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Take a trip to 1918!

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MilanD
MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
Gutenberg project online. Here's a nice find for all who want to understand where we started, 100 years ago.

Mechanics of the Household, by E. S. (Edward Spencer) Keene:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/50846/50846-h/50846-h.htm

Original book scan:
https://archive.org/details/mechanicsofhouse00keen

Enjoy!
-Milan
STEVEusaPATurbo Dave

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    I love the first line...
    "...The use of steam as a means of heating dwellings is common in every part of the civilized world. Plants of all sizes are constructed, that not only give satisfactory service but are efficient in the use of fuel, and require the minimum amount of attention..."

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    MilanD
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
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    @STEVEusaPA

    I chuckled at it too!
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    That is one amazing look back in time. I never heard of using gasoline for heating and lighting or acetylene. I can only imagine a few explosions ending that. I also never knew there was that much to know about coal.
    Good find!!

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    MilanD
  • kevink1955
    kevink1955 Member Posts: 88
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    Wow, we have it so easy today. I remember some of this from my Grandfathers Audels Plumbers Handbooks that were written a few years later.

    ! thing that has always stuck with me is 2 illustration on how to pour a lead joint. The correct way was to duck off to the side in the event the lead found some water and exploded out of the joint.

    The incorrect way had a caption "EYES PUT OUT" a strong reminder but who speaks like that today ?
    MilanD
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,889
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    Sounds like Frank Graham wrote those books. He was one of the best.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    MilanD
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,097
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    No time to read now, but will save. Mad Dog
  • RomanGK_26986764589
    RomanGK_26986764589 Member Posts: 229
    edited May 2017
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    Awesome book! I did not finish reading yet but from what I understood so far, 3-5 pounds of steam pressure was ok back then for 1 pipe steam heating.
    MilanD
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
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    Wow, we have it so easy today. I remember some of this from my Grandfathers Audels Plumbers Handbooks that were written a few years later.

    ! thing that has always stuck with me is 2 illustration on how to pour a lead joint. The correct way was to duck off to the side in the event the lead found some water and exploded out of the joint.

    The incorrect way had a caption "EYES PUT OUT" a strong reminder but who speaks like that today ?

    I love these old trade books. BTW, you are now having me check out the Audels Handbooks from our local public library. I have a feeling abebooks will soon see me purchasing these great old volumes.
  • RomanGK_26986764589
    RomanGK_26986764589 Member Posts: 229
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    I am wondering, how did they control the pressure in a residential coal fired steam boilers back then? Did pressure trolls exist 100 years ago? How did they know how much coal was needed to heat the whole house and not get the excessive pressure? I remember from reading TLAOSH that boilers were often oversized to "accommodate the husband" so they would definitely develop pressure.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,649
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    It's easy. The woman of the house woke up early enough to stoke the furnace or boiler. She knew how much coal to shovel in. No pressuretrol needed.
    MilanD
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    edited May 2017
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    A few more words on Steam Heat from 1925 Audel's Plumbing book #3.

    Also, I went yesterday to one of the old CPS (Cincinnati) schools (now an Irish Heritage Ctr). Here's the original coal 1917 boiler, with gas added sometimes later, and decomissioned in 1981.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    That second pic looks like someone pulled an old locomotive right up to the wall

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    MilanD
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    edited May 2017
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    That second pic looks like someone pulled an old locomotive right up to the wall

    It's probably 1/3 size of one, but exactly like it. I'd say some 25-30 ft long from end to end. The fact it was, literally, built in place, brick and all, is just astounding to me.

    The guy that showed it to me trained with one of our old-timers who I also had a pleasure to talk to and meet. His story was remembering mixing plaster and asbestos and using bare hands and no masks of any kind to wrap steam pipes with it. Not on this job, but in general. The old timer is still here, I think he's 90 now.

    If these walls could talk... but that's why Mr. Holohan is here.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,889
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    ratio said:

    It's easy. The woman of the house woke up early enough to stoke the furnace or boiler. She knew how much coal to shovel in. No pressuretrol needed.

    Actually, those old coal boilers had damper regulators that would close the air dampers if the pressure got too high.

    @MilanD , what kind of boiler does that old school have now?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    edited May 2017
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    Steamhead said:

    ratio said:

    It's easy. The woman of the house woke up early enough to stoke the furnace or boiler. She knew how much coal to shovel in. No pressuretrol needed.

    Actually, those old coal boilers had damper regulators that would close the air dampers if the pressure got too high.

    @MilanD , what kind of boiler does that old school have now?
    I'll post it later: have only a video. It's a LAAAARGE LGB of some sort - I'd say about 4 million BTU with 5 boiler risers into the header, and an extra Peerless as a back-up, that's now rotted and not working either. It has an express riser to 3 story school house section and up-fed for 2 story part, the hallways and other parts of the building, a 150 gallon condensate return tank (didn't take pic of it - it looks like an oil tank that's used for condensate return). There are 3 FT traps, 2 loop seals I could see (some basement rooms were locked), and a few 2-pipe installed convectors with electric aquastat wiring, Hoffman 17c traps.

    From my limited knowledge and from not counting rads (many have been taken off line and replaced with furnaces), I think it's waaay oversized now. A few burners have been removed to offset. I'll update later.

    They are now adding AC to individual rooms on upper floors, so some rads are being off-lined there as well (in addition to downstairs auditorium and offices). The furnace will be used for shoulder seasons, then boiler and furnace for really cold times... I have my reservations about this as the building is brick, 15 ft ceilings and large windows, but you do what you have to with the money you have or don't have. It is what it is. At least they are not ripping anything out. Only disconnecting.