Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

"Kitchen Boiler Connections" from 1899.

Turbo Dave
Turbo Dave Member Posts: 79
Hey all. I randomly found this and it's great!

<a href="http://www.archive.org/stream/kitchenboilerco00unkngoog#page/n32/mode/2up">http://www.archive.org/stream/kitchenboilerco00unkngoog#page/n32/mode/2up</a>



  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,410
    I lived with one of those

    My grandparents had one of those in the kitchen in the early 50's, I lived with them when i was about 6 years old. I can remember they would turn it on before doing the dishes or if someone was going to take a bath. i also remember them being very careful because if one was left unattended and started to make steam they were known for making nice round holes in roofs as well as stains in the seats of your trousers.

    The gas fired ones were the best, a lot easier than trying to get a 5 gallon jug of kerosene onto the stump without spilling it all over the floor - just like replacing a 5 gallon glass jug on an old water cooler. If a fire started in a kitchen with a kerosene stove or heater the house was almost always a complete loss.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • 4Johnpipe
    4Johnpipe Member Posts: 479
    Side Arm

    Check this out...going in my shop when we start this remodel...
    Considerate People, Considerate Service, Consider It Done!
    email: [email protected]
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,642
    Early water heater

    Here's an early sidearm water heater from Frederic Law Olmstead's home in Brookline, Ma.

    C. 1898
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    It's Amazing

    Do you ever wonder why one hundred + year old equipment functions more reliably than equipment made yesterday? I don't agree that newer is always better. The dead men had it so much harder and took so much pride in their work, and deserved every bit of it!

    We have to live with the future, but we can't forget about the past.


  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,431

    I have worked with engineers my entire career and what I have encountered is this, way back when this equipment was made they didn't have a good idea what they needed so everything was over kill.  A lot of the time they were doing something new and knew if they built it "so strong" it would work.  As the years have gone by Engineering has learned what works and what doesn't.  Nowadays materials and labor are so expensive engineering is critical to increase profits so equipment is built just strong or sturdy enough to do the job it needs to.  This has been my experience over the years.  I am not being critical of the way things are built now, because honestly I embrace the technology.  Put it in this perspective those old heavy cast iron boilers seemed to last forever correct?  Well do they corrode more slowly?  I doubt it.  It's just they have a lot more to corrode before they fail.  It's not better not worse just over kill.  To be honest in talking to my grandfather (mechanical engineer) who started out his career at a foundry, metallurgy today is better than it was 100 years ago.  This is also another reason things aren't "tank like" anymore.  A better material and you need less of it.  Again this is just my opinion. I do agree on one point, there is a lot of pride in the old work you  can see it in the design and how "pretty" they made things.  I will say this though some of us still take a ton of pride in our work so no one cut yourself short on that!  I can see it in the comments made on this site and all of you should be proud of what you do!  Thank you.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,537
    Well said KC

    Indeed., but Just think of the unemployment rate alone if things were built to last 100 years . As soon as all buying consumers of said product were supplied companies would have to close shop. I think a little of that plays into it along with the engineering.

    I do have to say though I'm tired of the complete junk in all aspects of products. There is designed to do the job, and designed to just do the job....a short while.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,410
    One saving grace

    of old equipment is simplicity. It's heavily built and the controls are usually pretty apparent, if something stops working it's usually easy to figure out what went wrong and pretty straight forward to get it working again.

    Twenty years from now if something goes wrong with a complex controller I suspect you will have the devil of a time getting a replacement. If a LWCO or valve lets go on a simple boiler you will probably have no trouble finding a part that will work.

    A case in point is an old 1980's amplifier (Hafler) I bought cheap with one dead channel, I took off the cover and made a few measurements and found a bias point way off. Looking at schematic there were only a couple of things that could cause this. In ten minutes I found two open signal diodes, I replaced them and had that amp singing like a bird 30 minutes after taking the cover off. A friend asked me to look at a 5 year old high end amp that had some pretty complex control circuitry and the manufacturer was out of business. That's probably not repairable at a price he would want to pay.

    Sometimes it's worth trading some performance for good simple operation that can be easily maintained  You pays your money and makes your choice.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,431

    That is the one thing that does sort of bug me about modern equipment, you can't keep it going.  I have a car from 1972 and one from 2002.  Let's take a front wheel bearing.  On my 1972 car it is serviceable so I can open it up clean and inspect repack it and reinstall it.  Those bearings currently have 230,000 miles on them and are still like new.  Even if I had to replace it, the cost is around 60 bucks (part cost).  My 2002 car has sealed bearings with and integral hub and anti-lock brake sensor.  When the bearing goes bad I have to replace the whole assembly and that part costs 150 bucks.  Now I know it has more to it, but I can't service it to make it last longer so I don't have a choice I either pay or the wheel falls off.  Yes overall quality and tolerances are better with new parts, but you can't easily maintain things.  I love modern technology and what it does for us, but I wish we had a little of the "maintenance" back so I didn't have to just replace things all the time.  Maybe that's why I like my steam heating system so much....it's old school.  lol
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    brings back memories

    not great ones though. Don't miss working on the pot burners, autopulse pumps, and gravity fed hot waters. They were made to last though