Hydrants of Bergen, Norway...

Photos © 2001 Bjørn Otto Aarheim

The predominant hydrant in Bergen, Norway, is this special model produced by Kongsberg Esco. Other manufacturers formerly made this same basic design which is cast with the city crest of Bergen.
The standard model Esco hydrant is also used in parts of Bergen, here it is shown with the protective cover open, revealing the mainvalve (with wrench) as well as the two independently valved Storz outlets.

Another hydrant found in and around Bergen is the "Nor" type; this particular example was made by the Mjølner Company, who apparently is no longer in the hydrant business.
The Nor design goes back a ways, and here are two earlier examples, showing the side protection covers for the outlets. Poor flow characteristics mean that these hydrants are disappearing as they are replaced with modern Esco units.
"Be it known that I, Hans Steenbuch Lange, manufacturer, citizen of Norway, residing at the city of Christiania, Norway, have invented new and useful Improvements in Hydrants..." So begins the front page of U.S. Patent # 938,064, issued in 1909 for a hydrant very much like the Nor type. The hydrant features two mainvalves, and ease of repair is cited amongst the improvements. It is not known if this design was ever marketed in the USA. The city of Christiania has since been renamed --- Oslo.


The hydrant above is known colloquially as "Jomfruen", which in English means, the virgin. The manufacturers of this design were Bergens Jernstøperi and Wingaard Jernstøperier. It is an early Norwegian design which, like the Nor, has poor flow characteristics, and thus, it has become a rare sight around Bergen. There are perhaps just 20 Jomfruen hydrants remaining in the oldest parts of the city.

Miscellaneous scenes from Bergen.

Mr. Clausen takes a pressure reading on an Esco Bergen style hydrant.

Here are scenes from the Bergen "Hydrant Hospital"

Below: Mr. R. Fonnes treats the exterior of the risers with tar. At far right:, repaired hydrants await re-installation.

Esco hydrant in use at a fire scene, Håkonsgaten, Bergen, May 17th 2000.

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