Friday, July 1, 2011

Catasauqua Hydrants that are a work of art

My morning walk was with a purpose this morning!  I love a walk like that, I don't really feel like I am getting exercise, but I am.  By the way, a side effect of writing this blog is that I have lost 5 pounds since being laid off, which is funny considering I had to quit weight watchers.  Anyway, before I get way off of track, this mornings walk was a mission to find the painted fire hydrants in Catasauqua.  I wasn't sure where to find them,  I knew that I passed one everyday on my way home from work on Pine Street and I had seen a flag downtown the stated "CATASAUQUA HYDRANTS, REVITALIZATION THROUGH ART"

I Googled and found out this blurb on a Facebook page for Main Street Lehigh Valley:

"Catasauqua Painted Fire Hydrant tour: These student's artistic masterpieces were the result of a partnership between the Catasauqua Borough Business Revitalizaiton Program and the Sheckler... Elementary School art department. Funding was provided by the County of Lehigh, the GLVCC Foundation's MSLV initiative, and the borough of Catasauqua. Stay tuned for more information."  

I didn't find more info, but I found painted hydrants!  The ones featured today are on Pine, Bridge, Church and Front Streets.  If you know of more, let me know I will go and a second excursion.

This is a cross from the fire station, how appropriate
A fire hydrant is also known as a fire plug, this dates back to at least the 17th century. This was a time when firefighters responding to a call would dig down to the wooden water mains and hastily bore a hole to secure water to fight fires. The water would fill the hole creating a temporary well, and be transported from the well to the fire via bucket brigades or, later, via hand pumped fire engines The holes were then plugged with stoppers, normally redwood, which over time came to be known as fire plugs. The location of the plug would often be recorded or marked so that it could be reused in future fires.

The version of fire hydrants used today were invented by Birdsill (the man's name was Birdsill?  and we think some of today's names are strange) Holly of Lockport, New York, known for his prodigious contributions to the field of hydraulic engineering in the 19th Century. While Holly was only one of many involved in the development of the fire hydrant, innovations he introduced are largely responsible for the fire hydrant used today.

So I found 10 of these beautifully painted Fire Hydrants, I hope you enjoy them as much I did and that's.....another day in Catasauqua.