I have mentioned in a previous post that I’m horrible with numbers. Me and math were never friends. My dad the engineer can back me up on this. However, I have a great love for the way numbers look. Especially fractions. When I was in New Orleans, I came across this street address. I just love it. There must be some great story as to why they couldn’t be 632 or 633. They had to stake their own claim and go smack in the middle. Actually, there’s probably a lot less exciting explanation but whatever, just go with it.

Last night, we were walking back from a failed attempt to get the kids haircuts and I had to stop the overheated and long-haired family to take this picture. A fraction on a fire hydrant! Totally worth all the moaning and eye rolling from unnamed family members. I was really interested in the name American Darling and did some research courtesy of firehydrant.org. The fraction is the nozzle size! Enjoy!

American Darling Valve /
American Valve & Hydrant – Beaumont, TX

The original patterns for hydrants bearing American Darling Valve came from Darling Valve which was located in Williamsport, PA. Darling made hydrants from 1902 until 1969 when they were bought by American Cast Iron Pipe Co (ACIPCO). At the time of the purchase, the hydrants were being manufactured in Beaumont, TX (where a foundry had been contracted to do the castings). In 1979, the new owners of the plant in Beaumont (ACIPCO) changed the name to American Valve and Hydrant. The American Darling logo (letter ‘A’ inside an oval) is the most obvious way to discern from the earlier Darling Valve hydrants.

The hydrants manufactured today by American Valve and Hydrant still bear the name American Darling Valve. The hydrant barrels are now cast elsewhere and shipped to Beaumont where they are machined and customized to order. There are four models that are in production to this day, the number listed in the model name reflects the year that the design was first put into service.

One response to “#s

  1. Pingback: #’s | culture+typography·

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