"Jumbo" fire sprinkler

I got this last week. Its commonly referred to as a “jumbo”. I’ve never been able to find any literature on them in my old books, but the consensus among us sprinkler guys is that they were used as an early ESFR type head. The few fitters to run into them in the field have said they were installed at the tops of elevator shafts or pipe chases. Quite interesting, it has 1 1/4" threads as opposed to the more standard 1/2" and 3/4".

Next to it are other models of the same brand, in standard size.

So how many GPM can it disperse?

That’s a good question. I am unable to find any literature, including any kind of old data sheets…they’re just that rare.

Wow. I might be able to do some math.

That thing is huge! I’ve seen plenty of the newer ESFR heads but never anything that old that big. Just wondering, is there a date on it?

The oldest sprinkler head I’ve got in my collection is a Hodgman from 1952 - I’ll have to post up some pictures on here of some of my more older or unusual sprinkler heads in my collection.

It does have a date on it, strangely, it has 2 dates. It is dated 1945 on the link, but 1949 on the frame. That being said, I would assume it was made in 1949, but with some leftover parts for the link. Given how unusual these sprinklers are and the likely low demand they had, it wouldn’t surprise me if they stock-piled parts back then to make them when an order came in.

Hodgman was a local company here, made in Taunton, Mass. from 1920 until they went under in the early '80s. They’re extremely common in these parts.

Back then they were made by hand so wouldn’t doubt it. Here are 5 of the oldest ones I have - the first one says “Grinnell Quartzoid” but the date is unreadable, given they were introduced in the 1940’s, may be the oldest one I have but cannot verify. The three in the middle are the Hodgman D sprinklers - 1952 to 1959. The one on the right is a Central D 1969.


That Grinnell quartzoid is likely from the later '50s or early '60s, I can tell by the valve cap used. Those Hodgmans are cool. From left to right you have a conventional, upright, and pendent. The upright is of the double deflector design common in the '50s when the standard spray patterns were developed. That Central is pretty cool. Central didn’t have as big of a presence around here as Hodgman and Rockwood did.

That Central D Looks like it has a bottle cap for the disperser! :lol:

These are some of my oldest ones. The big, acorn-looking one is a J. Smith from 1879, the spade-shaped one is a Grinnell from 1882 and the Odd looking one is a W. Kane, also from 1882.

Those are awesome!

The 1879 J. Smith is enormous. Hands down, the largest sprinkler I own. It weighs in at 13 lbs. of solid brass.

Those things are HUGE! I would be concerns if one of those fell out of the ceiling! :lol: