While bollards started out with a very definite form and purpose (they were, essentially, spots where sailors could tie up ships in the 18th century – hence the classic, maritime look of a post topped with a cannonball), hundreds of years of use have made them almost infinitely variable. Charting their various looks and purposes has become something of a labour of love for Andrew Choate, whose Instagram page (@saintbollard) features dozens of examples from the very basic to the impossibly ornate. Check them out – the account already has 49,000 followers.

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