Many people still like to chop wood. To others it was a chore, particularly women in the 19th Century who were home all day and had to keep the fire going in the stove. These 66 automated heating components of yesteryear are what got people out of the shed and enjoying their new leisure time. Gone was the drudgery and in was the new increasingly automated oil, electric or gas appliance to keep the whole house and buildings warm – and for year round employment!


Coal fired, hot water heater

Solid Fuel (Coal and Wood) Burning Equipment – Water Heating

Accession # HHCC.2003.081

A coal fired, hot water heater from the 1940’s, a period in which hydro generation capacity in Ontario was under siege, overloaded as result of rapid post WWII development and the lack of investment during war years in electrical infrastructure. It was a period in which the consumers who could provided themselves with back-up systems. Such as this historic artifact of the times, purchased but never used, Taylor Forbes, Windsor Ont. 1946.



Item: Coal fired, hot water heater
Manufacturer: Taylor Forbes, Canada ltd., Windsor Ontario
Make: Taylor Forbes
Model: Windsor 40
Features: Separate base plate

Damper control motor

Solid Fuel (Coal and Wood) Burning Equipment – Fuel flow, Ignition and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.101

With Honeywell’s, battery assisted, spring operated, wind-up damper control motor, for coal and wood-fired furnaces, automatic combustion and temperature control would arrive for some Canadians by the early 1920’s. For the first time the homeowner could position the furnace dampers, regulating combustion rate without leaving the living room…well more or less; Honeywell Heating Specialties Co., Circa 1920.



Item: Damper control motor
Manufacturer: Honeywell Heating Specialties Co., Wabash Ind.
Make: Honeywell

Features:
– Handsome metal cabinet in gloss black
– Handsome brass name plate with logo
– Original switching
– Original chain set, with pulleys and hardware
– Original baseboard mounting brackets

Technical Significance:
– There can be little doubt that this device represents the first small steps in the automation of household heating systems in Canada, an event that would change life in Canada forever.
– With key wound, spring-operated, damper actuator motor for positioning damper control chains, the device illustrates dramatically the early first steps in the automation of the household heating system. Starting with the known and the familiar, fire dampers and control chains, the inventor moved to new, novel and innovative means for mechanical automation – without the touch of human hand.
– The battery assisted operation of the motor, through the use of an electric solenoid to operate a brake arm for starting and stopping the motor, illustrates, too, the early application of battery operated electrical mechanisms, as essentially auxiliary devices to assist what was essentially a mechanical system.

Industrial Significance:
– It constitutes an early milestone in the development of automatic heating for homes using solid fuels, wood and coal, prior to the widespread availability of reliable supplies of oil, gas and hydro electrification.


Home made ash sifter

Solid Fuel (Coal and Wood) Burning Equipment – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.155

A late 19th century, home made, manually operated ash sifter, roughly hewn, nailed together of old boards found around the home, with broom stick, shaker handle and 1/8 inch galvanized screening, etched and eroded through the effects of prolonged use, in sifting ash so as to reuse the unburned, and partially burned pieces of coal, a simple made at home energy conservation technology, Circa 1898.



Item: Home made ash sifter
Make: Home made

Technical Significance:
The hand operated ash sifter is an example of a “small”, “appropriate” Canadian technology of its time, responding to the social, cultural and economic needs and constraints of the period.

The ash sifter was an early energy conservation device, used to conserve a scarce costly energy resource, coal

Energy conservation would be a re-occurring theme in the residential home heating sector, one which would be echoed into and throughout the 20th century and on into the 21st. A news letter to Fess Oil Burner of Canada dealers in 1947, responded to the energy shortage of that period, advising the home owner and service technician of their shared responsibilities for energy conservation, this time in the conservation of home heating fuel oil [see note #2]

A simple handcrafted tool, a made at home technology, the hand operated ash sifter was invented as a response to needs at the turn of the 20st century, would be strangely anticipatory of the needs 100 years later at the turn of the 21st century. The issue then as now is one of energy conservation, a reoccurring theme, marking the “scarcity”, “availability”, as well as “market price” [affordability].

The hand operated manual ash sifter would find its place in the large homes at the turn of the 20th century many of which were heated, at least in part, by coal fired fireplaces, without the luxury of built in shaking mechanisms

The shaking of ashes manually by a hand sifter technology would be a fact of life for those with coal burning fireplaces. For those with central coal heating furnaces with built in shaker grates [operated by turning of a crank], it would be a backup to retain the un-spent coal that escaped the mechanised sifting process.

Industrial Significance:
Crudely fabricated of old pieces of wood, found around the home, clearly the largely unskilled work of a homeowner or household handyman, it is rare marker of the days well before technology’s invasion of the Canadian home, with endless line of labor saving tools, appliances and products for comfort, safety, health and convenience.

The finely made 1/8th inch galvinized sifter screen appears to be a bit of an anomaly, standing in sharp contrast to the other found-at-home materials used. The screening appears not to have been a later addition, however, given the integrated construction detail. All of which says something about the relatively advanced processes for the production of galvanized coated screen of the period – anachronistic


Vaporizing oil burner ‘Coleman’

Vaporizing Oil Burning Equipment and Systems – Burners

Accession # HHCC.2006.154

A non motorized, vaporizing oil burner for the Canadian home, employing natural gravity feed, with fuel reservoir and brass float actuated fuel oil metering device, brass valving and tubing, engineered by a widely acknowledged pioneer of oil heating equipment in Canada, Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd. Toronto, Circa 1922.



Item: Vaporizing oil burner ‘Coleman’
Manufacturer: Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd. Toronto
Make: Colman
Model: unknown

Technical Significance:
They were the early years of the 20th century and “the machine” had not yet arrived in the basements of Canadian homes. Electrification, a prerequisite on which the electric motor depended was for many, still years away. Oil heating, as an alternative to solid fuels, wood and coal, must depend on less sophisticated technologies.

From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This apparatus clearly stands as an example of the first wave, vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology

This simple and elegant fuel flow management system was designed with great inventiveness to use the natural force of gravity flow, without reliance on motive power.

It uses a 36gr. float, hand crafted out of brass sheet stock, to meter oil into a combustion chamber [not included], where it is ignited by hand, vaporized and burned.

Te apparatus is simply and beautifully executed using the materials and the manufacturing processes of the period in cast iron and brass.

Industrial Significance:
While systems for automatic fuel feed had been attempted using solid and pulverized fuels [wood and coal], their practical application for household would depend on the availability of a reliable source of clean-burning liquid or gaseous fuels.

The casting and hand machining of brass petcocks and fittings demonstrate an unusual commitment to craftsmanship, which would soon not be so evident with the progressive introduction of mass production, automated manufacturing methods.

The Ontario oil fields of Lambton County, although short lived, and those of Pennsylvania were among the first in the world to be commercially developed by 1860. They provided an early incentive for the Canadian, automatic oil heating industry, as represented here by Colman.

This equipment was developed and manufactured in the first decade of the 20th century by the Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd. Toronto, a pre-eminent contributor to the development of HVACR, technology during its embryonic years in Canada.


Vaporizing space heater

Vaporizing Oil Burning Equipment and Systems – Space Heating

Accession # HHCC.2003.082

A liquid fuels, vaporizing, space heater, popular in the early years of the 20th century, as Canadian home owners looked to the latest and best technology of the day, in order to supplement the often cold and draft homes of the period, typically heated by wood or coal stoves or for the fortunate a central, gravity warm air, or hot water system, Colman, Quick Lite, 1929.



Item: Vaporizing space heater
Manufacturer: Colman Co. Ltd., Toronto
Make: Colman
Model: Quick Lite, Col

Technical Significance:
A remarkable statement of the advancements made by the Canadian heating industry in the first two decades of the 20th century, demonstrating not only the cumulated design and engineering expertise of the times, but also the materials and manufacturing processes that were by then available to the Canadian manufacturers, who saw and understood the market potential from a public crying out for greater winter time comfort.


Oil burner assembly ‘Leiman’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Burners

Accession # HHCC.2003.079

An unusual and rare example of an early 20th century high pressure oil burner assembly, with direct drive, 2 stage, Tuthill gear pump, buil-in oil reservoir, and original valving, constructed on heavy cast iron base, with 1″ pipe legs and cork vibration insulators, equipped brass whistle with embossed plate marked, “when whistle blows, stop motor, fill base with oil”, Leiman Bros Newark, circa 1926.



Item: Oil burner assembly ‘Leiman’
Manufacturer: Leiman Bros. Newark, N.J.
Make: Leiman Bros.

Features:
Currently equipped with a much later model 60 cycle motor, having been used as a service pump in the repair shop of T. H. Oliver Aurora Ont. a mark of the long life of the Tuthill pump used by Leiman Bros.


Gun style oil burner ‘Fess’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Burners

Accession # HHCC.2003.080

A mid 20th century high-pressure, gun style oil burner for residential and small commercial, automatic heating applications. Equipped with integral firing assembly, direct drive oil pump, primary air supply and motor, with modern, unitary construction and styling influenced by Art Deco style trends of the times, in metallic green with chrome trim marked “Fess Heat”, Fess Oil Burner, 1955.



Item: Gun style oil burner ‘Fess’
Manufacturer: Fess Burner Div. John Wood Co., Toronto
Make: Fess
Model: FNAL

Oil burner piping harness

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.135

Beautifully curved, shiny brass oil burner piping harness, with heavy wall, 3/8 inch suction and 1/4 inch discharge lines, equipped with black wrought iron pipe fittings and Dart unions with brass seats. Such harness would stand as a kind of cultural marker of the times, reflecting the oil burner manufacture’s desire to allay public fears about quality and safety of this new technology being brought into the Canadian home in the 1920’s, Anaconda, Circa 1929.



Item: Oil burner piping harness
Manufacturer: Anaconda
Make: Anaconda
Model: 67

Technical Significance:
Brass, because of its special properties [malleability and corrosion resistance] and the relative ease of manufacture, was a material of choice for much speciality manufacturing in the 1920-40’s, a period prior to the development of plastics, which over the next half century would replace brass in many applications.

During these early years massive quantities of brass would be used in speciality manufacturing areas in fluid flow applications such as automatic oil heating and refrigeration. Here corrosion free operation, as well as appearance were important factors in engineering and the market place. [see for example ID#260 to 264]


Fuel filter assembly

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.136

Cast iron, fuel filter assembly with 3/8 inch IPS, black iron pipe and union inlet connection to oil burner, with brass machined screw top, and 3/8 oil priming plug, ground brass seat and cast brass internal screen cartridge, with clearable brass screen filter media, all beautifully crafted, in keeping with the values of the period, using the materials and techniques of the times, manufacturer unknown, 1929.



Item: Fuel filter assembly
Manufacturer: Unknown
Make: Unknown
Model: 16 LB

Technical Significance:
A marker of the attention given by manufacturers, in the early years of automatic oil heating in Canada to giving it a sense of solid craftsmanship, sturdy construction, dependability and good taste.

Brass and bronze, because of their special properties [malleability and corrosion resistance] and the relative ease of manufacture, were material of choice for much speciality manufacturing in the 1920-40’s, a period prior to the development of plastics, which over the next half century would replace these metals and derivatives in many applications.

During these early years massive quantities of brass would be used in speciality manufacturing areas in fluid flow applications such as automatic oil heating and refrigeration. Here corrosion free operation, as well as appearance were important factors in engineering and the market place. [see for example ID#259 to 264]


Atomizing firing head ‘J30’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.137

A high pressure, high voltage, fuel oil atomizing firing head by Fess Oil Burners, Toronto, an acknowledged early pioneer and Canadian market leader in oil burner engineering and manufacture in Canada. Dressed in classic black/green enamelled finish, with long-reach, 3/8 inch IPS brass oil delivery tube, inlet oil filter and oil-flow shut-off valve, Model J30, Circa 1936. [see also design variant ID#262]



Item: Atomizing firing head ‘J30’
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burners of Canada, Toronto and Montreal
Make: Fess
Model: Model J30

Technical Significance:
A marker of the times in the evolution of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home, this 24 inch, long-reach firing assembly, typical of the period, was designed for “conversion” installation. Such installations were typically found in gravity style, home warm air heating furnace installations in the early years of the 20th century. Here coal grates would be removed, and oil burner refractory would be hand built in its place and a firing head would be inserted, See ID# 243, 244,245.

This firing head, typical of the period, slides into a large (4″ to 5″) fire tube [gun]. It delivers oil at up to 100 psi. to an oil atomizing spray nozzle through a 3/8″ brass, oil delivery tube.

Turbulated air under pressure is forced through an air cone [see ID# 64 and 265] where it is mixed with the atomized oil spray and ignited by an electrically generated spark [See ID# 255 and 256] jumping between two carefully positioned electrodes. High tension insulated cables carry the electrical current to the electrodes, through fragile, porcelain electrical insulators.

The oil atomizing nozzle, first developed in the 1920’s would be a marvel of its times, in product engineering and design, as well as in mass production manufacture. Designed to produce a variety of air patterns, with different combustion characteristics, it would survive relatively unchanged through to the 21st century. See ID# 262 for later variations in advanced nozzle performance.

Industrial Significance:
This high pressure, high voltage, fuel oil atomizing firing head by Fess Oil Burners, Toronto, stands as a marker of the earliest pioneering work of a Canadian company in the engineering and manufacture of automatic heating equipment designed for the Canadian home.

This basic firing head configuration would meet many of the needs of the market-place, and satisfy minimal safety requirements through to the end of the 20th century

During this period, however, engineering applications progressed well beyond the “conversion” market, to smaller, more efficient, unitary, packaged automatic oil heating equipment, for both warm air and hot water [hydronic]. As a result firing assemblies would become much more compact and sophisticated in design.

Yet, the basic engineering design trend had been set by the early 1930’s. Fragile and often temperamental, as it was, firing assemblies of this essential configuration, modified and customized for different applications, would remain the standard for high pressure atomizing oil burners to the end of the 20th century.


Atomizing firing head ‘J31’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.138

A field modified high pressure fuel oil atomizing firing head by Fess Oil Burners, Toronto, an acknowledged early pioneer in oil burner engineering and manufacture in Canada; with classic black/green enamelled finish, long-reach, 3/8 inch, brass, oil delivery tube, inlet oil filter and oil-flow shut-off valve, and modified with the addition of a Honeywell dripples, automatic, oil pressure control, check valve, Fess, Model J31, Circa 1940. [see also ID#261]



Item: Atomizing firing head ‘J31’
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burners Canada, Toronto
Make: Fess
Model: Model J-31
Features: Original high tension ignition cables

Technical Significance:
A marker of the times in the evolution of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home, this 24 inch, long-reach firing assembly, typical of the period, was designed for “conversion” installation. Such installations were typically found in gravity style, home warm air heating furnace installations in the early years of the 20th century. Here coal grates would be removed, and oil burner refractory would be hand built in its place and a firing head would be inserted, See ID# 243, 244,245.

This firing head, typical of the period, slides into a large (4″ to 5″) fire tube [gun]. It delivers oil at up to 100 psi. to an oil atomizing spray nozzle through a 3/8″ brass, oil delivery tube.

Turbulated air under pressure is forced through an air cone [see ID# 64 and 265] where it is mixed with the atomized oil spray and ignited by an electrically generated spark [See ID# 255 and 256] jumping between two carefully positioned electrodes. High tension insulated cables carry the electrical current to the electrodes, through fragile, porcelain electrical insulators.

The oil atomizing nozzle, first developed in the 1920’s would be a marvel of its times, in product engineering and design, as well as in mass production manufacture. Designed to produce a variety of air patterns, with different combustion characteristics, it would survive relatively unchanged through to the 21st century.

This firing assembly, modified 10 years or so after first installation, suggests something of the long “shelf life” of the basic technology.

A performance characteristic of such firing assemblies was the tendency to eject oil into the firebox at below the specified design pressure, 85 to 100 psi. The result was poor combustion and a smoky, smelly fire. Usually caused by a fuel pump failing to open at the proper pressure, the dripples valve would provide a quick fix, a less expensive alternative to pump repair or replacement.

Industrial Significance:
This high pressure, high voltage, fuel oil atomizing firing head by Fess Oil Burners, Toronto, stands as a marker of the earliest pioneering work of a Canadian company in the engineering and manufacture of automatic heating equipment designed for the Canadian home.

This basic firing head configuration would meet many of the needs of the market-place, and satisfy minimal safety requirements through to the end of the 20th century

During this period, however, engineering applications progressed well beyond the “conversion” market, to smaller, more efficient, unitary, packaged automatic oil heating equipment, for both warm air and hot water [hydronic]. As a result firing assemblies would become much more compact and sophisticated in design.

Yet, the basic engineering design trend had been set by the early 1930’s. Fragile and often temperamental, as it was, firing assemblies of this essential configuration, modified and customized for different applications, would remain the standard for high pressure atomizing oil burners to the end of the 20th century.


Fuel oil by-pass valve

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.139

A fuel oil pressure regulating, by-pass valve, beautifully crafted and styled for the discerning eye in brass/bronze. It exemplifies the range of peripheral devices engineered by a new generation of technology manufacturers, starting in the late 1920’s, innovators and suppliers to the automatic oil heating market. Together, they built the system of interacting and mutually supporting components and parts required for safe, efficient, reliable, automatic home heating in Canada, Detroit Lubricator, Circa 1940.



Item: Fuel oil by-pass valve
Manufacturer: Detroit Lubricator Company, Detroit Mich.
Make: Detroit Lubricator
Model: Type S15
Features: Embossed Detroit Lubricator logo; Beautifully embossed brass name label

Technical Significance:
Of spring compensated, piston design, this fully adjustable by-pass valve would be a technical break through in its times, allowing excess fuel oil to be automatically circulated back to the oil tank from the oil burner. Oil pump engineering would later incorporate a pressure regulating, by-pass valve function as an integral part of the pump itself, see Note 1 [See Group 12.06 historic artifacts]

The device stands as a reminder that the commitment to automatic heating for the Canadian home brought with it a vast range of engineering challenges. Required would be a network of fully automated devices, mechanical, electrical and hydraulic, all of which must work together, smoothly and systemically to produce the required performance characteristics – including self-regulation, safely, reliability, efficiency, and affordability- all quite unimagined a decade earlier

It exemplifies the great precision made possible in the 1930’s and 40’s, given the limited engineering materials and production machining methods of the times.

It exemplifies, too, the range of peripheral devices engineered and manufactured by a new generation of companies, starting in the late 1920’s, for the automatic oil heating market, part of the system of interacting and mutually supporting components and parts required.

Industrial Significance:
Demonstrates the vast engineering know-how accumulated by fluid flow valve speciality companies of the time, here Detroit Lubricator, whose valves dominated many facets of the HVACR industry, ubiquitous through much of the 20th century [See also Group 3.01 and 3.02 historic artifacts]


Convex nose air cone

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.140

An air cone for a high pressure, atomizing oil burner, designed with convex nose and 8 turbulator blades. Unobtrusive and elemental in appearance and seemingly of little consequence, it would, none-the-less, prove to be a critical component in oil burner performance in its time, helping to ensure quiet, efficient, smoke free combustion. \r\nBlued and heavily corroded as a result of use in a typical 3000 deg. combustion chamber, unknown manufacturer, Circa 1948. [see also ID#265]



Item: Convex nose air cone
Manufacturer: Unknown
Make: Unknown
Model: Unknown

Technical Significance:
The simple, crude air cone, a piece of sand moulded and machined cast iron, would come to represent much of the challenge faced in squeezing acceptable levels of reliable performance out of the high pressure atomizing oil burner, given the state of that technology in the early and mid 20th century.

In this period, experiments in refractory, air cone, air turbulator, nozzle, electrode and oil pump design would be endless, in an attempt to optimize a technology which refused to be optimized, until significant redesign and re-configuring of the high pressure atomizing burner took place in the latter years of the century. [See Reference 1]

This seemingly simple, elemental device stands as a reminder of the system of often crudely fashioned, empirically derived, interrelated and mutually supporting component parts on which the safe, reliable and efficient operation of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home would depend in the mid 20th century.

Industrial Significance:
Many variations in air cone design are to be found, reflecting the practice of the period. Each manufacturer would experiment to find the configuration best suited to his equipment’s performance – see ID#265


Concave nose air cone

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.141

An air cone for a high pressure, atomizing oil burner, designed with concave nose, 8 foreshortened turbulator blades and extended collar. Unobtrusive and elemental in appearance and seemingly of little consequence, it would, none-the-less, prove to be a critical component in oil burner performance in its time, helping to ensure quiet, efficient, smoke free combustion. Blued and heavily corroded as a result of use in a typical 3000 deg. combustion chamber, unknown manufacturer, Circa 1948. [see also ID#265]



Item: Concave nose air cone
Manufacturer: Unknown
Make: Unknown
Model: Unknown

Technical Significance:
The simple, crude air cone, a piece of sand moulded and machined cast iron, would come to represent much of the challenge faced in squeezing acceptable levels of reliable performance out of the high pressure atomizing oil burner, given the state of that technology in the early and mid 20th century.

In this period, experiments in refractory, air cone, air turbulator, nozzle, electrode and oil pump design would be endless, in an attempt to optimize a technology which refused to be optimized, until significant redesign and re-configuring of the high pressure atomizing burner took place in the latter years of the century. [See Reference 1]

This seemingly simple, elemental device stands as a reminder of the system of often crudely fashioned, empirically derived, interrelated and mutually supporting component parts on which the safe, reliable and efficient operation of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home would depend in the mid 20th century.

Industrial Significance:
Many variations in air cone design are to be found, reflecting the practice of the period. Each manufacturer would experiment to find the configuration best suited to his equipment’s performance – see ID#264


Fuel pump assembly ‘D8’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.142

A fuel pump assembly for low pressure, mechanical atomizing oil burner, with direct, flexible coupled, electric motor drive, with carbon blade rotary pump, worm drive, gear pump, and automatic oil volume and pressure control valves, from the widely acknowledged pioneer of automatic oil heating equipment in Canada, Fess, Model D8, Circa 1924.



Item: Fuel pump assembly ‘D8’
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burner of Canada
Make: Fess
Model: D8

Technical Significance:
They were the early years of the 20th century and “the machine” had arrived in the basements of a few well to do Canadian homes – whether the refrigerating machine [see condensing unit Group 2.01] or the automatic oil burning, home heating machine.

The Fess Model D would typify the latter. Like many such arrivals it would first appear, celebrated for its potential contribution to human comfort, health and convenience, only much later as a social and cultural change agent with awesome impact on Canada and Canadians, their life and times.

The Model D [There was a series of them] represented the leading edge of self- powered, self-regulating, automatic oil heating technology of the period, likely the first wave of pressure atomizing technology commercially marketed in Canada. The mechanism was described by Fess as being of the low pressure, mechanical atomizing type, using “the retarded heat principle”. It consisted of what the Fess manual refers to as a “machine proper” and a “fire door insert”.

The machine proper included a heavy steel pedestal on which was mounted this assembly consisting of a carbon blade rotary pump, worm driven gear pump, with rotary needle valve, including oil volume and pressure adjustments.

The assembly was driven with a direct coupled repulsion induction motor [see Group 16.00], drawing oil from a float control, valve chamber with strainer. The entire machine proper rested in trays that caught leaking oil, with provisions for sucking it back into the system.

The fire door insert included nozzle assembly, ignition transformer and spark plug

The burner was controlled with a Model 77, Locksmith, stack switch [See Group 12.08]

Industrial Significance:
Appearing in the early 1920’s, Canadian household machinery was initially styled after its industrial counterpart in cast iron, steel, light weight die casting alloys, brass and bronze, using the industrial processes available in the times.

Fess Oil Burners of Canada [later the John Wood Company, Toronto] became a major player in the development of the automatic oil heating industry, starting in the 1920’s

The industry would shortly move on to a more compact, functionally integrated, unitary equipment look, thus distancing itself from the factory floor. See ID# 267 – but for now the D series was as good as it gets.


Fuel pump assembly ‘J18’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.143

A compact, functionally integrated fuel pump assembly for gun type, low pressure atomizing oil burner, with flange motor mount, air intake housing, fuel pump, and pressure gauge 0 to 20 psi., all over coated in classic black-green gloss enamel of the period; equipped with drive coupling, pressure regulating valve, fitments, and oil filter all executed in solid brass/bronze, all targeted on the affluent, discerning, life style seeking householder, Fess, Model J18, Circa 1930. [see also 12.06-11]



Item: Fuel pump assembly ‘J18’
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burner of Canada
Make: Fess
Model: J18

Technical Significance:
By the early 1930’s the Canadian oil heating industry was progressing well beyond simple, gravity feed, vaporizing oil-heating equipment [see Group 11,05 artifacts]. Having developed mechanical, low pressure atomizing machinery [see ID# 12.06-9], it was ready to move on to more efficient, cleaner and more reliable atomizing methods, to be found in the pressure-atomizing “gun” burner technology of the period.

This historic artifact models well the sophisticated engineering and design achievements of the period, in compact, functionally integrated fuel oil pump assemblies for low pressure atomizing oil burners.

Modelled here is the best of the offerings of the industry to Canadian home owners of the period – at least to those that could afford the best and the latest is advanced automatic home heating technology in the early 1930 – in the midst of national economic depression.

A superb example of what was now possible, given the advances in oil atomizing technology, metallurgy, manufacturing and fabrication methods of the day.

Exemplified, too, is a new era of industrial craftsmanship with an eye for a new of eye-catching and pleasing industrial styling.

Seen here is a new generation of mechanical equipment, targeted on the hearts and minds of the Canadian homeowner, equipment which was starting to loose the crude industrial machinery look, and develop a new aesthetic, one distancing its self from the factory floor look of a few years earlier [see 12.06-9].

What had been acquired by the industry was a new sense of how to smoothly integrate and articulate mechanisms traditionally of widely different functions [oil pumps, motors, fans and pressure valves] into a single functioning whole. A new kind of sophisticated entity had been created, one made all the more appealing to the early 20th century discriminating homeowner of good taste with the addition of polished brass fitments. See Note #2

The new gun style burner consisted of a direct drive, flange mounted motor, a Sirocco type high pressure fan to deliver primary air for combustion, a compact positive displacement, gear pump, an oil atomizing nozzle, high potential electrical transformer, and ignition electrodes.

Industrial Significance:
Fess Oil Burners of Canada [later the John Wood Company, Toronto] became a major player in the development of the automatic oil heating industry, starting in the late 1920’s

Capitalizing on the sales potential of the new more compact and reliable “gun” type technology, the Fess J series of automatic oil burners would be representative of a new generation of highly innovative equipment, taking advantage of the newly emerging Canadian market in the early 1930’s.

Its Model J series of gun type, pressure atomizing burners, in their characteristic black-green, would be a familiar site in the basements of the well-to-do across much of central Canada in the 30’s.

The industry was moving to more compact, functionally integrated, unitary equipment configurations, away from the industrial machinery look. With the advent of the high pressure gun burner, the basic oil burner configuration had been established which, with many modifications and enhancements, would largely characterize the field through to the end of the 20th century.


Rotary fuel oil pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.144

A rotary, low pressure, fuel oil pump, with carbon separator blades, heavy steel rotor, in cast and machined steel body, with classic black/green enamel finish, and original external piping connections, a marker of the 2nd wave of automatic home heating, pump assembly technology for the Canadian home, partial pump assembly only, manufacturer unknown, Circa 1924.



Item: Rotary fuel oil pump
Manufacturer: Unknown See Note 1
Make: Unknown See Note 1
Model: V916
Features: Natural carbon blade

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century the evolution of automatic oil fired home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

By the early 1930’s the Canadian oil heating industry was progressing well beyond simple, gravity feed, vaporizing oil-heating equipment [wave 1] moving to elemental, motorized, electrified, designs [wave 2], using low pressure mechanical atomizing burners with rotary, carbon separator blade pumps [see ID# 12.06-9].

This pump assembly is, then, a marker of the second wave. It is associated with the earliest years of electrified and motorized oil heating equipment to be found in Canadian homes

A hallmarks of the design is the use of carbon, separator, rotor blades. Carbon was a natural choice, as a natural substance, which tended to be self lubricating and self-positioning, wearing to cylinder wall to maintain a close running tolerance and quiet operation – all this in a period long before the availability of more sophisticated engineering materials

A hallmark of this technology of the period would also be its massive weight, as represented here by this 10 lb., toe crushing, partial pump body. But the look was a preferred one in the culture of the times, by a public still spooked by the seeming inherent dangers represented by un-attended, automatic oil heating equipment in the home. Among other things it must look, feel and in fact be solid.

Industrial Significance:
A marker of the manufacturing techniques of the times


Rotary fuel oil pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.145

A rotary, low pressure, fuel oil pump for automatic home heating, with carbon rotor separator blades, heavy steel rotor, in cast and machined steel body equipped for 4 bolt flange motor mounting, built-in, brass, automatic pressure regulating valve with manual adjustment, beginning to suggest the early years of the 4th wave in engineering design, characterized by compacted, integrated fuel oil pump assemblies, manufacturer unknown, Circa 1929.



Item: Rotary fuel oil pump
Manufacturer: Unknown See Note 1
Make: Unknown See Note 1
Model: Unknown
Features: Natural carbon separator blades

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

By the early 1930’s the Canadian oil heating industry was progressing well beyond simple, gravity feed, vaporizing oil-heating equipment [wave 1] and elemental, motorized, electrified, designs [wave 2], to increasingly more compacted and functionally integrated engineering designs. Seen here in the compact, coaxial motor drive flange and the built in pressure valve and piping passages.

This pump assembly is, then, an early marker of the 4th design wave

A hallmarks of the design is the use of carbon, separator, rotor blades. Carbon was a natural choice, as a natural substance, which tended to be self lubricating and self-positioning, wearing to cylinder wall to maintain a close running tolerance and quiet operation – all this in a period long before the availability of more sophisticated engineering materials

A hallmark of this technology of the period would also be its massive weight, as represented here by this 10 lb., toe crushing, partial pump body. But the look was a preferred one in the culture of the times, by a public still spooked by the seeming inherent dangers represented by un-attended, automatic oil heating equipment in the home. Among other things it must look, feel and in fact be solid.

Industrial Significance:
A marker of the sophisticated machining and manufacturing techniques of the times, using the relatively crude machine tools available.


Single stage rotary gear pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.146

A single stage rotary gear pump, with cast and machined steel body, two hole flange and barrel mount and two point drive coupling for close, direct motor drive; with original oil piping, it would be part of the 3rd wave in engineering design, characterized by compacted, fuel oil pump assemblies, Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago, Circa 1929.



Item: Single stage rotary gear pump
Manufacturer: Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago
Make: Tuthill
Model: Unknown

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

Seen here is an early, compact rotary gear pump, for close coupled, direct drive application, beginning to reflect the drive configuration to be found on the mainstream of oil burners through the balance of the 20th century.

This pump assembly stands as a late example of the 3rd wave of fuel oil pump assemblies

The close coupled, direct drive configuration used here would be an early application of the design commonly found throughout the industry to the end of the 29th century

Industrial Significance:
This requisitely crafted and machined gear, miniature gear pump would be a marvel of engineering design and production of the day

Tuthill would be widely acknowledged in the industry as an early innovator in the field, providing many of the engineering ideas, principles, products and breakthroughs which the industry would bill on – see for example ID#271.


Two stage rotary gear pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.147

Two stage rotary gear pump, with cast and machined steel body, two hole flange and barrel-mount for close, direct motor coupling; with internal pressure regulating and cut- off valves, inlet oil strainer and oil bypass, it would set a new standard for fuel oil pump assemblies, part of a 4th wave in engineering design, characterized by compacted and functionally integrated engineering, Fuelstat, Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago, Circa 1937.



Item: Two stage rotary gear pump
Manufacturer: Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago
Make: Tuthill
Model: DES???AT??
Features: Over coated in flawless gloss maroon enamel, likely to match the colour of an oil burner supplier of the period

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of 4th wave of fuel oil pump assemblies

The close coupled, direct drive configuration used here would be an early application of the design commonly found throughout the industry to the end of the 29th century

Industrial Significance:
Tuthill would be widely acknowledged in the industry as an early innovator in the field, providing many of the engineering ideas, principles, products and breakthroughs which the industry would bill on – see for example ID#271, 272, 273.


Single stage rotary gear pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.148

Single stage rotary gear pump, with light weight die cast body, two hole flange and barrel mount for close, direct motor coupling; with internal pressure regulating and cut-off valves, inlet oil strainer and oil bypass, it would set a new standard for fuel oil pump assemblies, part of a 4th wave in engineering design, characterized by compacted and functionally integrated engineering, Fuelstat, EN, Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago, Circa 1937.



Item: Single stage rotary gear pump
Manufacturer: Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago
Make: Tuthill
Model: EN

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of 4th wave of fuel oil pump assemblies, compact and functionally integrated in light weight die cast body.

Industrial Significance:
Tuthill would be widely acknowledged in the industry as an early innovator in the field, providing many of the engineering ideas, principles, products and breakthroughs which the industry would build on – see for example ID#271, 272, 273.


Single stage rotary gear pump ‘Tuthill’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.149

Tuthill single stage rotary gear pump, carrying the corporate name of Prenco, Toronto Canada, similar to the Tuthill Model EN, see ID# 272, with modern, stylish name plate and logo in silver against grass green background, a marker of the rapidly expanding market for automatic oil heating equipment in Canada following W.W.II, Fuelstat, Prenco, Tuthill Pump Corp. Toronto, Circa 1948.



Item: Single stage rotary gear pump ‘Tuthill’
Manufacturer: Prenco, Tuthill Pump Corp. Toronto
Make: Prenco Tuthill

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of 4th wave of fuel oil pump assemblies, compact and functionally integrated in light weight die cast body.

Industrial Significance:
Tuthill would be widely acknowledged in the industry as an early innovator in the field, providing many of the engineering ideas, principles, products and breakthroughs which the industry would build on – see for example ID#271, 272, 273.

With modern, stylish name plate and logo in silver against grass green background, with smoothly rounded long radius corners it would signal a new era in industrial design, with a new role for the industrial designer, creating products with eye appeal, distancing the oil heat industry from the products of its industrial past [see for example ID#268]


Two stage rotary gear pump ‘Webster’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.150

Two stage rotary, gear style pump, in cast steel body with extended shaft, and Webster stylish logo, carrying a Canadian manufacturer’s name; an example of beautifully compacted and functionally integrated engineering. [4th wave] and of the rapidly approaching mature market years for high pressure, 100 psi. oil burner technology, bringing with it a giant bulge in the percentages of Canadian home owners and businesses that would enjoy automatic heating, Webster/ Canadian Acme Screw and Gear, Circa 1955.



Item: Two stage rotary gear pump ‘Webster’
Manufacturer: Canadian Acme Screw and Gear, Toronto
Make: Webster
Model: 2R-111D-AH

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of advanced 4th wave fuel oil pump technology, compact and functionally integrated in heavy cast steel body.

A marker of the now rapidly approaching mature market years for high pressure, 100 psi. oil burner technology, leaving room for a new generation of ultra-high pressure, 200 psi. technology.

Industrial Significance:
Webster a respected US manufacturer of oil burner components, including ignition transformers [see ID#12.07-1 and 2] and oil pumps, would like Tuthill seek Canadian partners in the post WWII period to take advantage of the rapid growth of the oil heating market in Canada.


Commercial rotary gear pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.151

Commercial, high capacity, two stage rotary, gear style pump, in cast steel body with extended shaft, a product of post W.W.II , compacted and functionally integrated engineering. [4th wave] it stands as a marker of the wide spread application of high pressure atomizing oil burner technology to commercial and institutional uses in Canada in the last half of the 20th century, Webster, Circa 1958.



Item: Commercial rotary gear pump
Manufacturer: Name plate missing
Make: Webster
Features: Original line fittings

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of a high capacity, advanced 4th wave fuel oil pump technology, compact and functionally integrated in heavy cast steel body, designed for commercial and institutional applications.


Compact fuel pump assembly

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.152

A compact, functionally integrated fuel pump assembly for gun type, low pressure atomizing oil burner, equipped with Tuthill fuel oil pump, drive coupling, pressure regulating valve, fitments, and oil filter all executed in solid brass/bronze, , Fess, Model J18, Circa 1930, partial assembly only. [see also 12.06-10, ID#267]



Item: Compact fuel pump assembly
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burner of Canada
Make: Fess
Model: J18

Technical Significance:
By the early 1930’s the Canadian oil heating industry was progressing well beyond simple, gravity feed, vaporizing oil-heating equipment [see Group 11,05 artifacts]. Having developed mechanical, low pressure atomizing machinery [see ID# 12.06-9], it was ready to move on to more efficient, cleaner and more reliable atomizing methods, to be found in the pressure-atomizing “gun” burner technology of the period.

This historic artifact models well the sophisticated engineering and design achievements of the period, in compact, functionally integrated fuel oil pump assemblies for low pressure atomizing oil burners.

Modelled here is the best of the offerings of the industry to Canadian home owners of the period – at least to those that could afford the best and the latest is advanced automatic home heating technology in the early 1930 – in the midst of national economic depression.

A superb example of what was now possible, given the advances in oil atomizing technology, metallurgy, manufacturing and fabrication methods of the day.

