Eber’s water towers – USA

The leading trade journal in Sweden, VA-tidskriften Cirkulation has since 1998 an article series under the heading Ebers vattentorn (Eber’s water towers), where Eber Ohlsson with text and photo presents interesting water towers in the world (except Scania and Sweden). Below is a free translation to English of these texts.


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 2/2020

A free translation to English:

Of the water’s three phases, it is the liquid phase that applies to water towers. The risk for that the water shall transform into the solid phase, ice, is only possible if the temperature goes below zero degrees Celsius, and water flux is small. By contrast, the third phase, steam, ought to do not occur under normal natural conditions.

On cold summer nights, steam comes from the spout of the water tower in the Swedish town of Lindstrom in Minnesota in the United States, a tower which was in operation from 1902 to 1990. However, it is a conscious created steam because the water tower is shaped like a teapot with handle and spout.

Published 2020-03-11


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 5/2019

A free translation to English:

Corn is a water- and heat-intensive crop, especially in the early growth stage, and is grasses that can grow up to 6 m high. The production of the crop is big in the USA and especially in the central Midwest. Here in the city of Rochester in southern Minnesota stands a water tower shaped and painted like a corncob, which is the female flower of the plant.

The 46-meter high water tower, where the corncob is 18 m, built in 1931 and holds 190 m³. The tower is owned by the food industry, Seneca Foods, and trucks tipping its load of corn cobs adjacent to the water tower. It seems that even the harvested corn requires a lot of water.

Published 2019-08-28


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 3/2019

A free translation to English:

Many of the 170 water towers that have been presented in Cirkulation until now have been towers that for some reason have been special. But all water towers do not get such attention; towers that every day, year after year do their work for the benefit of us thirsty souls. They do not take such a large place, but raise above the crowd.

Such a water tower is in the small town of Tillar, Arkansas, in the United States. For some reason, the last letter has dropped off from the tower, so that there now stand Tilla, which may look like a thought. A water tower, that perhaps have stand there for 55 years, a tower that one should congratulate every day.

Published 2019-04-17


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 7/2018

A free translation to English:

Water towers can be a good marketer, if designed well and is at the right place. Near the Interstate I 57, at the recreation area Rend Lake in southern Illinois, USA, is a spherical steel water tower shaped like golf ball on a peg and markets a 27-hole golf course. A form of advertising that applies at many golf courses.

It was the US Army Corps of Engineers, who in the 1960s founded the 75 km² large water reservoir Rend Lake, from which 300 000 people get their water. The Gulf Stream, the water that flows out of the golf ball, is needed naturally to keep alive the green carpets.

Published 2018-10-31


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 2/2018

A free translation to English:

American water towers are sometimes what we call standpipes. Of the few classic stand pipes that are left, is actually three standing in Saint Louis, Missouri, a town known as the Gateway to the West. The oldest of these three stand pipes stands as a traffic island in the middle of East Grand Avenue, in an area where you cannot be too careful.

The 47 meter high tower was built in 1871 and was decommissioned in 1912. It was designed by architect George I Barnett, and is called the ”Old White” although the white color now is faded. It is something special that in this area see this solitary column with Corinthian capital, so far from ancient Greece.

Published 2018-03-14


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 5/2017

A free translation to English:

On the southern outskirts of the Appalachians, in the state of Georgia in United States lies the city of Rome. Like its namesake in Europe is the city situated on seven hills and is traversed by a watercourse. There is also a replica of the sculpture of Romulus and Remus, a gift from Mussolini in 1929. But there ceases probably the similarities between the cities.

At Neely Hill was built in 1871 a water tower, which held 950 m³ of water and at the following year came the clock tower, with dials in all points of the compass, and the tower then got a height of 32 m. Since 1995 is the water tower museum. Although this city is not eternal, we must hope that the beautiful water tower will stand and the clock goes.

Published 2017-08-30


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 2/2017

A free translation to English:

The city of Newberry, South Carolina, in the United States, 50 kilometers from the state capital, Columbia, may have found their variant of answer on the parable Columbus egg, when they built their water tower. They have placed the egg on its pointed end, by placing it on a classic steel water tower foot. The egg is also provided with the egg stamp text ”Newberry County – Milk and Egg Capital”.

What surprises can then egg in this self-proclaimed egg capital give? Eggs are considered to be popular fertility-affecting, so what happens if you drink the water? Probably nothing, because Newberry still is a small town.

