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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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High Water: 1900

High Water: 1900

Circa 1900. "Water tower in Dwight, Illinois." Unusual columnar design with a brick base, topped off by a weather vane and lights -- a sort of smokestack-lighthouse-watertower hybrid. Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.

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This is called a standpipe. It is basically a large pipe stood on its end. It provides some water storage volume but is mainly used to increase the pressure in the water system without having to constantly run a pump.

Big tower

The Fostoria, Ohio, water plant still has a base, made of stone, but the upper part is gone. It too was similar, but the water was not potable, rather only for fire suppression. Old photos show the tower was taller than the base.

Pressure would be higher

It would be higher pressure because the pressure depends upon the weight of all the water above the output area. Although the volume of water could be the same as a short fat tank, the depth would be less in a short fat tank, hence a smaller amount of water above the output.

What is that upside down funnel thing

Looks to be hanging from the wires.

[It's a carbon-arc lamp. - Dave]

Also for those not used to such things, that farm implement at the base of the water tower is a mower. Could be used for hay, or wheat or just grass. Used my grandpa's many a time back in the '60s.

Tower for Sale

There's a similar brick water tower (minus the tank) for sale in Raleigh, NC. Built in 1887, it's on the National Register. Yours for a cool $685,000.

A tale of two cylinders

I am no expert on water-pressure physics, but it seems like a "tall" column-style tank like this would give more water pressure than a shorter, fatter cylinder of the same volume. Or is that just misleading intuitive thinking? The weight of the water would be the same, after all.

[I think your hunch is correct. The weight of the water over the drain (or water pressure, expressed as weight divided by area, for example pounds per square inch) would be greater in a tall, relatively thin (columnar) cylinder. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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