The purpose of this essay is to describe an article without mentioning its name and then have the reader determine its identity.



My subject is 30 inches high, eight inches in diameter, cylindrical in shape and burnt orange in color. It is constructed of one-half inch cast iron and the ribbed exterior, gives it an appearance of a miniature Ionic pillar from ancient Greece.


The top section which is bolted to the main sector is seven inches in length and has a bell-shaped appearance with a flared skirt. The flared portion is two inches larger in circumference than the lower segment; therefore, complimentary flanges are utilized to join the bell to the cylinder. These two members are secured by eight bolts equally spaced on the perimeter of the ledge.


The crown of the bell is flat and contains a small concave chamber two inches in diameter and equally deep. This cavity houses a three sided shaft which is the adjusting mechanism for the gate valve contained within the bell.


Thirteen inches from the bottom and 90 degrees from the adjusting shaft is a point which locates the center of a four inch threaded opening. This aperture is fitted with a dome-shaped cap constructed of the same material and painted identically to the unnamed thingamajig. The pinnacle of the dome is fashioned into a three-sided stem, the same size as the shaft in the bell. This stem is employed to screw the lid into the threaded passageway and this closed position is maintained during unapplied periods.


The brim of the dome contains a narrow slot and into this is pressed a slip ring. This mechanical arrangement affords bindless motion for the ring when the cap is removed or inserted. A chain is attached to the slip ring and also fastened to a welded bracket on the flange of the bell. The sole purpose of the chain is to retain the cap when it is disengaged from its normal position.


Over two-hundred thousand of these doo-dads are owned, maintained, and utilized by the City of Philadelphia. Surprisingly, these contraptions are infrequently used. Nevertheless, in times of necessity they have proven to be the saviors of both man and dog.







A fire hydrant