Published 2017-03-15


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 5/2016

A free translation to English:

The water tower in the city of Anderson, Indiana, USA, can be a nameplate that beats most, if you live as shown in the picture. It might even be worth taking the name Anderson. The city is named after Chief William Anderson, whose mother was a Native American from Delaware and the father a Swedish tradesman.

At the census of the United States goes one into details that are foreign to us. Thus, the most recent census: Of the city’s 60 000 residents, 82% was white, 15% African-Americans but only 0.3% Indians. So William Anderson would if he had lived today, belonged to a minority.

Published 2016-08-24


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 2/2016

A free translation to English:

Water is health. You therefore becomes a bit jumbled up, when there on a water tower in Durham in the state of North Carolina in the US is advertising for a brand of cigarettes. The tower stands inside an old factory site for the American Tobacco Company, a company that offers Lucky Strike for sale.

Behind the water tower is a chimney, which also has advertising for the cigarette brand. It must be devastating advertising. The tobacco company left the university city of Durham in the late 1980s and since 2004 is there in the old factory building – offices, stores and restaurants. Hopefully this is a tobacco-free environment, without even a hookah.

Published 2016-03-16


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 6/2015

A free translation to English:

It lives only about 700 inhabitants in the Swedish-town of Stanton, Iowa, USA, a city as in spite of that has the two water towers with richly-decorated floral motif. The older tower, which stands in the churchyard, is shaped like a coffee pot, 11 m high and with a diameter of 6 m. It is declared to be the largest Swedish coffee pot in the world.

The entire water tower is 38 m high and holds 150 m³. The tower became a coffee pot in 1971 in honor of the actress Virginia Christine, born in Stanton, and as on television for many years in the role of Mrs. Olson did commercials for a famous coffee brand.

Published 2015-09-30


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 2/2015

A free translation to English:

Water towers contain normally drinking water, but in Austin, capital of Texas, there is since 2010 a water tower containing 7 500 m³ recycled water and it is the first of seven planned towers. The recycled water consists treated wastewater that otherwise would escaped into the nearby river. This secondary water can be used for irrigation, cooling, and in industry.

On the tower roof is done collecting rainwater, which also has 48 solar panels generating electricity. Austin is located in Texas inland and receives less than 100 mm of rain per year. It is always wise to economize with their limited resources.

Published 2015-03-25


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 5/2014

A free translation to English:

Ketchup Effect, it might be called, when motorists stop on route 159 in the town of Collinsville, Illinois, in the United States, to photograph the special water tower. They are then only 20 km east of the Mississippi River and the city of St. Louis.

The water tower, with the volume of 380 m³, was completed in 1949 and is 52 m high, of which 21 m is bottle. Brooks catsup, catsup is another name for ketchup, was manufactured here until the 1960s. When the tower was in danger of disappearing, formed a conservation association, who got the tower repainted in 1995, and listed in the register of historic buildings in the United States. A water tower with its own web site.

Published 2014-08-20


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 7/2013

A free translation to English:

An eminently classic waterworks and water tower was built by Louisville Water Company in 1856 close to the Ohio River in the city of Louisville in Kentucky, USA. Architect Theodore R. Scowden used this ancient idiom on the tower Doric column, surrounded by a Corinthian portico with ten pillars and above where classical statues.

A tornado in 1890 destroyed much, but most of it, nevertheless, could be restored. The 56 meter high water tower is a stand pipe, which helped to even out the pressure of the piston stroke at the powerful steam engine. The water tower was decommissioned in 1909 and is now of course an official landmark.

Published 2013-11-06


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 5/2013

The Swedish word ”Stålmannen” is a direct translation of ”Man of Steel”.

The Swedish verb ”super” is when someone drink much alcohol, so when the ”Superman” was introduced in Sweden 1949, the name ”Stålmannen” was choosen.

A free translation to English:

The American cartoon series Superman, subtitled Man of Steel was in Sweden known as Stålmannen, which probably can be explained by the risk of misunderstanding of the original name at this time, but he could then also keep his S on the tricot.

Superman lives in the fictional city of Metropolis, which also is the name of a small town on the right bank of Ohio River near the Mississippi. This U.S. town depicted therefore the super hero at its central steel water tower. The tower roasted however and was scrapped a few years ago. Superman has now been resurfaced on a water tower in the town’s periphery.

Published 2013-08-28


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 2/2013

A free translation to English:

How to act if a region is the largest and best in peach cultivation and the neighboring state instead unjustified is known for this? You design the new water tower as a peach and place it next to a busy highway. For that reason you find since 1981 a 20 meter high peach water tower in steel along Interstate 85 in Gaffney, South Carolina, USA.

It’s a juicy peach with no core, from which one can get 3 800 m³ of water. The water tower design by Peter Freudenberg is so observed that it is almost a traffic hazard. This has given rise to tourism, but also a similar, but half as large copy in Clanton, Alabama.

Published 2013-03-20


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 6/2012

Gnesta is a town and Malmö is a city in Sweden. Both with water towers that can compete with Ypsilanti.

A free translation to English:

East of the neighbouring university town Ann Arbor and some miles west of the Motor City, Detroit, State of Michigan in the USA is the town of Ypsilanti, the name of a Greek freedom hero in 1800s. At the highest point in town, standing since 1890 a 46 meter high water tower with a reservoir of 950 m³.

The tower in limestone, which is designed by William R. Coats, was declared as an American Water Landmark in 1975 and restored in 1976. In a poll organized by a magazine was the tower chosen as the most phallic building in the world. The question is if whether they had knowledge of the water towers in Gnesta and Södervärn in Malmö.

Published 2012-10-03


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 2/2012

In the famous Swedish novel series (four novels) ”The Emigrants” by the author Vilhelm Moberg are the main characters Karl-Oskar and Kristina, Swedish emigrants moving to the USA (East Minnesota) in 19th century.

Lindström is a not uncommon Swedish last name. A wellknown Swedish dish is ”Biff à la Lindström”. My Swedish original version of the English sentence ”It’s in the bag” is a Swedish expression that can be linked to ”Beef à la Lindström”.

A free translation to English:

In todays global electronic world is the domination of the English language evident, and the letters that this language use standardizing. It means that even closely related language as the Swedish, sometimes got problem with the letters that the English not have. Å, Ä och Ö will not seldom be A, A and O, which sometimes got comic results.

When the little Swedish town Lindstrom in eastern Minnesota in USA, the new home district of Karl-Oskar and Kristina, got a new water tower, it was painted in yellow and blue. To put icing on the cake, recounted one name with the old language dots over o:et. It’s in the bag.

Published 2012-03-21


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 6/2011

A free translation to English:

What would the fire department be without water? Limited. The fire department is thus living in symbiosis with the water works. When, in the early 1990s, the city of Hinesville in Georgia in the U.S., built a new water tower, holding 9 460 m³ water, the lower space of the tower was not used.

When, 10 years later, the city needed a fire station in the same area, it was realized that it would be cheaper if it was established in the water tower. Today the space below the water reservoir is a fire station on three floors, with fire trucks, sleeping room and exercise room. The firefighters can then sleep soundly, knowing that the water is always close to them.

Published 2011-10-05


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 1/2011

A free translation to English:

The largest water-borne disease in the U.S. hit the city of Milwaukee in 1993, when drinking water was contaminated by Cryptosporidium and caused some 50 deaths. More positively, was it in 1938, when a water tower was buildt in Art Deco at the water plant, an architecture style, as was cherished in the U.S. in the 1920s and 30s, and is exemplified in famous skyscrapers.

Even if verticality is common, there is few water towers in the United States in this style. The octagonal building, with a spheroidal reservoir of 3800 m³, has a stone facade on the outside of the steel skeleton. Waterworks office houses since water production ceased in 2001, other municipal administrations.

Published 2011-02-16


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 6/2010

A free translation to English:

Most of the steel water towers are painted, if not else so to reduce the corrosion. When the painting bucket still is there, many towers also get an additional painting. In USA is it not quite uncommon that name and emblem oft the town’s football team in this way is exposed on the water tower.

In a suburb of Washington DC, Manassas, Virginia, they have gone one step further. Here has they on the tower stated that the town’s school, Osbourn High School, in 2006 became the state’s champion, and also added the digits (14-0) and by that stated that the team that year won 14 games and lost 0 games. We understand that they are proud.

Published 2010-10-06


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 1/2010

A free translation to English:

How to be different among many equals? One way is to be individual. Somewhat that even can be valid to water towers. In USA there it is very many standardized water towers, can individualization be attain by painting the name of the place on the tower, with or without a symbol, and often on two sides to reach all wayfarer.

Another way to get a spherical water tower to be individual is to paint a Smiley. The dilemma is that this thought has turned up in a thirty different places in USA. In Ashley in Indiana has the Smiley therefore been more personal through that it even has got a bow tie.

Published 2010-02-10


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 4/2009

A free translation to English:

Water towers in USA can in some cases be what we call stand pipes. The architectural shape is however normal so distinctive that they can be ranged in our series of water towers. The North Point Water Tower in the city of Milwaukee in the state of Wisconsin in USA is a such water tower.

It is drawn by architect Charles A. Gombert in Victorian Limestone Gothic. The 53 m high tower contain a fully 36 m high stand pipe with a diameter of 1.2 m. It stood ready 1874 and was first out of operation 1963. The water tower that stands close to the Lake Michigan has even served as a beacon. It is now an American Water Landmark.

Published 2009-06-10


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 7/2008

A free translation to English:

Is it possible to extinguish fire with firewater? On the roof of the head office of the distillery Brown-Foreman in the city of Louisville in Kentucky in USA is there standing a water tower shaped as a bourbon bottle (American whisky), and with the task to be a water reserve of any possible fires.

The painting on the steel water tower is reflecting one of the great trade marks of the company, Old Forester, which was brought out as early as 1870 and that contain 43 % combustible liquid. The 19 metres high rivet tower containing 100 % extinguish water to a volume of 100 000 US gallon (378 m³). During the years has the water tower change painting, when the original has change design.

Published 2009-11-05


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 3/2008

A free translation to English:

Water is an important elixir, and something we shall stand up for. This was taken literally when they build a water tower in Washburn Park in Minneapolis in USA. Here were eight guardians (guardians of health) set up around the whole water tower. Permanent. To make doubly sure they even set up eight eagles to watch over the environment.

The sculptures are works by John K. Daniels, lived in the neighbourhood like Harry Wild Jones, who was the architect of the 34 meter high water tower with the volume 5 100 m³. To its unique design and to its monumental sculptures the water tower has since 1983 been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Published 2009-04-30


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 2/2007

Stockholm has the epithet the Venice of the North.

A free translation to English:

Venezia, Venice, Venedig is attractive names. It is many cities that try to compare themselves with the old city state. One close example is the Venice of the North. It is therefore not surprising that cities are using reputation loans, as Venice in Florida.

The landscape conditions exist here in the water rich state, there the ground not raise many meters over the ocean. However is there lack of the architecture likeness with the universal heritage city. It is more car than gondola. There is however a heart in the city, painted on the spheroid water tower, there it even is telling that Venice is a city on the Gulf of Mexico.

Published 2007-03-24


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 3/2005

A free translation to English:

Water towers is solid buildings that stand strong even when the storm is whistling as most, which become verified when the writer 1992 saw a picture in a foreign colleague to the journal Cirkulation. The picture was photographed after the ravages of the hurricane Andrew in the south Florida the 24th August 1992 and showed an intact water tower in the middle of demolished houses and overthrow trees.

The tower with the often occurring American city name painting was known, because it had been photographed in April the same year, but at that time surrounded by wooded verdure in a prosperous community. The natural forces may be strong, but sometimes they can’t beat water towers.

Published 2005-04-27


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 4/2004

A free translation to English:

Drive across a water tower is not an everyday occurrence. That is however possible to do in five lanes and in two levels in San Francisco, USA. Under the suspension bridge the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, not to be mistaken for the Golden Gate Bridge, is there standing a smaller water tower, protected from rain. Earlier run over the bridge also the railway, but this traffic was replaced in the 1950s by cars.

The tower is not standing in the most safely blocks in the city, and absolute not as safe as the rather like water tower on the nearby island Alcatraz. Run over water towers has the writer otherwise only seen an excavator make.

Published 2004-06-09


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 6/2003

A free translation to English:

A wishing-customer to the steel profiles supplier is the feeling when you are looking at the water tower in Batavia, New York State, USA. For the country usual way is here steel used as a construction material to the water tower, even if not all steel water towers is using steel profiles to the carrying part.

It is one of two water towers in the town, official stated by the water works as located behind the Ponderosa Steak House, which supply the town with a pressure of 27-36 m column of water. The town with circa 16 000 inhabitants is situated 50 kilometres east Buffalo, and named after a German tribe on the Rhine delta (the Batavian) in the present Holland.

Published 2003-10-08


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 6/2002

A free translation to English:

Silicon Valley may be the Mecca of the modern technique, but the men there as well as other places needs water. Water delivered with help of old tested techniques, as communicating vessels, which on the low-lying ground south of San Francisco Bay mean water towers.

