Category Archives: Australia

Corowa Drinking Fountain

Location: Corowa, New South Wales, Australia

On 12 April 1907, a drinking fountain was purchased by Mayor Alexander Augustus Piggin at his own expense while at a conference in Sydney. The fountain was donated to the town to celebrate Corowa’s new water supply which was officially opened on 18th May 1907. It was located at the corner of Sanger Street and Deniliquin Road outside the Commercial Bank property.

The following year in December 1908 the fountain’s drinking cups were removed by children, and the police were notified of the vandalism. In 1922 the drinking fountain was moved to the kerb outside the Municipal Council Offices to facilitate the erection of a war memorial. The memorial incorporating a clock tower which became known as the Soldier’s Memorial was unveiled on 10 September 1922 to commemorate those who died in service during the two World Wars.

The fountain was again relocated in 1938 to the children’s playground at R. T. Ball Park. This move may have been initiated due to the 1937 sewerage scheme and the 1938 Main Roads maintenance programme.

The fountain is currently located at the entrance to the RT Ball Park Caravan Park although in a state of disrepair. The crane terminal missing from the structure resides in the Federation Museum. Also on display at the museum is a wooden water pipe used for the town water supply in the late 1800’s; it is made with two or more pieces of wood bound together with wire.

water pipe

Design number 7 standing 5ft 8ins from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. It was seated on an octagonal base inscribed with the following legend; Presented By The Mayor / Alderman A A Piggin / At The Opening Of The Corowa / Water Supply On 18th May 1907

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Circa 1908

The drinking fountain features a single pedestal basin with four pilasters rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery.

The basin, 2ft 6 ins in diameter, has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. The interior surface is engraved, and a sculptured urn is terminated by the figure of a crane, a symbol of vigilance. Four elaborate consoles once supported drinking cups on chains. Water flowed from a spout into the drinking cup by pressing its edge against a projecting stud below the spout. The self-closing valve allowed for operation with only one hand.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Salamanders represent bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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

 

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Parker Memorial Fountain

Location: Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

The drinking fountain/horse trough currently located at Vincent Street and Central Springs Road near the old post office is a replica of a 19th century structure originally erected at Burke Square at the intersection of Vincent and Albert Streets.

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Source: Facebook/DaylesfordHepburnoldphotos

The fountain was donated to the town by Mr. George W. Parker, Mayor of the Borough, in commemoration of his year of office. It was obtained through Messrs. John Dank & Son, Melbourne, and delivered by ship from England. The 15 feet high structure was formally presented on 17 June 1891.

In 1914 complaints were made by carters due to a lack of water flow which was not enough to allow horses to drink. It was discovered that this issue was caused when several teams of horses drank in succession. A ball tap was installed to correct the problem.

The following year in March, the maintenance crew reported that the taps in the fountain at Burke Square were constantly being broken by children. An additional health issue of the cups hanging in the horse troughs resulted in the cups being removed. It is unknown when the drinking fountain itself was removed.

As part of the Daylesford Streetscape Revitalisation Project in 2012, a replica of the historical horse trough was installed at its original location in Burke Square.

The original drinking fountain was design #27 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 horses’ hooves. 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.

walking melbourne 

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • 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, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Clean Drinking Water in Sydney

Every street in Sydney should have its drinking-fountain. It should be at least as easy to obtain a drink of pure water as a glass of milk or beer. Sydney is a sub-tropical city, and sometimes it is warm and sometimes it is dusty … Sydney should be a city of fountains.
(J. H. Maiden, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens to the 1909 Royal Commission on Improving Sydney)

In the first decades of the life of Sydney houses were built without water and without taps. Even as late as the mid twentieth century some old housing stock had only an outdoor tap in the back yard. And before the streets were full of cars and buses that drank petrol, they were the domain of horses that needed to drink water.

Drinking Fountains for the City.
At the suggestion, or order of the mayor, eight highly ornamented cast-iron drinking fountains have been imported by Mr. A. Chisholm, from Glasgow, where they were manufactured by Messrs. Walter Macfarlane, and Co., of the Saracen Foundry. The fountains stand about eight feet high.

The structure, which is pagoda-shaped, consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings, encircling ornamental shields bearing the City Arms, a shield charged with a ship and beehive and working bees, surmounted by a mural crown impaled with a pick-axe surmounted by a star. The sinister supporter is an aboriginal native with a spear; the dexter supporter an English sailor. Motto, “I take, but I surrender.”

sydney clean water
On two of the sides provision is made for receiving an inscription; whilst on the other two sides is the useful monition, “Keep the pavement dry.” Surmounting this is an open and highly enriched dome, the apex being occupied by a crown. Under the canopy stands the font with basin about two feet in diameter.

