Category Archives: Cast Iron

Georgetown Fountains

Location: Georgetown, Guyana

On August 14, 1923 the Cenotaph was unveiled at the intersection of Main and Church Streets. This memorial replaced a cast iron drinking fountain erected in 1867 to mark the completion of the Water Works in 1866. The drinking fountain which was relocated to the green opposite St. Rose’s High School in Church Street, just a few hundred feet from its original location, no longer exists.

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 an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst,’ or optional memorial shields. On two of the sides provision were 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 terminal was a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) 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 fountain was operated by pressing a button.

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.

PROMENADE GARDENS
A second cast iron drinking fountain is located in the Promenade Gardens. A dedication plaque states; Presented / to the city / of Georgetown / by / Mrs. L.C. Probyn / 1882.

The fountain is design number 13 by George Smith & Co. manufactured by the Sun Foundry. The base is in the form of a compass cross with canted corners. It has a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding which support the font. The large basin has nail head relief on the rim and is partitioned by four foliate brackets from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow. The structure is surmounted with a chained orb terminal. The base is 2 ft wide, basin is 2 ft 9” wide and the height of the structure is 4’ 9”.

Glossary

  • 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
  • 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
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Castro Square Fountain

Location: Candeias, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Candeias which literally means oil lamps was originally a small village within the city of Campo Belo. Drinking water was transported by hand from local streams, and when numerous requests to the city management for a supply of drinking water were ignored a group of local politicians initiated diversion of water into a water box and from there through pipes into the village. Taps to access the water flow were later installed in the square and surrounding streets.

In celebration of the village’s successful project without the assistance of Campo Belo city management, and to commemorate the strength of their commitment, a drinking fountain was purchased surmounted with a statue of Samson, a symbol of strength. The village people accessed this clean water source using cans and buckets often carried on their heads.

The drinking fountain is located on Avenue Dezessete de Dezembro in the gardens known as Monsignor Castro Square.

Design number 19 was advertised by Walter Macfarlane & Co. to be used as a standalone fountain or placed under a canopy structure. Manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the 10’ 10” structure is seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth.

It has a wide base with canted corners supporting a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins (one of the lion jambs is currently missing). The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus.

Four consoles protruding from the column originally suspended drinking cups on chains. The capital supported the finial, a statue of Samson.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

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
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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, an upright bar or post providing support

 


Fontana Sansone

Location: San Valentino, Pescara, Italy

The cast iron drinking fountain located at the base of the staircase leading to the church of San Valentino and Damiano is seated on a two tiered circular stone plinth. The date of its installation is unknown.

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The structure which was restored in 1989 is design number 19 by Walter Macfarlane & Co., advertised as a standalone fountain or for placement under a canopy structure. Manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the 10’ 10” structure has a wide base with canted corners supporting a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus.

Four consoles protruding from the column offered suspended drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, a statue of Samson with a drape tied at his waist, breaking free of the ties which bind his wrists. The square plinth upon which the statue stands is inscribed with name Samson and Walter MacFarlane & Co. Glasgow.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

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
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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, an upright bar or post providing support

Barlow’s Memorial Drinking Fountain

Location: Barlow, Oregon, USA

Samuel Kimbrough Barlow, the patriarch of the Barlow family, was a pioneer in 1845 who established Barlow Road, part of the Oregon Trail which improved the journey of wagons crossing the Cascade Mountain Range. He was appointed Justice of the Peace and purchased land which eventually became the town of Barlow.

His son, William, mapped the town and built the family mansion where he planted an avenue of black walnut trees. He was associated with the organization of the state fair, the first woolen mill in Oregon, and the first telegraph line.

The cast iron drinking fountain located on Main Street at the intersection of Washington and Harvard Streets in Brookline Village (officially called Harvard Square) was donated to the City of Barlow in 1904 by Mary Susannah Barlow as a tribute to her parents; William who died in 1904 and Martha who died in 1901.

In 1957 Barlow City Council wanted to remove the old fountain; however at the request of W.B. Tull, a grandson of Martha Ann Barlow, the city was encouraged to restore it.

The fountain is seated on an octagonal stone plinth. Dates engraved on the stone indicate the year of death of Mary’s beloved parents: 1901 Barlow / 1904 Barlow. The octagonal base hosts a trough for dogs at ground level, and above eight sides offer panels for dedication.

The pedestal narrows above a cornice with attic base. A large fluted trough is situated on one side of the pedestal with a smaller basin on the opposite side for use by humans. The pedestal is enriched with bas-relief decoration, and the capital supports a four sided cavetto finial surmounted by an orb.