Such a tower in local adjusted style is there in the Agnews Developmental Center, an earlier federal state mental hospital in the heart of the California city San Jose. Some of the modernity apostles estimate however these upright technique relicts, because they can be used within the mobile telephony.

Published 2002-10-02


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 1/2001

A free translation to English:

Bingo! perhaps the building workers shouted, when they got the last steel segment on its place on the water tower construction in the gambling city Atlantic City. The city is located in the federal state New Jersey, 200 kilometres south New York City. The tower holding 2 million gallons water (circa 7 500 m³) and get as most up to the level 38 meter above the Atlantic. The bottom of the tower standing is though on the level 3 meter, it is not high, but so is the city situated on a barrier island.

The steel tower is constructed by Elam Associates and built 1998 by Pitts-Des Moines Inc and stood finish to operation 1999. The water tower is nowadays painted as a hot-air balloon, with vertical colour fields and with a tower shaft painted as a gondola, with aeronauts and the whole.

It was Jeff Elam that proposed the idea and got the work of art on its place. Tall as four man of the tower-shaft is protected against graffiti, and that is luckily, because it is unnecessary to hazard the damage risk of the tower even in the gambling city Atlantic City.

Published 2001-02-14


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 7/1999

A free translation to English:

The city of Fresno in the central California was 1891 planning to built a water tower that not only should have a reservoir to quench thirst and extinguish fires, but even a library to the thirst of knowledge. The 100 feet high tower with a reservoir on 250 000 gallons was completed in 1894 and was in duty until 1963.

The tower library becomes however only a mirage. The brick-built water tower is designed in the American Romanesque style by architect George Washington Maher from Chicago.

A memorable tower, not only because it stand in a desert area that has been fertile by irrigation, but even to the architecture that signs inform. The United States Department of the Interior has placed the tower on the ”National Register of Historic Places”, and the American Water Works Association has given the tower the honour ”An American Water Landmark”. Additional sign tells that the building is dedicated to the General Manager of the Water Department. He was born 1891 and had 36 years service to the city of Fresno.

Published 1999-11-03


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 3/1999

A free translation to English:

My series of of water towers has until now held an urban character. It is also probably the urban image the most of us have of water towers. Therefore shall I this time broke this pattern with a tower in rural surroundings. It is a small water tower near large water. North San Simeon, halfway on the famous coast road between Los Angeles and San Francisco was there for some years ago [1993] this small water tower. Near the tremendous water quantity in the Pacific has this limited water reservoir certainly fill its function to the owner.

The exact information about the reservoir volume or height is not known, but they can’t be overwhelming. Even if the building materials not is by the exclusive kind can the architect at least pride oneself with that the building have ocean view.

Published 1999-05-05


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 5/1998

Dalecarlian is a province in Sweden. Dalecarlian horse is a painted wooden horse. Dalecarlian painting is painting with richly-decorated floral motif.

The English word ”fascinating” is translated from the Swedish word ”fängslande”, which also mean ”imprisoning”.

A free translation to English:

The land of immigrants USA is often talked-about as a melting-pot. The different cultures is mixed and creating a new – an American. After all exist however a part of the old elements of culture and the citizens feel a pride of theirs extraction and theirs old culture. This must be one of the reasons that the water tower in Kingsburg, California has the appearance it has.

When the police cars of the town have a Dalecarlian horse, and the text The Swedish Village on the doors, isn’t it unnatural that the water tower of the town has a form of a tea pot with richly-decorated floral motif. It holds 60 000 US gallons which correspond to 227 m³ or 1,5 millions coffee pots. The tower is manufactured 1911 in the steel city Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Fascinating details at the tower stand is except the little white building City Jail, even a bronze plate that tells you that the adornment and the tower lights has been made to memory of some loved ones. Who has paid the full amount tells also the founded letters, we are after all in the donators USA.

Published 1998-08-19


Eber’s water towers in Cirkulation 2/1998

A free translation to English:

A water tower in USA. There is no doubt about that. If you drive U.S. route 1 southbound through Florida are you meeting this sight, when you drive in to City of Cocoa. Then you are by the way not far from Cape Canaveral.

Water towers of steel are usual in the United States, here in form of pillar-spheroid. It is even usually to paint the name of the town on the reservoir. The water tower in City of Cocoa has a painting that no patriot can complain.

Published 1998-03-18