R.A. Hill - Washington, DC

The text of U.S. Patent #90540 describes the R.A. Hill hydrant as having a "plurality of plugs", by which is meant a large hydrant with multiple risers with steamer ports, each riser having it's own individually controlled mainvalve operated by a handwheel, fed from a common water supply; the individual "plugs" are located just below the surface of the sidewalk, as described in the patent, under a cover, and are easily accessable to serve multiple steam fire engines.

As noted in an 1875 Report of the Philadelphia Board of Fire Commissioners, the hydrant offered advantages over existing designs of the era: foremost was the ability to connect multiple steam fire engines to a single hydrant, which, of course, was easily accomplished since each "fire plug" was individually controlled. Philadelphia adopted the R. A. Hill design on May 11th of the year 1875.

The illustration reproduced below offers proof that the patented hydrant of Richard A. Hill was also accepted by New York City. The hydrant in this newspaper illustration differs slightly from that in the patent. The foundry which built these hydrants remains unknown.

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