Artifact of the Month

Total Eclipse water hydrant
Donated by Annabel Searcy

Total Eclipse water hydrantIn honor of International Firefighter's Day on May 4, we turn our attention to a mainstay in a firefighter's arsenal: the water hydrant.

This early 1900s hydrant was made by the Kupferle Foundry Company of St. Louis, Missouri.  It comes from the yard of the Lockwood and Annabel Searcy home, which is now part of the Shiloh Museum campus. While not a fire hydrant, it serves to remind us that in Springdale's early years, the lack of a municipal water supply made firefighting difficult. Springdale didn't establish a city water system, complete with fire hydrants, until 1922. Before that time, battling a blaze was done with buckets of water, handheld extinguishers, and a small pumper wagon. In 1917, the city purchased its first fire truck.

Founded in 1857 by John C. Kupferle, the Kupferle Foundry Company is still in operation. Around 1887 Kupferle started producing water hydrants, some of which—the "Total Eclipse" model being one—are still manufactured today.

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