USS Philadelphia (1799)
USS Philadelphia, a 1240-ton, 36-gun sailing frigate, was the second vessel of the United States Navy to be named for the city of Philadelphia. Named City of Philadelphia, she was built in 1798–1799 for the United States government by the citizens of that city. Funding for her construction was the result of a funding drive which raised $100,000 in one week, in June 1798, she was built by Samuel Humphreys, Nathaniel Hutton and John Delavue. Her carved work was done by William Rush of Philadelphia, she was laid down about November 14, 1798, launched on November 28, 1799, commissioned on April 5, 1800, with Captain Stephen Decatur, Sr. in command. She is best remembered for her burning after being captured in Tripoli. Putting to sea for duty in the West Indies to serve in the Quasi-War with France, she arrived on the Guadeloupe Station in May 1800 and relieved the frigate Constellation. During this cruise she captured five French armed vessels and recaptured six merchant ships that had fallen into French hands.
Returning home in March 1801, she was ordered to prepare for a year's cruise in the Mediterranean in a squadron commanded by Commodore Richard Dale. At his own request, Decatur was relieved of the command of President by Captain Samuel Barron; the squadron arrived at Gibraltar with Commodore Dale in the frigate President. Philadelphia was directed to cruise the Straits and blockade the coast of Tripoli, since in May 1801 the Pasha Yusuf Karamanli had threatened to wage war on the United States by chopping down the flagpole with the American flag before the U. S. consulate. Philadelphia departed Gibraltar for the United States in April 1802. In ordinary until May 21, 1803, when she recommissioned, sailed for the Mediterranean on July 28, 1803, she arrived in Gibraltar on August 24 with Captain William Bainbridge in command, two days recaptured the American brig Celia from the Moroccan ship-of-war Mirboka, brought them both into Gibraltar. During the First Barbary War, Philadelphia cruised off Tripoli until October 31, 1803, while giving chase and firing upon a pirate ship she ran aground on an uncharted reef two miles off Tripoli Harbor.
The captain, William Bainbridge, tried to refloat her, first laying the sails aback, casting off three bow anchors and shifting the guns aftward. But a strong wind and rising waves drove her further aground. Next they jettisoned many of her cannons, barrels of water, other heavy articles overboard in order to make her lighter, but this too failed, they sawed off the foremast in one last desperate attempt to lighten her. All of these attempts failed and Bainbridge, in order not to resupply the pirates, ordered holes drilled in the ship's bottom, gunpowder dampened, sails set afire and all other weapons thrown overboard before surrendering, her officers and men were made slaves of the Pasha. Philadelphia, refloated by her captors, was too great a prize to be allowed to remain in the hands of the Tripolitans, so a decision was made to recapture or destroy her; the U. S. had captured the Tripolitan ketch Mastico, renamed her Intrepid, re-rigged the ship with short masts and triangular sails to look like a local ship.
On February 16, 1804, under the cover of night and in the guise of a ship in distress that had lost all anchors in a storm and needed a place to tie up, Intrepid was sailed by a volunteer assaulting party of officers and men under Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, Jr. next to Philadelphia. The assault party boarded Philadelphia, after making sure that she was not seaworthy, burned the ship where she lay in Tripoli Harbor. Lord Horatio Nelson, known as a man of action and bravery, is said to have called this "the most bold and daring act of the Age."Her anchor was returned to the United States on April 7, 1871, when the Bashaw presented it to the captain of the visiting Guerriere. In 1904, Charles Wellington Furlong, an American adventurer went to Tripoli to investigate the sinking of Philadelphia and wrote of it in his book, The Gateway to the Sahara: Observations and Experiences in Tripoli. In this book the following account, based on records from a local synagogue, is given: Yusef Pashaw had equipped a number of corsairs....
His captains, Dghees, Romani and El-Mograbi, set sail from Tripoli and shortly sighted an American vessel. Zurrig left the others and daringly approached the ship, annoying her purposely to decoy her across the shoals, she stranded, but fired on the other vessels until her ammunition gave out, whereupon the Moslems pillaged her. The American Consul was much disheartened and tried to conclude arrangements similar to those made between the Bashaw and the Swedish Consul. Footnote 2: This of course was an erroneous idea, it may have been purposefully circulated through the town among the inhabitants other than Mohammedans. Furlong reports in the same book, that he talked to other Arabs in Tripoli who said that the ship was not burned, but moved to the Lazaretto where it was dressed up as a trophy and its guns used to call the end of Ramadan. According to the detailed account of Hadji-Mohammed Gabroom, an American ketch was able to sneak in, kill some of the 10 guards, cause the others to flee set the ship on fire.
List of sailing frigates of the United States Navy List of ships captured in the 19th century Bibliography of early American naval history This article incorporates text from the public domain Diction
Water supply network
A water supply system or water supply network is a system of engineered hydrologic and hydraulic components which provide water supply. A water supply system includes: A drainage basin. A raw water collection point where the water accumulates, such as a lake, a river, or groundwater from an underground aquifer. Raw water may be transferred using uncovered ground-level aqueducts, covered tunnels or underground water pipes to water purification facilities. Water purification facilities. Treated water is transferred using water pipes. Water storage facilities such as reservoirs, water tanks, or water towers. Smaller water systems may store the water in cisterns or pressure vessels. Tall buildings may need to store water locally in pressure vessels in order for the water to reach the upper floors. Additional water pressurizing components such as pumping stations may need to be situated at the outlet of underground or above ground reservoirs or cisterns. A pipe network for distribution of water to the consumers and other usage points.
Connections to the sewers are found downstream of the water consumers, but the sewer system is considered to be a separate system, rather than part of the water supply system. Water supply networks are run by public utilities of the water industry. Raw water is collected from a surface water source or from a groundwater source within the watershed that provides the water resource; the raw water is transferred to the water purification facilities using uncovered aqueducts, covered tunnels or underground water pipes. All large systems must treat the water. Water treatment must occur. Water purification occurs close to the final delivery points to reduce pumping costs and the chances of the water becoming contaminated after treatment. Traditional surface water treatment plants consists of three steps: clarification and disinfection. Clarification refers to the separation of particles from the water stream. Chemical addition destabilizes the particle charges and prepares them for clarification either by settling or floating out of the water stream.
Sand, anthracite or activated carbon filters refine the water stream, removing smaller particulate matter. While other methods of disinfection exist, the preferred method is via chlorine addition. Chlorine kills bacteria and most viruses and maintains a residual to protect the water supply through the supply network; the product, delivered to the point of consumption, is called potable water if it meets the water quality standards required for human consumption. The water in the supply network is maintained at positive pressure to ensure that water reaches all parts of the network, that a sufficient flow is available at every take-off point and to ensure that untreated water in the ground cannot enter the network; the water is pressurised by pumps that pump water into storage tanks constructed at the highest local point in the network. One network may have several such service reservoirs. In small domestic systems, the water may be pressurised by a pressure vessel or by an underground cistern.
This eliminates the need of a water-tower or any other heightened water reserve to supply the water pressure. These systems are owned and maintained by local governments, such as cities, or other public entities, but are operated by a commercial enterprise. Water supply networks are part of the master planning of communities and municipalities, their planning and design requires the expertise of city planners and civil engineers, who must consider many factors, such as location, current demand, future growth, pressure, pipe size, pressure loss, fire fighting flows, etc. — using pipe network analysis and other tools. As water passes through the distribution system, the water quality can degrade by chemical reactions and biological processes. Corrosion of metal pipe materials in the distribution system can cause the release of metals into the water with undesirable aesthetic and health effects. Release of iron from unlined iron pipes can result in customer reports of "red water" at the tap. Release of copper from copper pipes can result in customer reports of "blue water" and/or a metallic taste.
Release of lead can occur from the solder used to join copper pipe together or from brass fixtures. Copper and lead levels at the consumer's tap are regulated to protect consumer health. Utilities will adjust the chemistry of the water before distribution to minimize its corrosiveness; the simplest adjustment involves control of pH and alkalinity to produce a water that tends to passivate corrosion by depositing a layer of calcium carbonate. Corrosion inhibitors are added to reduce release of metals into the water. Common corrosion inhibitors added to the water are silicates. Maintenance of a biologically safe drinking water is another goal in water distribution. A chlorine based disinfectant, such as sodium hypochlorite or monochloramine is added to the wat
Southwark was the Southwark District, a colonial-era municipality in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Today, it is a neighborhood in the South Philadelphia section of Pennsylvania; because of its location south of the early Philadelphia, the name was adopted in allusion to the borough of Southwark in the county of London, just south of the city of London. Southwark is one of the oldest English settlements in the County of Philadelphia, it is the oldest district founded by settlers in Philadelphia, as a result of its inclusion in the former Swedish colony of New Sweden. Southwark was a tract of ground on the fast land of the Neck, lying between Passyunk and Wicaco. Due to the populations of the Swedish settlements of Wicaco and Moyamensing, Southwark grew earlier than other parts of the county apart from the city of Philadelphia; the General Assembly created the district of Southwark on May 14, 1762, to facilitate cooperation with regards to street-building. Southwark was the location of the shipbuilding complex of Joshua Humphreys, the shipbuilder and naval architect who built the first six ships of the United States Navy and is known as the "Father of the U.
S. Navy". In 1854, when it was incorporated into the city of Philadelphia by the Act of Consolidation, the borough comprised the area bounded on the north by South Street, on the west by Passyunk Avenue from 5th and South to 10th and Reed. Today, there are only a few traces of the name "Southwark" in this part of Philadelphia.. These include Southwark restaurant at 4th and Bainbridge, Southwark Paints further south on 4th, Southwark Development Corp. a public-housing project along Washington Avenue from 3rd to 5th, "Southwark" painted on a wall as far away as 23rd and Washington. In 1969, this area of Philadelphia was renamed, the Northern portion is now known as Queen Village; the neighborhood of Pennsport is the primary southern half of. The area is a diverse community, a multi-racial neighborhood of middle class, working class, professionals; however parts of Southwark has been noted as a poor and depressed neighborhoods. The intersection of Fifth Street and Carpenter Street was listed number nine in a 2007 list of the city's top ten recreational drug corners according to an article by Philadelphia Weekly reporter Steve Volk.
The historic district, as defined by the National Register of Historic Places, is bounded by 5th Street on the west, Lombard Street on the north, Washington Avenue on the south, Front and Queen Streets and Columbus Boulevard on the east. Residents are within the School District of Philadelphia. Residents are zoned to South Philadelphia High School; the Vare-Washington School, which occupies the former George Washington School, is in proximity to Southwark. Persons zoned to Vare-Washington are zoned to Furness High School, and residents of the former Abigail Vare School zone, are zoned to Furness High School. Queen Village, Philadelphia Fabric Row Chronology of the Political Subdivisions of the County of Philadelphia, 1683-1854 Information courtesy of ushistory.org Incorporated District and Townships in the County of Philadelphia, 1854 By Rudolph J. Walther - excerpted from the book at the ushistory.org website Johnson, Amandus The Swedes on the Delaware Weslager, C. A. New Sweden on the Delaware 1638-1655 ISBN 0-912608-65-X
William Penn was the son of Sir William Penn, was an English nobleman, early Quaker, founder of the English North American colony the Province of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Native Americans. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was developed. In 1681, King Charles II handed over a large piece of his American land holdings to Penn to pay the debts the king owed to Penn's father; this land included present-day Delaware. Penn set sail and took his first step on American soil in New Castle in 1682 after his trans-Atlantic journey. On this occasion, the colonists pledged allegiance to Penn as their new proprietor, the first general assembly was held in the colony. Afterward, Penn founded Philadelphia. However, Penn's Quaker government was not viewed favorably by the Dutch and English settlers in what is now Delaware, they had no "historical" allegiance to Pennsylvania, so they immediately began petitioning for their own assembly.
In 1704 they achieved their goal when the three southernmost counties of Pennsylvania were permitted to split off and become the new semi-autonomous colony of Lower Delaware. As the most prominent and influential "city" in the new colony, New Castle became the capital; as one of the earlier supporters of colonial unification, Penn wrote and urged for a union of all the English colonies in what was to become the United States of America. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution; as a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of peace deeply. He developed a forward-looking project for a United States of Europe through the creation of a European Assembly made of deputies who could discuss and adjudicate controversies peacefully, he is therefore considered the first thinker to suggest the creation of a European Parliament. A man of deep religious convictions, Penn wrote numerous works in which he exhorted believers to adhere to the spirit of Primitive Christianity.
He was imprisoned several times in the Tower of London due to his faith, his book No Cross, No Crown, which he wrote while in prison, has become a Christian classic. William Penn was born in 1644 at Tower Hill, the son of English Admiral Sir William Penn, Margaret Jasper, from a Dutch family the widow of a Dutch captain, the daughter of a rich merchant from Rotterdam. William Penn, Sr. served in the Commonwealth Navy during the English Civil War and was rewarded by Oliver Cromwell with estates in Ireland. The lands were seized from Irish Catholics in retaliation for the failed Irish Rebellion of 1641. Admiral Penn took part in the restoration of Charles II and was knighted and served in the Royal Navy. At the time of his son's birth, Captain Penn was twenty-three and an ambitious naval officer in charge of quelling Irish Catholic unrest and blockading Irish ports. William Penn grew up during the rule of Oliver Cromwell, who succeeded in leading a Puritan rebellion against King Charles I. Penn's father was at sea.
Little William caught smallpox at a young age, losing all his hair, prompting his parents to move from the suburbs to an estate in Essex. The country life made a lasting impression on young Penn, kindled in him a love of horticulture, their neighbor was famed diarist Samuel Pepys, friendly at first but secretly hostile to the Admiral embittered in part by his failed seductions of both Penn's mother and his sister Peggy. Penn was educated first at Chigwell School, by private tutors whilst in Ireland, at Christ Church, Oxford. At that time, there were no state schools and nearly all educational institutions were affiliated with the Anglican Church. Children from poor families had to have a wealthy sponsor to get an education. Penn's education leaned on the classical authors and "no novelties or conceited modern writers" were allowed including William Shakespeare. Foot racing was Penn's favorite sport, he would run the more than three-mile distance from his home to the school; the school itself was cast in an Anglican mode – strict and somber – and teachers had to be pillars of virtue and provide sterling examples to their charges.
Though opposing Anglicanism on religious grounds, Penn absorbed many Puritan behaviors, was known for his serious demeanor, strict behavior and lack of humor. After a failed mission to the Caribbean, Admiral Penn and his family were exiled to his lands in Ireland, it was during this period, when Penn was about fifteen, that he met Thomas Loe, a Quaker missionary, maligned by both Catholics and Protestants. Loe was admitted to the Penn household and during his discourses on the "Inner Light", young Penn recalled that "the Lord visited me and gave me divine Impressions of Himself."A year Cromwell was dead, the royalists resurging, the Penn family returned to England. The middle class aligned itself with the royalists and Admiral Penn was sent on a secret mission to bring back exiled Prince Charles. For his role in restoring the monarchy, Admiral Penn was knighted and gained a powerful position as Commissioner of the Navy. In 1660, Penn enrolled as a gentleman scholar with an assigned servant; the student body was a volatile mix of swashbuckling Cavaliers, sober Puritans, nonconforming Quakers.
The new government's discouragement of religious dissent gave the Cavalier
John Adams was an American statesman, diplomat and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Before his presidency he was a leader of the American Revolution that achieved independence from Great Britain, served as the first vice president of the United States. Adams was a dedicated diarist and corresponded with many important figures in early American history including his wife and adviser and his letters and other papers are an important source of historical information about the era. A lawyer and political activist prior to the revolution, Adams was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence, he defied anti-British sentiment and defended British soldiers against murder charges arising from the Boston Massacre. Adams was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress and became a principal leader of the Revolution, he assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and was its foremost advocate in Congress.
As a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the peace treaty with Great Britain and secured vital governmental loans. Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which influenced the United States' own constitution, as did his earlier Thoughts on Government. Adams was elected to two terms as vice president under President George Washington and was elected as the United States' second president in 1796. During his single term, Adams encountered fierce criticism from the Jeffersonian Republicans and from some in his own Federalist Party, led by his rival Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts and built up the Army and Navy in the undeclared "Quasi-War" with France; the main accomplishment of his presidency was a peaceful resolution of this conflict in the face of public anger and Hamilton's opposition. During his term, he became the first president to reside in the executive mansion now known as the White House. In his bid for reelection, opposition from Federalists and accusations of despotism from Republicans led to Adams's loss to his former friend Thomas Jefferson, he retired to Massachusetts.
He resumed his friendship with Jefferson by initiating a correspondence that lasted fourteen years. He and his wife generated a family of politicians and historians now referred to as the Adams political family, which includes their son John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. John Adams died on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, hours after Jefferson's death. Surveys of historians and scholars have favorably ranked his administration. John Adams was born on October 1735 to John Adams Sr. and Susanna Boylston. He had two younger brothers and Elihu. Adams was born on the family farm in Massachusetts, his mother was from a leading medical family of Massachusetts. His father was a deacon in the Congregational Church, a farmer, a cordwainer, a lieutenant in the militia. John Sr. supervised the building of schools and roads. Adams praised his father and recalled their close relationship. Adams's great-grandfather Henry Adams emigrated to Massachusetts from Braintree, England around 1638.
Though raised in modest surroundings, Adams felt pressured to live up to his heritage. His was a family of Puritans, who profoundly affected their region's culture and traditions. By the time of John Adams's birth, Puritan tenets such as predestination had waned and many of their severe practices moderated, but Adams still "considered them bearers of freedom, a cause that still had a holy urgency." Adams recalled that his parents "held every Species of Libertinage in... Contempt and horror," and detailed "pictures of disgrace, or baseness and of Ruin" resulting from any debauchery. Adams noted that "As a child I enjoyed the greatest of blessings that can be bestowed upon men – that of a mother, anxious and capable to form the characters of her children."Adams, as the eldest child, was compelled to obtain a formal education. This began at age six at a dame school for boys and girls, conducted at a teacher's home, was centred upon The New England Primer. Shortly thereafter, Adams attended Braintree Latin School under Joseph Cleverly, where studies included Latin, rhetoric and arithmetic.
Adams's early education included incidents of truancy, a dislike for his master, a desire to become a farmer. All discussion on the matter ended with his father's command that he remain in school: "You shall comply with my desires." Deacon Adams hired a new schoolmaster named Joseph Marsh, his son responded positively. At age sixteen, Adams entered Harvard College in 1751; as an adult, Adams was a keen scholar, studying the works of ancient writers such as Thucydides, Plato and Tacitus in their original languages. Though his father expected him to be a minister, after his 1755 graduation with an A. B. degree, he taught school while pondering his permanent vocation. In the next four years, he began to seek prestige, craving "Honour or Reputation" and "more defference from fellows", was determined to be "a great Man." He decided to become a lawyer to further those ends, writing his father that he found among lawyers "noble and gallant achievements" but, among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces."
