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Dead Men Tales: Generations

HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Posts: 465
edited November 29 in THE MAIN WALL




Generations

In this episode, Dan Holohan reflects on how his dad grew up, seeing his breath indoors on winter mornings. It’s only within a couple of generations that we’ve come to expect homes to be heated or cooled. Our work whispers; it doesn’t shout. We've gone far beyond protecting the health of the nation. We now also provide the nation with comfort, and when we do our jobs well, people don’t even know we were there.

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Comments

  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,295
    Hi, I remember in grade school, the way history was taught was really, really boring! It seemed irrelevant and useless. The way Dan teaches history is completely the opposite. Dan makes history useful and applicable right now, in a way that helps us to envision the future. I wish we could bottle this approach and give it to history teachers around the world!

    Yours, Larry
    mattmia2
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,445
    Thanks, Larry! I'm blushing.
    Retired and loving it.
  • mikegcny
    mikegcny Member Posts: 18
    edited November 24
    Hicksville! My wife and I purchased our first house there in 2002- a Levitt that originally had radiant hot water heating in the slab. The previous owner (was the original owner' son) had baseboards put in when they did a major renovation in the early 90's. Despite the renovation, they opted to put a new oil fired burner in its original location - the kitchen.

    We now live in a 93 year old house heated by steam a few towns west of Hicksville.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,445
    Sounds like you made a great move!
    Retired and loving it.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 4,008

    Hi, I remember in grade school, the way history was taught was really, really boring! It seemed irrelevant and useless. The way Dan teaches history is completely the opposite. Dan makes history useful and applicable right now, in a way that helps us to envision the future. I wish we could bottle this approach and give it to history teachers around the world!

    Yours, Larry

    It also depends on what you are doing. Dan can largely pick the things that are interesting(and gets the people who want to listen to him). Your history teacher has to teach everything.

    When i was an undergrad at WSU there was a specific history class the engineers had to take. It was the most god awful boring class. The prof that taught it is a well known Henry Ford historian. I have seen him on the history channel numerous times. On there he is fascinating and was like where was this guy when i was in his class. I suspect it is a bit of he was teaching the class because he had to and the class was there because they had to be there so neither brought a lot of excitement with them.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,445
    It could be he was getting coached by the director. 
    Retired and loving it.
    mattmia2
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,295
    Hi @mattmia2 , I do think you're onto something. I've been teaching classes on plumbing and hot water for my state parks system for 27 years now. Students have to compete to get into the class, so they really want to be there. I have fun teaching, using techniques Dan taught me. Every teacher I know who teaches public school is jealous. So much of their time is spent doing crowd control and paperwork, while I just get to share stuff I really like and help solve my student's problems. But Dan does say there are no boring topics, so now a sacrificial anode is actually the staff of life... at least for the water heater! o:)

    Yours, Larry
    PC7060mattmia2rick in Alaska
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 4,008

    It could be he was getting coached by the director. 

    and editing 6 hours of material down in to 5 minutes
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,445
    Yep!
    Retired and loving it.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,001
    Documentaries and history on Henry Ford is very interesting.

    IIRC, he insisted on outsource suppliers to ship items in wooden crates made of boards cut to a certain length.....the length he needed for floor boards etc.

    It seemed like he would almost buy a country if it had raw materials he needed.
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 759
    edited November 27
    Hi Dan

    I remember living in a 8 family apartment house with no steam heat. We had a coal stove for heat and a bathtub in the kitchen. It was called a cold water flat. The apartment was 5 large rooms. In 1948 the plumbers came, installed a coal boiler and a one pipe steam system. Two monster radiators in the living room, two big radiators in the master bed room and one radiator in the small bedroom and one radiator in dining room.

    The bathtub still stayed in the combination kitchen and dining room which had two large steam risers for heating that space. we also had one toilet the apartment no sing or shower. This apartment was viewed as a place for poor people because across the street in the older apartment houses the toilets were in the hall ways.

    What was great about the coal boiler was my father would cook our steaks and roasts in the fire box of the coal boiler. What was not so great was the banging when the steam heat came on, the radiation was so over sized that mom opened up a window in each room.

    In 1950 we moved to a 2 family house with steam heat and a thermostat, do not remember what type of steam heating system was in the house, but it did not have any banging. I do remember A GE boiler that looked like a hot water tank.

    Who knew in those days when i was young base ball, stick ball, roller hockey and basket ball was on my mind, not that quiet steam system with an oil heat GE down feed boiler.

    Later on on in life I entered the plumbing and heating business. As a helper it was my job with other helpers to bring Burnham boiler sections in to the basements and carry the radiators up the stairs and place into the apartments. After that was done we had to mix up the asbestoes cement for the mechanics to insulate the boilers and cover the fittings with the shmoo. We were allowed to use a rule and a saw to install the air cell pipe insulation.

    Later on in life I learned steam distribution and heating in the Navy and eventually became a Lic. Master Plumber in New York City.

    What a life from stick ball on the streets of Brooklyn to the Lic. Master Plumber for the New York City Housing Authority two becoming a consultant on steam heating after my retirement from the NYCHA in 1991.

    Oh by the way the documentaries on Ford does not do him any justice, you have to go to his estate on the west coast of Florida and across the street is Edison's estate and Laboratory additionally about 15 miles south is the Ringling Brother estate that has a mansion built on it made of almost all Italian Tile built in very early 1900. The building is heated with a weird type of vapor system. When I was there I was not able
    Inspect the boiler plant. What i was able to see in the building was grates in the floors in large rooms and radiators with in the smaller rooms.

    Jake
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,445
    Fine story, Jake. Thanks for sharing!
    Retired and loving it.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,421
    I love hearing those stories about "When I was a Kid..." I tell my kids "When I was a kid ,I had to actually walk across thick shag carpet to change the channel on the TV." You kids have to too good today!
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    PC7060
  • ebautista961
    ebautista961 Member Posts: 2
    The stories are nice. Can some help me find out we're is my oil going too.