A nearby marker details the history of the drinking fountain:
Barlow’s Fountain
The historic Barlow fountain was donated to the City of Barlow in 1904 by Mary Susannah Barlow as a tribute to her parents who platted the city in 1891.
William Barlow-son of Susannah Lee and Samuel Kimbrough Barlow pioneer of 1845 and builder of The Barlow Road.
Martha Ann Partlow Barlow – the generous hostess of their family mansion, now known as the historic William Barlow House. This family home remains on the original Barlow DLC site on Hwy 99E, looking south from this marker.
The dates engraved on the base of the Fountain indicate the year of death of Mary’s beloved parents: 1901-Martha Ann Barlow and 1904-William Barlow.
The fountain has 3 tiers of water; the lowest for dogs, the middle for horses and the highest was a drinking fountain for people. This fountain remains for us a significant reminder of Barlow’s historic past.
-Marker placed by City of Barlow – 2002

Glossary:

  • 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
  • Cavetto, a concave moulding with a curve of 90°
  • 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
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Clock Tower Fountain

Location: Mitcham, Surrey, England

On 29 November 1899, a clock tower and cast iron drinking fountain was unveiled by James Salter White, chairman of the Croydon Rural District Council. The structure was funded by public subscription to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee of 1897.

It was erected on the site of the old village pump in an area which was a rally point for Evangelists and politicians, fundraising, and events such as recruitment for the war and the inspection of Red Cross nurses by visiting Royalty.

The structure was controversial as many residents were unhappy that the old pump had been removed, and the clock became well known for its unreliability due to condensation affecting the clock’s mechanism. It was not uncommon for each of the four faces to show a different time.

The drinking fountain erected on London Road adjacent to the Buck’s Head pub and opposite the King’s Arms was relocated several times within Fair Green to allow for regeneration of the area. A controversial move in 1994, part of London Road was closed to traffic to create a pedestrian area and market place. It is within this pedestrian area that the structure is currently situated.

On 2 September 1988, it was listed as a Grade II historic building. In 2014 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled the town to undertake restoration of the historic structure; a water supply was connected to the drinking fountain, a new weather vane was installed, and the clock was refurbished by Surrey-based specialist clock makers Gillett & Johnston (the clock hands are not to the original design).

The newly restored structure was erected on 26th August 2015 with bespoke lanterns installed in 2016 to illuminate the clock face. (The original four gas lamps were replaced during the advent of electricity.)

The structure manufactured by McDowall Steven & Co. Ltd. is approximately 7m high and was seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth originally with two dog troughs at ground level. Two large demi-lune basins protrude from the pedestal beneath which the maker’s nameplate is visible, McDowall Steven & Co. / Limited / London & Glasgow.

2008-3 mitcham

Four dolphins (dolphins are a symbolic protector of all things related to water) at each corner of the stanchion create sections decorated with a shell pattern, floral relief and a crest engraved V.R. 1897 which is a reference to the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Two drinking cups were once suspended on chains.

The capital supports a fluted lamp column with attic base. The column is decorated with swags, a shield bearing a cross and stylized flowers flanked by leaves. Four consoles offered a gas light source from a glass paned lantern the top of which was decorated with palmette relief and a terminal resembling castle turrets.

Four beaded consoles divided by a flower sit just beneath the four clock faces. Each clock panel is bound by fan spandrels. A gable roof is adorned by a spike at each peak and bas-relief of a crown in the pediment.

A closed urn with four knob pendants supports a weather vane with directional compass points and a directional arrow with butterfly wings.

 

Glossary:

  • 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
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Gable, triangular portion of a wall between edges of a dual pitched roof
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pediment, an element in architecture consisting of a gable placed above a horizontal structure supported by columns
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Spandrel, the triangular space between two arches
  • Stanchion, upright bar, post or frame providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Bracebridge W.C.T.U. Drinking Fountain

Location: Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

The old drinking fountain currently located at the intersection of Manitoba Street, Entrance Drive and Ecclestone Drive originally stood near the post office at Manitoba Street and Taylor Road. It was donated to the town by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in 1914 and moved to its present location in 1988. The fountain was restored in 2010 due in great part to the efforts of Gary Denniss, a local Canadian historian and author.

The drinking fountain which hosts 3 large horse troughs is seated on a square base with acanthus frieze. A panel on each side is inset with stylized bas-relief. The capital supports a multi-tiered circular pillar with attic base and lion head mascarons on four sides which spouted water into the troughs. Drinking cups suspended on chains allowed humans to drink from the flowing water.

The manufacturer of the cast iron fountain is unknown.

DSC01019

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration. It is symbolic of a difficult
  • 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
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal

Brookline Village Fountains

Location: Brookline, Massachusetts, USA

New Englander Henry F. Jenks, a descendant of Rhode Island Governor Joseph Jenks, was an inventor who worked in numerous foundries, eventually opening his own manufacturing facility, the Jenks Iron Works Foundry where he started manufacturing fountains in 1871.

Two examples of the same pattern which furnished water for man and beast were installed in the village of Brookline.

The fountain was located outside Rhodes Bros. Co. store in the area known as Harvard Square at the junction of Washington and Harvard Streets.

A second example of this design was located at Harvard and Beacon Streets in a kerb cut-out opposite the street car shelter. It was still in situ in 1915.

Henry F. Jenks’ 24 feet high 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.

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.

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 floral relief and a studded band terminated in an orb. The structure was also offered with a gas lantern extension.

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
  • 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