Monthly Archives: February 2016

Man and Beast Fountain

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

In the late 19th century, Mrs. Anna L. Moering approached the City of Cambridge with the proposal to donate a drinking fountain designed by H. F. Jenks, of Providence, Rhode Island. It was offered to provide clean drinking water to animals during the summer heat in Quincy Square (the triangular space between Massachusetts Avenue, and Harvard Street behind Lamont Library).

Although the City disagreed with the proposed location, an identical model of the offered fountain was erected on Quincy Street near Broadway.

cambridge 23 jul 1881

Cambridge Chronicle, 23 July 1881

The 24 feet high fountain manufactured in cast iron consisted of a solid base with a circular channel for use as a dog trough. A pedestal 4ft high supported 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) with the capacity to hold a barrel of water (100 gallons). At the base of the post, water flowed into the basin from miniature lion mascarons and dispensed into the trough at ground level. This design prevented contagious distemper. The waterways through the fountain were constructed so that they would not become clogged nor become frozen in cold temperatures. The centre of the bowl contained an ornamental post with a gas lantern.

A patent was applied for this design in 1880 by H. F. Jenks with the following description;
The design contemplates supplying water for man and beast; and to this end, as a feature of utility, I provide a capacious basin for animals to drink from, and a trickling stream, from which, in a cup, a portion may be caught for human use. An annular channel in the base permits dogs and birds to drink from.

The characteristic feature in the appearance of this design is a cylindrical pedestal mounted upon a suitable base, and supporting a circular bowl, nearly hemispherical in configuration, from the center of which springs a vertical tapering stem, bearing near its base two or more dolphins or mythical aquatic creatures, represented with streams of water issuing from their mouths and falling into the bowl. This bowl is so formed and located upon the pedestal that when approached by a team the pole will pass beneath the bottom of the said bowl, so as to allow the horses on both sides of the pole to drink at the same time without any loss of time or necessity for unhitching or driving up one side at a time, as usual, to water.

The stem may be continued upwardly, ornamented, as shown, with leaves, flutes, etc., and may support a lamp or lantern, if desired, in any suitable form, or basket for plants.

In the base and surrounding the pedestal is an upturned flange, enclosing a depressed annular for water; but this feature, though ornamental and useful, is not essential to my design.

The stem and pedestal may be plain or ornamented with vines and panels, without materially affecting the general aspect of the design.   

Glossary:

  • Annular; circular, ring shaped
  • 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

 


Old Cross and New Cross Fountains

Location: Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Two cast iron drinking fountains erected in Airdrie in 1865 were removed at the beginning of the 20th century, possibly to be melted down for armaments during the World Wars.

Old Cross/Top Cross
A large fountain was located at the intersection of the High Street and Bridge Street known as the Old Cross. The structure was a design registered by George Smith & Co. manufactured by the Sun Foundry. It was seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth adjacent to the Old Cross Bar public house.

A compass cross base with canted corners supported a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding. The font (design number 13) was a large basin with dog tooth relief on the rim, partitioned by four foliate consoles from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow.

A central column with engraved dedication supported an inverted umbrella-style canopy with highly decorated acanthus scrollwork. The cornice was intricate open fret detail with 4 consoles supporting glass globes lanterns. The dome consisted of 8 panels rising to two bands; one of open filigree and the other engraved bas-relief. An ogee roof supported the lamp finial with crown and pyramid apex.

New Cross
The second drinking fountain was erected at the intersection of Graham Street and Stirling Street known as the New Cross. This area, also known as The Top Cross, was the Airdrie to Coatbridge tramway.

stirling st_opening of tramline 1905 _monklandsmemories

1905 opening of the Airdrie Tramway. Source: http://www.monklands.co.uk/airdrie/

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue is 9 feet 6 inches high and was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches contained within each lunette host the image of a crane or optional memorial shields. On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; 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 with a crown and lantern finial.

Under the canopy stands the font (design 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 central urn with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal which was originally a crane appears to  have been replaced by a bowl by 1902.

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.

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
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • 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
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • 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
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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
  • Ogee, curve with a concave
  • 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

Leeds Number 8

Holbeck Moor

The cast iron canopied drinking fountain was situated beside Elland Road near the footpath across the middle of the Moor. It was erected in the late 19th century with subscriptions from the Band of Hope, a Temperance group founded in Leeds which was directed towards working class children who were abused and maltreated often due to the effects of alcohol use within the family. A 1908 map shows the drinking fountain in situ. It may have been removed for road widening of the M621 or for recycling of the iron for armaments during World War 1.

Cross Flatts

Cross Flatts became a public park in 1891 after the Low Moor Company, local pit owners and the last owners of the land previously owned by Benjamin and Joseph Rogers, sold the 44 acre area to the Leeds Corporation. The drinking fountain was located at the bottom end of the park near the main gate at Dewsbury Road. The structure deteriorated over decades until only the basin remained in the 1960’s. It was then utilized as a container for plants.

The pattern for both fountains was the same although it has been reported that the fountain at Cross Flatts had only two drinking cups in opposition to the four cup design.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure was 9 feet 6 inches high and consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the image of a crane, and on two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; 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 was surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was 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 offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was 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.

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

North Pier Blackpool Fountain

Location: Blackpool, Lancashire, England

On 18 April 1870, Easter Monday, an elaborate canopied drinking fountain on Talbot Square was officially opened to coincide with the recently completed promenade between Cocker Square and Station Road.

The cast iron structure erected in front of the Clifton Arms Hotel opposite the North Pier was designed and cast by George Smith & Co., of the Sun Foundry, Glasgow. The purchase and erection costs were financed by local subscriptions, private donors, the proceeds of public readings, athletic contests, and brass-band performances.

Drinking fountain number 2 was seated on a three tiered octagonal stone plinth and consisted of eight columns supporting a ribbed, solid dome, bronze canopy. The ribs on the domed roof were outlined with stars (or suns), and flying birds (or seagulls) perched on scrollwork consoles.

The open filigree frieze above the cornice expanded to the interior of the dome, and leaves decorated the outer edge of the cornice. The cupola, trimmed with rope design, acted as a capital for the four sided clock. The finial was an orb and spike with combination weathervane.

A single central gas lantern illuminated the interior of the structure. The wide based font, design number 13, was located on a raised and stepped platform. The central pedestal was supported by four columns stamped with a diamond pattern. Square capitals on each side of the dog toothed basin contain a seven pointed embellishment which may represent a star or the sun. This symbol also outlined the ribs on the domed roof. Four consoles with acanthus relief connected the central stanchion to the basin and originally supported drinking cups suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts released water flow. A multi-tiered circular column was surmounted by a studded orb terminal.

 

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
  • Consoles, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal