HVACR stands for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, the defining description of the Centre’s vision for collecting, education and research.

The HVACR Heritage Centre Canada (HHCC) is a distributed/virtual heritage organization with no main ‘museum’ building. Instead, it holds collections at various centres across the country and mounts exhibits from coast to coast. The Centre is operated primarily by volunteers.

The Centre’s collections consist of genuine artefacts (refrigerators, air conditioners, motors, pumps, compressors, etc.) and of archival documents that illustrate the history of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technologies. The archives contain manuals, technical specifications, trade journals, and marketing literature.

The founding collection was a donation of artefacts and archival documents from the T. H. Oliver Collection, assembled in southern Ontario during the first half of the twentieth century.

The common theme is control of the internal environment, the environment in the homes and buildings in which we live and work. There is also a common theme in some of the technologies, such as fans, flow controls, fans, motors, pumps, and compressors that are used in the various HVACR areas.

The founding collection had its greatest strength from about 1920 to 1960, a period of explosive growth in HVACR technologies. New additions, however, continue to expand the historical range.

Yes, the Centre’s collections are being selectively extended to fill important gaps.

The collections are the basis of all of the Centre’s exhibition, education, research, publication and informational activities.

Professionals working in the HVACR field include technologists, managers, sales and marketing specialists in the retail sector, as well as chemists, physicists and engineers working the manufacturing sector.

There are many training opportunities available. The best place to start looking is on the websites of two of our partner organizations, the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada, or the JTAC / UA Training Centre.

For the answer to this question, please visit our special, online exhibit, entitled Chilling Out.

The largest artefact is the Frigidaire Nine and One Half Cubic Foot, Double door, Cabinet Refrigerator, produced for commercial use.

The smallest artefact is a short circuiting ring [necklace], constructed of copper, stamped and formed, segments, hand strung on fine wire, approximately 40 to the inch, and used in a Wagner electric motor [Accession # HHCC.2006.203]

The principal of operation of an air conditioner is very similar to that of a refrigerator. For how a refrigerator works, please visit our special, online exhibit, entitled Chilling Out.

The best single place to look is the Site Map.

HHCC stands for the HVACR Heritage Centre Canada.

The logo has been derived from a handsome brass artefact, an early, Kelvinator refrigerant flow control valve for household refrigerators.

Accession # HHCC.2006.041


Item: Refrigerant flow control
Manufacturer: Kelvinator, Detroit Michigan
Make: Kelvinator
Model: B1

Heavy, 5 lb. cast brass body; Handsomely embossed with kelvinator logo; Over coated with aluminium paint, employing a dispersion of aluminium particles in oil-based paint vehicle, new for the period;

Adjustment screw capped and water sealed with knurled brass, screw in cover plate; Heavy brass, threaded access ports for the service of internal mechanism

The valve was conceived by Kelvinator with a spring compensated, 3″ round diaphragm and brass needle seat, and equipped with built-in strainer and pressure adjustment screw, the precursor of much more sophisticated devices to come.

Technical Significance
A rare specimen of a self-regulating, spring compensated, automatic expansion valve patented by Kelvinator in 1923 and used to maintain cooling units [evaporators], in mechanically cooled refrigerators, at the desired refrigerant pressure.

One of a rare set of three similar valves, demonstrating the vast array of adaptations and applications conceived by Kelvinator for this refrigerant flow control devices, all emerging from the same basic platform. See ID #3.01-1 A, B, C Kelvinator’s various manual of the period show the many applications and adaptations that would flow from this basic design concept.

This artifact of history tells the many stories of early adoption of this particular fluid flow technology. After a brief flurry of excitement over the use of costly and delicate float operated devices, as a more efficient means of flow control, industry engineers would return to the automatic expansion valve in the early 30’s. But by then the automatic expansion valve would be a smaller and much more precisely calibrated and efficient device. While the automatic expansion valve was less efficient in its effective use of evaporator surface than high and low side float systems [See HHCC Series 3.01 artifacts], it had the advantage of reliability and price, as well as serviceability.

The device demonstrates the manner in which the scientific knowledge, materials and manufacturing methods of the times would come to be used in a refrigerant flow control, popularly appearing in the kitchens of the privileged across the nation.

The artifact is suggestive of the problems faced by the emerging refrigeration service sector in Canada. Kelvinator’s service manual, March 1928 gave full details for cleaning and adjustment on which the homeowner would regularly depend, and in turn the manufacturer, for continued customer satisfaction.

A curator is a heritage professional who has primary responsibility for care of the heritage collections and for carrying out research on those collections to better understand their significance.