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Very cool old radiator

It's inside a wooden circular bench with an ornate grille on the center opening. There are grids at the bottom for convection. Nice place to wait for a train on a cold Adirondack day!

Comments

  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,738
    Pic of Very cool old radiator

    Old cast iron radiator w/ raised art work on radiator and ornate pneumatic radiator valve. Several of these in this old Lumber Baron's house. Tim
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928


    Lumber baron? Pneumatic system? Would that happen to be Rockcliffe Mansion in Hannibal, MO?
  • Al Roethlisberger
    Al Roethlisberger Member Posts: 194
    Very cool....


    That is exceptionally cool.

    I wonder(do you know) how the pneumatic radiator valve system operated. More interestingly, does it still work?

    Al
    Just a DIY'er trying to learn, and improve and maintain his converted ca 1929 overhead gravity hot water system since there is no one local that can.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,738
    Seattle

    Simpson lumber company, built in early 1900s. This house is right next to the big house, he built this one for his mother or mother in law. This is about 6000sf the one next door a little over 10k sft.
  • That's

    an "Italian Flue Ornamental Radiator", made by American Radiator Co. in the very late 1800s and early 1900s. If that's a 38-inch-tall rad like I think it is, each section is 7 square feet EDR!

    This was definitely a top-of-the-line installation for its day.

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  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,738
    Pneumatic system, way cool

    Old air compressor and components were removed many years ago. I still work on some pneumatic systems that are basically the same as this would have been. I have nosed around to find the old thermostats for house, I would love to see them but can't seem to find them. Tim
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928


    Like TRVs, pneumatic systems have inherent proportional control. The operators attached to the radiators have a diaphragm--compressed air enters on one side of the diaphragm and the other side of the diaphragm has a rod or similar attached in the center. The rod moves depending on how much much the compressed air distends the diaphragm.

    The radiator operator connects to a thermostat with a little tube carrying compressed air. The thermostat also has another tube connected to the compressed air source. A needle valve moves to-and-fro based on closely the actual air temp matches the desired air temp (thus regulating the pressure of the air delivered to the operator on the radiator). The farther the actual air temp is below the desired, the more the needle valve opens.

    Unless they have been rebuilt, the operators probably don't work. I believe that the diaphragms in the early systems were made of leather as it was much more durable than the rubber available in the period.

    The early pneumatic thermostats I've seen are works of art that appear to have been made by traditional clockmakers--fabulously machined and even with beautiful decoration on the internal gears. As long as the compressed air stays dry (that's VERY important), the thermostats probably need nothing more than a cleaning every few decades.

    Modern pneumatic systems are nearly identical. The operators have much longer lasting diaphragms, but the thermostats are mass produced.

    The requirement of a constant source of dry compressed air generally limits modern pneumatic control systems to large commercial/industrial applications. Dual pressure systems are commonly used for automatic setback during unoccupied periods.
  • JK_3
    JK_3 Member Posts: 240
    a work of art

    That is truly a working peice af art and just goes to show the pride taken in the old steam systems. It let the regular people see what we see in the piping. thanks .
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

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  • JK_3
    JK_3 Member Posts: 240
    my mistake

    thanks for the correction and Happy turkey day to you .

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  • fatty
    fatty Member Posts: 46


    here's a steam one for your holiday viewing enjoyment

    i see all kinds of unique ones here in philly. and i see wonderful radiators like these gets smashed every week. i wish they were lighter, i'd take them all
  • That's

    a circular Rococo steam-only radiator, again made by American Radiator Company. Where in Philly is it?

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  • fatty_2
    fatty_2 Member Posts: 54


    that one i saw in brooklyn. you can certainly find one around here, if you're looking for one, i can ask around.
  • John Cockerill
    John Cockerill Member Posts: 94
    round radiator

    You will find a round one in the Yonkers NY RR station waiting room on the "Hudson River Line"

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  • john_171
    john_171 Member Posts: 13
    Round Radiator

    This one's in the north waiting room/museum of the Adirondack Scenic RR's station at Thendara, NY. The people are waiting in line at the ticket window. We get LOTS of comments about it. There's another one in the south waiting room/gift shop. They really throw the heat!
  • Bill W@Honeywell
    Bill W@Honeywell Member Posts: 164
    Pneumatics are alive & well!

    You can get parts or replacements for pneumatics from any commercial-oriented Honeywell distributor. Stats, valve and damper actuators, relays, pneumatic/electric switches, electonic transducers, the whole nine yards. Don't trash an pneumatics you find, they can be fixed or updated, usually at a fraction of the replacement cost.
  • john_171
    john_171 Member Posts: 13
    Now that's one

    that I must have missed--though it's probably gone now, as in about 1999/2000 when the Saranac Lake folks had their station renovated, (an excellent job in every other respect) the steam system was ripped out and replaced with hot water. I would have loved to put the steam system back in shape. Could have done it for a fraction of the cost of all those brand new Burnham radiators, and the huge W-M boiler and all new piping. My bet is that it would have been at least as efficient, if not moreso, than what's there now. I'm told that this was the last hand-fired boiler on the NYC Adirondack Divsion, and was in use until the station closed in 1965.
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