VAG turns 150.
Invitation to an exciting journey


  • Products & Technology
Company founder Carl Reuther talks about the first hydrants

The beginning of an era

Here the founder has the floor. Carl Reuther’s report on the development of the first hydrant:

“I’m now going to talk about the second subject, the hydrant.

In previous years, when the supply of cities with water began, each site engineer had to design the hydrant himself, and this is how, in 1867, I came to know the design of a hydrant for the first time in the office of the late professor and civil engineer Kankewitz in Stuttgart where I held a temporary employment; at that time, a water supply system for Chemnitz was being projected and a hydrant designed for that purpose.


It is understandable that where one only has an eye on the purpose and quality, the product is not designed as thriftily and cheaply as in places where besides the quality and perfection of the design one also has to keep low-cost manufacturing methods, i.e. competitiveness in mind, and this is why, in the year 1880, after about 10 years of experience in the trade, I set out to design a hydrant which not only met all the requirements but also ensured long-term proper function.

This is how the hydrant – Model 1881 – was born and built for the first time by my company to be used in the water supply system of the city of Colmar, which was under construction at that time.

In the year 1884, this design was improved by Model 1885. The changes made concerned the stem bearing, the valve head and the fastener of the valve leather, the latter of which are shaped according to the flow of the water. At the same time, I designed Reuther’s Patent Hydrant.”

The pictures show the design types and later evolutions. The current milestone in the hydrant era is the VAG NOVA NIRO 365 standpost hydrant which was launched in 2020.