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Bicycles and Heating History

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HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 654
edited October 2020 in THE MAIN WALL




Bicycles and Heating History

There was once a time when the plumbing and heating industry was threatened by bicycles. In this episode, Dan Holohan tells the story of how this new and exciting invention was banned from business.

Read the full story here

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  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,554
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    Really enjoyed this one. Thanks
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,346
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    Thanks for listening, Ray!

    President
    HeatingHelp.com

  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 670
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    Thank you for that. Bikes a plumbing, two of my favorite thing.
    Miss Hall's School service mechanic, greenhouse manager,teacher and dog walker
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,389
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    It's interesting. We've been so steeped in doing more with less that the idea of condemning bicycles because they made you too efficient is a bit of a mind bender. Thanks for the perspective! :p

    Yours, Larry
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,568
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    Glad you enjoyed the story. Many more on the way. Thanks for listening!
    Retired and loving it.
  • RunningOnVaporsInNJ
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    An excellent example of disruptive innovation, imagine how a younger fit worker with the economic means to buy a bicycle suddenly had a competitive advantage over co-workers say with large families to support or who were less fit. This change probably was disrupting the seniority hierarchy for workers in much the same way the introduction of some computer control and diagnostic systems now may advantage younger workers that grew up using computers today. Thanks!
  • RandalRipley
    RandalRipley Member Posts: 1
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    Good story Dan. I look forward to the next edition.
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,568
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    Thanks, guys. The listener is more important than the storyteller. Pass it on. And please subscribe. 
    Retired and loving it.
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • HansonG
    HansonG Member Posts: 12
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    I like it! Yes, everything was once new. And new is what disrupts (sometimes improves) the old technologies.
    Thanks for the great story.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,568
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    Thanks, @HansonG. Share it with your friends. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
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    As an electrician back in late 60's many guys would use the "Yankee" push pull screwdriver (you can google if need be) for outlet and switch installation. All screws were slotted head...no Philipps or such.
    We were told that the union people would not allow them on their jobs as "they could damage the wall surface".

    Then eventually there were pitiful little battery drills that needed overnight to charge, but they were a blessing to have.......in the late seventies this was the extent of battery drills.
    Only the phone installer had a powerful battery drill, but he had to carry a small car battery around in one hand and drill with the other.

    Of course this has all changed, I can't imagine going back to driving 1" #10 slotted screws into wood all day long for mounting boxes. Start the hole with an awl or ice pick...more self incriminating body dating.
    Almost as ancient as using a hammer to put nails in.
    CLamb
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
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    Dear Dan;

    Have not heard your voice for nearly 25 years. You still sound like the guy I remember running only classes on steam and hot water heating in New York State.

    Today you took me for a walk down memory lane.

    In 1960 I worked for my mothers 2nd cousin in down town Manhattan. The shop was Forsythe Plumbing and Heating at 79 Forsythe Street.

    My mothers second cousin was Izzy he was 68 years old and worked for his son Luis. Izzy did all local plumbing repairs for the buildings that were owned by his lonsmon (immigrants he came to this country with from Poland).

    I was 18 years old at the time and a snot nosed kid that needed to learn a trade and Izzy was going to be my Teacher and mentor. My job was to carry his leather tool bag with all the tools for the day, that bag weighed some where around 50 pounds and boy do I wish I had a bicycle with a basket to carry the tools around a 10 bock radius in the lower east side of New York.

    Most of the work was repairing high tank water closets, replacing floor flanges for short and long hopper toilet bowls
    waste line leaks for lead bends and lead waste and vent pipes. Izzy wheeled a mean gasoline blow torch when he lead wiped the lead piping. He taught me well. Unfortunately we walked the streets and climbed the stairs in 5 story tenement buildings where the water closet was in the hall and shared by as many as four apartments, wish I had bicycle back then.

    Thanks for trip down memory lane.

    Jake
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,568
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    Your stories are fantastic, Jake. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Retired and loving it.
  • bobbob
    bobbob Member Posts: 70
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    Quite a few years ago I stumbled upon a very old book written by Rev. D. L. Moody, whose name is probably known by most people. It was all about the evil of a new invention in his day--the bicycle.
    Moody believed that the new invention would be the ruin of the church. Now, people would be touring about on their bicycles to parks and amusements instead of attending church on Sunday mornings. I was dumbfounded. It was quite a sermon! Isn't it interesting that in our day the bicycle is a highly valuable tool for use in many places for missionary work! In fact, an automobile would be utterly worthless to a missionary located in a very remote, underdeveloped area of the world. A bicycle is priceless to them.
    MarjPinard
  • bobbob
    bobbob Member Posts: 70
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    addendum: We are all reluctant to accept change. It's human nature I guess. How many businesses started out making a certain product and ended up making something else? Many who adapted stayed alive. Others, who failed to adapt are long gone and perhaps unknown today.
    Larry WeingartenErin Holohan Haskell
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,568
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    Well said. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • givejon
    givejon Member Posts: 3
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    Before I had a car, I'd work on home appliances carrying a dial a charge, halide leak detector, and propane torch head. Worked on all home appliances while in college. Thanks for the fond memoris Dan!
  • givejon
    givejon Member Posts: 3
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    Carried it all on a bicycle with side saddles.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,833
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    Reminds me oh the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid scene