Author Archives: HIS

Aberdare’s Jubilee Fountain

Location: Aberdare, Wales

A drinking fountain donated by Sir W. T. Lewis was installed at Commercial Place to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee (60 years) of Queen Victoria who was the head of a realm of 450 million people stretching across every continent.

The fountain was officially dedicated on 18 November 1897 by the wife of Sir William Lewis. It was a grand affair with bunting, drooping swags and flags decorating the area of Commercial Place. Members of the Aberdare District Council, tradesmen and the Aberdare Male Voice Choir were in attendance. Lady Lewis was presented with an inscribed gold cup from which she drank the first cup of water from the fountain. In honour of the occasion the area was renamed Victoria Square.

The structure most likely became obsolete due to advances in sanitation and the advent of the motor vehicle. It is believed it was stored in the council yard from which it disappeared.

Many ornamental iron decorations were destroyed after being requisitioned during the Second World War, as raw material for the war industries and to boost public morale. In Britain, the ill-considered scheme resulted in the unnecessary destruction of much of Britain’s ornamental street furniture, as the material was mostly unsuitable for use in manufacturing munitions and was consequently consigned to rust away in scrap yards around the country.

1890 flickr

1900 Facebook

Circa 1900

This cast iron structure manufactured by the Coalbrookdale Iron Company was seated on a rectangular plinth with rounded edges, and consisted of a trough with a drinking fountain centerpiece. A font centrally positioned split the trough into two animal trenches decorated with floral lunettes on panels.

A step to assist children was positioned beneath a demi-lune font on each side of the structure. A lion mascaron within a lunette spouted a continual flow of water into the basin which was then directed to the small troughs below for the use of dogs.

A bust of Queen Victoria was situated within four Corinthian columns with attic base extending from short pedestals with floral decoration. Directly above the abacus was a central fluted lamp pillar with two entwined dolphins at the base surmounted with a glass globe illuminated by a gas mantle.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions were acknowledged as guardians and dolphins are guardians of all things water related.

Glossary

  • Abacus, at the top of a capital, a thick rectangular slab of stone that serves as the flat, broad surface
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Corinthian columns, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Gas Mantle, a fibrous bag impregnated with minerals which offered a bright white light from a small flame.
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • 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.
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
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Lima’s Lost Fountain

Location: Lima, NYS, USA

The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union sponsored the installation of a drinking fountain in front of Presbyterian Church in Lima. The structure was installed circa 1900 and remained in situ until the 1940’s when it was damaged beyond repair by a tractor trailer.

The structure which was 11’ 6” tall consisted of a two tiered octagonal base decorated with bands of foliate frieze and horizontal reeding. It also offered small troughs at ground level for dogs and smaller animals. The pedestal supported a large gadrooned trough for the use of horses. A spigot originally projected from a bas-relief rosette which supplied water to a smaller fluted basin for human consumption. A cornice of egg and dart moulding was located beneath the capital which supported a statue of Rebecca at the well, a figure from the Bible in Genesis 24 who gave water to Abraham and then offered water to camels.

Classically dressed with a grape garland in her hair, the 5’6” feminine form poured water from an urn held in her left hand supported with her right.

Glossary

  • 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
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Gadrooning, a decorative motif consisting of convex curves in a series
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Reeding, a regular series of concave grooves or convex ridges
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of liquid

 


Soldier’s Monument Fountain

Location: Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, USA

Loammi Bean, aged 37 years, left his home at Nestledown Farm in 1861 to fight with the Eighth New Hampshire Volunteers in the Civil War. He was one of the first men killed with the 8th Regiment at the Battle of Georgia Landing, Louisiana, on October 27, 1862.

A memorial combination drinking fountain and horse trough was donated to the town by Nellie Bean Zebley of New York to honour her father. It was located near the railway station in an area currently known as Lakeside Avenue (this area was used by Civil War veterans as a summer camp and became the New Hampshire Veterans Association Campground). The structure surmounted by the statue of a soldier was dedicated on August 29, 1894 in the presence of the Eighth New Hampshire Volunteer Regiment Association.

