Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Sometimes it is hard to believe that fire departments have only been established for 100 years in a city the size of Lawrence, Kansas. Old Trunks wonders what was available before the hydrants, as we know them. Certainly some form of fire prevention was used.

My grand parents called them fire plugs. My question for you today is, why did they call them that? Have you heard the term?

Well, it seems that still existing in Europe, is an under ground water system where there are holes cut in red wood and marked on a map. This redwood covers are removed, the hose goes into the water, and fire fighting begins. After the fire, the hole is plugged up. Fire plugs.

The first above ground units were made of wood, later they would be cast iron as we know of them today. Ours is right across the street, it is red and has a post with a sign high above it. Why? Because in the winter, the hydrant is covered with snow. A few times a year, someone comes with a wrench opens it up and I suppose checks the pressure. We like to think they do it on hot days and it cools the street but that is a fantasy. :)

We had a fire hydrant close to our house in Lawrence. The summer of 1976 the city father's suggested they be painted like 1776 people. The only thing you may not do is color the top, ours was green. They even furnished the paint. The agreement was the painted plug would remain decorated until it was in need of painting then the city would cover the design.

We painted ours like Snoopy the summer of 1976, in the fall of 1983, with touch ups every spring, Snoopy, as you can see by the photo was still after the Red Baron. This is Ryen and Snoopy.


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