Monthly Archives: May 2015

Combination Drinking Fountain & Trough

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The structure in the area of Old Town is located at the south east end of King Street in St. James Cathedral Park and was manufactured by Canada Foundry Co. Limited, Toronto.

It was erected in the 19th century and offered fresh water to humans, horses and dogs. On one side two taps fed water into a large horse trough. The other side hosted a demi-lune basin with a tin cup suspended on a chain. The water run-off fed into a small basin at ground level for dogs and smaller animals.

The structure is seated on a rectangular base bolted to the ground. The drinking fountain is attached to the trough by consoles decorated with scrolls and trefoil relief. Bas-relief palmette form the design on the back and interior of the fountain. The terminal is a palmette.

These drinking structures were common at major intersections in the city, i.e. at the southeast corner of King & Dufferin Streets, Bathurst and Bloor Streets; and Kingston Road and Warden Avenue in Birch Cliff.

Spadina Avenue and College Street in 1899

1899. Source: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 376, Subseries 2, Item 49

1899. Public Domain. Source: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 376, Subseries 2, Item 49

Parliament and Queen south west corner

1914. Public Domain. Source: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 1295.

1914. Public Domain. Source: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 1295.

Queen and Broadview

In the late 19th and early 20th century there were many combination drinking fountain/horse troughs in the city particularly on University Avenue where the horses were hitched and watered as late as the 1940s. The structure on King Street was utilized often by horse and owner doing business at the St. Lawrence Market. It was not uncommon for humans and horses to be seen drinking at the same time, and with the advancement of indoor plumbing and the awareness of public hygiene the fountain/troughs became redundant and were removed.

Glossary
• Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
• Console, a decorative bracket support element
• Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
• Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
• Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
• Trefoil, An ornamental design of three rounded lobes


W.C.T.U. Fountain

Location: Spring Lake, Michigan, USA

The Women’s Christian Temperance Union donated the fountain in September 1910 to encourage quenching thirst with water instead of alcoholic beverages. Originally erected on the southeast corner of Savidge and Jackson streets it was moved several times including the backyard of a private residence. In 1988 it was restored and relocated to the current location on the east side of Jackson Street between Savidge and Exchange streets.

Over the years a lack of maintenance caused the paint to vanish and rust appeared. The village of Spring Lake agreed in 2007 that the structure should be restored with funding from a 5 year capital improvement budget. Restoration was completed by Mercene Karkadoulias Bronze Art in Cincinnati. With no paint residue to compare the fountain was painted with colours common in the 1900s. Water is now delivered by two faucets and the dog troughs are filled with water drained from the upper basins.

The original fountain was manufactured by J.L. Mott Ironworks and is casting number 12. Seated on a square plinth, the circular column contains two troughs at ground level for the use of dogs and smaller animals. An inscription on the base contains the legend, W.C.T.U. Sep. 1910. A demi-lune basin for the use of humans is located on two sides. Decorated with bas-relief in the form of fruits and acanthus leaves, the column also displays dog mascarons above the basins from which water spouted. Tin cups were suspended on chains from orbs between the dog masks. The capital is an urn surmounted with a spike.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • 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.

 


General Henry Hall Memorial Fountain

Location: Dublin, Ireland

This structure commonly known as the Five Lamps was erected in 1875 courtesy of Lieutenant General Henry Hall C. B. of Merville House, Stillorgan, who served with the British Army and was superintendent of the Ajmer-Merwara region in India for 10 years. Upon his death, his will revealed a monetary bequest to be directed to the installation of two drinking fountains ‘to encourage sobriety’.

It is located at the junction of five streets: Debate exists regarding the reason for 5 lamps, popularly believed to signify the five connecting streets. It is also alleged to symbolize the five battles fought by the British against the anti-colonial revolt in India. There is apparently a Hindu tradition of lighting five lamps or candles for luck Seville Place, Amiens Street, Portland Row, Killarney Street and North Strand Row.

The drinking fountain is design number 175 registered to George Smith & Co. manufactured by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow.  Demi-lune quatrefoil basins which doubled as horse troughs are supported by a square base with chamfered corners. Panels decorated with palmette and acanthus relief flank each basin. Each side of the central column contains a compass cross at the centre of which is a lion mask with a self-closing tap from which water spouted. Originally there were metal cups suspended on chains.

A frieze of laurel wreaths is situated beneath the capital upon which there is a lamp standard with four decorative feet. The pedestal has a bulbous base with bas-relief extending with fluted column and bands to a two tiered acroter, the terminal of which is a candelabrum of 5 glass lanterns with elaborate consoles.

As cast iron is prone to do, it rusted over decades, and at one time was missing a couple of the lamps. It was restored in 1987 as part of the Dublin Millennium. Grime and paint were sandblasted, the lamps were removed for restoration by craftsmen, and 70-watt high pressure sodium lights were installed. Three missing lion heads were recast and the basins were filled in to prevent vandalism. The road signs which were mounted on the structure were removed.

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
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfer
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Clerkenwell Green Fountain

Location: Clerkenwell, England

The name of Clerkenwell originates from the Clerk’s Well in Farringdon Lane. A well and pump which had been installed in 1856 was replaced in 1862 with a cast iron drinking fountain. Funds for the fountain were raised from local subscribers and donated by The Good Samaritan Temperance Society.

Clerkenwell Green was a meeting place for speakers and political activists in the 19th century, and as such, the fountain became a focal point.

britishhistory islingtongovuk

In the late 1870s the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association erected a stone horse trough near the fountain. The trough and fountain were later relocated within the Green, but by the 1930s the fountain had been removed. The horse trough is still in existence.

wikimedia Cattle_Trough

The drinking fountain was manufactured by Andrew Handyside and Co. of Derby, England and is design number 48 in the 1877 catalogue.

Resting on a circular concrete plinth with concrete steps, the cylindrical structure with attic base supported a three tiered acroter. Six fluted columns and decorative volutes supported a cupola with Neptune mask frieze. A solid dome was surmounted by a sculptured urn and a gilded finial of a putto carrying an urn on his shoulder. The statue was no longer in evidence after 1880. The font itself consisted of a shallow fluted basin. (The same casting can be found at Pancras Old Church, Camden Town – see photographs within this site by using the search parameter, Pancras)

Glossary

  • Acroter, a flat base
  • Attic base, A column base with two rings
  • Cupola, A small, domed structure on top of a roof
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Volute, a spiral scroll-like ornament found in the capital of a column

Haslam Park Drinking Fountain

Location: Haslam Park, Preston, Lancashire, England

Entering via the south-east gate, beside the avenue of lime trees and parallel with the railway, you will find a cast iron drinking fountain. It was donated by Councillor W. G. Makinson in 1911 following the opening of Haslam Park. The fountain was listed as a Grade II historic building on 27 September 1979.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue is 9 feet 6 inches high and stands on a two tiered plinth with canted corners. The structure consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded roundels within each lunette host the image of a crane. On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters Presented by Councillor W.G. Makinson January 1911; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stands the font (casting number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders, a symbol of courage and bravery. A central urn with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal is a crane.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

All photos courtesy of Tony Worral, https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=10089490@N06&q=haslam%20park

Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • 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
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal