Newley Purnell's home on the web since 2001

New York City Fire Hydrant Poles Marked ‘Thailand’ (Updated)

Update, October 22:

I’m embedded, at the end of this post, some responses I received on Twitter.

File under: Unsolved mysteries…

Here’s a photo I snapped recently of the top of a metal post built next to a fire hydrant here in New York City.

Yes, it says “SA Thailand 5.”


The post is one of several I’ve seen that are positioned as barriers to protect fire hydrants from cars, much like the two posts in this photo.

Why does this post say Thailand on it?

I’ve done some searching online, and can’t find any references to a company called “SA” (or with any name that would be abbreviated SA).

Could this simply be a straightforward — though somewhat odd — case of New York City officials purchasing less expensive goods from abroad rather than paying more for American-made items, as seemed to be the case with the NYC manhole covers from Kolkata?

Does anyone have any thoughts?

I’ll keep you posted as I learn more…


My Tweets from Eric Schmidt’s Talk with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher


Tweets from Bob Woodward’s Columbia Journalism School Talk Last Night


  1. Mdest56

    Actually, it’s rather prosaic. By law, the Country of Origin must be on items purchased by the City of New York. In your travels, you’ll see manhole covers labeled “India”. The poles you’ve found are called ‘bollards’; they protect the hydrant from errant vehicles.

    Michael De Stefano
    Brooklyn, USA

  2. Sutht

    Might be something related to ‘Siamese twins’ hydrant?

    • newley

      Thanks, Sutht. I just embedded some Tweets at the end of the post in which folks make the same observation.

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