In a speech to the many dignitaries and spectators in attendance Mrs. Zebley stated;
“…It is now nearly thirty years since the smoke of battle passed away and those who were left of our brave soldiers returned to their different homes, to parents, wives, children and sweethearts. But, alas, my father was left in an unknown grave….

…My father’s memory has always been sacred to me and to see you all here today makes me proud to think my father was your comrade and with you he rallied around the old flag. To erect this fountain to my father’s memory and present it to the 8th New Hampshire has been one of my happiest anticipations. It is yours, and intended to be a monument to the brave boys of New Hampshire. May God bless you all and may it be my pleasure to meet the veterans, one and all, for many years to come.” Laconia Democrat, Friday August 31, 1894.

The fountain was moved 40 or 50 feet to the east circa 1924. It is unclear whether it was relocated prior to or due to the great Weirs Beach fire on Nov. 9, 1924 that destroyed the nearby 3rd Regiment Building and a dozen other structures including the New Hotel Weirs. To read more of this devastating fire, http://weirsbeach.com/reasons-to-visit/history/golden-era/weirs-fire-1924/.

On July 23, 1931 the statue was destroyed by a lightning strike as reported by the Laconia Citizen; “…the head of the soldier was severed from the body, and shortly after the entire statue toppled into the street. Only one leg of the cast iron figure was left standing. Spectators availed themselves of the opportunity of collecting an arm, a hand or some portion of the statue. The head has disappeared, and just who added that to his collection, is not known.”

Reports identify the shattering and disappearance of the statue and the bronze dedication plaque; however, there is no information whether the fountain was also destroyed, or removed sometime later due to redundancy. In 1978 a local Warren couple discovered the plaque in the cellar of their property. It now resides in the Goss Reading Room in the Lakeport Library as part of an exhibit highlighting the monument and its history.

The cast iron structure manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works was seated on an octagonal base with chamfered corners. Four small basins at ground level allowed dogs to drink. Two large fluted troughs to quench the thirst of horses and cattle alternated with two demi-lune fluted basins for human consumption. Anchored adjacent to the basin were drinking cups suspended on chains which were filled from dolphin mascaron spouts (dolphins are symbolic of guardians of water).

A second tier of panels displayed cartouches containing an orb surrounded by flourish. The capital supported four panels bound with highly decorated pilasters. Three sides displayed the orb design and a fourth contained an inscription of the dedication; Presented To The City / By Mrs. John F. Zebley / In Memory Of / Her Father / Loammi Bean / Eight Regiment N.H. Vols. / Killed In Battle / At Tigonsville, LA / October 27th 1862.

6post-lhmslpl

Used with permission. Source: http://www.laconiahistorical.org/

The structure was surmounted by the statue of a Civil War soldier standing contrapposto. Leaning on a rifle-musket, he rested his hands on the barrel of the weapon.

Glossary

  • 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.
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • 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

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.


William Procter Fountain

Location: Glendale, Ohio, USA

In 1894 a cast iron drinking fountain was donated to the village of Glendale, north of Cincinnati, by William A. Procter who, with his brother-in-law, founded the Procter and Gamble Company. Originally installed directly across from the Town Hall, it currently resides in Rogan Park at the corner of Greenville Avenue and Village Square.

townhallfountain

Used with permission. Source: https://www.glendaleohio.org/fountain.html

The 24 feet high drinking fountain for man and beast was identified as #3 in Henry F. Jenks’ foundry catalog. It consisted of a solid base with an annular channel for use as a dog trough.

Fountain5

Used with permission. Source: https://www.glendaleohio.org/fountain.html

The 4ft high fluted pedestal with attic base hosted arched panels for bas-relief enrichment or dedication. A step to assist children was attached in front of the dedication plaque; Presented by Wm. A. Procter 1894. A movable panel in one side offered access to plumbing.

