civil war. While feasting together at a banquet on 11 December 1317, the King imprisoned his brothers in the dungeon of Nyköping Castle with the intention of starving them to death, and to ensure that they would never be freed, he threw the key into the Nyköping River.


Fitzgerald Fountain

Location: Mumbai, India

This 45 feet high and 19 feet wide fountain was cast at Barwell & Co.’s Eagle Foundry in Northampton, England, and installed in 1867 at the Metro cinema junction in Dhobi Talao, South Mumbai. It was erected to mark the arrival of Sir William Robert Seymour Vesey-Fitzgerald, a British governor of Bombay who served from 1867 to 1872.

In the mid-1960s following the success of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement (an objective to partition the State of Bombay into the Marathi-speaking State of Maharashtra and the Gujarati-speaking state of Gujarat), several statues of the British Colonial era were relocated to the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum within the Byculla Zoo. This included the Fitzgerald Fountain which bore the Royal Coat of Arms representing the British monarch and a reminder of British rule in India. It was re-assembled haphazardly on the lawn behind the museum where the already-corroding structure continued to deteriorate.

During the relocation many parts were misplaced or lost, and it lay neglected for 60 years until September 2018 when the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decided to restore it as part of a larger project intended to refurbish all heritage structures with cultural value. BMC received only one bid for the restoration project; Skyway Infraprojects Private Ltd., a registered company in Mumbai that specializes in engineering and construction. Consulting the BMC on the project was architect Pankaj Joshi, Executive Director of the Urban Design Research Institute.

In order to stabilize the tilting structure, architect Joshi, renowned sculptor Deepak Paunikar and eight officials from the BMC tested the composition of the cast iron in the fountain. In a timely twist of fate, a British industrial archaeologist, Peter Perkins, discovered that the fountain in Mumbai was identical to a ‘lost’ fountain which had once resided in Northampton, England. With his assistance in producing pictures, drawings and designs more than 400 missing parts of the fountain were cast as replacements.

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Northampton, England

During dismantling of the structure, a curious six-digit number engraved on the inner side of the four panels was discovered. Perkins explained that the number was the patent or the design registration number which matched the six digit number printed on the design drawing. Barwell & Co. registered the design as a lamp pillar with the British Patents Design and Trade Marks Office in 1864 although it was described as a lamp and fountain in their catalog.

FULL_midday_mumbaidesign

This discovery confirmed that the Fitzgerald fountain was identical to the fountain in Northampton. My post on the fountain in Northampton, England can be viewed here https://memorialdrinkingfountains.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/market-square-fountain/

Due to dismantling and rebuilding of the fountain in the 1960s water pipes were missing which meant that plumbing had to be to conceived, designed and developed to make it fully functional. It is expected to use 1,000 litres of water a day which will be recycled by setting up a suction tank underground. Sand blasting and oxidising processes will be carried out before coating the structure with a layer of Polyurethane intended to protect metal from rusting.

The intention to erect the fountain at its exact original location was denied due to objections from traffic police. However, an agreement was reached to install the fountain only a few feet from its original position on a triangular island opposite the Vasudeo Balwant Phadke Statue at the Metro junction. With clearance from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee, and a no-objection certificate from the traffic police, it was hoped to install it by January 2020 although the deadline to complete the restoration is April 2020.

The cast iron fountain is not currently recorded as a heritage monument. Once restored, Pankaj Joshi believes that an application to categorise it would be granted and most likely fit into a Grade I Heritage category.

The highly decorated structure was originally seated on a square plinth with three steps leading to the base of the fountain which formed a St. Andrew’s cross. A decorative scroll jamb was located on each corner. Four tazzas with small fountains poured water into basins which was then directed to lion mascarons which spouted water into drinking basins located on two sides.

Shields to bear inscriptions were offered on two sides. The Royal Coat of Arms will be replaced with another crest, possibly of BMC itself.

Mascarons of lions and Naiads ( In Greek mythology, a Naiad was a female water nymph who guarded fountains, wells, and other bodies of fresh water) are displayed throughout the structure.

The acroter supported a highly decorative ornamental column with a gilt globe lantern lit by gas, 4 feet in diameter. The missing lamp will be reconstructed in cast iron and illuminated with electrical lights as per heritage committee guidelines.

The dedication plaque is attached to a maintenance door that allows access to the interior works of the fountain. The dedication is inscribed in bas-relief; Erected / A.D. 1867 / In Honour / Of / The Right Honourable / Sir Seymour Fitzgerald / K.C.S.I. / The Governor Of Bombay / By The / Esplanade Committee (K.C.S.I., Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India)

Glossary:

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Tazza, A shallow saucer-like dish either mounted on a stem and foot, or on a foot alone.

Elm Park Fountain

Location: Wellesley Hills, MA, USA

A drinking fountain was installed in the late 19th century at the intersection of Washington Street and Worcester Road in front of the Elm Park Hotel. The fountain also offered a large trough to quench the thirst of horses and visiting stage coaches. In 1928 the town purchased Elm Park with the intention of building a tower to house a clock and bell given to the town in 1874 (the tower was named in memory of Isaac Sprague).

Although the cast iron drinking fountain/trough at Elm Park was manufactured by Henry F. Jenks, a competitive and better known iron foundry was J. W. Fiske Ironworks which shares the same surname as one of Wellesley’s founders, Joseph Emery Fiske. I have failed to find a common ancestor which would connect the two Josephs’ genealogy.

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The years 1914 and 1915 saw an epidemic of the horse disease Glanders in several sections of the Atlantic coast states, and many cities closed their existing trough/drinking fountains, as it was believed that the disease was spread by the common use of bowls or troughs. Drivers were asked, or required by ordinance, to carry with each horse-drawn vehicle a pail for watering horses. The fountain remained to provide facilities for filling these pails.

Henry F. Jenks’ drinking fountain for man and beast was identified as #3 in his foundry catalog. The fountain manufactured in cast iron consisted of a solid base with an annular channel for use as a dog trough. The 4ft high fluted pedestal with attic base hosted arched panels for dedication or bas-relief enrichment. A movable panel in one side offered access to plumbing.

zazzle

A horse trough, 56 inches in diameter, in the form of a basin (at 4 feet 3 inches above ground level it was a comfortable height for horses to drink with ease) had the capacity to hold a barrel of water (42 gallons).

The centre of the basin contained a jamb from which dolphin mascarons spouted water and drinking cups were attached. Waste water was directed to the dog trough at street level. This design prevented contagious distemper.

The fountain was provided with self closing faucets and the pipes within were constructed to resist freezing in cold temperatures. Fountains were supplied both with and without an ice box attachment as desired. An ice box was placed near the sidewalk underground, which was provided with coils of tin lined pipe on which ice was placed to cool the water flowing through the coils to the outlet of the fountain.

The highly decorated finial with floriated relief and studded band terminated in an orb. The structure was also offered with a gas lantern extension.

Glossary:

  • Annular; circular, ring shaped
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue

Galway Village Fountain

Location: Galway, Saratoga County, New York State, USA

The drinking fountain/horse trough was erected at the east end of the Village Park by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals from a benefactor named Horace W. Carpentier who was born in Saratoga County. He went on to make his fortune in California and became Mayor of Oakland before returning to New York State.

1907 gpl

Circa 1907. Photo courtesy of Galway Preservation Society. Carpentier home in the background.

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Circa 1908. Photo courtesy of Galway Preservation Society.

The drinking fountain manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York is casting #14 with a circular base. A short bulbous pedestal with flora design offered drinking troughs at street level for cats and dogs. A large trough for horses faced the road, and a smaller basin for the use of humans offered a metal cup suspended on a chain.

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Circa 1907. Note that the drinking cup has been placed on top of the finial. Photo courtesy of Galway Preservation Society

Water was supplied to the fountains from a well behind Carpentier’s house and was delivered by a pump attached to a windmill. Water then flowed into the basins from lion mascarons. A manufacturer’s plate was attached above the small basin; J.L. Mott N.Y. An additional plate was attached above the trough with the legend, Erected By The American Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals.

A cornice decorated with acanthus frieze sits beneath the capital which supports a finial originally resembling a pineapple. This original finial was stolen for financial gain when metal for the World War II munitions industry was required and many examples of cast iron street furniture were destroyed.

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Image from J. L. Mott catalog

In 2008 members of the Galway Preservation Society funded the creation of a new finial. A template for the replacement was created on a wood lathe and manufactured in cast iron at LaPan’s Foundry in Hudson Falls, N.Y.S. Restoration of the drinking fountain was completed with a shade of green paint believed to be the original colour.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue

Johannesburg’s Market Square Fountain

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

The city installed its first gas lamp in Market Square in November 1892. The combination lamp/fountain was installed in the eastern section of the open market square near the northwest corner of President and Loveday streets opposite the Henwoods Building.

Heritage portal

The first electric lamp was installed at Rissik and President streets in October 1895. Images below show the replacement lamp.  

The fountain was removed to enable construction of the new Town Hall in the eastern part of the old market square.  On 29 November 1910, the cornerstone for the new Town Hall was laid and the Town Hall was officially opened on 7 April 1915.

Design #27 was manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. in the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was advertised as well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

It provided a drinking trough for horses with small basins for dogs at ground level. The trough was a 6’6” diameter circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horse hooves. Fetlocks transitioned into an acanthus scroll motif at the interface with the trough. The water was regulated by a small patent cistern, which was self-acting, and when the troughs were full the ball rose and shut the water off.

The central stanchion supported a central column with flared bases and pilasters. Four projecting consoles suspended cups on chains that allowed humans to drink from spouting water (the water flow was operated with two bib valves which released water when pressed). Horses drank from the large basin.

A dedication shield located directly above the consoles was adhered to the fluted shaft. The decorative capital, enriched with acanthus and rosette with a dog tooth frieze, supported a central gas lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration. It is symbolic of a problem that has been solved.
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Dog tooth, pyramid shaped carving
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Stanchion, upright bar, post or frame providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

King Edward VII Fountain

Location: Dordrecht, Eastern Cape, South Africa

The memorial drinking fountain located in the grounds of the Anderson Museum was originally erected in Hofmeyr Square where it was presumably supplied with water from the Hogsett Reservoir. At some point in time the fountain was moved to the site of the Great War Memorial, in the gardens of the Dordrecht Municipal Offices. The structure deteriorated due to lack of maintenance until its care was transferred to Anderson Museum to be restored and repainted.

Design #80 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. in the Saracen´s foundry, Glasgow was well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

Standing 12ft 9ins high it consists of a circular cast iron basin with a broad rounded perimeter rim upon which the manufacturer’s name is recorded in raised letters. Supported on four legs cast in the form of horse hooves, the fetlock transitions at the interface with the trough into an acanthus scroll motif. The water was regulated by a small patent cistern, which was self-acting, and when the troughs were full the ball rose and shut the water off.

The central stanchion with attic base supported a central fluted column. Four projecting consoles suspended cups on chains that allowed humans to drink from spouting water (the water flow was operated with two bib valves which released water when pressed). Originally a bulbous form engraved with acanthus bas-relief demarcated the transition of the column into a lamp pillar (design #30) supporting a central gas lamp (#208) roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown. Yoke maintenance arms were positioned beneath the lantern.

The column capital is presently surmounted with a light fitting of circular domed sheet metal cap supported on four curved round bar supports. The light fitting was kept separately within the museum; however, the glass lamp shade appears not to have survived.

A dedication is recorded in raised letters on a small curved rectangular cast metal plaque mounted on the lamp pillar. The dedication is transcribed; This Fountain Was Erected / By The Inhabitants / Of Dordrecht / To Commemorate The / Coronation Of His / Most Gracious Majesty, / King Edward The Seventh / 1902.

artefacts_inscription

Used with permission, William Martinson. Source: https://www.artefacts.co.za/main/Buildings/bldgframes.php?bldgid=14705

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Bib valve, a valve controlling the release of a liquid
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of the street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

 


Market Street Drinking Fountain

Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

The drinking fountain for humans and horses was located outside the old Dauphin County Courthouse at the intersection of Court Street and Market Street. The large trough facing the street offered relief to thirsty horses which pulled horse drawn trolleys.

The first known public transportation in Harrisburg began in 1865 with a horse drawn trolley that was said to be purchased used from Philadelphia. In 1873 the Horse-Drawn Passenger Railway Company opened, but the advent of the motor vehicle rendered these vehicles redundant by the turn of the century.

The Harrisburg Telegraph reported in 1902 that “The court house fountain is again without a drinking cup. There were a number of parched throats at the fountain to-day, but nothing to drink from.”

Photographs of the area circa 1932 reveal that the drinking fountain was no longer in situ; and the court house itself was demolished in 1948.

The 9 feet high cast iron drinking fountain consisting of a square pedestal surmounted by a statue was manufactured by J. W. Fiske Iron Works and registered as design #209.

A highly decorated square base at ground level with egg and tongue moulding contained a small trough for dogs on three sides surmounted by a sculptured dog kennel. Four short pilasters flanked panels decorated with rosettes.

A dog toothed acroter supported four rectangular panels with bas-relief and rosette frieze. These inset panels displaying two swans with raised wings resting on an orb from which rose Neptune’s trident were flanked by stylized flowers and bulrushes. The back side of the structure contained a small demi-lune basin for humans decorated with large leaf pattern on the underside. A wide and deep trough decorated with acanthus was available for the use of horses. A dolphin mascaron released water from its mouth into the horse trough.

A multi-tiered acroter supporting a 36″ tall statue of a woman feeding a dove is identified as Girl Feeding Bird #226. A bird perches on her right wrist as she gathers a tunic at her left hip with her left hand creating a pouch containing seeds. Her head is tilted slightly back and she holds a seed in her mouth. The sculpture is attributed to bronze founder, George Fischer.

babylon village blogspot 4

Similar fountain design in Ligonier, PA

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Dog tooth, pyramid shaped carving
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design