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What did you learn at Wetstock? (And event photos!)

Erin Holohan HaskellErin Holohan Haskell Posts: 1,147Member, Moderator, Administrator
edited September 24 in THE MAIN WALL
We had an amazing time learning from one another at Wetstock 2019 surrounded by the remarkable history of The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen. We especially enjoyed @DanHolohan's mechanical room tours and @Larry Weingarten's antique water heater exhibit.

Thank you to all who attended and to our sponsors (SupplyHouse.com, Taco Comfort Solutions, and Tunstall Corporation).

Here are photos from Wetstock 2019.

(Many thanks to Scott of Chris Jorda Photography for taking these beautiful photos.)

We'd love to hear more about what you learned at Wetstock. Please share it below.
President
HeatingHelp.com

Comments

  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,288Member
    Pics don't display..............
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,784Member, Moderator, Administrator
    @Steamhead They're displaying for me on my desktop and my phone.
    Retired and loving it.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,343Member
    I can see em...just wish I knew who was who (besides Dan & Erin).
    steve
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,288Member
    Well, they work now- go figure :/
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,784Member, Moderator, Administrator
    edited September 4
    I learned so much about heating water through the ages from Larry Weingarten. I also learned that I love speaking to my peers in the basement of our iconic building. Thanks.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Mike_SheppardMike_Sheppard Posts: 603Member
    It was a great event. Thank you!
    Never stop learning.
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 878Member
    It was great to see everyone again!! The hot water heater display and old books was fun to look at. I loved the boiler room Tour!
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Posts: 2,200Member
    Pics are fantastic! I do wish I could have been in attendance. Looks like everyone had fun!
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,343Member

    Pics are fantastic! I do wish I could have been in attendance. Looks like everyone had fun!

    Harvey’s back! Where ya been? It’s been a while

    steve
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Posts: 894Member
    I can tell you that is me and my wife, Rick and Tanya, on the 8th row down, on the left. She is the one with the blue hair. She actually has three different colors in her hair, one for each one of the cancers we have had. I am the one with the hair line falling down the back of my head. :/
    We had a great time, but wish it was longer. It was just too hard to meet everyone, but the people we did get to talk to were great. We had dinner with Larry Weingarten, and had a good time talking. Can't say enough good things about Larry.
    Rick
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 931Member
    It's me: https://heatinghelpcom.pixieset.com/wetstock2019/p/MzIwODUwODkyMA==-MzU3OTc0MzMxNQ/ (sadly the photos aren't easily savable :'(

    I learned that I should set my radiant bathroom floor at around 125°F when I finally hook it up! (thanks radiant guys from Scranton!)

    I also learned that some crazy stuff goes down at HVAC sales conferences!
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • Erin Holohan HaskellErin Holohan Haskell Posts: 1,147Member, Moderator, Administrator
    @ethicalpaul, thanks for the feedback. I just enabled downloads. You can see the option at the top right of each photo.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,587Member
    Hello, I'm feeling rather spoiled. Sorta like getting praised for having fun. It was a wonderful gathering, with so many good and knowledgeable people in the room. Wetstock is a great way to recharge and know you are not alone in the world. The Holohans were watching over me like guardian angles and Dan was amazing in his ability to both move cast iron around and figure out an artistic way to display the heaters. Rick is right, I'd like it to be longer, if at all possible. I'm in for the next one!

    Yours, Larry
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,288Member

    Rick is right, I'd like it to be longer, if at all possible. I'm in for the next one!

    Yours, Larry

    Me too.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • edited September 6
    Dan was in a talkative mood when I sat down with him after he showed us Larry's incredible donated lifetime water heater collection.



    He had so many stories to tell. I just sat there with my mouth open, listening. He went seamlessly from story to story.

    The first one was about how he went out on his own. His employer - a manufacturer's rep. - told him that even though he was a key employee, he couldn't be a partner in the company.
    All the partnerships were taken, but if he wanted to get somewhere in life, he had to make a move and risk everything.

    What drove him to this was that he realized that with a dozen daughters, he wouldn't have the money to send them to college, let alone feed and clothe all of them. So he quit his job, bought a van and a bunch of audio visual gear and started giving seminars about steam heating. He also wrote a book, "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". About the time he finished the book, his van broke down and he needed to buy another one, but the problem was that he didn't have the money to buy both the van and publish his new book. He was insecure about the book, so he bought the van. Just after this, he was having lunch with his friend, Alan Levy and Alan wanted to know what was going on in Dan's life. Dan told him about the van breaking down and that he didn't have enough money to get his book published. When they finished lunch, Alan handed him a check for $6,800 to get his book published. "Pay it back when you can."

    Without stopping to catch his breath, Dan started talking about this guy, Amos Eno who donated $1.8 million to the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York to help build the building. Dan is a curious fellow and he did some research. Amos didn't accomplish anything except inherit a lot of money from his parents. His father invented the crosswalk, the traffic light and the roundabout which were really important as people started buying cars and taking to the street. When he died, Amos started donating his money and his siblings tried to stop him, but couldn't. So, the Society was able to spend the donated money on first class fixtures and fittings. You see this when you visit the building. Beautiful tiled floors, incredible wrought iron balustrades up the staircases and a first class steam heating system.



    Then, Dan tells us that he was curious about the previous presidents of the society who had sat in his chair. There was one guy, John Ericsson who had helped engineer the USS Monitor, the same USS Monitor that fought the confederate USS Merrimack in the Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862. Really: he sat in that chair?

    It was great to hang out with Larry Weingarten, Dan Foley, Steamhead and Rick in Alaska. Bummed that Hot Rod and Steve Minnich didn't show.

    I also got to meet Joe Mattiello from Taco. I had dissed him on HeatingHelp a lot and felt bad, bad enough to apologize. He's a big strong guy and I thought that he would probably punch me as soon as he saw my name tag, but he just smiled and said he was pleased to meet me and that I didn't need to feel bad.

    Yeah, if you have another Wetstock, I'd like to come. Both days!

    Thanks, Erin!
    Often wrong, never in doubt.

    Click here to learn more about this contractor.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,784Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Thanks for putting up with me, @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes ;-) A couple of corrections:

    I never felt insecure about Lost Art; I just couldn't self-publish and get a new van at the same time. I opted for the van so I could continue to do seminars, which was our only source of income at the time. Al Levi actually wrote me a check for $17,500, with no strings attached. I paid him back in six months.

    It was Amos Eno's brother, not his father, who came up with all those wonderful traffic ideas: the one-way street, the pedestrian crosswalk and island, the stop sign (not the traffic light), and the rotary (Columbus Circle was the first in the world). And Amos's gift improved, but did not build, the building. The earlier gift from Brother Andrew Carnegie did that. It allowed us to add three stories and two wings to the place. A cool tidbit about Brother Carnegie: When we become members, we sign the General Register, which goes back to 1785. We print our names, sign, and list our profession. Brother Carnegie was the richest man in the world on the day he signed. He listed his profession as "Cotton Spinner" because he began as a bobbin boy in a mill. I love that.

    The Society member who built the Monitor was also a past-president. His last name was Delameter. I now sit on his chair (we love our antiques). He built the Monitor, the first submarine, the first iron steam ship, and the self-propelled torpedo.

    I'm amazed that you remember any of this, Alan. I was talking pretty fast (native New Yorker). ;-)

    Thanks, pal. It was so good to see you.
    Retired and loving it.
  • At least I got the dozen daughters right.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.

    Click here to learn more about this contractor.
  • Erin Holohan HaskellErin Holohan Haskell Posts: 1,147Member, Moderator, Administrator

    At least I got the dozen daughters right.

    Haha! It would often feel like there were a dozen of us.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,784Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Can’t get enough of them. ❤️
    Retired and loving it.
  • Ron Jr._3Ron Jr._3 Posts: 581Member
    I learned that we cant let so much time lapse between getting together with old friends !
  • RayWohlfarthRayWohlfarth Posts: 770Member
    It was such an enjoyable event. It was awesome being in the same room with some of the most respected people in the industry. I loved the old architecture of the building. Thanks for everyone
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    Click here to take Ray's class.
    Click here to buy Ray's books.
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Posts: 2,200Member

    Pics are fantastic! I do wish I could have been in attendance. Looks like everyone had fun!

    Harvey’s back! Where ya been? It’s been a while

    Life. Between moving and introducing a brand new mechanic to the world, there's not enough of me to go around :)
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Erin Holohan HaskellErin Holohan Haskell Posts: 1,147Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Congratulations, @Harvey Ramer!
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,343Member
    edited September 10


    Life. Between moving and introducing a brand new mechanic to the world, there's not enough of me to go around :)

    Congrats!
    A new future Wallie...
    steve
  • The Wire NutThe Wire Nut Posts: 404Member
    Although I couldn't stay the whole event, it was a thrill to meet and talk to old friends (Steamhead, John Barba, Dave Holdorf and Johnny White to name a few) and to make a new friend in Ray Wohlfarth, whose writing I have long admired.

    I was also lucky enough to work with Larry Weingarten while he was setting up and installing his incredible and beautiful collection of the heating arts. He is a remarkable and generous man.

    This is not name dropping, but a testament to how many lives Dan has touched, changed and connected, and he has certainly changed mine for the better. Besides teaching me so much about heating (and life), he has guided me into expanding my trade (IT) into the Comfort Industry, and allowed me to earn my membership into the General Society, a privilege that I treasure and work to maintain. And, of course, meet and befriend so many of you wonderful folks, and also a few of Dan's 12 daughters, who I treasure like my own sisters.

    Thank you all for letting me play in your sandbox, and for making me a smarter and better person. I look forward to the next Wetstock.

    One interesting side note is that my eldest, Elias, came to one of the first Wetstocks in Minneapolis about 14 years ago. He was perhaps 3 months old. He meet me at this one, as we were both heading to PA for a family event, now as a newly minted HS student and firmly know-it-all teenager! How time flies!

    Alex ("Wire Nut", aka "Stonehouse") Marx
    "Let me control you"





    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,784Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Thanks, Brother Alex. I have also learned much from you.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Erin Holohan HaskellErin Holohan Haskell Posts: 1,147Member, Moderator, Administrator
    It was great seeing you and Elias, Alex.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • Erin Holohan HaskellErin Holohan Haskell Posts: 1,147Member, Moderator, Administrator
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • RayWohlfarthRayWohlfarth Posts: 770Member
    @The Wire Nut I enjoyed meeting you as well as your son. He is a very nice and respectful young man.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    Click here to take Ray's class.
    Click here to buy Ray's books.
  • The Wire NutThe Wire Nut Posts: 404Member
    @Erin Holohan Haskell Forgive me for not mentioning all that you do and have done for and with Heating Help. I know how proud Dan is of your stewardship and know that we are all here with and for you.

    @RayWohlfarth Thank you, Elias, as a teenager, has his moments both good and horrible, but inside there is a really good kid just waiting to shine. It was great that you could engage him about soccer, one of his abiding passions (that and, unfortunately, (limited) social media and video games!). And, for me, to get to meet one of my "heroes" was a true thrill. I was honored to give you a "private tour" of some of the innards of the GSMT, (though we were clearly "caught" in photographs!), and to hear some of your many fascinating stories. Hopefully we have an opportunity to meet again soon.

    @DanHolohan What can I say, but thank you for making the world a smaller, better and more interesting place.
    "Let me control you"





    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,784Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Thanks, Brother.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Erin Holohan HaskellErin Holohan Haskell Posts: 1,147Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Thanks, Alex!
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • RayWohlfarthRayWohlfarth Posts: 770Member
    Alex, I enjoyed seeing the elevator controls. I cannot imagine what life was like when was installed. It allowed me a peak into the past. Thanks
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    Click here to take Ray's class.
    Click here to buy Ray's books.
  • The Wire NutThe Wire Nut Posts: 404Member
    Ray, it was a pleasure to see someone "get" the artistry in that "selector" (as I think it's called). It really encapsulates the GSMT's motto, "By Hammer and Hand, All Arts Do Stand". In my head I can see the designers, builders and installers and the pride that went into it. It was state of the art for the time. Now, state of the art for the same functionality would be a chip that fits on your fingernail. Both works of art, though one requires special knowledge to appreciate, as opposed to a set of eyeballs and an appreciation of kinetic sculpture!

    When it is removed from service, I am going to rescue it and make it part of an exhibit and make sure it still turns, moves up down and clicks and clacks. Music and Art!
    "Let me control you"





    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • RayWohlfarthRayWohlfarth Posts: 770Member
    Alex I get it. It is sort of sad in a way. The craftsmanship is hidden on the chip but I guess that is craftsmanship in a different way
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    Click here to take Ray's class.
    Click here to buy Ray's books.
  • The Wire NutThe Wire Nut Posts: 404Member
    Ray, you're correct, it is mostly hidden away. Chip design is a craft (though a lot is now done by other chips!), and programming remains an art with some real craftspeople and a lot of hacks. I suppose that's the same for most professions though!

    I guess, in a way, I'm lucky in that I can appreciate the artistry in that old elevator selector mechanism, and also get to see, in a sense, the artistry within the new technology. There is plenty of magic in the new technology, and I've been blown away by some things I've seen, but it's a shame that artistry is not really visible to all in the way a mechanical device is. But we do get to see the manifestations of it, say in the design of a great mobile device, or a well designed piece of software or website (like Heating Help, of course!).
    "Let me control you"





    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 309Member
    Did anyone mention the Wetstock feature in HVAC Insider? Front page.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,784Member, Moderator, Administrator
    It made me smile.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Erin Holohan HaskellErin Holohan Haskell Posts: 1,147Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Same here! Thanks!
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
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