Fountain3

Used with permission. Source: https://www.glendaleohio.org/fountain.html

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 captured with tin drinking cups suspended on chains. Waste water was directed to the dog trough at street level to prevent contagious distemper.

Fountain4

Used with permission. Source: https://www.glendaleohio.org/fountain.html

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 extended into a lamp pillar originally terminated with a gas lantern.

The fountain was restored in 2001 by the McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory, Inc. of Oberlin, Ohio.

Fountain2

Used with permission. Source: https://www.glendaleohio.org/fountain.html

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.  

Having thus described my drinking-fountain, I claim the design for a drinking-fountain herein described and shown, consisting of the cylindrical pedestal a bowl, tapering stem and aquatic figures formed thereon, all having the form of a configuration substantially as herein set forth.

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
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • 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
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Wall Inset Models – Saracen #17

Location: Eire and England

The font, casting number 17 (4’5” x 2’10”) from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue, was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. The design utilizes features of the canopy used in drinking fountain number 8, and is surmounted by a palmette finial. Griffin terminals flank a highly decorated arch outlined with rope detail which also encircles a medallion hosting the image of a crane. The recessed interior of the arch contains a shell lunette from which a tap protruded. A single drinking cup on a chain was originally suspended above a fluted demi-lune basin.

Sometimes, no matter how much I research, there is little information available online. Such is the case with the following drinking fountains.

The fountain at Athlone Railway Station in Ireland has been neglected as evidenced by rust and the missing medallion.

A pair of drinking fountains set into the wall at Viking Bay in Broadstairs, Kent, England, also show rust. The crane medallion is still in place.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, and cranes, recognized as a symbol of vigilance, are often depicted standing on one leg while holding a stone in the claws of the other foot. Legend states that if the watchful crane fell asleep the stone would fall and waken the bird.

broadstairs_geograph paul harrop

Creative commons license, Paul Harrop. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5535723

The following examples are the same model; however, the medallion has been customized.

A drinking fountain embedded into a wall at the entrance to the Old School Tea Room car park in Falstone, Northumberland, England, was installed to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The standard crane medallion was replaced with the left facing profile of Queen Victoria.

The medallion in a polished and lacquered version of design #17 hosts a lion passant guardant meaning it is walking while looking towards you (on guard). I have been unable to find a similar heraldic image to explain this customization. The item was sold in 2009 by an auction house following salvage from a Wimbledon home in England.

wimbledon sif

Source: Scottish Ironwork Foundation

Glossary

  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Weedsport Drinking Fountain

Location: Weedsport, Brutus, NYS, USA

The Weedsport Water Company was contracted to supply the village with water in 1896. The source of the water was a spring on the north east corner of Bell and South Seneca Streets directly across from St. Joseph’s Church. The water ran through wooden pipes along the East side of Seneca Street to the ornamental drinking fountain. Although unable to find details on when the fountain was erected it is visible in photographs dated circa 1916.

In the late 1930s widening of Route 34 (Seneca Street) required removal of the fountain, and it was put up for auction. Local businessman Clint Hazzard who owned a livery stable, ice house and storage barn on Furnace Street and a gentleman from Centerport offered competing bids. When the man from Centerport won he hired Clint to transport it to Centerport where it was demolished for scrap.

The cast iron structure manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works was seated on an octagonal base with chamfered corners. Four small basins at ground level allowed dogs to drink, and two large fluted troughs to quench the thirst of horses and cattle.

Eight panels, surmounted with scalloped arches, hosted dolphin masks from which water spouted into four demi-lune basins decorated with laurel leaves. Anchored adjacent to the basin were drinking cups suspended on chains. A square central column displayed cartouches containing an orb surrounded by flourish. Each corner was bound with a highly decorated pilaster.

The capital supported an urn flanked by two elaborate consoles supporting glass lanterns with open-winged bird finials. The highly decorated urn was capped with an orb and pineapple finial (symbolic of friendship and hospitality).

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.
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Mask/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