Exemplified, too, is a new era of industrial craftsmanship with an eye for a new of eye-catching and pleasing industrial styling.

Seen here is a new generation of mechanical equipment, targeted on the hearts and minds of the Canadian homeowner, equipment which was starting to loose the crude industrial machinery look, and develop a new aesthetic, one distancing its self from the factory floor look of a few years earlier [see 12.06-9].

What had been acquired by the industry was a new sense of how to smoothly integrate and articulate mechanisms traditionally of widely different functions [oil pumps, motors, fans and pressure valves] into a single functioning whole. A new kind of sophisticated entity had been created, one made all the more appealing to the early 20th century discriminating homeowner of good taste with the addition of polished brass fitments. See Note #2

The new gun style burner consisted of a direct drive, flange mounted motor, a Sirocco type high pressure fan to deliver primary air for combustion, a compact positive displacement, gear pump, an oil atomizing nozzle, high potential electrical transformer, and ignition electrodes..

Industrial Significance:
Fess Oil Burners of Canada [later the John Wood Company, Toronto] became a major player in the development of the automatic oil heating industry, starting in the late 1920’s

Capitalizing on the sales potential of the new more compact and reliable “gun” type technology, the Fess J series of automatic oil burners would be representative of a new generation of highly innovative equipment, taking advantage of the newly emerging Canadian market in the early 1930’s.

Its Model J series of gun type, pressure atomizing burners, in their characteristic black-green, would be a familiar site in the basements of the well-to-do across much of central Canada in the 30’s.

The industry was moving to more compact, functionally integrated, unitary equipment configurations, away from the industrial machinery look. With the advent of the high pressure gun burner, the basic oil burner configuration had been established which, with many modifications and enhancements, would largely characterize the field through to the end of the 20th century.


Commercial rotary gear pump ‘Detroit’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.153

Commercial, high capacity, two stage rotary, gear style pump, in cast steel body, with barrel and flange motor mount and brass drive coupling. A product of post W.W.II compacted and functionally integrated engineering. [4th wave], it stands as a marker of the wide spread application of high pressure atomizing oil burner technology to commercial and institutional uses in Canada in the last half of the 20th century, Detroit Lubricator, Circa 1958.



Item: Commercial rotary gear pump ‘Detroit’
Manufacturer: Detroit Lubricator, Detroit
Make: Detroit Lubricator
Model: CR8-333
Features: Original line fittings and tubing illustrating the historic trade practices of the period

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of a high capacity, advanced 4th wave fuel oil pump technology, compact and functionally integrated in heavy cast steel body, designed for commercial and institutional applications.

Industrial Significance:
Detroit Lubricator would be one of a relatively few engineering manufactures that would produce for both the oil heating and refrigeration sectors of the HVACR industry. Their reputation in regulating valves and electric controls for refrigeration systems was well established – see group classification 7.02 and 3.02.


8K volt ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.131

An 8,000 volt, electric spark, ignition transformers, in gloss black steel case with brass nameplate. Such devices in the home and the sparks they generated would be a source of great public mystery and often apprehension in the early years of the 20th century. Yet, they would be the true heroes of early technology for the Canadian home; without them the mechanical wonders of the period would not have been possible, the internal combustion engine, the automobile, and automatic home heating. Webster, Circa 1936.



Item: 8K volt ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Webster Electric Co., Racine, Wis.
Make: Webster
Model: 20-D F
Features: Original wire connector illustrating electrical trade practices of the times

Chrome plated cameo styled, brass nameplate, highly decorate with logo.

Technical Significance:
In a period of increasingly sophisticated mechanical contrivances, the development of electrical apparatus – including reliable, efficient high voltage ignition transformers and electric motors tended, for the most part, to lag well behind the mechanical mechanisms which they supported.

The engineering and manufacturing challenge was to build an electrical transformer, to operate on 110 volts alternating current [the then accepted standard for hydro electrification in Canada], one that would create a sufficiently hot spark, about 8,000 to 10,000 volts, needed to reliably ignite an atomised oil vapor and air mixture.

Little of a theoretical practical nature was known in the early years of the 20th century about the design of electrical equipment, certainly not high voltage transformers. The principles of alternating electrical circuits, as well as those of magnetic circuits were little understood, by those who must apply them.

Farada’s experiments of the 1840’s and 50 had only been translated into the mathematical formula needed for precise engineering design in the 1870’s. And Steinmetz would not set out the basic parameters for the design of electromagnetic circuits until the early years of the 20th century. But the market place could not wait, engineering design proceeded empirically, with the knowledge available – with much trial and error.

The toe crushing weight and size of these early specimens [15 to 20 lbs] is a reminder of the crude design criteria employed and the materials available, especially the crude dielectric materials for the insulation of wire and coil bundles operating at high potential levels. As a result electrical failure was common, with all the accompanying dangers of un-ignited explosive mixtures being pumped into the furnace fire box.

Of special significance is this, long obsolete, 25 cycle, AC specimen. Once the standard in Ontario, 25 cycle equipment was heavier and bulkier than its 60 cycle counter part.

Industrial Significance:
By the mid 1930’s the future of the Canadian oil heat industry was assured of a long period of solid growth. With hydro electrification now well advanced in many urban areas in Canada, the desire for automatic, home heating was almost universal, and with it the pressure to engineer high voltage ignition devices in Canada, at reduced cost and improved reliability and performance – See ID# 256 and 257.


10K volt ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.132

A 10,000 volt, electric spark, ignition transformers, in non-ferro-magnetic, brass case in gloss black enamel, manufactured and stencilled for Fess Oil Burners of Canada, an acknowledged early pioneer and Canadian market leader. Such high voltage devices in the home would be a source of great public mystery and often apprehension in the early years of the 20th century. But without the electric spark the mechanical wonders of the age would not have been possible, the internal combustion engine, the automobile, and automatic home heating. Webster, Circa 1938.



Item: 10K volt ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Webster Electric Co., Racine, Wis.
Make: Webster
Model: 27D13
Features: Original wire connector and cable stub, illustrating electrical trade practices of the times; Chrome plated, classical oval, brass nameplate, highly decorate with Fess logo, torch held high.

Technical Significance:
In a period of increasingly sophisticated mechanical contrivances, the development of electrical apparatus – including reliable, efficient high voltage ignition devices [transformers] and electric motors tended, for the most part, to lag well behind the mechanical mechanisms which they supported.

The engineering and manufacturing challenge was to build an electrical transformer, to operate on 110 volts alternating current [the then accepted standard for hydro electrification in Canada], one that would create a sufficiently hot spark, about 8,000 to 10,000 volts, needed to reliably ignite an atomised oil vapour and air mixture.

Little of a theoretical nature was known in the early years of the 20th century about the design of electrical equipment, certainly not high voltage transformers. The principles of alternating electrical circuits, as well as those of magnetic circuits were little understood, by those who must apply them.

Farada’s experiments of the 1840’s and 50 had only been translated into the mathematical formula needed for precise engineering design in the 1870’s. And Steinmetz would not set out the basic parameters for the design of electromagnetic circuits until the early years of the 20th century. But the market place could not wait, engineering design proceeded empirically, with the knowledge available – with much trial and error. The cost would be in reliability and performance standards

The toe crushing weight and size of these early specimens [25 lbs] is a reminder of the crude design criteria employed, and the materials available, especially the crude dielectric materials for the insulation of wire and coil bundles operating at these high potential levels. As a result electrical failure was common, with all the accompanying dangers posed by un-ignited explosive mixtures being pumped into the furnace fire box.

Of special significance is this 25 cycle specimen. Once the standard in Ontario, 25 cycle equipment was heavier and bulkier than its 60 cycle counter part. Frequency standardization in Ontario, a project of monolithic proportion, now long forgotten was a technological marvel in its own right. It occurred, largely, in the latter half of the 1940’s

Industrial Significance:
A rare marker of the early years in the Canadian, automatic oil heating industry, this ignition transformer by the acknowledged, early US leader in transformer engineering, design and manufacturer, Webster Electric, was stencilled for Fess Oil Burners of Canada, then an acknowledged early pioneer and market leader in the engineering, design and manufacture of oil burners in Canada. The suggestion here is that there were no Canadian ignition transformer manufactures in the period.

By the mid 1930’s the future of the Canadian oil heat industry was assured of a long period of solid growth. With hydro electrification now well advanced in many urban areas in Canada, the desire for automatic, home heating was almost universal, and with it the pressure to engineer high voltage ignition in Canada, at reduced cost and improved reliability and performance – See ID# 256 and 257.


10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.133

A 10,000 volt, 60 cycle spark, ignition transformer, in ferro-magnetic, steel case in gloss black enamel, with long radius corners, reminiscent of the Art Deco style. Equipped with built in junction box, adjustable base and brown porcelain high tension insulators with screw terminals, it stands as an historic example of the work of early, Canadian, ignition transformer, speciality manufactures, tooling up for the now rapidly expanding, home heating market in Canada, Amalgamated Electric, 1960.



Item: 10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Jefferson Electric, Amalgamated Electric Corporati
Make: Jefferson
Model: Cat No. 638-241
Features: Original wire connector and cable stub, illustrating electrical trade practices of the times

Art Deco inspired, long radius. rounded corners

Technical Significance:
Early high voltage ignition transformers were built in non-ferro magnetic, brass enclosures [See ID# 255 and 256], considered necessary to isolate the enclosure from the electro magnetic circuit. Subsequent engineering studies confirmed the use of magnetic steel shells, as seen here – a cost saving feature for the manufacturer.

By the 1960’s the toe crushing weight of early ignition transformers [See ID# 255 and 256] had been reduced by 50%, due to advances in engineering design, the use of new inorganic dielectric, insulating materials able to with stand high voltages and surges, as well as as a consequence of frequency standardization [25 to 60 cycle]

Industrial Significance:
The smoothly rounded, long radius corners, giving this device a distinctly modern Art Deco look, is also a marker of the advanced, production manufacturing methods of the 1960’s

The early patent numbers are somewhat surprising [1930 to 1932], suggest that there was little new in the technology, which could be patented, through the ensuing years to the 1960’s, the major advances being made in materials and manufacturing methods.

By the 1960’s the Canadian automatic oil heating industry was into supplying a major after-market, for parts and upgraded equipment. This ignition transformer is a marker of those times, built with adaptable, slotted base-plate, making it readily adaptable to a number of different oil burner manufacturer’s applications.

The increasingly wide range of different physical configurations, as well as different technologies appearing on the Canadian oil heating market by the 1960’s, demonstrated the immense inventiveness characterizing the Canadian automatic oil heating industry of the times. As a result, Canadian ignition transformer manufactures were called upon to adapt their deigns to many different configurations, in order to meet the needs of original equipment manufacturers, as well as the diversity of forms required to economically service the after market [See also ID# 258].

Much of the credibility of the Canadian oil heat industry would rest on its ability to service the after-market promptly, efficiently and at a cost homeowners could afford. Motors, high voltage ignition transformer and electrodes, as well as high pressure oil atomizing nozzles and oil pumps were all casualties of normal ware and tear, often breaking down as a result of prolonged periods of cold Canadian winter weather. A substantial service industry in towns and cities across the country would develop by the 1960’s, with the challenge of maintaining a stock of replacement parts in the many configurations required for emergency, “no-heat” service.


10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.134

A 10,000 volt, 60 cycle spark, ignition transformer, in ferro-magnetic, steel case in gloss black enamel, with long radius corners, reminiscent of the Art Deco style. Equipped with hinged base-plate and enclosed high tension insulators with adjustable brass pressure contacts and built in junction box, it stands as an historic example of the immense diversity and inventiveness of the Canadian oil heat industry during its years of post W.W.II rapid growth, Allison 1964.



Item: 10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Allanson Armature Mfg Co. Ltd, Toronto
Make: Allanson
Model: Cat No. 521, ty
Features: Original wire connector and cable stubs, illustrating electrical trade practices of the times

Art Deco inspired, long radius. rounded corners

Technical Significance:
Early high voltage ignition transformers were built in non-ferro magnetic, brass enclosures [See ID# 255 and 256], considered necessary to isolate the enclosure from the electro magnetic circuit. Subsequent engineering studies confirmed the appropriate use of magnetic steel shells, as seen here – a cost saving feature for the manufacturer.

By the 1960’s the toe crushing weight of early ignition transformers [See ID# 255 and 256] had been reduced by 50%, due to advances in engineering design, the use of new inorganic dielectric, insulating materials able to with stand high voltages and surges, as well as as a consequence of frequency standardization [25 to 60 cycle]

Industrial Significance:
The Canadian automatic oil heating industry was expanding rapidly in the 1960’s. The Allanson, Armature Mfg. Co., having made its name in the manufacture electric armatures for the automotive industry, for use in generators and starters would see in the heating industry opportunities for horizontal expansion, making use of its core skills – electrical coil winding.

By the 1960’s the Canadian automatic oil heating industry was into supplying a major after-market, for parts and upgraded equipment. This ignition transformer designed with a hinged base and enclosed high tension connections stands as an example of the range of configurations needed in transformers to meet the diverse engineering and design requirements of the period

The increasingly wide range of different physical configurations, as well as different technologies appearing on the Canadian oil heating market by the 1960’s, demonstrated the immense inventiveness characterizing the Canadian automatic oil heating industry of the times. As a result, Canadian ignition transformer manufactures were called upon to adapt their designs to many different configurations, in order to meet the needs of original equipment manufacturers, as well as the diversity of forms required to economically service the after-market [See also ID# 258].

Much of the credibility of the Canadian oil heat industry would rest on its ability to service the after-market promptly, efficiently, and at a cost homeowners could afford. Motors, high voltage ignition transformer and electrodes, as well as high pressure oil atomizing nozzles and oil pumps were all casualties of normal ware and tear, often short lived, often breaking down as a result of prolonged periods of cold Canadian winter weather. A substantial service industry in towns and cities across the country would develop by the 1960’s, with the challenge of maintaining a stock of replacement parts in the many configurations required for emergency, “no-heat” service.

The smoothly rounded, long radius corners, giving this device a distinctly modern Art Deco look, is a marker of the advanced, production manufacturing methods of the 1960’s


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.102

A 1920’s automated combustion controller for Canadian oil fired, home heating systems, with Bourdon tube actuated mercury switch for “pressure ignition control” and “Adjustatherm,” safety cut-out, marketed in Ottawa by Shaver Bros, Type SDP 22, , Mercoid Corp., Circa 1929. [partial assembly only]



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: Mercoid Corp. Chicago Ill.
Make: Mercoid
Model: Type SDP22
Features: – high style, brass name plate with logo and graphics in red and black
– Stencilled for Shaver Bros Ottawa

Technical Significance:
– Representative of the earliest automatic combustion control technology for oil fired domestic heating systems marketed in Canada, using oil pressure to actuate electric ignition transformer at predetermined set point, and a temperature sensing stack switch, as safety device, in case of flame failure. See schematic diagram.
– Representative, too, of the earliest complex systems introduced into the Canadian home. See Note #1

Industrial Significance:
– Mercoid, a name no doubt derived from the company’s reliance on mercury bulb switching, would prove to be a time honoured one in the HVACR field as it evolved over the 20th century and into the 21st. Current catalogues show similar Bourdon tube driven mercury bulb switching, as used in this 1920’s device [See Dwyer Instruments Web site]


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.103

A 1920’s automated combustion controller for Canadian oil fired, home heating systems, with oil pressure actuated, pancake style bellows safety switch, electric thermal safety lock-out with manual reset and flapper valve actuated mercury bulb switch, enclosed in stylish, heavy cast steel enclosure with highly decorated cover plate, Hart Oil Heat, Preferred Oil burners Inc., Circa 1929.



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: Hart Oil Heat, Preferred Oil burners Inc., Peoria, Ill.
Make: Hart Oil Heat, Preferred Oil Burners
Model: Partially obliterated
Features:
– high style, painted stencilled cover plate in red, gold and black
– Original wiring harness
– Original oil piping connectors

Technical Significance:
– Representative of the earliest automatic combustion control technology for oil fired domestic heating systems marketed in Canada
– Characteristic of a period of embryonic technological development in any field, this automated combustion controller and safety switch further demonstrates the array of mechanisms, new and novel being experimented with. From the perspective of the early 21st century, without the benefit of documentation or schematic diagram, it is not at all clear even how the various interacting and mutually supporting component parts of this panel operated to variously provide the required level of automation and safety protection required for public comfort and safety.
– Representative, of the earliest complex systems introduced into the Canadian home. See Note #1


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.104

A 1920’s automated combustion controller for oil fired, home heating systems, equipped with electro-magnetic actuated, tilting mercury bulb line voltage contractor and thermal electric safety lock-out with manual reset. Paired with a stack mounted, bimetal, automatic heat-sensing switch, it would set a new standard of performance, comfort, reliability and safety for Canadian homeowners. Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., Model 77, Circa 1929. [1 of 2, See also ID# 231]



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind.
Make: Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls
Model: Number 77, Model 125
Features:
– Gloss black cabinet
– Sophisticated name plate and logo in black, red and chrome
– Original wiring harness

Technical Significance:
– With the “Locksmith” system, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction the Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp, moved to adopt an integrated systems approach, with its companion stack mounted heat sensor [ID # 229] and room thermostat [ID #215. The system stopped and started the oil burner, on call from the room thermostat, through a line voltage, electric solenoid actuated mercury bulb switch. Ne for the times, a compact thermally timed interlock, with manual reset performed the safety protection function.
– While simple, by contrast to the next generation of combustion controllers [See 234], these automated, electrical control devices were non-the-less something of a marvel, given the embryonic nature of engineering systems know-how of the times.
– Evident in this new generation of automated electrical devices was the introduction of electronic components, heralding the period, then 40 years or so ahead, in which combustion controllers would be primarily electronic devices, for example employing photo-electric sensing. Here a simple electronic condenser had been added to the analogue electrical switching mechanism, in order to help control arching, see Company Manual Ref #1 p.42
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Flame monitoring device

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.105

A 1920’s high tech, automated, flame monitoring device for oil fired, home heating systems. Paired with the manufacturer’s “Locksmith” electromagnetic combustion controller [see ID#228], it operated using a helical bimetal spring to actuate twin mercury bulb switches, in order to control starting and running operations, ignition duration, flame failure and safety recycling time, Model 48H, Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind. [I of 2, see ID# 236]



Item: Flame monitoring device
Manufacturer: Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind.
Make: Time-O-Stat Controls
Model: Model 48H
Features:
– Gloss black, pressed steel cabinet with built in electrical junction box
– Sophisticated name plate and logo in black, red and chrome
– Instructions stencilled to the inside of cover is a reminder of the complexity of the system, the dangers and risks of malpractice and the need for informed owners and operators
– Original wiring connector

Technical Significance:
– The controller, with twin, tilting mercury bulb switches, stands as a marker of the period in the development of early line voltage automated, alternating current switching devices for inductive loads [electric motors]. Here the mercury tube became the preferred switching medium.
– The charred inside surface of the control cover shows the effect of an electrical fire at one point, not uncommon in early switching devices used on high starting current A.C. induction loads [electric motors]
– With the “Locksmith” system, and stack located heat monitor, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction the Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp, later Time-O-Stat Controls Co.moved to adopt an integrated systems approach, with its companion stack mounted heat sensor [ID # 229] and room thermostat [ID #215. The system stopped and started the oil burner, on call from the room thermostat, through a line voltage, electric solenoid actuated mercury bulb switch. New for the times, a compact thermally timed interlock, with manual reset performed the safety protection function.
– While simple, by contrast to the next generation of combustion controllers [See 234], these automated, electrical control devices were non-the-less something of a marvel, given the embryonic nature of engineering systems know-how of the times.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Control and switch panel

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.106

An 1920’s, field assembled electrical control and switch panel for oil fired, home heating systems, equipped with Time-O-Stat, Locksmith control [See ID# 230] and Square D, fused, manual, safety, disconnect switch, mounted on handmade pine panel board with walnut finish and fire protective covering; an icon of its times reflecting something of the trade practices and public expectations of the period, as well as the attention given to public safety, Circa 1929.