It has been suggested that if practicable one of these fountains, an engraving of which is appended, shall be placed in each ward of the municipality, in that part which constitutes the greatest thoroughfare. It is likely that they will be erected at or near the following places. Alfred Park, Flagstaff Hill near the Observatory, junction of William and Madleay streets, the entrance to Moore Park, the Haymarket, near the intersection of Park and Elizabeth streets, near the corner of Market and Sussex streets, and on the Circular Quay near the Custom House. The erection of these handsome fountains will be of general utility, and they will have a very pleasing effect. Their entire cost is £269 3s. 8d. (Australian Town and Country Journal Saturday 9 July 1870)


Nowra Drinking Fountains

Location: Nowra, New South Wales, Australia

This post was originally intended to record the details of the Queen Victoria Jubilee drinking fountain; however, during research I discovered that three drinking fountains existed in the town.

JUBILEE FOUNTAIN
In 1897, there was contentious debate within the Council as to whether a drinking fountain should be erected to commemorate 60 years of reign by Queen Victoria. On the 23rd June in the same year, a large gathering assembled at the corner of Kinghorn and Junction streets to celebrate the unveiling of the approved fountain by the wife of Mayor Christopher Graham. It was a joyous event with the Nowra Brass Band accompanying the crowd as they sang the following songs between speeches; the Old Hundredth, Advance Australia, the National Anthem, and Rule Britannia.

The Nowra School of Arts committee made a request to Council on 10 Mar 1900 to remove the drinking fountain from its present position near the Commercial Bank, to the space in front of the hall. Alderman Morton opposed the idea, citing that it had been placed there for a purpose, and as the School did not pay rates, they had no right to make such a request.

The drinking fountain remained in situ, and for several years was neglected, deteriorating to an unsatisfactory condition. A suggestion was made in 1916 to move it from the corner at the Commercial Bank to the Recreation Ground. Due to the stated fact that some people preferred to drink water at the fountain instead of the nearby public houses, the proposal was defeated. The quest to relocate the fountain resurfaced again in 1930 with a submission to move it to Memorial Park at North Street and Bridge Road. Despite this proposal being accepted, the Jubilee Fountain was eventually moved to Nowra Showground.

An excerpt from the Shoalhaven Telegraph Wednesday 23 June 1897: The fountain stands on a base of sandstone and is some 6ft in height, is painted green with gold facings, and is supplied with two drinking mugs. The estimated cost, including erection, painting, etc, is about £17. The work of erection was carried out by Mr. J. Gibson. At the base is a brass plate bearing the following inscription:-
Erected June 22nd, 1897 / In Commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria / Graham, Mayor.

The fate of the fountain is unknown. The only photograph I could find offers a very unclear image. It is possible that it is design #6 from Geo. Smith & Son, cast in the Sun Foundry, Glasgow, Scotland.

Sun_font 6

Sun Foundry design #6

The fountain, 4ft. 10ins. high, was seated on a two tiered plinth. It featured a single pedestal basin with a base of four globular design elements transitioning into 4 small pilasters. A 2ft 2ins. diameter basin was decorated with a rope detail edge. In the centre of the basin was a sculptured urn with 2 shell motif spouts. Water was collected with two drinking cups suspended on chains from elaborate consoles. A pointed enrichment terminated the structure.

Glossary:

    • Console, a decorative bracket support element
    • Pilaster
    • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests

 

MONAGHAN MEMORIAL DRINKING FOUNTAIN
A drinking fountain was erected in the Nowra Showground on 14 February 1912 in memory of Mr. John Monaghan Esq. J.P., one of the founders of the Shoalhaven Agricultural Society, and a selfless public servant of 70 years with the Shoalhaven District. The fountain served the public with fresh drinking water.

Design number 7, standing 5ft 8ins, from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow featuring a single pedestal basin with four pilasters rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery.

The basin, 2 ft 6 ins in diameter, has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. The interior surface is engraved, and a sculptured urn is terminated by the figure of a crane, a symbol of vigilance. Four elaborate consoles once supported drinking cups on chains. Water flowed from a spout into the drinking cup by pressing its edge against a projecting stud below the spout. The self-closing valve allowed for operation with only one hand.

