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Mr. TRONA ADMIN December 26, 2014
Happy Holidays to all the Birdsill Kindreds! Prost. 8^)

Group Description

FIRE HYDRANTS.
[About The BHS -- in need of revision]

Ok. Welcome to The Birdsill Holly Society! People have sometimes thought of the name as catchy, odd, idiosyncratic, or even bizarre. The name is intended to honor the inventor of the fire hydrant, Birdsill Holly. Birdsill was a prolific inventor and, in terms of the number of patents held in the United States -- the fire hydrant is of course one -- he is second only to Edison, and the two of them were in fact friends.

Beyond that, the reaction that has surprised me the most -- pleasantly so -- has been to the idea and the group itself.

For me, this fixation started when, for no particular reason, I stopped and really looked at a beautiful green-capped Mueller that I walk by almost every day. I realized how this commonplace, functional and incredibly vital thing was actually very engaging visually and would make a great subject for a digital photo. I was pretty much instantly hooked, and have found myself taking notice of every hydrant, appreciating the multitudinous varieties in shape, color, degree of wear, you name it. ‘OK, you’re a freak!’ THAT’s what I thought to myself, and figured that it might be difficult to find more than a few other Flickr patrons that would be into shots of fire hydrants as well. However…

The pleasant surprise, of course, has been in how many others, it turns out, share this fixation!

[And I must add that I'm tremendously grateful to hot_tea for inspiring me to actually start the group and not just ramble on about the idea in photo comments! =]

As I write this revised ABOUT section, there are 423 members and some 1,750 photos. Wow! 8^)

Regarding hydrants, there are some great resources available online (& I’ve included a few links below), particularly www.firehydrant.org/. But I’m so impressed by the brilliance of the shots and how this group has become a sort of resource for anyone interested in looking into the incredible diversity of fire hydrants around the world.

I still look forward to logging in and seeing the images that you have to offer of the many designs, colors and unique settings that these common but oddly engaging objects can be found.

Hydrants are functional and vital, but there's something about them... and almost every single one (even identical models) become unique when placed in the field, so to speak, where you roam -- so your captures are priceless! ^_^

Obviously this group is very focused on fire hydrants -- and this is in fact what I had in mind when I started The BHS on March 1st of this year. But with regard to Birdsill's other contributions to the world, I welcome images of those as well. Just make sure that you place a note with information about the invention.

A few issues have come up over the months that the group has existed, including whether or not international hydrants – those outside the US and Canada – are a fit with the group. My immediate reaction is an unequivocal yes. The technology had been evolving, but Birdsill Holly’s importance and influence in this area are immense, and this… is a celebration of hydrants! From Japan, to Costa Rica, to Germany, and anywhere else, all are welcome here!

BTW, my family in the small town where I currently live has a long tradition of being a part of the local fire department, so I dedicate this group in their honor.

Also, I really must thank all of you for making this wacky idea for a group that I had (not all that long ago) such a wondrous force & reality -- & for continuing to post such amazing, unique shots. I really continue to be astounded every single time I sign on only to be greeted by a fresh new crop of very, very cool BHS photos!

Ok. I’m tremendously humbled by the response that this group has enjoyed and always look forward to being able to check out your extraordinary & inimitable images! As was the case when I started The BHS, I hope that everyone feels welcome here and please feel free to LMK if you have any comments or questions. ^_^

Kind regards,
Matthew
aka Mr. TRONA
aka Birdsill Loony
August 1, 2005

P.S. Here is a wonderful shot by Editor B of a Holly Manufacturing Co. hydrant with Birdsill's name on it!

P.P.S. Here are some solid resources:
www.firehydrant.org/
www.firehydrant.org/pictures/holly.html
More info

ALSO, please check out the cool B.H. bio link below:

Additional Info

  • Members can post 50 things to the pool each month.
  • Accepted content types: Photos, Videos, Images, Art, Screenshots
  • Accepted safety levels: Safe
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