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Radiators beauty and function

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johndeere1937
johndeere1937 Member Posts: 10
edited April 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
Hello everyone and thanks for allowing me to join the group. My girlfriend and I have been collecting cast iron radiators for our home we plan to build this spring. We try to seek out anything unique. Shape, size, floral designs ect. We recently purchased this beautiful old rad from a Victorian home in Roaring Springs Pa. The countless coats of paint have taken much of the detail and legibility away but we plan to blast it soon. It has Fowler cast into it along with some beautiful floral designs and a Greek looking theme. The sections are unique in that it is designed as a vertical draft for lack of better terms. It has circulators or mixing chambers cast into the fins. I know cast radiators are heavy but this one is exceptionally heavy! We love it and was wondering if anyone may have some history of the design or the company. Also we would love to see any radiators that others may have that they are fond of. 
                                         Thanks,
                                                Joe 

Comments

  • flat_twin
    flat_twin Member Posts: 352
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    Sounds interesting. Can you post photos?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,950
    edited April 2022
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    I've seen Fowlers. Here are some things I found:

    https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/SILNMAHTL_15788

    https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/350043

    Fowler evolved into National Radiator Co:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Radiator_Company_(USA)

    Obituary for one of its CEOs, behind the usual NYT paywall:

    https://www.nytimes.com/1943/04/30/archives/adam-e-geddes-head-of-fowler-wolfe-radiator-co-perfected-tubular.html

    and a patent lawsuit:

    https://cite.case.law/f/203/514/61534/

    Your radiator sounds like a "flue" radiator. These were available from several manufacturers in the late 19th-early 20th century. @DanHolohan published a book of radiator ratings called E.D.R., which you can get here: https://heatinghelp.com/store/detail/e-d-r-ratings-for-every-darn-radiator-and-convector-youll-probably-ever-see

    Fowler is not in this book, but other flue rads are, and you can use the info therein to determine their heat outputs.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • johndeere1937
    johndeere1937 Member Posts: 10
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    Thank you so much for the information. I apologize, I'm having trouble attaching photos. 
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,335
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    Welcome @johndeere1937. To post photos, click on the image icon in the toolbar. You can also include them as an attachment by clicking on the document icon in the toolbar. Here are some other tips for using this forum: https://heatinghelp.com/forum-user-manual

    President
    HeatingHelp.com

  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 522
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    @Steamhead is as usual spot on .. what type boiler have you chose ?

    A few things that may or not be familiar to you...
    Fowler Radiator was started in 1894 in Norristown Pa and relocated to Johnstown Pa in 1896 until 1900 as far as I could tell when the Courts apparently ruled in favor of "Fowler & Wolfe Manufacturing Company" 
    in a patent? suit but the reference comes to a name change of name to National Radiator Company referenced in a 1905 article below ... referencing year 1900-on
    Hmmm .. didn't get to the ending though... maybe it's in @Steamhead links

    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
  • johndeere1937
    johndeere1937 Member Posts: 10
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    Hello Reggi and thank you for sharing the information. We actually acquired an old Spencer firetube boiler that looks to be in excellent condition including the grates. Im sort of one of those guys who try to preserve the ways of days gone by. Im plumbing my system as a two line gravity system. My grandfather had steam engines and of course it had to be a coal firetube boiler. Even though its going to be vented to atmosphere it kinda reminds me of the days of hissing steam, pop off valve's cracking open, and the water bouncing in a sight glass. Im actually placing my reserve tank in a utility room lower than usual and building a beautiful wall mounted sight glass in the living room surrounded in brass and black walnut. The supply and vent lines will be hidden in the studding. I believe a heating system can be as creative and beautiful as it is functional.  Thanks for responding!
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,950
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    @johndeere1937 , why not build a steam system?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • johndeere1937
    johndeere1937 Member Posts: 10
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    Don't really want the added danger of a seam system. I like the idea of a 300 gallon cushion between a full system and a red hot crown sheet. I've seen the devastation of a boiler explosion. 
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,950
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    With modern pressure controls, low-water cutoffs and feeders, residential steam boilers almost never explode.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    kcopp
  • johndeere1937
    johndeere1937 Member Posts: 10
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    Im not a very lucky fellow. I'm what that "ALMOST" you put in there is all about. 😂😂😂😂
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,950
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    Seriously- since around 1900, steam heating systems have been designed to never need more than 2 PSI on the coldest day of the year. It's all in sizing the pipes for the lowest possible pressure drop. If I were designing a system for a house I intended to live in, it would be steam.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
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    Yep, I may get my new system in this summer/ fall. I am combining the larger supply main of a traditional 2 pipe orifice steam system ( single 2 inch, parallel flow right down the center beam) with 1inch or 1 1/4 inch branches all in steel (running between joists) feeding one or more radiators each to keep pressure drops down, but the final connections are running in 3/8" soft copper to zig zag up to the orificed supply valves with TRV's. The cheaper steel piping will do the long straight runs and since there is only a little fitting, keep labor down. The soft copper will make the final fitting up to each radiator a lot easier. This set up should let me still return the condensate water by gravity, but has the advantage of the orifices for balance. I am using mostly large tube radiators that should give enough mass to the system to allow nice long on times for better burner/ boiler efficiency.
    I am not sure on the boiler yet, but probably a Peerless 6303L or Steamax 75,000 input (both are still too big for my load), but I want to run the system on hot water first, monitor gas and power usage and then switch to steam and monitor gas and power usage. This should help put to rest the whole hot water is so much more efficient than steam argument ( for those that are really looking for a fact based answer).
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    reggi
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 522
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    Hello Reggi and thank you for sharing the information. We actually acquired an old Spencer firetube boiler that looks to be in excellent condition including the grates. Im sort of one of those guys who try to preserve the ways of days gone by. Im plumbing my system as a two line gravity system. My grandfather had steam engines and of course it had to be a coal firetube boiler. Even though its going to be vented to atmosphere it kinda reminds me of the days of hissing steam, pop off valve's cracking open, and the water bouncing in a sight glass. Im actually placing my reserve tank in a utility room lower than usual and building a beautiful wall mounted sight glass in the living room surrounded in brass and black walnut. The supply and vent lines will be hidden in the studding. I believe a heating system can be as creative and beautiful as it is functional.  Thanks for responding!
    Well it seems that you know what you want Steam is something not everyone could wrap their head around from the old everyone building them in their garage to sell them cheap and they'd be blown'n up around your area your grandfather must of had stories from his father..
    That was along time ago... I'm NE of you out side of Roaring Brook Pa .. Maybe it's a bit colder up here.. So how did you figure out what you needed and how you'd install it..by yourself or hire it out? The building ? The wedding?
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question