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HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 637
edited April 2019 in THE MAIN WALL


My mother and father had a coal stove. I had steam heat. But look at how far we've come. Suddenly, we have these magnificent systems that keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and they do it so efficiently. It's only within my generation that people have come to expect their homes to be heated or cooled.

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  • BradHotNCold
    BradHotNCold Member Posts: 70
    “There is no College of Heating Technology.“

    Dan, I think heatinghelp.com is pretty darn close!
    Erin Holohan Haskell
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,526
  • HotanCool
    HotanCool Member Posts: 55
    We do get noticed once in while. Like at 2 a.m.,in January, during a snowstorm,when it's 5°F,and the Heat no worky! Then somehow they are there to greet you at the door with hugs and kisses. Untill they get the bill.
  • WilliamGripp
    WilliamGripp Member Posts: 3
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,297

    “There is no College of Heating Technology.“

    Dan, I think heatinghelp.com is pretty darn close!

    I second that!

    I grew up in a city house with gravity hot water heat -- coal fired. During the war. (That's World War II, for you young'uns). Dad was away otherwise engaged, and I was too young to help -- but I remember my mother going down the stairs to the basement and firing that old boiler by hand... frequently. The house my children were born in was heated by two wood stoves ("heated" is a courtesy term...).

    We have come a long way, and I appreciate all of it (especially when Cedric fires up at 10 below!) -- but I think that maybe we, as a society, have lost something, too, maybe a lot. Or maybe I'm just old.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • cubbydog
    cubbydog Member Posts: 42
    I’m 71 and grew up in the country but oh so many similarities. The coal the rats the kitchen stove, the baths in the set tubs on Saturday night. As we got older we had our bath in the tub, first my sister then my parents and then four little boys at the same time. The reason we only bathed once a week was because it took all day for the kitchen stove to heat enough water to fill the tub.
    I was the oldest boy, the only thing I was required to do was carry the coal ashes outside put them in a spinner with a garbage can under it and separate the wheat from the chaf. The cinders were dumped out back and the unburned coal was returned to the monster as we called it. The monster was a absolutely beautiful starving spider 🕷 in the basement that had an insatiable appetite for coal. It had ductwork that filled the basement and looked Ed Zackery like a spider (at least to a kid).
    Oh yea the thermostat was your window!
    The old house is still there keeping my mother warm as it did for 97 years, the only difference is she now has a thermostat and several servants (children) all living near by.
    Some things the city boys probably don’t remember, the coal man, the coal bin, the cast iron coal door outside, the scissor dump truck, and the dust.
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 905
    edited March 2020
    @cubbydog, I worked for a company in Pittsburgh, Pa. that sold, serviced and sometimes installed commercial and industrial steam/hotwater boilers. They resurrected coal as an alternate fuel to to allow some buildings to reap the savings from a cheaper fuel source. Some of the units would burn coal only and some would burn coal, nat gas, fuel oil or a combination of coal and 1 more fuel. They called these monsters "Tri Fuel Boilers". and were sold all over the USA. I did not mind servicing the nat gas burning units nor did i mind servicing the #1, #2, or #4 fuel oil, but I really hated the #6 fuel oil and the coal. The dirt, dust, smell etc. were just too much. So, yes, I do remember the coal bin, the coal chute, ash, clinkers and overall filth. I am so glad that i retired and now just have fond memories.