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Perhaps the earliest programmable thermostat

This is from the Bradford (VT) Opinion 1/16/1875 about Reed Hall at Dartmouth College.
CLambErin Holohan HaskellZman


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,094
    Lovely! Probably worked just fine!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,563
    While in high school I had problems getting up early, (still do).
    So my wind up alarm clock had a string connected to a pull chain ceiling light. The clock would start climbing up the string and I had to get out of bed before it hit the bulb. (sometimes went back to bed) :(
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,824
    Sounds like a Dr. Emmet Brown idea.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,094
    I saw one one which, when it went off, went bouncing around the room... I forget where I saw it.

    On the other hand I had a friend once, decades ago in another country on a different planet, who got so mad at the alarm clock one morning that he emptied an AK-47 magazine into it...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,427
    I have to use an annoying alarm clock and keep it on the other side of the room to do me any good
  • TedFowler
    TedFowler Member Posts: 1
    I remember as a kid in the 1950's seeing an ancient brass wind-up, commercially available device at a boarding house that went off early in the morning to open the damper on the coal furnace central heating system.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,446
    Someone should sent this the the folks at Nest :) KISS
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    Turbo Dave
  • Dan Nibbelink
    Dan Nibbelink Member Posts: 17
    My house was built in 1919 with two pipe steam heat. It has an automatic setback thermostat (no longer operational) made by Minneapolis Heat Regulator Co. Earliest patent date on it is 1907. A clever design; A windup clock with a 24 hour dial on the back. That dial has two pointers that you set for the times to turn up or down the thermostat. The pointers will engage a lever on the thermostat that when tripped will change the setting (high/low) to the other setting. The high and low settings can be set individually. I would be happy to use it if it was functional.
  • ronewold
    ronewold Member Posts: 7
    The nice thing about this era of technology is that there isn't anything inside that a mechanically inclined person can't understand. It's just gears and shafts and a spring, and a little flyweight or some other pendulum-equivalent. That doesn't mean you can necessarily fix what's wrong, but my experience is that 75 percent of the time, once you look it over, it's something easy. The tough cases are the broken springs, stripped gears or missing parts. Other than that, it is usually dirt, corrosion or a minor bend. Or if it is a fancy electrical device, a loose connection (possibly also dirty or corroded or bent).
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,408
    Sounds like something from the "little rascals",