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Funeral for a Friend: Buried Water Infrastructure in 1949

To paraphrase Mark Twain, I didn’t attend this funeral, but I’d like to send this nice note to say I approve of it!

saginaw michigan MI water pump funeral 1949This item from the June 13, 1949 issue of LIFE magazine covers the charming, oddball funeral/celebration for one of Saginaw, Michigan’s ubiquitous community water pumps, finally “put to rest” in favor of an efficient new pipeline. Read more

10 More Weird Water Items for Sale on Ebay

The Thirsty in Suburbia Super Water Flea returns! Following are 10 more hand-picked examples of rare, unusual and weird water-related merch just waiting for your winning bid. (The Sept. 2009 edition is here.)

1. You always knew water tended to be political so how about this one that’s “the right drink for the conservative taste”? This “Goldwater” can was made during  the 1960s Barry Goldwater U.S. presidential campaign. The seller notes, “the can has some rust on it.” Currently, one bidder with $2.00 on the board.

2. This represents “the greatest sensational mystery ever attempted in this or any other age.” Just try finding that someplace else for under twenty bucks. The Houdini In the Water-Filled Torture Cell poster is available at the Buy-It-Now price of $16.98.

3. With a little lovin’ care, this Halsey Taylor vintage water fountain could be the centerpiece of your properly sustainable mid-century modern hipster hangout. It is sold “As Is” and there are no returns! You can Buy it Now for just $44.98, but don’t overlook the $79.98 shipping charges. But who can put a price on Cool, really?

4. Get rich quick! Did you know making money with bottled water is as easy as filling in the blanks? The description for the Bottled Water Company Business Plant bundle notes “Stop struggling to write your business plan by using the professionally prewritten sample Bottled Water Company business plan included in the Bottled Water Company Business Plan Bundle…” Just $39.95 with a “30 day money-back guarantee.”

5. As crazy as things are getting out in the Wild Water West, who knows, this could be worth something someday!

This is a common stock certificate from the Southern California Water Company issued August 12, 1952 to one “Stirling, Morris and Bousman.” Even if it is worthless, the nice engraving of pipes and tanks will surely console the buyer. Maybe you? It’s a low risk at Just $8.29 and impulse shoppers, it’s “Buy It Now!”

6. While this is a classic gag, you DO need special supplies, and here they are! The New colored Tap Water Prank Gag Practical Joke is yours for 99 cents and $1.95 shipping. A cheap thrill! Just “insert one of four colored tablets into your faucet stem and watch as the water gets UGLY. Comes with 3 colored tablets and spring.” When April 1st rolls around you’re going to wish you’d jumped on this one, so plan ahead now!

7. Speaking of planning ahead, here’s your Halloween ace in the hole! Check out the HOT price ($258) on this Water Droplet costume. (Last Halloween, we priced a similar one for $1,279 and it didn’t even have awesome googly eyes like this one does! The seller notes that this giant water drop has a POLYFOAM head, which is important because,

“We use the advanced machine to manufacture POLYFOAM head, it is only one piece, it is stronger and enough hard to avoid to break when it meet strike accidentally, User head can be protected very well, but paperboard or foam head was produced by different  paperboard or foam pieces, they was usually agglutinated by the bad gluewater, this kind of head is not very firm, and very easily to turn into fragment, At the same time, the gluewater do harm to the User, It makes the User headache or feel unhappy.”

8. Get back to nature and start livin’ off the land with this old timey Rare Crank Water Pump, SBP St. Louis. The seller says it is in “very good condition, the crank turns freely & turns a chain with small tin cups to lift water up.” So if you’re dreaming of getting off the water grid, this could help you git yer groundwater on…err, up. The starting bid is $699 but the shipping is “free.”

9. Another item for those suffering an unusual obsession with vintage pumps. As if the internet’s not bad enough, this DVD covers Myers Vintage Water Pumps Catalogs from 1905 -1940. F.E. Myers Pumps was established in 1870 and the Myers’ brothers developed the first double acting hand pump. The DVD reproduces 7 vintage catalogs, featuring a huge treasury of information and illustrations for all types of water pumps, windmills, etc for home, farm and commercial use.

10. This is a new copy of a vintage Water Hazard golf sign. It measures 6″ x 12″ and it all-weather metal. Of course you don’t have to use this for something golf-related. Use your imagination, you can come up with something inventive, can’t you? It is listed with a starting bid of $4.99 with $4.95 for shipping.