The Freshman Fishwrap / IHTFP Hack Gallery

Fire Hose Drinking Fountain

Location: Building 16, 1st floor lobby
Date: 12/9/91

Former MIT President ['71-'80] Jerome Weisner coined a colorful and often quoted description of the MIT educational experience:

Most students and faculty agree the analogy is quite appropriate.

In 1991, a group of hackers managed to embody this common expression by turning a fire hydrant into a drinking fountain in front of the largest lecture hall on campus (26-100, where many freshman get hosed daily). The fire hydrant drinking fountain made its debut during the final week of classes for the fall term, a classic time when most people are feeling quite drenched from the MIT fire hose.

The fire hydrant, set in its own block of sidewalk, came complete with a fire hose and nozzle. The nozzle emptied over the drain of an existing drinking fountain, replacing the original water spigot. The fire hose nozzle was integrated with the original fountain plumbing so that the anyone could press the fountain's lever and drink from the MIT fire hose.

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