Item: Control and switch panel
Manufacturer: Unknown, Possibly Howard Oliver Aurora Ontario
Make: Shop fabricated

Technical Significance:
– The panel board is an icon of its time, reflecting something of electric trade practices and public expectations for craftsmanship in the early years of the 20th century, an embryonic period in the electrification of Canadian homes and the installation of electric equipment.
– The attention to styling and detail in the construction of the panel reflected the culture of the day. While relatively crude in construction it reflected the expectation for craftsmanship of the period, including mitred corners, finishing mouldings and furniture style walnut finish
– Here evidence of what might be seen as “over design” is every where evident. And for good reason, the public were fascinated but nervous about new unfamiliar technology in the home, especially electrical equipment that operated automatically, without the touch of human hand.
– The danger of fire and electrocution were matters of public concern. The robustly designed equipment, the evidence of government certification and equipment testing standards, as well as evidence of competent field practices and craftsmanship were intended to demonstrate due care, caution and respect in the public good.
– With the “Locksmith” system, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction by Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– The heavy steel encased, fused “safety”, disconnect switch, mounted on fire proofed panel was designed to give the customer a feeling of perfect confidence that all possible steps had been taken for the safety of the household
– Approved field practice, enforced by electrical inspectors, required that such panel boards be installed at the entrance to the furnace or boiler room within easy reach, allowing the homeowner full control and access, in order to shut down the system manually in the case of emergency.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.107

A 1920’s automated combustion controller for oil fired, home heating systems, equipped with electro-magnetic actuated, tilting mercury bulb line voltage contractor and thermal electric safety lock-out with manual reset. Paired with a stack mounted, bimetal, automatic heat-sensing switch, it would set a new standard of performance, comfort, reliability and safety for Canadian homeowners. Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., Model 125, No. 77, Circa 1929, missing internal component parts. [2 of 2, See also ID# 228]



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind.
Make: Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls
Model: Number 77, Model 125
Features:
– Condenser separately found with the control, likely removed for testing and or replacement, No, M-377; Capacity.15 to 20 M. F. , Date Feb 8, 1929
– Gloss black cabinet
– Sophisticated name plate and logo in black, red and chrome

Technical Significance:
– With the “Locksmith” system, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction the Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp, moved to adopt an integrated systems approach, with its companion stack mounted heat sensor [ID # 229] and room thermostat [ID #215. The system stopped and started the oil burner, on call from the room thermostat, through a line voltage, electric solenoid actuated mercury bulb switch. Ne for the times, a compact thermally timed interlock, with manual reset performed the safety protection function.
– While simple, by contrast to the next generation of combustion controllers [See 234], these automated, electrical control devices were non-the-less something of a marvel, given the embryonic nature of engineering systems know-how of the times.
– Evident in this new generation of automated electrical devices was the introduction of electronic components, heralding the period, then 40 years or so ahead, in which combustion controllers would be primarily electronic devices, for example employing photo-electric sensing. Here a simple electronic condenser had been added to the analogue electrical switching mechanism, in order to help control arching, see Company Manual Ref #1 p.42
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.108

A late 1920’s, one-piece, trend setting, automated combustion controller for oil fired, home heating systems, elegantly named the “Pyrotherm”, it was unitary in design, stack mounted, helical bimetal heat actuated, performing essentially the same functions as the earlier two-piece technology [See ID#231 and ID#229], but with greater precision. The device was a marvel of inter-connected mechanical, electrical and electro-magnetic components, operating three mercury bulb switches; Mercoid, Type 8M, Circa 1930.



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: The Mercoid Corp.,Chicago
Make: Mercoid
Model: Type 8M

Technical Significance:
– The “Pyrotherm”, introduced by Mercoid, an early innovator in the field of heating and refrigeration controllers, would trigger a world change, setting the stage for much of the next 30 years of combustion, safely control engineering
– The device was a marvel of inter-connected mechanical, electrical and electro-magnetic components, operating three mercury bulb switches
– A significant design consideration in the development of unitary, stack-mounted controls was the high ambient temperatures to which they were subjected. High temperature wiring and heat shielding were new design requirements to be dealt with.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– By the standards of that day the introduction of one-piece, compact, electro-magnetic combustion controllers represented a world change in precise engineering design and manufacture, requiring new materials and engineering know how.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Mercoid, a name no doubt derived from the company’s reliance on mercury bulb switching, would prove to be a time honoured one in the HVACR field, as it evolved over the 20th century and into the next – see Dwyer Instruments web site


Radiant heat sensor

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.109

The “Protectostat”, a late 1940’s radiant heat sensor for combustion safety control. It would set new standard for combustion safety for higher firing rate, oil atomizing heating systems found in large Canadian estate homes, institutions and small industrial applications. Sited directly on the fire, it used a black metal diaphragm to mechanically actuate a low voltage control system through a Minneapolis Honeywell “Protectorelay”, Minneapolis Honeywell, Type A, Circa 1948.



Item: Radiant heat sensor
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co.
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: Type A
Features:
– Handsome corporate name plate and logo in red, black and chrome

Technical Significance:
– Mounted adjacent to the burner fire tube, the device immediately sensed the radiant heat of combustion, providing here-to-for unheard of rapid response needed for the safe and satisfactory operation of larger oil fired boilers and furnaces, operating in the range of 3 to 12 gallons per minute of number 2 or 3 fuel oil.
– The Protectostat operated a Minneapolis Protectorelay, consisting of electro-magnetic switches and a thermal safety, automatic cut out timing device.
– The Protectostat with Protectorelay would become the standard of the industry for institutional and small commercial and industrial, automatic oil fired systems until the introduction of photo-electric eye, electronic sensing technology in the 1950’s, see reference.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the early introduction of complex systems into Canadian homes and places of business. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– The potential explosive power of several gallons per minute of high pressure vapourized fuel oil being sprayed into a combustion chamber is awesome and a source of fear to system owners, operators and service people alike. The importance of fast response for safety shut down in case of delayed ignition on unattended, automatic systems is paramount. The development of the radiant heat sensor opened up new applications for automatic operation of boilers, where operating engineers in constant attendance became unnecessary under certain conditions.


Combustion controller ‘Honeywell’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.110

An example of innovative, mid 20th century combustion safety control technology that would dominate the field of household automatic oil heating through much of the balance of the century; stack mounted, bimetal heat actuated safety switching, electro-magnetic relay controlled; equipped for intermittent ignition, heat anticipation, 3 wire room thermostat, Type RA117A, 25 cycle, Minneapolis Honeywell, Toronto Circa 1945. [See also ID#235]



Item: Combustion controller ‘Honeywell’
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co.
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: RA117A
Features:
– Pristine enclosure in high gloss grey, a break in tradition with the “black look” of heating control devices
– Handsome corporate monograph in distinctive Minneapolis Honeywell red
– Original wiring diagram on inside of cover

Technical Significance:
– Of special significance is the 25cycle engineering of this controller, built for the Ontario market in the period prior to frequency standardization, which took place in the closing years of the 1940’s in much of the province. These devices being electro-magnetic were frequency sensitive. The large rear mounted transformer used to provide control circuit power tells the story. The 6o cycle equivalent is shown on item ID#235.
– With the introduction of new generation of integrated, relatively reliable control systems for household heating in the early 1940’s a new era of mass produced technology had arrived, setting the stage for a new, Canadian mass market.
– It combined up-dated, bimetal combustion control technology with the three wire, heat anticipating thermostat, – providing comfort, safety and reliability levels unheard of a decade earlier.
– By the early 1940’s Minneapolis Honeywell’s unitary designed, combustion controller, the RA117A Protectorelay, had arguably become a kind of standard of achievement for the home, automatic, oil heating industry in much of Canada.
– The fragile and potentially poisonous mercury bulb switching of earlier combustion controls was replaced here with quiet, reliable, electro-magnetic and bimetal driven snap action contacts,
– A significant design consideration in the development of unitary, stack-mounted controls was the high ambient temperatures to which they were subjected. High temperature wiring and heat shielding were new design requirements to be dealt with.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– This pristine control, un-used, was a factory reconditioned, control by Minneaplolis Honeywell, Toronto. It exemplifying the great care taken in recycling of equipment, part of the practice and conservation ethic of the day, delivering
reliable reconditioned equipment to a market that desperately needed it .
– It was a period quite different from that which would exist towards the end of the century, where damaged and un-reliable equipment would be declared expendable, too costly or superseded, as a result of rapid technological, design or manufacturing changes.
– By the mid 1940’s the HVACR industry recognized that a new era in the popularization of automatic home heating equipment was under way. Unitary designed, oil home heating equipment had evolved into a “home appliance”, on which many householders would now become heavily dependent.
– This new, widespread dependency on automatic heating, throughout Canada’s long cold winters, would require the industry to strive for enhanced performance in matters of reliable, maintainable and readily serviceable equipment, with readily obtainable replacement parts.
– Public expectations for 24 hour emergency service was part of the new world of popular technology that had been created. Honeywell and other manufacturers would respond by providing a line of rebuilt controls for field service people to stock for emergency purposes.


Combustion controller ‘Honeywell’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.111

An example of innovative, mid 20th century combustion safety control technology that would dominate the field of household automatic oil heating through much of the balance of the century; stack mounted, bimetal heat actuated safety switching, electro-magnetic relay controlled; equipped for intermittent ignition, heat anticipation, 3 wire room thermostat, Type RA117, 60 cycle, Minneapolis Honeywell, Toronto Circa 1948. [See also ID#234]



Item: Combustion controller ‘Honeywell’
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co.
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: RA117A
Features:
– Cabinet in black “ripple” finish part of the look of the day, based on the metalic coatings technology of the day
– Handsome corporate monograph in distinctive Minneapolis Honeywell Red
– Original instruction sheet
– Original field installed wiring ends
– Original porcelain cable box connector
– Original wiring diagram on inside of cover

Technical Significance:
– Of special significance is the 60 cycle engineering of this controller, built for the Ontario market following frequency standardization, which took place in the closing years of the 1940’s in much of the province. These devices, being electro-magnetic, were frequency sensitive. The much smaller rear mounted transformer used to provide control circuit power tells the story. The 25 cycle equivalent is shown on item ID#234.
– With the introduction of new generation of integrated, relatively reliable control systems for household heating in the early 1940’s a new era of mass produced technology had arrived, setting the stage for a new, Canadian mass market.
– It combined up-dated, bimetal combustion control technology with the three wire, heat anticipating thermostat, – providing comfort, safety and reliability levels unheard of a decade earlier.
– By the early 1940’s Minneapolis Honeywell’s unitary designed, combustion controller, the RA117A Protectorelay, had arguably become a kind of standard of achievement for the home, automatic, oil heating industry in much of Canada.
– The fragile and potentially poisonous mercury bulb switching of earlier combustion controls was replaced here with quiet, reliable, electro-magnetic and bimetal driven snap action contacts,
– A significant design consideration in the development of unitary, stack-mounted controls was the high ambient temperatures to which they were subjected. High temperature wiring and heat shielding were new design requirements to be dealt with.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– The control cabinet cover in black “ripple” finish is representative of the trendy look of the day, based on the new, metallic coatings technology of the period
– By the mid 1940’s the HVACR industry recognized that a new era in the popularization of automatic home heating equipment was under way. Unitary designed, oil home heating equipment had evolved into a “home appliance”, on which many householders would now become heavily dependent.
– This new, widespread dependency on automatic heating, throughout Canada’s long cold winters, would require the industry to strive for enhanced performance in matters of reliable, maintainable and readily serviceable equipment, with readily obtainable replacement parts.
– Public expectations for 24 hour emergency service was part of the new world of popular technology that had been created. Honeywell and other manufacturers would respond by providing a line of rebuilt controls for field service people to stock for emergency purposes.


Flame monitoring device ‘Time-O-Stat’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.112

A 1920’s high tech, automated, flame monitoring device for oil fired, home heating systems. Paired with the manufacturer’s “Locksmith” electromagnetic combustion controller [see ID#228], it operated using a helical bimetal spring to actuate twin mercury bulb switches, in order to control starting and running operations, ignition duration, flame failure and safety recycling time, Model 48H, Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind. [I of 2, see ID# 229]



Item: Flame monitoring device ‘Time-O-Stat’
Manufacturer: Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind.
Make: Time-O-Stat Controls
Model: Model 48H
Features:
– Gloss black, pressed steel cabinet with built in electrical junction box
– Sophisticated name plate and logo in black, red and chrome
– Instructions stencilled to the inside of cover is a reminder of the complexity of the system, the dangers and risks of malpractice and the need for informed owners and operators

Technical Significance:
– The controller, with twin, tilting mercury bulb switches, stands as a marker of the period in the development of early line voltage automated, alternating current switching devices for inductive loads [electric motors]. Here the mercury tube became the preferred switching medium.
– The charred inside surface of the control cover shows the effect of an electrical fire at one point, not uncommon in early switching devices used on high starting current A.C. induction loads [electric motors]
– With the “Locksmith” system, and stack located heat monitor, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction the Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp, later Time-O-Stat Controls Co.moved to adopt an integrated systems approach, with its companion stack mounted heat sensor [ID # 229] and room thermostat [ID #215. The system stopped and started the oil burner, on call from the room thermostat, through a line voltage, electric solenoid actuated mercury bulb switch. New for the times, a compact thermally timed interlock, with manual reset performed the safety protection function.
– While simple, by contrast to the next generation of combustion controllers [See 234], these automated, electrical control devices were non-the-less something of a marvel, given the embryonic nature of engineering systems know-how of the times.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Double function temperature control

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – High Temperature Limit Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.113

A mid 20th century, state-of-the-art, double function, adjustable temperature control for home “winter air conditioner”. Used for automatically shutting down the system to prevent over heating, as well as to star and stop the furnace fan at air temperatures that would help ensure draft free comfort; equipped with helical bimetal heat sensor, twin, tilting mercury bulbs, mechanical brass linkage and manual fan on-off switch, fan and limit control, Type M80, Mercoid, 1938.



Item: Double function temperature control
Manufacturer: Mercoid Corporation, Chicago Ill.
Make: Mercoid
Model: Type M80
Features:
– Temperature calibration dial in red and gold
– Operating, adjustment instruction etched in gold on twin fibreboard insets
– Glass bezel
– Original wiring stubs with steel sheathed cable [BX] and heavy duty L box connectors

Technical Significance:
– A mid 20th century, dual function temperature controller, exquisitely crafted using the materials and engineering know-how of the immediate pre W.W.II years
– Designed for a new, emerging, yet still elite market for winter comfort, the “winter air conditioner”. Mercoid went to great lengths to show off its new, elite, automatic, dual temperature control technology, beautifully crafting with showy glass front panel and mechanical operating mechanism crafted in brass. It was to be a prestigious controller for the homeowner anxious, and able to afford the best that the HVACR industry of the times could provide, anxious too to be able to show it off for what it was, a piece of new technology ahead of its times.
– Air circulation was a matter of engineering concern, ensuring draft free comfort for homeowners not at all used to constantly moving air in the home. The key was the temperature at which the winter air conditioner’s fan would start circulating the pre-warmed air, and at what air temperature would the fan stop
– The manual fan switch was an important sales feature, too, allowing the homeowner to manually turn the system on in the summer time to circulate filtered air throughout the home [For an account of recommended industry practices of the time operation See, “Winter Air Heating and Winter Air conditioning”, John Norris McGraw-Hill 1950.
– It would be a period characterised by much research in the field of human comfort. its necessary and sufficient conditions and the means of creating it in Canada’s climate of weather extremes. Warm air heating research would become a legitimate topic for university, as well as industrial research with technical papers and how-to-do-it manuals to follow.
– Characteristic of the period and the emerging market for winter comfort was the creation of the National Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Association of Canada [forerunner of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada]. Their extensive set of engineering manuals produced through the 1950’and 60’s would be the standards of the field

Industrial Significance:
– The control of air movement in forced air, residential systems, to ensure safe comfortable conditions was and continues to be a challenge. With fixed, non modulating, forced air heating equipment, which characterizes the residential field, the control of air movement through the furnace and the home was accomplished with on-off switching of the fan motor. The goal is to ensure the furnace doesn’t over heat, as a result of low air quantity, but at the same time, the householder is not subject to the movement of unheated air through the house causing drafts.
– For the purpose of initially balancing the system, variable speed fan pulley drives were widely used to adjust fan speeds [see collection Group 12.11], until electrically variable speed, digital motor control technology became available.
– Two speed motors with double windings were also used in the 1950′ through 80’s, with two step controller to reduce air flow at low during start up and shut down.


Single function temperature control

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – High Temperature Limit Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.114

A mid 20th century, single function, adjustable temperature safety control for home “winter air conditioner”. Used for automatically shutting down the system to prevent over heating if, for example, the fan failed to come on allowing heat to build up in the furnace plennum beyond the safe operating point; equipped with helical bimetal heat sensor, single tilting mercury bulb line voltage switch, LA419, Minneapolis Honeywell, 1946. [1 of 2, similar to ID#239]



Item: Single function temperature control
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co. Toronto 17
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: LA419A1X
Features:
– Complete with original T. H. Oliver tag, marketed used LA419, H limit, operation OK
– Original label with wiring diagram and specifications
– With original swivel compression mounting device allowing the postioning of the temperature sensor in the furnace hot air plennum

Technical Significance:
– A mid 20th century, single function temperature limit safety controller exemplifying the materials and engineering know-how of the immediate pre W.W.II years.
– The Post W.W.II market for “winter air conditioning” was enormous and the industry sensed the potential, but there was still the public concern over the safety of all automatic equipment operating unattended in the home.
– The development of affordable, reliable high temperature limit automatic shut off control was a key to achieving market potential. Sales people, installers and service people would make a point of pointing out the safety features, why and how they worked. Some sales people would carry one of these safety controllers with them to clinch a sale.

