James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Feb 6 14:26:44 UTC 2004

In a message dated  Thu, 5 Feb 2004 12:10:49 -0600,  "Richard A. Spears"
<RASpears.pipo at XEMAPS.COM> explicates:

>  There is a type of fire hydrant that looks like a four-inch pipe, rising
out of
>  the ground for about 24 inches, terminating in two, 90-degree turns with a
>  water outlet
>  on each of them.  These, and other similar, heavier bronze or steel fire
>  hydrants were not
>  called fireplugs in my recollection. A similar connection built into the
>  wall of a building
>  was also called a fire hydrant, even though these connections were used to
>  pump water
>  into the building's sprinkler system.

The "connection built into the wall of a building" is called a "Siamese",
presumably because there are two hose connections joined to a single pipe.  I
don't know if Political Correctness has hit this piece of hardware, but I can't
imagine a fire chief telling his men, er people, "hook up to the conjoined

It may be relevant to note that, following the great Baltimore fire of 1904,
water pipe connections for firefighting were standardized throughout the
United States.  Other cities had sent some forty fire engines to Baltimore's aid
and none of them had connections of the right size to connect to Baltimore's
water system.  Is it possible that as part of the standardization effort, terms
like "hydrant" and "Siamese" were given cast-in-concrete official definitions.

     - Jim Landau

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