A plaque with inscription is located at the base of the urn within the basin.
Fountain Erected By The Public Of Shoalhaven To The Memory Of The Late John Monaghan Esq. J.P. First White Australian Male Child Born In The Shoalhaven District South Of The River Also One Who Rendered Invaluable Services In Advancing The Interests Of This District.

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

BOER WAR MEMORIAL
In 1902, a marble monument to the Boer War which also housed a drinking fountain was erected in front of the Nowra School of Arts. It remained there until 1962 when it was relocated to Rauch Park in Junction Street, opposite the Shoalhaven Council Chambers. (Rauch Park, named after a local newspaper man Henry Rauch, was created in 1956.)

Boer War_southcoast register

Memorial can be seen on the right edge of image

boer war memorial

Boer War Memorial

An interesting article on the memorial is currently available at this link http://www.batemansbaypost.com.au/story/3910635/south-coast-boer-war-stories-come-to-life-video-and-photos/#slide=1


Joseph Weston Memorial Drinking Fountain

Location: Kiama, NSW, Australia

In 1913 after the death of Joseph Weston, the Kiama Council decided to purchase a drinking fountain in his memory funded by subscriptions. It was erected outside the Council Chambers on Manning Street near the original site of the Kiama Independent Newspaper premises.

Weston was the founder of the Kiama Independent newspaper, initiator of the first Dairy Farmers Co-operative in Australia, and was also actively involved in obtaining a water supply for the town.

The cast iron drinking fountain was removed when it was hit by a truck in the mid 1950’s, and in 2009 was discovered in a private garden.

Design number 7 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow featuring a single pedestal basin with four decorative columns rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal is a crane recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

During the 150th celebrations of the Kiama Council a sculpture created by Vivienne Lowe, funded by the Weston family and the Kiama Council Chambers, was erected to commemorate Joseph Weston. In the form of a wave etched with the image of a newspaper, it was installed at the original site of the drinking fountain and unveiled by Mayor Sandra McCarthy. A dedication plaque is inscribed, This Sculpture Replaces The Original/ Memorial Erected / In The Memory Of The Late / Joseph Weston / By Residents Of / Kiama And District / Nov. 1913, Thomas Love, Mayor. 

Joseph_Weston-24128-101325

Many thanks to the owner of the Kiama Local History blog who provided me with useful information. https://kiamalocalhistory.wordpress.com/

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Goyder Memorial Lamp and Drinking Fountain

Location: Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia

Alderman Frederick Charles Goyder was a businessman who owned Goyder Auctioneers and the Carrington Hotel, a premier tourist resort in the Southern Hemisphere. He was a Justice of the Peace and became the first Mayor of Katoomba, serving from 1890 -1891.

In 1900, the year of his death (18 Jan 1900), discussions were held regarding a memorial lamp and drinking fountain. It was erected on 26 June 1901 in the centre of Katoomba Street near the railway station.

In July 1914 Katoomba Municipal Council adopted a recommendation to remove the drinking fountain attached to the Goyder memorial lamp and re-erect it on the footpath near the railway gates. The lamp was also relocated to the corner of Park and Main Streets.

flickr_bluemtslocalstudies

Creative Commons License, Blue Mountains City Library

The font, design number 7 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, was a single pedestal basin with four decorative columns rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descended the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin had a scalloped edge and decorative relief. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane recognized as a symbol of vigilance. The fountain, visible in the lower right corner of the image above, was operated by pulling on one of four levers which released water.

Saracen_Font_7

This is what the fountain looked like. Saracen Foundry Casting 7

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal.

Galt Drinking Fountain

Location: Wagin, Western Australia

The drinking fountain in the park at the intersection of Tudor and Tudhoe Streets was presented to the Municipality of Wagin in January 1929 by Alexander Galt, an immigrant Scotsman, who operated a hardware importer business in town. The fountain next to Wagin District High School is separated from the park by a white picket fence.

The drinking fountain, approximately 2 metres tall, is number 18 manufactured at Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. The structure is seated on a raised concrete base and canted corner plinth in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, on which is set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre is a stanchion decorated with alternating swan and crane bas-relief. A kylix-shaped vase terminal with consoles once offered drinking cups suspended by chains. A dedication plaque is located on the base.

The fountain which was electronically lighted in 1929, was recorded as a Category 3 historic listing on 15th January 1999. Plumbing was restored in 2008 to operate a chrome tap on the south side.

Glossary

  • 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
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • 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
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal