The Art of the Hydrant

The first fire hydrant is said to have been invented in Philadelphia by Frederick Graff Sr., around 1801.

It looked nothing like the hydrants we are used to seeing today, but it undoubtedly revolutionized the art of extinguishing a fire from the get-go.

By having a flow of water readily available to use to battle a blaze, the previous “best practice” of running bucket brigades to squelch a fire became a thing of the past.

They kicked the bucket, you might say.

But today, how often do we appreciate or even notice these ingenious inventions? At once they are ubiquitous and subtle. And artful. Until you need one (which hopefully you never will), fire hydrants are just kind of there.

What’s a bucket brigade that you can revolutionize?

Pictured: A rusted– and presumably busted– hydrant at Wheaton Village, Millville, NJ.

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