- Omaha, NE
The Paxton-Mitchell Company was incorporated on March 1, 1901 by James Paxton and Thomas W. Mitchell.
The sole product of the company at this time was metallic packing for the piston rods and valve stems
of reciprocating rod steam engines. By 1912 non-ferrous and iron foundries were established to supply rough castings
for parts for the metallic packing. Some time after the establishment of the foundries, jobbing foundry work gradually began.
In the late 1930’s the locomotive market was converting from steam locomotives to diesel powered locomotives; thereby
rendering the company's original product obsolete. During WW2, the company adapted most of its production to engine parts
for propelling the famous "Liberty Ships". The iron foundry soon became the largest and most successful division within
the company. They produced many types of municipal and contractor's castings including manhole covers and rings,
grates and frames, thresholds, water main fittings, street lamp posts, floor grids, curb and valve boxes, as well as
the fire hydrants documented below.
Today, Paxton-Mitchell no longer produces fire hydrants but is focused on providing high quality gray and ductile iron castings
and complete machining capabilities primarily for the Fluid Power industry. A more complete history of the company can
be found on the Paxton-Mitchell Co. website.
If you know more about these fire hydrants, please
The hydrant drawings below, courtesy of the Paxton-Mitchell Company, are reproduced from an August 1953 company
catalog. There are two known models of Paxton-Mitchell hydrants. Factory repair parts are no longer available
for these hydrants.
The index of the 1953 company catalog describes this model as the "Std. Fire Hydrant*" with a footnote of "*City
of Omaha Standard". And the drawing below shows a 3-nozzle hydrant in a 5¼" V.O. size. It is unknown to us if
this model was made in any other nozzle configurations or valve opening sizes. The hydrant in the photo below is
dated 1941 which gives us a known range of production of 1941 - 1953 for this model.
Note the unique 2-tier bonnet with each tier bolted on separately.
Note the stylish embossed shapes on the upper bonnet and below the nozzles on the one piece barrel.
The complete designation, according to the catalog drawing below, for this hydrant is "5¼" Airfield Fire
Hydrant Model C". This model was perhaps designed to be sold to the nearby U.S. Air Force base.
The "Model C" designation leaves one wondering if Model A & B hydrants preceeded it.
The bonnet appears to be the same as used on the upper level of the "Standard" model shown above.
(no photo currently avaiable)
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