His aspirations conflicted with his Puritanism, prompting reservations about his self-described "trumpery" and failure to share the "happiness of fellow men."As the French and Indian War began in 1754, Ada
Christ Church, Philadelphia
Christ Church is an Episcopal church in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Founded in 1695 as a parish of the Church of England, it played an integral role in the founding of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. In 1785, its rector, William White, became the first Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. From 1754 to 1810, the church's 196-foot tower and steeple was the tallest structure in what is now the United States of America. Christ Church was founded in 1695 by members of the Church of England, who built a small wooden church on the site by the next year; when the congregation outgrew this structure some twenty years they decided to erect a new church, the most sumptuous in the colonies. The main body of the church was constructed between 1727 and 1744, the steeple was added in 1754, making it the tallest building in North America at the time, at 60 meters. Christ Church is considered one of the nation's most beautiful surviving 18th-century structures, a monument to colonial craftsmanship and a handsome example of Georgian architecture.
Modeled on the work in London of Christopher Wren, it features a symmetrical, classical façade with arched windows and a simple yet elegant interior with fluted columns and wooden pews. Although the architect of the church is unknown, its construction was supervised by John Kearsley, a physician, also responsible for the design with John Harrison; the church was rebuilt in 1777 by Robert Smith, the interior was altered in 1883 by Thomas U. Walter; the baptismal font in which William Penn was baptized is still in use at Christ Church. Another baptismal font and the communion table were crafted by Philadelphia cabinetmaker Jonathan Gostelowe, who served on the vestry in the 1790s. Christ Church's congregation included 15 signers of the Declaration of Independence. American Revolutionary War leaders who attended Christ Church include George Washington, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross. Brass plaques mark the pews. At the convening of the First Continental Congress in September 1774, Rector Jacob Duché was summoned to Carpenters' Hall to lead the opening prayers.
During the war, the Reverend William White, rector of Christ Church, served as Chaplain to both the Continental Congress and the United States Senate. In September 1785, clerical and lay deputies from several states met in Christ Church and organized as a general convention, of which White was chosen president, he prepared a draft constitution for the church as well as an address to the archbishops and bishops of the Church of England, asking for the episcopate at their hands. White was largely responsible for the liturgy and offices of the first American Book of Common Prayer, which were to be submitted to Church of England authorities. At the convention of the Diocese of Pennsylvania in 1786, he was elected its first bishop and sailed for England with Dr. Samuel Provoost of New York, seeking consecration. After passage of a special enabling act by Parliament and Provoost were consecrated in early 1787 by the archbishops of Canterbury and York. Bishop White returned to Philadelphia that Easter Sunday.
In 1789, under White's direction, the first meeting of the House of Bishops was held at Christ Church, marking the first true General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. White was the first Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania and served the congregations of Christ Church and St. Peter's Church for decades. White is buried in the church's chancel. Christ Church is a National Historic Landmark and a unique historic site that continues its original function as an Episcopal parish. More than 250,000 tourists visit the church each year. Several notable people are buried in the church and adjacent churchyard, including: Jacob Broom, signer of the United States Constitution from Delaware Pierce Butler, signer of the United States Constitution from South Carolina Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, early American writer General John Forbes, British commander during the French and Indian War, who captured Fort Duquesne and named the city of Pittsburgh. Andrew Hamilton, lawyer known as "The Philadelphia Lawyer" Charles Lee, Revolutionary War Continental Major General Robert Morris, signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the United States Constitution John Penn and proprietor of provincial Pennsylvania James Wilson, signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution Rev. William White, rector of Saint Peter Church and Christ Church, first Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania, first and fourth Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal ChurchMany other notable people are buried at nearby associated Christ Church Burial Ground including Benjamin Franklin and four other signers of the United States Declaration of Independence.
John Inglis baptised here in September 1744. Philadelphia portal Anglicanism portal List of National Historic Landmarks in Philadelphia National Register of Historic Places listings in Center City, Philadelphia Official website Christ Church parish web site Christ Church at the Historic American Buildings Survey Christ Church at Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Christ Episcopal Churchyard at Find a Grave
A water tower is an elevated structure supporting a water tank constructed at a height sufficient to pressurize a water supply system for the distribution of potable water, to provide emergency storage for fire protection. In some places, the term standpipe is used interchangeably to refer to a water tower. Water towers operate in conjunction with underground or surface service reservoirs, which store treated water close to where it will be used. Other types of water towers may only store raw water for fire protection or industrial purposes, may not be connected to a public water supply. Water towers are able to supply water during power outages, because they rely on hydrostatic pressure produced by elevation of water to push the water into domestic and industrial water distribution systems. A water tower serves as a reservoir to help with water needs during peak usage times; the water level in the tower falls during the peak usage hours of the day, a pump fills it back up during the night. This process keeps the water from freezing in cold weather, since the tower is being drained and refilled.
Although the use of elevated water storage tanks has existed since ancient times in various forms, the modern use of water towers for pressurized public water systems developed during the mid-19th century, as steam-pumping became more common, better pipes that could handle higher pressures were developed. In the United Kingdom, standpipes consisted of tall, exposed, n-shaped pipes, used for pressure relief and to provide a fixed elevation for steam-driven pumping engines which tended to produce a pulsing flow, while the pressurized water distribution system required constant pressure. Standpipes provided a convenient fixed location to measure flow rates. Designers enclosed the riser pipes in decorative masonry or wooden structures. By the late 19th-Century, standpipes grew to include storage tanks to meet the ever-increasing demands of growing cities. Many early water towers are now considered significant and have been included in various heritage listings around the world; some are converted to exclusive penthouses.
In certain areas, such as New York City in the United States, smaller water towers are constructed for individual buildings. In California and some other states, domestic water towers enclosed by siding were once built to supply individual homes. Water towers were used to supply water stops for steam locomotives on railroad lines. Early steam locomotives required water stops every 7 to 10 miles. A variety of materials can be used to construct a typical water tower; the reservoir in the tower may be spherical, cylindrical, or an ellipsoid, with a minimum height of 6 metres and a minimum of 4 m in diameter. A standard water tower has a height of 40 m. Pressurization occurs through the hydrostatic pressure of the elevation of water. 30 m of elevation produces 300 kPa, enough pressure to operate and provide for most domestic water pressure and distribution system requirements. The height of the tower provides the pressure for the water supply system, it may be supplemented with a pump; the volume of the reservoir and diameter of the piping sustain flow rate.
However, relying on a pump to provide pressure is expensive. During periods of low demand, jockey pumps are used to meet these lower water flow requirements; the water tower reduces the need for electrical consumption of cycling pumps and thus the need for an expensive pump control system, as this system would have to be sized sufficiently to give the same pressure at high flow rates. High volumes and flow rates are needed when fighting fires. With a water tower present, pumps can be sized for average demand, not peak demand. Using wireless sensor networks to monitor water levels inside the tower allows municipalities to automatically monitor and control pumps without installing and maintaining expensive data cables. Water towers can be surrounded by ornate coverings including fancy brickwork, a large ivy-covered trellis or they can be painted; some city water towers have the name of the city painted in large letters on the roof, as a navigational aid to aviators and motorists. Sometimes the decoration can be humorous.
An example of this are water towers built side by side, labeled HOT and COLD. Cities in the United States possessing side-by-side water towers labeled HOT and COLD include Granger, Iowa; when a third water tower was built next to the Okemah, Oklahoma set of Hot and Cold towers, the town considered naming it "Running", but decided to use "Home of Woody Guthrie". The House in the Clouds in Thorpeness, located in the English county of Suffolk, was built to resemble a house in order to disguise the eyesore, whilst the lower floors were used for accommodation