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Dead Men Tales: The Great Experimenter

HeatingHelp Posts: 366
edited June 8 in THE MAIN WALL

The Great Experimenter

John Mills was one of the great-granddaddies of heating. He worked with the H.B. Smith Company as a freelance inventor and engineer from 1873 until 1897. In this episode, Dan Holohan shares why you may think of John Mills the next time you’re doing a heat-loss calculation or looking at an old steam heating system.

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    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,106
    I toured the old Smith foundry back in 71' when I was in school. It was like the 1860s in their, certainly OSHA grandfathered LOL.

    I only live 10 miles from their. When I started every building and all the local schools seemed to have a Smith boiler. It was like no other CI boiler existed. They had most all the local boiler business in this area.

    I only saw 1 "Mills System" (that I know of) and it's still in service in Holyoke, although in my early years I wouldn't have known what one was.

    The Mills boilers were pretty rugged and had good efficiency even by today's standards but were somewhat high maintenance. The asbestos/insulating cement between the sections had to be maintained and the mud drums flushed and cleaned (which no one did). I re-nippled plenty of those mud drums, a dirty nasty job.

    They were good steamers and had a factory installed header which was part of the boiler which I was told by Smith that the header had a baffle in it which I never knew.

    The good old days
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 330
    edited June 2
    J.R. Reed obviously valued John Mills; buying power of $5,000 in 1906 is equal to approximately $150,000 in 2021. Not a fortune but certainly a nice "thank you for all you have done".
  • jeant
    jeant Member Posts: 12
    Dan, I appreciate the history lessons you give to all of us. We are indeed standing on the shoulders of those who have come before us and I marvel and am grateful at what they have left us to see and use every day. I am also grateful you have kept these stories alive for us all.
  • cubbydog
    cubbydog Member Posts: 24
    12 inch screwed pipe, I’m guessing that made remodeling easier! 😂 LOL
  • jeant
    jeant Member Posts: 12
    Ashleigh thank you for the link. I read it all. I was astounded at the detail and application illustrated in that publication.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,280
    Thanks to all of you!
    Retired and loving it.
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