I posted the photo below the other day and sent a Flickr link to to firehydrant.org, which accepts photos of fire hydrants.
The fire hydrant is a necessity, not a relic, but this one on the University of Chicago campus near the anatomy building is certainly vintage. I did some poking around and found a website dedicated to the fire hydrant and its history.
The next morning I received this response from firehydrant.org volunteer Jim Q. I wondered where the hose would attach!
That’s an indicator post that controls a valve for an automatic sprinkler system. Indicator posts are used because it would be easy to shut a valve during sprinkler maintenance and then forget to open it. The indicator post eliminates all doubt as it displays OPEN or SHUT.
Interesting photo because I didn’t know the Eddy name was still in use in 1962 for indicator posts. Eddy Valve made fire hydrants. After the company was bought out their fire hydrant design continued and is still sold today by Clow Valve.
There’s more here about indicator posts.