The Old Iron Pump

pump 001

Our water came from a cast iron pump in the back yard. Since I could not find a pump picture on line that matched the one we had I attempted to sketch one so you could see what I am writing about. The pump furnished our drinking water for many years. When I was in elementary school, We had an electric pump and a tank installed in the basement. It was hooked up to the cold water line only since it was hard water with a lot of orange iron in it. We had a cistern with rain water from the roof for bathing and washing clothes.

The Old Iron Pump  –  (Childhood Details Collection)

Under the grape arbor beyond our back porch

Stands a sculptor of cast iron like liberty’s torch

A simple machine brings the flow from below

Filling our bucket or pitcher to go

The iron pump sits on a long hollow root

Extending all the way down to the deep water boot

A weighted handle helps do my job

I raise up the handle and push down the bulb

One pump two pumps three pumps and four

Out of the spout fresh water pours

A triangle hook holds the bucket in place

When it’s full it’s heavy as a Mt. Rushmore face

Amazing gizmo this great invention

Works really well if I pay attention

The water is “hard”  a flavorless orange tint

Leaving rings where it stands and stains in the sink


Sketch: Dwight L. Roth


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