Stand Pipes — Vol. 2

by Paula Bosse

This is a second installment of a collection of late-19th- and early-20th-century stand pipes (sometimes written as “standpipes”) — early cylindrical water towers which were  local landmarks and which were such sources of pride and were so connected with towns that they were often featured on picture postcards. They watch stoically over their towns, and while some are merely utilitarian water towers, many of them are quite attractive. Here are a few more I like. (See my first installment of examples here.)


Above, Waycross, Georgia — the Waycross Stand Pipe in the center of Legion Park. See a larger image here. (All images are larger when clicked.)


Below, Buda, Illinois — Water Works and Electric Light Plant (from a postcard postmarked 1909).



Decatur, Illinois — Waterworks.



North Manchester, Indiana — High School and Waterworks Stand Pipe.



Hampton, Indiana (postmarked 1912). Frozen!



Fremont, Ohio — Stand Pipe and Court House Square.



Norwalk, Ohio — Water Works and Reservoir (postmarked 1912).



Hull, Iowa — Water Tower (postmarked 1914). Nice porthole!



Napa, California — Steel Stand Pipe, height 100 feet, diameter 25 feet, capacity 367,200 gallons.



Sedalia, Missouri — Engineer Street Stand Pipe.



Maryville, Missouri.



St. Louis, Missouri — Compton Heights Water Tower (circa 1890). Very fancy — and still standing. (Via the Missouri Historical Society.)



St. Louis, Missouri — Grand Avenue Water Tower (1894). Also still standing. (Via the Missouri Historical Society.)


And the same tower a few years later, in 1915. Bit of a traffic hazard? (Via the Missouri Historical Society.)



Perry, Oklahoma — Bird’s Eye View.



Victoria, Texas — City Standpipe (circa 1890). Ads! (via The Victoria Advocate, which has a very interesting article on this, here.)



Dallas, Texas — Lakewood Standpipes. From my hometown, twin water towers which stood at what used to be the city limits in the East Dallas neighborhood of Lakewood Heights, from 1923 to 1955. I wrote about the history of these towers here. (Photo from the book Reminiscences, A Glimpse of Old East Dallas.)



And, finally, what surely must be the cathedral of water towers, a beautiful example from Breslau, Poland (1912).



Sources & Notes

My first look at these cool structures “Stand Pipes — Vol. 1” — can be found here.

Unless otherwise noted, all images were found on eBay or HipPostcards.

An exhaustive history of stand pipes can be found at the Documentary History of American Water-works website, here.


Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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