Industrial Significance:
– The simplicity of the controller is surely a hallmark of the times, reflecting sophisticated engineering and manufacturing methods, as well as the availability of the engineering materials needed
– This controller may be one of the first class of products to be built in Canada by Minneapolis Honeywell, for the then rapidly growing market – see dateline in side cover “Toronto 17”
– Also made as a fan on-off controller, this series of limit safety controls by Honeywell would become the work horse of the industry throughout the major growth years of the winter air conditioner market in Canada, from the 1940’s through 60’s
– The original tag on the control tells the stories of the time, where controls were repaired and held in stock by service shops for quick replacement as needed.


Single function temperature control

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – High Temperature Limit Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.115

A mid 20th century, single function, adjustable temperature safety control for home “winter air conditioner”. Used for automatically shutting down the system to prevent over heating if, for example, the fan failed to come on allowing heat to build up in the furnace plennum beyond the safe operating point; equipped with helical bimetal heat sensor, single tilting mercury bulb line voltage switch, LA419, Minneapolis Honeywell, 1946. [1 of 2 similar to ID#238]



Item: Single function temperature control
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co. Toronto 17
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: LA419A1X
Features:
– Original cable connector
– Original wiring harness stubs
– Original label with wiring diagram and specifications
– With original swivel compression mounting device allowing the postioning of the temperature sensor in the furnace hot air plennum

Technical Significance:
– A mid 20th century, single function temperature limit safety controller exemplifying the materials and engineering know-how of the immediate pre W.W.II years.
– The Post W.W.II market for “winter air conditioning” was enormous and the industry sensed the potential, but there was still the public concern over the safety of all automatic equipment operating unattended in the home.
– The development of affordable, reliable high temperature limit automatic shut off control was a key to achieving market potential. Sales people, installers and service people would make a point of pointing out the safety features, why and how they worked. Some sales people would carry one of these safety controllers with them to clinch a sale.

Industrial Significance:
– The simplicity of the controller is surely a hallmark of the times, reflecting sophisticated engineering and manufacturing methods, as well as the availability of the engineering materials needed
– This controller may be one of the first class of products to be built in Canada by Minneapolis Honeywell, for the then rapidly growing market – see dateline in side cover “Toronto 17”
– Also made as a fan on-off controller, this series of limit safety controls by Honeywell would become the work horse of the industry throughout the major growth years of the winter air conditioner market in Canada, from the 1940’s through 60’s
– The original cable connector and wiring stubs tells the stories of the trade practices and materials of the times.


Room thermostat ‘Mercoid’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.089

An early, automatic room temperature control device, using an hydraulic bellows, temperature sensor, with mercury bulb, line voltage switching, stencilled for Williams-Oil-Matic Heating, Bloomington, Ill., promoted as “the world’s largest producer of automatic oil burners”. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian house hold and become markers of profound social and cultural change; Type 0104111, Mercoid Corp., Circa 1927.



Item: Room thermostat ‘Mercoid’
Manufacturer: Mercoid Corp., Chicago, Federal Warranted
Make: Mercoid for Williams Oil-0-Matic
Model: Type 0104111
Features:
– built in line voltage connection junction box

Technical Significance:
* The competing, thermostat, technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring temperature and hydraulic bellows designs. The copper bellows with heavy spring ballast appears to be less responsive for household home applications, possibly better suited to commercial situations in which Mercoid had made its name. [See ID 215]
* Equipped with a finely calibrated scale, locking adjustment lever, and leveling adjustment screws, it uses a large, commercial type, 3″ mercury tube switch.
* Much larger and much less finely sculptured than its Time-O-Stat counterpart, and without the sales appeal, it appears to be targeted on a different market segment.
* Requiring a robust contact structure,capable of handling motor starting current, would make the device much less responsive to temperature changes than later developments would allow, see for example #ID 217 and 220

Industrial Significance:
* Mercoid’s concept of what a room thermostat should look like, in order to please the tastes of the well-to-do marketplace appears well behind those of their competitor, Time-O-Stat [See ID # 215].
* Considerably less elegant in appearance, this thermostat mirrors Mercoid’s experience in commercial and industrial controls of the period. It could well be the company’s initial foray into the residential, room thermostat market, where it would find that appearance was everything.


Room thermostat ‘Penn’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.090

An early, automatic room temperature control device, using an hydraulic bellows, temperature sensor, with open contact, line voltage switching. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian household, set new standards of winter comfort and convenience for Canadians, and in so doing become markers of profound social and cultural change; Type A, Penn, Circa 1930.



Item: Room thermostat ‘Penn’
Manufacturer: Penn Electric Switch Co., Des Moines, Iowa
Make: Penn
Model: Type A

Technical Significance:
* The competing thermostat technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring [See ID 215] and hydraulic bellows designs, shown here.
* Much larger and much less finely sculptured than its Time-O-Stat counterpart [See ID#215], without the sales appeal, it appears to be targeted on a different market segment.
* While similar in many ways to the engineering and construction of the Mercoid thermostat [See ID #213], the Pen model employed open contact switching, a break with much of the practice of the field in this period.
* Requiring a robust contact structure, capable of handling motor starting current, would make the device much less responsive to temperature changes than later developments would allow, see for example #ID 217 and 220

Industrial Significance:
* Penn’s concept of what a room thermostat should look like, in order to please the tastes of the well-to-do marketplace appears well behind those of their competitor, Time-O-Stat [See ID # 215]. It could well have been the company’s initial foray into the residential, room thermostat market, where it would find that appearance was everything.
* Pen Electric, much like the Mercoid Company, came into the market with a hydraulic bellows, actuated room thermostat, hoping to capture a portion of the then rapidly expanding, household, automatic, oil heating business. But even in the early 1930 the automatic heating industry was entering an increasingly competitive market, although it likely appeared at the time to be almost unlimited.
* The competing thermostat designs of the 1920’s and early 30’s [See ID #213, 214, 215] amply demonstrate the immense inventiveness of the period in which a range of technologies were being experimented with for automating home heating systems.
* Simple devices, by 21st century standards, they were non-the-less products of great engineering ingenuity for their times. They required materials and manufacturing techniques and expertise, which challenged the best engineering minds of the day.


Room thermostat ‘Time-O-Stat’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.091

An eye appealing, early automatic room temperature control device, using a helical by-metal spring temperature sensor, with mercury bulb, line voltage switching. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian household, set new standards of winter comfort and convenience for Canadians, and in so doing become markers of a new technology-based consumerism and thus of profound, Canadian, social and cultural change; Cat. No 135, Time-O-Stat, Circa 1928. [See also ID# 218]



Item: Room thermostat ‘Time-O-Stat’
Manufacturer: Time-O-Stat Controls, Elkhart, Ind.
Make: Time-O-Stat
Model: Cat No. 135

Technical Significance:
* The competing thermostat technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring, shown here, and hydraulic bellows designs, [See ID 214].
* Much smaller and more finely sculptured than its competitors [Penn and Mercoid] the Time-O-Stat would have greater eye appeal and potential sales appeal, as a result.
* Actuated by a hefty, eight turn, 3/8″, 1 13/16″ OD, helical bimetal, this control can be expected perform only modestly well. With substantial inertia, and with out heat anticipation features of future generations of such devices, the home owner will experience significant over and under run and slow system response. The good news is that, with a 2 degree operating differential, it will provide comfort home conditions unparalleled for its times.
* In an astonishingly simple configuration, a 3/8″ dia. x 1 3/4-mercury bulb is attached to the floating, rear centre point of the bimetal, to which a delicately shaped brass adjustment lever is also attached. This allowing the householder to set the desired home temperature by tipping the switch bulb manually to the desired temperature.

Industrial Significance:
* An elegant room thermostat that would be seen on the walls of the drawing rooms of the Canadian well-to-do in the 1920’s.
* Tastefully and delicately proportioned, in a modest, brown, molded Bakelite case, it was a masterpiece of industrial design, instantly attracting homeowners of the period to a new, modern lifestyle of comfort and convenience.
* With patent numbers shown in the manufacturers catalogue from 1918 to 1928, Time-O-Stat must surely be accorded the position of HVACR market leader in the development of electric, room thermostatic controls for automatic, oil-fired heating systems found in Canadian homes.
* Time-O-Stat would quickly become the market leader in the new Canadian consumer culture of the 20th century, where the company would find that appearance was everything.
* Time-O-Stat products would soon appear in the catalogues of a new industry leader, Minneapolis Regulator Co. under that company’s name.
* The competing thermostat designs of the 1920’s and early 30’s [See ID #213, 214, 215] amply demonstrate the immense inventiveness of the period in which a range of technologies were being experimented with for automating home heating systems.
* Simple devices, by 21st century standards, they were non-the-less products of great engineering ingenuity for their times. They required materials and manufacturing techniques and expertise, which challenged the best engineering minds of the day.
* The attention given by Time-O-Stat to the market place and to the consumer’s appetite for the new, novel, attractive and prestigious was seen in their portable “Thermoswitch”. It was configured in the form of a minature, classic mantel clock of the period. It was inteded to stand out in the living rooms of the well-to-do, as a conversation piece and object of desire [See cat F.277-15.429, Page 12]
* Time-O-Stat’s pension for innovation was also marked a nigh-time clock operated temperature set back control, likely the first of its kind [See cat F.277-15.429, Page 11], and an early forerunner of the classic Minneapolis Honeywell Chronotherm [See ID # 216.
* Time-O-Stat would be unique in its times, bringing to the market a systems approach, providing a comprehensive, integrated set of controls for residential and commercial heating applications. “Lockswitch” safety combustion control engineering by Time-O-Stat would be the standard of the industry throughout the 1920’s and early 30’s [ See series 12.8 artifacts]


“Chronotherm” room thermostat

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.092

The “Chronotherm” room thermostat with “Telechron”, synchronous, electric motor driven automatic night set-back, helical bimetal temperature sensor, low voltage, snap action, open contact switching, and mercury glass stem thermometer, would prove to be iconic in its times, a precursor of much to come in layered, multi-functional, consumer technology for the Canadian home, Type T12, Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co, Minneapolis, Minn., Circa 1934.



Item: “Chronotherm” room thermostat
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co., Minneapolis
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: Type T12, See Note

Technical Significance:
* The T12 makes use of Series 10, three-wire thermostat circuitry with heat anticipator, bringing the heating system on sooner than otherwise, in order to reduce the thermal lag in the heating system.
* The introduction of the automatic, time/temperature actuated control systems for home heating was as much a marker of profound technologic change as it was socio-cultural change [see below]. They introduced layered, multi-functional, consumer technology to the Canadian home [devices that would perform more than one function].
* Such devices were iconic in their impact and consequences for Canadians, beginning to suggest the power of technology and its potential for shaping and constantly re-shaping the life of Canadians throughout the balance of the 20th century.
* With the introduction of automatic night set-back thermostats in the late 1920’s through early 30’s, by both Time-O-Stat and Honeywell, the automation of the Canadian household was ratchet up one more notch, It would seem, at the time, that the automation of home heating comfort, by the HVACR industry, had gone as far as it was likely to go. Such, however was not the case, however, with a myriad of new consumer devices to follow, with for example automatic: heat anticipation [See ID 220], humidity control [See ID 222], air filtration [See series 15.06, early air filtration technology, area temperature zone control and integrated heating/cooling controllers [See ID 217].

Industrial Significance:
* Earlier versions of the technology, using an 8-day wind-up clock, are shown in Time-O-Stat’s product catalogue with patent numbers sited back to 1928.
* The development of the miniature, self starting, synchronous, alternating current motor technology by Telechron, and the mass production of motors for electric clocks and timing devices, was in itself an significant scientific, engineering and manufacturing accomplishment for the period – with applications and benefits which would be far reaching.
* Following the introduction of small synchronous type motors for electric clocks in the early 1930’s Minneapolis-Honeywell introduced their “Chronotherm”, a basic technology that would appear in various forms through to the introduction of digital control technology in the 1990’s.


Room thermostat ‘Honeywell – 87F’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.093

A room heating-cooling thermostat in the Honeywell classic round configuration popular throughout the latter 20th century; high style, gold plastic body, helical bimetal activated, low voltage, miniature mercury bulb switch, adjustable heat anticipator, with helical bimetal thermometer and heat-cool, fan on-off switch base, Type 87F, Honeywell, Circa 1975. [See also ID #220]



Item: Room thermostat ‘Honeywell – 87F’
Manufacturer: Honeywell Controls Limited, Toronto
Make: Honeywell
Model: T87F

Technical Significance:
* Household temperature control technology, analogue and largely electro- mechanical and electro-magnetic in character, had reached its highest point of development by the mid 20th century, as represented here by the Honeywell T87F.
* The stage had been set for the progressive evolution of solid state, digital control HVACR control technology, which would soon dominate the field.

Industrial Significance:
* With the development of packaged mechanical cooling equipment for residential and commercial applications, the thermostat would become a multi-functional device, controlling room temperature during the heating cycle, as well as the cooling cycle and allowing switching between heating and cooling, in addition to the control of the air circulating fan on forced air systems. All this was to be accomplished within a single integrated device – to be popularly affordable and mass-produced.
* The miniaturized, single pole, double throw, mercury bulb switch required for cooling as well as heating was a masterpiece of design and mass production engineering, as was the entire configuration with small helical, bimetal, actuator and adjustable heat anticipator. It was executed in an attractive, moulded plastic, round, gold-colored format.
* A series of matching, optional, switch bases was provided by the manufacturer, in order to accommodate various switching functions, here heating/cooling on-off, fan on/automatic, part of the movement of equipment manufacturers to a comprehensive systems approach required of the times.
* The development of quiet, hermetic compressors in large capacities needed for home air conditioning applications, as well as the production and successful marketing of attractive packaged condensing units and evaporator coils for residential use contributed to the significant growth of the Canadian HVACR industry starting in the 1960’s


Room thermostat ‘Time-O-Stat’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.094

An eye appealing, earlyau tomatic room temperature control device, using a helical by-metal spring temperature sensor, with mercury bulb, line voltage switching. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian household, set new standards of winter comfort and convenience for Canadians, and in so doing become markers of a new technology-based consumerism and thus of profound, Canadian, social and cultural change; with original shop tag, Cat. No 135, Time-O-Stat, Circa 1928. [See also ID# 215]



Item: Room thermostat ‘Time-O-Stat’
Manufacturer: Time-O-Stat Controls, Elkhart, Ind.
Make: Time-O-Stat
Model: Cat No. 135

Technical Significance:
* The competing thermostat technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring, shown here, and hydraulic bellows designs, [See ID 214].
* Much smaller and more finely sculptured than its competitors [Penn and Mercoid] the Time-O-Stat would have greater eye appeal and potential sales appeal, as a result.
* Actuated by a hefty, eight turn, 3/8″, 1 13/16″ OD, helical bimetal, this control can be expected perform only modestly well. With substantial inertia, and with out heat anticipation features of future generations of such devices, the home owner will experience significant over and under run and slow system response. The good news is that, with a 2 degree operating differential, it will provide comfort home conditions unparalleled for its times.
* In an astonishingly simple configuration, a 3/8″ dia. x 1 3/4-mercury bulb is attached to the floating, rear centre point of the bimetal, to which a delicately shaped brass adjustment lever is also attached. This allowing the householder to set the desired home temperature by tipping the switch bulb manually to the desired temperature.

Industrial Significance:
* An elegant room thermostat that would be seen on the walls of the drawing rooms of the Canadian well to do in the 1920’s.
* Tastefully and delicately proportioned, in a modest, brown, molded Bakelite case, it was a masterpiece of industrial design, instantly attracting homeowners of the period to a new, modern lifestyle of comfort and convenience.
* With patent numbers shown in the manufacturers catalogue from 1918 to 1928, Time-O-Stat must surely be accorded the position of HVACR market leader in the development of electric, room thermostatic controls for automatic, oil-fired heating systems found in Canadian homes.
* Time-O-Stat would quickly become the market leader in the new Canadian consumer culture of the 20th century, where the company would find that appearance was everything.
* Time-O-Stat products would soon appear in the catalogues of a new industry leader, Minneapolis Regulator Co. under that company’s name.
* The competing thermostat designs of the 1920’s and early 30’s [See ID #213, 214, 215] amply demonstrate the immense inventiveness of the period in which a range of technologies were being experimented with for automating home heating systems.
* Simple devices, by 21st century standards, they were non-the-less products of great engineering ingenuity for their times. They required materials and manufacturing techniques and expertise, which challenged the best engineering minds of the day.
* The attention given by Time-O-Stat to the market place and to the consumer’s appetite for the new, novel, attractive and prestigious was seen in their portable “Thermoswitch”. It was configured in the form of a minature, classic mantel clock of the period. It was inteded to stand out in the living rooms of the well-to-do, as a conversation piece and object of desire [See cat F.277-15.429, Page 12]
* Time-O-Stat’s pension for innovation was also marked a nigh-time clock operated temperature set back control, likely the first of its kind [See cat F.277-15.429, Page 11], and an early forerunner of the classic Minneapolis Honeywell Chronotherm [See ID # 216.
* Time-O-Stat would be unique in its times, bringing to the market a systems approach, providing a comprehensive, integrated set of controls for residential and commercial heating applications. “Lockswitch” safety combustion control engineering by Time-O-Stat would be the standard of the industry throughout the 1920’s and early 30’s [ See series 12.8 artifacts]


Room thermostat ‘Mercoid’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.095

An early, automatic room temperature control device, in large, decorated brass enclosure, using an hydraulic bellows, temperature sensor, with large mercury bulb, line voltage switching, and calibrated scale 60 to 80 degrees F. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian house hold and become markers of profound social and cultural change; Type 0104111, Mercoid Corp., Circa 1927. [See also ID # 213]



Item: Room thermostat ‘Mercoid’
Manufacturer: Mercoid Corp., Chicago, Federal Warranted
Make: Mercoid
Model: Type 010426
Features:
– built in line voltage connection junction box
– original box connector for shielded cable, used in the period
– original 3 inch toggle bolt used for mounting on lath and plaster walls of the period

Technical Significance:
* The competing, thermostat, technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring temperature and hydraulic bellows designs. The copper bellows with heavy spring ballast appears to be less responsive for household home applications, possibly better suited to commercial situations in which Mercoid had made its name.
* Equipped with a finely calibrated scale, locking adjustment lever, and leveling adjustment screws, it uses a large, commercial type, 3″ mercury tube switch.
* Much larger and much less finely sculptured than its Time-O-Stat counterpart, and without the sales appeal, it appears to be targeted on a different market segment.
* Requiring a robust contact structure, capable of handling line voltage motor starting current, would make this device much less responsive to room temperature changes than later, low inertia devices with heat anticipation features, see for example #ID 217 and 220

Industrial Significance:
* Mercoid’s concept of what a room thermostat should look like, in order to please the tastes of the well-to-do marketplace appears well behind those of their competitor, Time-O-Stat [See ID # 215].
* Considerably less elegant in appearance, this thermostat mirrors Mercoid’s experience in commercial and industrial controls of the period. It could well be the company’s initial foray into the residential, room thermostat market, where it would find that appearance was everything.


