John Meola's Hydrant Collection

All photos © 2002 John Meola

John Meola collects all manner of industrial objects, including hydrants. His hydrants have all come from scrap yards in Virginia, and John describes himself as "being something of a blacksmith and junk collector."


This Glamorgan model is John's latest acquisition, and was unknown to Hard to tell where this hydrant fits into Glamorgan's timeline, but one guess is that this is an early Glamorgan model, as hydrants have typically have progressed from ornate to non-descript as years went by: other Glamorgan hydrants are smooth, with less detail.

See also 1661b bonnet view.


R.D. Wood model from the 1930s. This "Mathews Improved" sold in huge numbers and many are still in service today. Actually, in special cases they are still produced by Kennedy Valve. They are expensive to make, difficult to service, and marginal performers.


After Kennedy Valve acquired R.D. Wood, this Mathews insert model was produced, which is nearly identical to the R.D. Wood design, but is absent the horizontal rib on the bonnet. The rib, which is unnecessary from a structural or aesthetic standpoint, is difficult to cast.

In addition to his hydrants, John picked up this 5 ton cast steel crown piece from an antique steam press.
This Kennedy Valve K-81 was rescued and donated to the Field Days of the Past antique steam tractor and engine show, near Richmond, Virginia. It is used for for refilling tractor boilers. As John relates, "somehow it was very reassuring to know this unit would not only be saved but land back in the ground!"

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