An American c.1961 Folk Art Painted 5 ¼ Valve Fire Hydrant, Cast by Mueller & Co.


Origin: American
Period: Mid Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1960
Diameter: 10 inches (at base)
Height: 29 inches

Cast by Mueller & Co of Chattanooga Tennessee and dated to 1961, the two piece barrel with 5¼ main valve size with two hose nozzles, bolted flange joint; and upper barrel flange, the skirt overhanging the lower barrel flange terminating in a fluted bonnet and painted in American stars and stripes.

The hydrant is lacking the two nozzle caps to the flanks but is otherwise in un-cleaned, un-restored and wonderfully decorative condition. The paint has flaked in some areas, commensurate with age. The barrel is stamped ‘Tenn Mueller Chatta Nooga and valve opening size ‘5 ¼’to the lower barrel.

Mueller and Company started in Decatur, Illinois in 1857. Mueller made a wide variety of products but it wasn't until 1933 when they bought Columbia Iron Works that hydrants became part of their product line. Columbian Iron Works had manufactured hydrants since 1908 and was located in Chattanooga, TN. Several years after purchasing Columbian Iron Works, Mueller Co. changed the name of the hydrant division to Mueller. In 1975, the hydrant plant was moved from Chattanooga, TN to a new plant in Albertville, AL.

A refreshingly flamboyant folk art alternative to many a decorative effect and hard to find this side of the pond.