A/C room thermostat ‘Honeywell – 87C’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.096

A summer air conditioning, room thermostat, in the Honeywell classic round configuration, popularly found in the mid and latter 20th century on residential oil heating systems with add-on summer cooling; high style, gold coloured plastic body, helical bimetal temperature activated, low voltage, miniature mercury bulb switch, with helical bimetal thermometer, Type 87C, Honeywell, Circa 1964 [See also ID #217]



Item: A/C room thermostat ‘Honeywell – 87C’
Manufacturer: Honeywell Controls Limited, Toronto
Make: Honeywell
Model: T87C

Technical Significance:
The significance of the Honeywell T87 lay in a number of directions:
* It was representative of a new, exciting era, the early years of residential, year around air conditioning in Canada.
* While at the same time it marked the end of an era of household temperature control technology, which was analogue and largely electro- mechanical and electro-magnetic in character. This modus operandi had reached its highest point of development by the mid 20th century, as represented here by the Honeywell T87C. The stage had been set for the progressive evolution of solid state, digital control HVACR control technology, which would soon dominate the field.
* It would represent, too, a simplicity and precision only made possible, for the first time, by the cumulative engineering design, manufacturing and mass production experience and knowledge of the middle years of the 20th century.
* As well, there was in the Honeywell round a sophistication, maturity in styling and commitment to form, function and color that would set standards and turn heads in the field of industrial design.

Industrial Significance:
* The development of packaged, add-on, mechanical cooling equipment for residential and small commercial applications, triggered a new Canadian market starting in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The market targeted on those that already had an up-to-date forced air oil heating system.
* This then was the new “conversion market”, a market place which would be worked by much of the industry, very much as the industry had cut its teeth on the conversion business in the 1920’through 40’s. Then it sold oil burners and forced air fans for conversion of gravity, coal fed furnaces, making them into modern forced air automatic home heating systems.
* The movement triggered the demand for cooling thermostatic controls, as add-on’s to the existing heating system, already equipped with its own heating thermostat. The result was a hearing cooling, year round, elemental air conditioning system without the benefit of interlocks and automatic transfer function from heating to cooling. Honeywell responded to the market with the T87C, using the same thermostatic platform developed for their heating thermostat the T86A.
* A series of matching, optional, switch bases would also be made available from the manufacturer, in order to accommodate various switching functions, as needed, part of the movement of equipment manufacturers to a comprehensive systems approach required of the times.


Home humidistat

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.098

A mid 20th century, humidity controller, “humidistat”, for the Canadian home. A “low tech” device, using materials found in nature, it employed treated human hair for its actuating element. Stencilled for “RP”, Research Products, a leading manufacturer of humidifiers for forced air, oil fired heating applications in the post W.W.II years, it tells many stories of emerging humidification technology, through to the introduction of solid state humidity sensors, Penn, Type 842, circa 1952.



Item: Home humidistat
Manufacturer: Pen Electric Switch Co. Goshen, Ind.
Make: Pen for RP
Model: Type 842, Model1024
Features:
– actuating element of treated human hair
– classic gold metal sheath with RP, Aprilaire monograph, and
– customer recommended temperature humidity guide

Technical Significance:
– A mid 20th century, humidity controller, “humidistat”, for the Canadian home, developed in a period when engineers, without the range of high tech materials available at century’s end, would look to natural materials with the needed properties, and performance characteristics – here human hair
– Stencilled for “RP”, Research Products, a leading manufacturer of humidifiers designed for forced air, residential oil fired heating applications in the post W.W.II years through to the end of the century, it tells many stories of the emerging humidification technology of the mid 20th century, through to the introduction of solid state humidity sensors.
– It would be a period characterised by much research in the field of human comfort. its necessary and sufficient conditions and the means of creating it in Canada’s climate of weather extremes. Warm air heating research would become a legitimate topic for university, as well as industrial research with technical papers and how-to-do-it manuals to follow. In the field of winter humidity control, for example, see “Winter Air Heating and Winter Air conditioning”, John Norris McGraw-Hill 1950, Chapter 9, Humidity and the properties of Air.
– Characteristic of the period and the emerging market for winter comfort was the creation of the National Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Association of Canada [forerunner of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada]. Their extensive set of engineering manuals produced through the 1950’and 60’s would be the standards of the field

Industrial Significance:
– With the development of the forced air furnace “the winter air conditioner” came many new possibilities for winter comfort, automatic combustion control for solid and liquid fuels [coal and oil], automatic room temperature control, air distribution [well beyond that possible with natural convection], constant air circulation. air filtration, as well as automatic humidification . These features would be promoted by the warm air sector of the industry, as a competitive edge, over the “hot water heating systems [hydronic systems] of the times, once considered the preferred type of central heating for all that could afford it.
– During the 1940’s and 50’s the Howard Furnace Co of Toronto would be an acknowledged leader in the field of winter air conditioning equipment for the Canadian market, see reference. There promotion would read “Enjoy filtered, humidified, gently moving air throughout every part of your home”, “Have even temperature maintained in all rooms with lowest possible fuel costs and little attention”. This was surely new world experience for Canadians in the middle years of the 20th century


Temperature / humidity gauge

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.099

A pair of mid 1930’s room temperature and humidity dial read-out devices for locating around the home. With the promotion of coal and oil “winter air conditioning”, new expectations had been established by the Canadian HVACR industry about the winter human “comfort zone” now made possible [See ID#222]. It was a period, too, in which the popular mind was being increasingly bombarded with information on the wonders of modern science and the importance of scientific measurement – if you can’t measure it you can’t control it, Taylor, 1936.



Item: Temperature / humidity gauge
Manufacturer: Likely Taylor Instrument Co. Rochester N.Y.
Make: Taylor
Features:
– Modern styling reflecting the new modernism of the 1930’s, executed in black, red and chrome

Technical Significance:
– The immediate pre W.W.II years was a period of ever increasing expectations about the winter comfort that was now available for the Canadian home – for all those that could afford it. With the development of the forced air furnace, “the winter air conditioner”, came many new possibilities for winter comfort. Included were, automatic combustion control for solid and liquid fuels [coal and oil], automatic room temperature control, air distribution [well beyond that possible with natural convection], constant air circulation. air filtration, as well as automatic humidification. These features would be promoted with great success by the warm air sector of the industry, as a competitive edge, over the “hot water heating systems [hydronic systems] of the times – once considered the preferred type of central heating for all that could afford it.
– By the mid 1930’s many Canadians had become used to the new automated, in-door comforts now possible for the home. They had become used, also, to the glass stem thermometer conspicuously mounted on the wall thermostat and would check it regularly to make sure their heating system was operating properly. But what was new, here, with the advent of the “winter air conditioner”, with forced air circulation, was the suggestion that temperature and humidity conditions should be more or less uniform throughout the entire home, not merely at the thermostat.
– With the marketing and popularization of such remote temperature and humidity measuring devices, homeowners were being invited to check it out for themselves. They were encouraged to purchase a set of scientific air temperature and humidity measuring instruments, make their own scientific measurements and consequently make such changes in the operation of the system, largely by opening and closing registers and dampers, as needed to bring the entire home into one uniform comfort zone. Needless to say many would quickly find the limitations of the new technology – for automatic zone control was still several decades away for most Canadian’s with forced warm air heating systems.
– There was a sense that local heating technicians, such as Howard Oliver, Aurora, in marketing temperature and humidity, dial read-out devices such as these, was inviting the home owner to be part of a new “do it yourself generation”. They were invited to take their own scientific measurements and make their own adjustments, within their own ability and that of the system to respond.

Industrial Significance:
– The 1930’s and 40’s would be a period characterised by much research in the field of in-door human comfort, its necessary and sufficient conditions and the means of creating it in Canada’s climate of weather extremes. Warm air heating research would become a legitimate topic for university, as well as industrial research with technical papers and how-to-do-it manuals to follow. In the field of winter humidity control, for example, see “Winter Air Heating and Winter Air conditioning”, John Norris McGraw-Hill 1950, Chapter 9, Humidity and the properties of Air.
– Characteristic of the period and the emerging market for winter comfort was the creation of the National Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Association of Canada [forerunner of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada]. Their extensive set of engineering manuals produced through the 1950’and 60’s would be the standards of the field

– During the 1940’s and 50’s the Howard Furnace Co of Toronto would be an acknowledged leader in the field of winter air conditioning equipment for the Canadian market, see reference. There promotion would read “Enjoy filtered, humidified, gently moving air throughout every part of your home”, “Have even temperature maintained in all rooms with lowest possible fuel costs and little attention”. This was surely new world experience for Canadians approaching the middle years of the 20th century.


Automatic draft stabilizer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.116

Employed to automatically bypassing air up the chimney, this automatic draft stabalizer, for use on home heating systems fired with coal, fuel oil or gas was equipped with cast iron frame with sheet metal boot. The brake-formed, pivoted damper blade is decorated in handsome red, wrinkled finish, with balancing weight affixed to a travelling screw, which is manually adjusted with a rotating knurled hand wheel, Draft-O-Stat, circa 1935.



Item: Automatic draft stabilizer
Manufacturer: Hotstream Heater Co, Cleveland, Ohio
Make: Hotstream
Model: Unspecified
Features:
– Equipped with gold lettering Accessories
– Handsome red, wrinkled finish
– Needle point pivot damper mounts
– Original installation instruction sheet

Technical Significance:
– The introduction of automation for home heating systems in Canada brought with it a range of engineering and operational challenges, which were often unexpected. A largely unanticipated requirement, in the early years, was the need for an over-the-fire automatic draft control.
– The performance, safety and efficiency of automated combustion was dependent on reasonably stable draft – not too high not too low. It was a period in which heating systems operated on conventional chimneys, which would produce a great range of draft conditions, depending on height, flue size, wind strength, direction and so forth.
– The simple, weighted, pivoted, bypass damper blade system opened to allow excess air [beyond what was required for clean combustion] to pass up the chimney, rather than be drawn over the fire.
– The system was ideal for the heating applications of the period, which were predominantly of the “conversion” type in which existing furnaces and boilers, operating on conventional chimneys were converted from manual to automated combustion
– The device, in various configurations, would become the standard of the industry for home heating systems, through to the introduction of forced draft and induced draft combustion in the latter part of the 20th century.

Industrial Significance:
– With increasing sophistication in system design came the need for greater precision in the setting of draft regulators. The draft gauge and combustion efficiency test kit would become an essential tools in the installers and service technicians tool box [see Collection Group 12.12]
– An exemplary “Cadillac” version of the draft stabilizer, this device by Draft-O-Stat, decorated in black, red and gold, would soon appear in much lower cost versions, as the pressure for cost reduction and market forces began to be key factors in the development of automatic home heating equipment.


Oil furnace panel board

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.117

A 1920’s, field assembled panel board, typically found in homes equipped with automatic, oil heating of the period, used for mounting of manual disconnect switch and other controllers at the entrance to the furnace or boiler room. Crudely made of pine board with walnut finish and fire protective covering; an icon of its times reflecting something of the trade practices and the attention given to public appearance and safety, Circa 1929. [See also ID#230]



Item: Oil furnace panel board
Manufacturer: Unknown, Possibly Howard Oliver Aurora Ontario
Make: Shop fabricated

Technical Significance:
– The panel board is an icon of its time, reflecting something of electric trade practices and public expectations for craftsmanship in the early years of the 20th century, an embryonic period in the electrification of Canadian homes and the installation of electric equipment.


Safety disconnect switch

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.118

A 1920’s automatic oil heating, safety, disconnect switch, in heavy steel, 4 pound enclosure, telling many stories around a master narrative, dominant in the times. The prospect of home electrification brought with it widespread concern for public safety with steps taken by authorities to help ensure safe practice and to ally unnecessary public apprehension, Square D, Circa 1928 [See also ID#230]



Item: Safety; disconnect switch
Manufacturer: Square D Company Canada Ltd., Walkerville Ontario
Make: Square D
Model: Cat 96211
Features:
– Brass name plate, decorated in black with safety instructions
– Blue and white seal of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario, aproval No. 634
– Original box connector
– Field installed dual knock out cover in galvanized sheet metal stock, screwed in place with 2 no 8-32 x 3/4 inch machine screws, illustrates the adherence to the electrical code requirements of the day
– External # 8 solder lug affixed to the box, illustrates the grounding practice of the day in which much cable was not grounded and required a separate grounding network.

Technical Significance:
– The danger of fire and electrocution were matters of wide spread public concern in the 1920’s through 30’s. Robustly designed equipment, evidence of government certification and equipment testing standards, as well as evidence of competent field practices and craftsmanship were all-important indicators intended to demonstrate due care, caution and respect for public safety.
– Approved field practice, enforced by electrical inspectors, required that such panel boards be installed at the entrance to the furnace or boiler room within easy reach, allowing the homeowner full control and access, in order to shut down the system manually in the case of emergency [see ID#230].
– The switch provides an example of the use of terminology in the description and specification of safety switches in the early years of home electrification technology. The device is described prominently on the cover as “single throw fused bottom’.
– Of technological significance, in the history of emerging technology of home electrification , is this 120 volt, fused, disconnect switch designed with a fused neutral – a practice which would be rethought a few years later, and abandoned.

Industrial Significance:
– The device tells the stories of the widespread apprehension over the coming of home electrification and the steps taken by the underwriters, regulators [codes and practices], electric utilities and equipment manufacturers to ally public fears over home electrification – and in fact ensure public safety in an embryonic and rapidly developing field where there was little practical experience to draw on.
– The embryonic HVACR industry of the times was anxious to work with the electrical equipment manufacturers, regulators and underwriters in publishing re-assuring information on the many benefits and safety of home electrification, as well as educating the tradesmen of the day on electrical codes and safe practices. For these were seen as necessary prerequisites for the sale of automatic home heating equipment.


Hard fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.119

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, hard fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1938.



Item: Hard fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: A – Empire DP

Technical Significance:
In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature “Hard” fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature.

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references.

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

With the evolution of the industry came softer lighter fire brick, see ID#244, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


‘Soft’ fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.120

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, “soft” fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1940.



Item: ‘Soft’ fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came soft light weight fire brick, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


Fire box sections

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.121

Pre-cast, sectional, circular, high temperature refractory sections, made in a range of sizes and compositions, became widely used starting in the 1940’s for the construction of “fire boxes” [combustion chambers]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, 2 sections, model 424, A P Green, Circa 1945.



Item: Fire box sections
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: 424

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory sections in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers

The evolution of pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory was hastened by the development of unitary, factory made and assembled warm air furnaces, winter air conditioners and hot water home heating boilers. Shipped to the job site this equipment came complete with oil burner, refractory and control system reedy for installation.

Industrial Significance:
With the evolution of unitary equipment for residential heating in Canada came generally higher levels of system performance, reliability and safety, with much of the guess work required with the conversion of hand fired wood and coal fired systems gone.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


Furnace air filter

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.122

Two inch air filter for winter air conditioner, in black heavy card board frame with decorative grill patterning and oil treated steel wool filler, set of four, Howard Furnace Company, Toronto, circa 1939.



Item: Furnace air filter
Manufacturer: Howard Furnace Company, Toronto
Make: Howard Furnace
Features: Decorated and imprinted in silver on black; With self contained user instructions for cleaning and replacing

Technical Significance:
Winter air conditioning was new for the Canadian home, in the late 1930’s. It was for the Canadian consumer, seen as one of the “big’ technologies of the day, like the radio and the automobile, for it would come to change the lives of people, what they did in the course of the day, the way they lived and went about there lives, as well as their expectations of the comforts, amenities, which life had in store for them

From the perspective of the early 21st century it would be difficult to imagine the euphoria with which these technologies were viewed, by those who could afford to dream about the joys and benefits they held for life and life’s ways.

The air filter was front and centre in the promotion of the winter air conditioner technology, an important component of the hyperbola used. What was new was not so much the promise of a warm home for a cold Canadian winter, but filtered, dust free air, circulated through the home at 1000 cubic feet per minute. See sales material by Howard furnace reference below

See also ID # 222 and 223 for companion technologies, targeted on improvements in air quality, humidification for the winter air conditioner in Canada

Industrial Significance:
The Howard Furnace Company of Toronto would be a widely acknowledged Canadian market leader in the field of winter air conditioning in the 1930’s through 50’s, setting industry design and innovative development standards.

The promise of filtered air would open up a massive market segment in Canada that would continue to grow, part of the promotion for both winter and summer air conditioning equipment, through to the early years of the 21st century.


Motor drive pulley

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.123

The variable speed motor drive pulley would be a hero of the moment, a simple, unobtrusive, “low tech” means for controlling air quantity, temperature, and distribution velocity, on which much of the customer acceptance of forced warm air heating and winter air conditioning sales would rest in Canada, starting in the late pre W.W.II years; set of three pulleys in various design configurations, Circa 1945.



Item: Motor drive pulley
Features: Each showing different signs of use and misuse, telling stories of application, including patterns of ware, over painting and corrosion

Technical Significance:
The variable speed motor drive pulley was a “low tech”, solution for adjusting fan speed, on belted fan drives, used for balancing air volume circulated by winter air conditioners, starting in the late 1930’s through the introduction of direct drive centrifugal fans employing electrical motor speed adjustment technology.

The successful development and wide spread adoption of the winter air conditioner and forced warm air heating in the Canadian, starting in the late pre W.W.II years, brought with it a wide range of engineering and manufacturing challenges, Those related to combustion management and control [see historic artifacts of the period, Group 12.05 to 12.07], automatic temperature and safety control [Group 12.09 to 12.10] and air flow and air quality control [see Group 12.11]. Prior the development of forced air systems, a flow technology and controlwas of little consequence, the focus being on combustion systems and automatic safety control technology. But all that would quickly change as the 1940’s emerged.

Air quality and movement throughout the home and the technologies required to control and regulate it, including air quantity, temperature, humidity and draft free air distribution, quickly became a significant factors in ensuring customer comfort, product satisfaction and wide spread market acceptance.

The development of centrifugal fan and related drive technology, as well as manufacturing methods needed to help ensure affordability, high performance, efficient and reliable air handling were central factors in the race for market share.

It was the early years of fractional horse power electric motor development, suitable for reliable use on automatic home heating equipment, where fail could quickly produce hazardist conditions [see Group 16.00 artifacts]. The motor and drive for centrifugal fan application was a special challenge, met in part through the use of belted drive systems.

A system was urgently required to adjust fan speed and thus air volume, temperature and velocity for belted fan applications, in order to ensure comfort conditions, which were largely idiosyncratic, dependent on home configuration and occupancy response – the latter, often on an illusive sense of human comfort and well being. Home owners used to static air environments would be critical of spaces with rapid air change rates and accompanying drafts.

The variable speed pulley became the hero of the moment, a simple, unobtrusive, low tech solution, on which much of the customer acceptance of forced warm air heating and winter air conditioning equipment sales would rest in those early development years

See also ID # 222 and 223 for companion technologies, targeted on improvements in air quality, humidification for the winter air conditioner in Canada

Industrial Significance:
Practice of balancing forced air heating systems, to ensure customer comfort and satisfaction, evolved on trial and error basis. By the late 1940’s field manuals became available for the guidance of installers and technicians, for the adjustment and balancing of forced air heating systems. Among them were those produced by the National Warm Air Heating and Air conditioning Association, active in the training field in the 1950’s and beyond, see references.


Electric hot water heater

Electric Heating Equipment – Water Heating

Accession # HHCC.2003.083

In the early years of household electrification Canadians, next to valuing the benefits of the carbon filament, electric light bulb, would look to electricity to provide a constant, reliable flow of hot water for personal and domestic purposes. The Hotpoint, electric circulating, hot water heater would become a ubiquitous fixture in the homes of the nation, for all those who could avail themselves of this new found luxury, Canadian General Electric, Hotpoint, 1929.



Item: Electric hot water heater
Manufacturer: Canadian General Electric
Make: Hotpoint
Model: 2W25

Electric simulated fireside

Electric Heating Equipment – Space Heating

Accession # HHCC.2003.084

A quite remarkable piece of early 20th century styling and engineering of an electrical, room heating appliance by a small, uniquely Ontario, foundry company, branching out into the electric, home equipment business. Canadians, it is said, value their quintessential, winter, fireside, experience above all, So the electric, simulated fireside, with electric heating coils and flickering lights, filtered through amber chunks of glass was seen as a market winner in the early1930’s, Renfrew Electric Products, Renfrew Ont, 1935.



Item: Electric simulated fireside
Manufacturer: Renfrew Electric Products ltd., Renfrew Ont
Make: Renfrew
Model: 65B


Electric baseboard heater

Electric Heating Equipment – Space Heating

Accession # HHCC.2006.100

An electric baseboard style room heater, a marker of what would prove to be a relatively short blip in time when electrical energy in much of Canada was perceived as plentiful and highly promoted for residential space heating. Here shown in a 42 inch unit with simulated walnut metallic finish, built in thermostat and line cord, 1200 w, 120 volts; HeatFlo, Canada, Cat PB414, circa 196.0 [See also ID # 221]



Item: Electric baseboard heater
Manufacturer: Heatflo, Canada
Make: Heatflo
Model: Cat. PB414
Features:
– Company name on black on gold background, on inexpensive adhesive label

Technical Significance:
The significance of this artifact is two fold:
– First, as a representative of the class of portable room heaters that emerged in the late 1950’s and 1960’s, piggy backing on the popularity of central system, electric, resitance, base-board home heating. It would be a trend relatively short lived, as other forms of portable electric space heaters came along more convenient, compact, safer and with more inherent market appeal.
– Second, as a representative of the form and construction of the baseboard units used as components in central systems of the times.

Industrial Significance:
– As in any new, rapidly expanding field of engineering and production of consumer goods many new players are attracted to the field. Many hope to turn a quick profit under the market conditions of the moment, with a minimum investment, but often without the staying power needed for long term growth and participation in the field. “Heatflo” appears to have been of that nature, using very conventional low-tech cabinet manufacturing and assembly techniques, possibly purchasing their electric heaters from another major supplier of the period.


Electric space heating thermostat

Electric Heating Equipment – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.097

An electric space heating thermostat, a marker of what would prove to be a relatively short blip in time when electrical energy in much of Canada was plentiful and highly promoted for residential space heating. With 21 ampere capacity, conveniently configured for mounting on a standard electrical wall box, it is decorated with red logo and stencilled “Electric Heating”, in Honeywell’s then well known, high style gold-look, Honeywell T46, circa 1959. [See also ID # 224]



Item: Electric space heating thermostat
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell, Regulator Co
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: T460A or B
Features:
– decorated in the then familiar, sophisticated, high style gold-look established by Honeywell in their round series of thermostats,
– handsome Honeywell logo in red, and
– marked “Electric Heating”, a social prestige symbol of the period

Technical Significance:
– With high capacity 21 ampere, non inductive load rating, built on a simple all plastic platform, the thermostat exemplifies the sophistication of engineering and manufacturing methods achieved in the period.

Industrial Significance:
– The line voltage, electric space heating thermostat would be popular in many of the housing developments of the period. Much less costly then the low voltage counterparts, it would become a common place in the electrically heated housing developments of 60’s through 80’s, as well as in some custom building.


Coal fired, hot water heater

Solid Fuel (Coal and Wood) Burning Equipment – Water Heating

Accession # HHCC.2003.081

A coal fired, hot water heater from the 1940’s, a period in which hydro generation capacity in Ontario was under siege, overloaded as result of rapid post WWII development and the lack of investment during war years in electrical infrastructure. It was a period in which the consumers who could provided themselves with back-up systems. Such as this historic artifact of the times, purchased but never used, Taylor Forbes, Windsor Ont. 1946.



Item: Coal fired, hot water heater
Manufacturer: Taylor Forbes, Canada ltd., Windsor Ontario
Make: Taylor Forbes
Model: Windsor 40
Features: Separate base plate

Damper control motor

Solid Fuel (Coal and Wood) Burning Equipment – Fuel flow, Ignition and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.101

With Honeywell’s, battery assisted, spring operated, wind-up damper control motor, for coal and wood-fired furnaces, automatic combustion and temperature control would arrive for some Canadians by the early 1920’s. For the first time the homeowner could position the furnace dampers, regulating combustion rate without leaving the living room…well more or less; Honeywell Heating Specialties Co., Circa 1920.



Item: Damper control motor
Manufacturer: Honeywell Heating Specialties Co., Wabash Ind.
Make: Honeywell

Features:
– Handsome metal cabinet in gloss black
– Handsome brass name plate with logo
– Original switching
– Original chain set, with pulleys and hardware
– Original baseboard mounting brackets

Technical Significance:
– There can be little doubt that this device represents the first small steps in the automation of household heating systems in Canada, an event that would change life in Canada forever.
– With key wound, spring-operated, damper actuator motor for positioning damper control chains, the device illustrates dramatically the early first steps in the automation of the household heating system. Starting with the known and the familiar, fire dampers and control chains, the inventor moved to new, novel and innovative means for mechanical automation – without the touch of human hand.
– The battery assisted operation of the motor, through the use of an electric solenoid to operate a brake arm for starting and stopping the motor, illustrates, too, the early application of battery operated electrical mechanisms, as essentially auxiliary devices to assist what was essentially a mechanical system.

Industrial Significance:
– It constitutes an early milestone in the development of automatic heating for homes using solid fuels, wood and coal, prior to the widespread availability of reliable supplies of oil, gas and hydro electrification.


Home made ash sifter

Solid Fuel (Coal and Wood) Burning Equipment – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.155

A late 19th century, home made, manually operated ash sifter, roughly hewn, nailed together of old boards found around the home, with broom stick, shaker handle and 1/8 inch galvanized screening, etched and eroded through the effects of prolonged use, in sifting ash so as to reuse the unburned, and partially burned pieces of coal, a simple made at home energy conservation technology, Circa 1898.



Item: Home made ash sifter
Make: Home made

Technical Significance:
The hand operated ash sifter is an example of a “small”, “appropriate” Canadian technology of its time, responding to the social, cultural and economic needs and constraints of the period.

The ash sifter was an early energy conservation device, used to conserve a scarce costly energy resource, coal

Energy conservation would be a re-occurring theme in the residential home heating sector, one which would be echoed into and throughout the 20th century and on into the 21st. A news letter to Fess Oil Burner of Canada dealers in 1947, responded to the energy shortage of that period, advising the home owner and service technician of their shared responsibilities for energy conservation, this time in the conservation of home heating fuel oil [see note #2]

A simple handcrafted tool, a made at home technology, the hand operated ash sifter was invented as a response to needs at the turn of the 20st century, would be strangely anticipatory of the needs 100 years later at the turn of the 21st century. The issue then as now is one of energy conservation, a reoccurring theme, marking the “scarcity”, “availability”, as well as “market price” [affordability].

The hand operated manual ash sifter would find its place in the large homes at the turn of the 20th century many of which were heated, at least in part, by coal fired fireplaces, without the luxury of built in shaking mechanisms

The shaking of ashes manually by a hand sifter technology would be a fact of life for those with coal burning fireplaces. For those with central coal heating furnaces with built in shaker grates [operated by turning of a crank], it would be a backup to retain the un-spent coal that escaped the mechanised sifting process.

Industrial Significance:
Crudely fabricated of old pieces of wood, found around the home, clearly the largely unskilled work of a homeowner or household handyman, it is rare marker of the days well before technology’s invasion of the Canadian home, with endless line of labor saving tools, appliances and products for comfort, safety, health and convenience.

The finely made 1/8th inch galvinized sifter screen appears to be a bit of an anomaly, standing in sharp contrast to the other found-at-home materials used. The screening appears not to have been a later addition, however, given the integrated construction detail. All of which says something about the relatively advanced processes for the production of galvanized coated screen of the period – anachronistic


Vaporizing oil burner ‘Coleman’

Vaporizing Oil Burning Equipment and Systems – Burners

Accession # HHCC.2006.154

A non motorized, vaporizing oil burner for the Canadian home, employing natural gravity feed, with fuel reservoir and brass float actuated fuel oil metering device, brass valving and tubing, engineered by a widely acknowledged pioneer of oil heating equipment in Canada, Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd. Toronto, Circa 1922.



Item: Vaporizing oil burner ‘Coleman’
Manufacturer: Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd. Toronto
Make: Colman
Model: unknown

Technical Significance:
They were the early years of the 20th century and “the machine” had not yet arrived in the basements of Canadian homes. Electrification, a prerequisite on which the electric motor depended was for many, still years away. Oil heating, as an alternative to solid fuels, wood and coal, must depend on less sophisticated technologies.

From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This apparatus clearly stands as an example of the first wave, vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology

This simple and elegant fuel flow management system was designed with great inventiveness to use the natural force of gravity flow, without reliance on motive power.

It uses a 36gr. float, hand crafted out of brass sheet stock, to meter oil into a combustion chamber [not included], where it is ignited by hand, vaporized and burned.

Te apparatus is simply and beautifully executed using the materials and the manufacturing processes of the period in cast iron and brass.

Industrial Significance:
While systems for automatic fuel feed had been attempted using solid and pulverized fuels [wood and coal], their practical application for household would depend on the availability of a reliable source of clean-burning liquid or gaseous fuels.

The casting and hand machining of brass petcocks and fittings demonstrate an unusual commitment to craftsmanship, which would soon not be so evident with the progressive introduction of mass production, automated manufacturing methods.

The Ontario oil fields of Lambton County, although short lived, and those of Pennsylvania were among the first in the world to be commercially developed by 1860. They provided an early incentive for the Canadian, automatic oil heating industry, as represented here by Colman.

This equipment was developed and manufactured in the first decade of the 20th century by the Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd. Toronto, a pre-eminent contributor to the development of HVACR, technology during its embryonic years in Canada.


Vaporizing space heater

Vaporizing Oil Burning Equipment and Systems – Space Heating

Accession # HHCC.2003.082

A liquid fuels, vaporizing, space heater, popular in the early years of the 20th century, as Canadian home owners looked to the latest and best technology of the day, in order to supplement the often cold and draft homes of the period, typically heated by wood or coal stoves or for the fortunate a central, gravity warm air, or hot water system, Colman, Quick Lite, 1929.



Item: Vaporizing space heater
Manufacturer: Colman Co. Ltd., Toronto
Make: Colman
Model: Quick Lite, Col

Technical Significance:
A remarkable statement of the advancements made by the Canadian heating industry in the first two decades of the 20th century, demonstrating not only the cumulated design and engineering expertise of the times, but also the materials and manufacturing processes that were by then available to the Canadian manufacturers, who saw and understood the market potential from a public crying out for greater winter time comfort.


Oil burner assembly ‘Leiman’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Burners

Accession # HHCC.2003.079

An unusual and rare example of an early 20th century high pressure oil burner assembly, with direct drive, 2 stage, Tuthill gear pump, buil-in oil reservoir, and original valving, constructed on heavy cast iron base, with 1″ pipe legs and cork vibration insulators, equipped brass whistle with embossed plate marked, “when whistle blows, stop motor, fill base with oil”, Leiman Bros Newark, circa 1926.



Item: Oil burner assembly ‘Leiman’
Manufacturer: Leiman Bros. Newark, N.J.
Make: Leiman Bros.

Features:
Currently equipped with a much later model 60 cycle motor, having been used as a service pump in the repair shop of T. H. Oliver Aurora Ont. a mark of the long life of the Tuthill pump used by Leiman Bros.


Gun style oil burner ‘Fess’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Burners

Accession # HHCC.2003.080

A mid 20th century high-pressure, gun style oil burner for residential and small commercial, automatic heating applications. Equipped with integral firing assembly, direct drive oil pump, primary air supply and motor, with modern, unitary construction and styling influenced by Art Deco style trends of the times, in metallic green with chrome trim marked “Fess Heat”, Fess Oil Burner, 1955.



Item: Gun style oil burner ‘Fess’
Manufacturer: Fess Burner Div. John Wood Co., Toronto
Make: Fess
Model: FNAL

Oil burner piping harness

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.135

Beautifully curved, shiny brass oil burner piping harness, with heavy wall, 3/8 inch suction and 1/4 inch discharge lines, equipped with black wrought iron pipe fittings and Dart unions with brass seats. Such harness would stand as a kind of cultural marker of the times, reflecting the oil burner manufacture’s desire to allay public fears about quality and safety of this new technology being brought into the Canadian home in the 1920’s, Anaconda, Circa 1929.



Item: Oil burner piping harness
Manufacturer: Anaconda
Make: Anaconda
Model: 67

Technical Significance:
Brass, because of its special properties [malleability and corrosion resistance] and the relative ease of manufacture, was a material of choice for much speciality manufacturing in the 1920-40’s, a period prior to the development of plastics, which over the next half century would replace brass in many applications.

During these early years massive quantities of brass would be used in speciality manufacturing areas in fluid flow applications such as automatic oil heating and refrigeration. Here corrosion free operation, as well as appearance were important factors in engineering and the market place. [see for example ID#260 to 264]


Fuel filter assembly

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.136

Cast iron, fuel filter assembly with 3/8 inch IPS, black iron pipe and union inlet connection to oil burner, with brass machined screw top, and 3/8 oil priming plug, ground brass seat and cast brass internal screen cartridge, with clearable brass screen filter media, all beautifully crafted, in keeping with the values of the period, using the materials and techniques of the times, manufacturer unknown, 1929.



Item: Fuel filter assembly
Manufacturer: Unknown
Make: Unknown
Model: 16 LB

Technical Significance:
A marker of the attention given by manufacturers, in the early years of automatic oil heating in Canada to giving it a sense of solid craftsmanship, sturdy construction, dependability and good taste.

Brass and bronze, because of their special properties [malleability and corrosion resistance] and the relative ease of manufacture, were material of choice for much speciality manufacturing in the 1920-40’s, a period prior to the development of plastics, which over the next half century would replace these metals and derivatives in many applications.

During these early years massive quantities of brass would be used in speciality manufacturing areas in fluid flow applications such as automatic oil heating and refrigeration. Here corrosion free operation, as well as appearance were important factors in engineering and the market place. [see for example ID#259 to 264]


Atomizing firing head ‘J30’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.137

A high pressure, high voltage, fuel oil atomizing firing head by Fess Oil Burners, Toronto, an acknowledged early pioneer and Canadian market leader in oil burner engineering and manufacture in Canada. Dressed in classic black/green enamelled finish, with long-reach, 3/8 inch IPS brass oil delivery tube, inlet oil filter and oil-flow shut-off valve, Model J30, Circa 1936. [see also design variant ID#262]



Item: Atomizing firing head ‘J30’
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burners of Canada, Toronto and Montreal
Make: Fess
Model: Model J30

Technical Significance:
A marker of the times in the evolution of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home, this 24 inch, long-reach firing assembly, typical of the period, was designed for “conversion” installation. Such installations were typically found in gravity style, home warm air heating furnace installations in the early years of the 20th century. Here coal grates would be removed, and oil burner refractory would be hand built in its place and a firing head would be inserted, See ID# 243, 244,245.

This firing head, typical of the period, slides into a large (4″ to 5″) fire tube [gun]. It delivers oil at up to 100 psi. to an oil atomizing spray nozzle through a 3/8″ brass, oil delivery tube.

Turbulated air under pressure is forced through an air cone [see ID# 64 and 265] where it is mixed with the atomized oil spray and ignited by an electrically generated spark [See ID# 255 and 256] jumping between two carefully positioned electrodes. High tension insulated cables carry the electrical current to the electrodes, through fragile, porcelain electrical insulators.

The oil atomizing nozzle, first developed in the 1920’s would be a marvel of its times, in product engineering and design, as well as in mass production manufacture. Designed to produce a variety of air patterns, with different combustion characteristics, it would survive relatively unchanged through to the 21st century. See ID# 262 for later variations in advanced nozzle performance.

Industrial Significance:
This high pressure, high voltage, fuel oil atomizing firing head by Fess Oil Burners, Toronto, stands as a marker of the earliest pioneering work of a Canadian company in the engineering and manufacture of automatic heating equipment designed for the Canadian home.

This basic firing head configuration would meet many of the needs of the market-place, and satisfy minimal safety requirements through to the end of the 20th century

During this period, however, engineering applications progressed well beyond the “conversion” market, to smaller, more efficient, unitary, packaged automatic oil heating equipment, for both warm air and hot water [hydronic]. As a result firing assemblies would become much more compact and sophisticated in design.

Yet, the basic engineering design trend had been set by the early 1930’s. Fragile and often temperamental, as it was, firing assemblies of this essential configuration, modified and customized for different applications, would remain the standard for high pressure atomizing oil burners to the end of the 20th century.


Atomizing firing head ‘J31’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.138

A field modified high pressure fuel oil atomizing firing head by Fess Oil Burners, Toronto, an acknowledged early pioneer in oil burner engineering and manufacture in Canada; with classic black/green enamelled finish, long-reach, 3/8 inch, brass, oil delivery tube, inlet oil filter and oil-flow shut-off valve, and modified with the addition of a Honeywell dripples, automatic, oil pressure control, check valve, Fess, Model J31, Circa 1940. [see also ID#261]



Item: Atomizing firing head ‘J31’
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burners Canada, Toronto
Make: Fess
Model: Model J-31
Features: Original high tension ignition cables

Technical Significance:
A marker of the times in the evolution of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home, this 24 inch, long-reach firing assembly, typical of the period, was designed for “conversion” installation. Such installations were typically found in gravity style, home warm air heating furnace installations in the early years of the 20th century. Here coal grates would be removed, and oil burner refractory would be hand built in its place and a firing head would be inserted, See ID# 243, 244,245.

This firing head, typical of the period, slides into a large (4″ to 5″) fire tube [gun]. It delivers oil at up to 100 psi. to an oil atomizing spray nozzle through a 3/8″ brass, oil delivery tube.

Turbulated air under pressure is forced through an air cone [see ID# 64 and 265] where it is mixed with the atomized oil spray and ignited by an electrically generated spark [See ID# 255 and 256] jumping between two carefully positioned electrodes. High tension insulated cables carry the electrical current to the electrodes, through fragile, porcelain electrical insulators.

The oil atomizing nozzle, first developed in the 1920’s would be a marvel of its times, in product engineering and design, as well as in mass production manufacture. Designed to produce a variety of air patterns, with different combustion characteristics, it would survive relatively unchanged through to the 21st century.

This firing assembly, modified 10 years or so after first installation, suggests something of the long “shelf life” of the basic technology.

A performance characteristic of such firing assemblies was the tendency to eject oil into the firebox at below the specified design pressure, 85 to 100 psi. The result was poor combustion and a smoky, smelly fire. Usually caused by a fuel pump failing to open at the proper pressure, the dripples valve would provide a quick fix, a less expensive alternative to pump repair or replacement.

Industrial Significance:
This high pressure, high voltage, fuel oil atomizing firing head by Fess Oil Burners, Toronto, stands as a marker of the earliest pioneering work of a Canadian company in the engineering and manufacture of automatic heating equipment designed for the Canadian home.

This basic firing head configuration would meet many of the needs of the market-place, and satisfy minimal safety requirements through to the end of the 20th century

During this period, however, engineering applications progressed well beyond the “conversion” market, to smaller, more efficient, unitary, packaged automatic oil heating equipment, for both warm air and hot water [hydronic]. As a result firing assemblies would become much more compact and sophisticated in design.

Yet, the basic engineering design trend had been set by the early 1930’s. Fragile and often temperamental, as it was, firing assemblies of this essential configuration, modified and customized for different applications, would remain the standard for high pressure atomizing oil burners to the end of the 20th century.


Fuel oil by-pass valve

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.139

A fuel oil pressure regulating, by-pass valve, beautifully crafted and styled for the discerning eye in brass/bronze. It exemplifies the range of peripheral devices engineered by a new generation of technology manufacturers, starting in the late 1920’s, innovators and suppliers to the automatic oil heating market. Together, they built the system of interacting and mutually supporting components and parts required for safe, efficient, reliable, automatic home heating in Canada, Detroit Lubricator, Circa 1940.



Item: Fuel oil by-pass valve
Manufacturer: Detroit Lubricator Company, Detroit Mich.
Make: Detroit Lubricator
Model: Type S15
Features: Embossed Detroit Lubricator logo; Beautifully embossed brass name label

Technical Significance:
Of spring compensated, piston design, this fully adjustable by-pass valve would be a technical break through in its times, allowing excess fuel oil to be automatically circulated back to the oil tank from the oil burner. Oil pump engineering would later incorporate a pressure regulating, by-pass valve function as an integral part of the pump itself, see Note 1 [See Group 12.06 historic artifacts]

The device stands as a reminder that the commitment to automatic heating for the Canadian home brought with it a vast range of engineering challenges. Required would be a network of fully automated devices, mechanical, electrical and hydraulic, all of which must work together, smoothly and systemically to produce the required performance characteristics – including self-regulation, safely, reliability, efficiency, and affordability- all quite unimagined a decade earlier

It exemplifies the great precision made possible in the 1930’s and 40’s, given the limited engineering materials and production machining methods of the times.

It exemplifies, too, the range of peripheral devices engineered and manufactured by a new generation of companies, starting in the late 1920’s, for the automatic oil heating market, part of the system of interacting and mutually supporting components and parts required.

Industrial Significance:
Demonstrates the vast engineering know-how accumulated by fluid flow valve speciality companies of the time, here Detroit Lubricator, whose valves dominated many facets of the HVACR industry, ubiquitous through much of the 20th century [See also Group 3.01 and 3.02 historic artifacts]


Convex nose air cone

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.140

An air cone for a high pressure, atomizing oil burner, designed with convex nose and 8 turbulator blades. Unobtrusive and elemental in appearance and seemingly of little consequence, it would, none-the-less, prove to be a critical component in oil burner performance in its time, helping to ensure quiet, efficient, smoke free combustion. \r\nBlued and heavily corroded as a result of use in a typical 3000 deg. combustion chamber, unknown manufacturer, Circa 1948. [see also ID#265]



Item: Convex nose air cone
Manufacturer: Unknown
Make: Unknown
Model: Unknown

Technical Significance:
The simple, crude air cone, a piece of sand moulded and machined cast iron, would come to represent much of the challenge faced in squeezing acceptable levels of reliable performance out of the high pressure atomizing oil burner, given the state of that technology in the early and mid 20th century.

In this period, experiments in refractory, air cone, air turbulator, nozzle, electrode and oil pump design would be endless, in an attempt to optimize a technology which refused to be optimized, until significant redesign and re-configuring of the high pressure atomizing burner took place in the latter years of the century. [See Reference 1]

This seemingly simple, elemental device stands as a reminder of the system of often crudely fashioned, empirically derived, interrelated and mutually supporting component parts on which the safe, reliable and efficient operation of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home would depend in the mid 20th century.

Industrial Significance:
Many variations in air cone design are to be found, reflecting the practice of the period. Each manufacturer would experiment to find the configuration best suited to his equipment’s performance – see ID#265


Concave nose air cone

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Firing Assemblies

Accession # HHCC.2006.141

An air cone for a high pressure, atomizing oil burner, designed with concave nose, 8 foreshortened turbulator blades and extended collar. Unobtrusive and elemental in appearance and seemingly of little consequence, it would, none-the-less, prove to be a critical component in oil burner performance in its time, helping to ensure quiet, efficient, smoke free combustion. Blued and heavily corroded as a result of use in a typical 3000 deg. combustion chamber, unknown manufacturer, Circa 1948. [see also ID#265]



Item: Concave nose air cone
Manufacturer: Unknown
Make: Unknown
Model: Unknown

Technical Significance:
The simple, crude air cone, a piece of sand moulded and machined cast iron, would come to represent much of the challenge faced in squeezing acceptable levels of reliable performance out of the high pressure atomizing oil burner, given the state of that technology in the early and mid 20th century.

In this period, experiments in refractory, air cone, air turbulator, nozzle, electrode and oil pump design would be endless, in an attempt to optimize a technology which refused to be optimized, until significant redesign and re-configuring of the high pressure atomizing burner took place in the latter years of the century. [See Reference 1]

This seemingly simple, elemental device stands as a reminder of the system of often crudely fashioned, empirically derived, interrelated and mutually supporting component parts on which the safe, reliable and efficient operation of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home would depend in the mid 20th century.

Industrial Significance:
Many variations in air cone design are to be found, reflecting the practice of the period. Each manufacturer would experiment to find the configuration best suited to his equipment’s performance – see ID#264


Fuel pump assembly ‘D8’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.142

A fuel pump assembly for low pressure, mechanical atomizing oil burner, with direct, flexible coupled, electric motor drive, with carbon blade rotary pump, worm drive, gear pump, and automatic oil volume and pressure control valves, from the widely acknowledged pioneer of automatic oil heating equipment in Canada, Fess, Model D8, Circa 1924.



Item: Fuel pump assembly ‘D8’
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burner of Canada
Make: Fess
Model: D8

Technical Significance:
They were the early years of the 20th century and “the machine” had arrived in the basements of a few well to do Canadian homes – whether the refrigerating machine [see condensing unit Group 2.01] or the automatic oil burning, home heating machine.

The Fess Model D would typify the latter. Like many such arrivals it would first appear, celebrated for its potential contribution to human comfort, health and convenience, only much later as a social and cultural change agent with awesome impact on Canada and Canadians, their life and times.

The Model D [There was a series of them] represented the leading edge of self- powered, self-regulating, automatic oil heating technology of the period, likely the first wave of pressure atomizing technology commercially marketed in Canada. The mechanism was described by Fess as being of the low pressure, mechanical atomizing type, using “the retarded heat principle”. It consisted of what the Fess manual refers to as a “machine proper” and a “fire door insert”.

The machine proper included a heavy steel pedestal on which was mounted this assembly consisting of a carbon blade rotary pump, worm driven gear pump, with rotary needle valve, including oil volume and pressure adjustments.

The assembly was driven with a direct coupled repulsion induction motor [see Group 16.00], drawing oil from a float control, valve chamber with strainer. The entire machine proper rested in trays that caught leaking oil, with provisions for sucking it back into the system.

The fire door insert included nozzle assembly, ignition transformer and spark plug

The burner was controlled with a Model 77, Locksmith, stack switch [See Group 12.08]

Industrial Significance:
Appearing in the early 1920’s, Canadian household machinery was initially styled after its industrial counterpart in cast iron, steel, light weight die casting alloys, brass and bronze, using the industrial processes available in the times.

Fess Oil Burners of Canada [later the John Wood Company, Toronto] became a major player in the development of the automatic oil heating industry, starting in the 1920’s

The industry would shortly move on to a more compact, functionally integrated, unitary equipment look, thus distancing itself from the factory floor. See ID# 267 – but for now the D series was as good as it gets.


Fuel pump assembly ‘J18’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.143

A compact, functionally integrated fuel pump assembly for gun type, low pressure atomizing oil burner, with flange motor mount, air intake housing, fuel pump, and pressure gauge 0 to 20 psi., all over coated in classic black-green gloss enamel of the period; equipped with drive coupling, pressure regulating valve, fitments, and oil filter all executed in solid brass/bronze, all targeted on the affluent, discerning, life style seeking householder, Fess, Model J18, Circa 1930. [see also 12.06-11]



Item: Fuel pump assembly ‘J18’
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burner of Canada
Make: Fess
Model: J18

Technical Significance:
By the early 1930’s the Canadian oil heating industry was progressing well beyond simple, gravity feed, vaporizing oil-heating equipment [see Group 11,05 artifacts]. Having developed mechanical, low pressure atomizing machinery [see ID# 12.06-9], it was ready to move on to more efficient, cleaner and more reliable atomizing methods, to be found in the pressure-atomizing “gun” burner technology of the period.

This historic artifact models well the sophisticated engineering and design achievements of the period, in compact, functionally integrated fuel oil pump assemblies for low pressure atomizing oil burners.

Modelled here is the best of the offerings of the industry to Canadian home owners of the period – at least to those that could afford the best and the latest is advanced automatic home heating technology in the early 1930 – in the midst of national economic depression.

A superb example of what was now possible, given the advances in oil atomizing technology, metallurgy, manufacturing and fabrication methods of the day.

Exemplified, too, is a new era of industrial craftsmanship with an eye for a new of eye-catching and pleasing industrial styling.

Seen here is a new generation of mechanical equipment, targeted on the hearts and minds of the Canadian homeowner, equipment which was starting to loose the crude industrial machinery look, and develop a new aesthetic, one distancing its self from the factory floor look of a few years earlier [see 12.06-9].

What had been acquired by the industry was a new sense of how to smoothly integrate and articulate mechanisms traditionally of widely different functions [oil pumps, motors, fans and pressure valves] into a single functioning whole. A new kind of sophisticated entity had been created, one made all the more appealing to the early 20th century discriminating homeowner of good taste with the addition of polished brass fitments. See Note #2

The new gun style burner consisted of a direct drive, flange mounted motor, a Sirocco type high pressure fan to deliver primary air for combustion, a compact positive displacement, gear pump, an oil atomizing nozzle, high potential electrical transformer, and ignition electrodes.

Industrial Significance:
Fess Oil Burners of Canada [later the John Wood Company, Toronto] became a major player in the development of the automatic oil heating industry, starting in the late 1920’s

Capitalizing on the sales potential of the new more compact and reliable “gun” type technology, the Fess J series of automatic oil burners would be representative of a new generation of highly innovative equipment, taking advantage of the newly emerging Canadian market in the early 1930’s.

Its Model J series of gun type, pressure atomizing burners, in their characteristic black-green, would be a familiar site in the basements of the well-to-do across much of central Canada in the 30’s.

The industry was moving to more compact, functionally integrated, unitary equipment configurations, away from the industrial machinery look. With the advent of the high pressure gun burner, the basic oil burner configuration had been established which, with many modifications and enhancements, would largely characterize the field through to the end of the 20th century.


Rotary fuel oil pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.144

A rotary, low pressure, fuel oil pump, with carbon separator blades, heavy steel rotor, in cast and machined steel body, with classic black/green enamel finish, and original external piping connections, a marker of the 2nd wave of automatic home heating, pump assembly technology for the Canadian home, partial pump assembly only, manufacturer unknown, Circa 1924.



Item: Rotary fuel oil pump
Manufacturer: Unknown See Note 1
Make: Unknown See Note 1
Model: V916
Features: Natural carbon blade

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century the evolution of automatic oil fired home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

By the early 1930’s the Canadian oil heating industry was progressing well beyond simple, gravity feed, vaporizing oil-heating equipment [wave 1] moving to elemental, motorized, electrified, designs [wave 2], using low pressure mechanical atomizing burners with rotary, carbon separator blade pumps [see ID# 12.06-9].

This pump assembly is, then, a marker of the second wave. It is associated with the earliest years of electrified and motorized oil heating equipment to be found in Canadian homes

A hallmarks of the design is the use of carbon, separator, rotor blades. Carbon was a natural choice, as a natural substance, which tended to be self lubricating and self-positioning, wearing to cylinder wall to maintain a close running tolerance and quiet operation – all this in a period long before the availability of more sophisticated engineering materials

A hallmark of this technology of the period would also be its massive weight, as represented here by this 10 lb., toe crushing, partial pump body. But the look was a preferred one in the culture of the times, by a public still spooked by the seeming inherent dangers represented by un-attended, automatic oil heating equipment in the home. Among other things it must look, feel and in fact be solid.

Industrial Significance:
A marker of the manufacturing techniques of the times


Rotary fuel oil pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.145

A rotary, low pressure, fuel oil pump for automatic home heating, with carbon rotor separator blades, heavy steel rotor, in cast and machined steel body equipped for 4 bolt flange motor mounting, built-in, brass, automatic pressure regulating valve with manual adjustment, beginning to suggest the early years of the 4th wave in engineering design, characterized by compacted, integrated fuel oil pump assemblies, manufacturer unknown, Circa 1929.



Item: Rotary fuel oil pump
Manufacturer: Unknown See Note 1
Make: Unknown See Note 1
Model: Unknown
Features: Natural carbon separator blades

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

By the early 1930’s the Canadian oil heating industry was progressing well beyond simple, gravity feed, vaporizing oil-heating equipment [wave 1] and elemental, motorized, electrified, designs [wave 2], to increasingly more compacted and functionally integrated engineering designs. Seen here in the compact, coaxial motor drive flange and the built in pressure valve and piping passages.

This pump assembly is, then, an early marker of the 4th design wave

A hallmarks of the design is the use of carbon, separator, rotor blades. Carbon was a natural choice, as a natural substance, which tended to be self lubricating and self-positioning, wearing to cylinder wall to maintain a close running tolerance and quiet operation – all this in a period long before the availability of more sophisticated engineering materials

A hallmark of this technology of the period would also be its massive weight, as represented here by this 10 lb., toe crushing, partial pump body. But the look was a preferred one in the culture of the times, by a public still spooked by the seeming inherent dangers represented by un-attended, automatic oil heating equipment in the home. Among other things it must look, feel and in fact be solid.

Industrial Significance:
A marker of the sophisticated machining and manufacturing techniques of the times, using the relatively crude machine tools available.


Single stage rotary gear pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.146

A single stage rotary gear pump, with cast and machined steel body, two hole flange and barrel mount and two point drive coupling for close, direct motor drive; with original oil piping, it would be part of the 3rd wave in engineering design, characterized by compacted, fuel oil pump assemblies, Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago, Circa 1929.



Item: Single stage rotary gear pump
Manufacturer: Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago
Make: Tuthill
Model: Unknown

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

Seen here is an early, compact rotary gear pump, for close coupled, direct drive application, beginning to reflect the drive configuration to be found on the mainstream of oil burners through the balance of the 20th century.

This pump assembly stands as a late example of the 3rd wave of fuel oil pump assemblies

The close coupled, direct drive configuration used here would be an early application of the design commonly found throughout the industry to the end of the 29th century

Industrial Significance:
This requisitely crafted and machined gear, miniature gear pump would be a marvel of engineering design and production of the day

Tuthill would be widely acknowledged in the industry as an early innovator in the field, providing many of the engineering ideas, principles, products and breakthroughs which the industry would bill on – see for example ID#271.


Two stage rotary gear pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.147

Two stage rotary gear pump, with cast and machined steel body, two hole flange and barrel-mount for close, direct motor coupling; with internal pressure regulating and cut- off valves, inlet oil strainer and oil bypass, it would set a new standard for fuel oil pump assemblies, part of a 4th wave in engineering design, characterized by compacted and functionally integrated engineering, Fuelstat, Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago, Circa 1937.



Item: Two stage rotary gear pump
Manufacturer: Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago
Make: Tuthill
Model: DES???AT??
Features: Over coated in flawless gloss maroon enamel, likely to match the colour of an oil burner supplier of the period

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of 4th wave of fuel oil pump assemblies

The close coupled, direct drive configuration used here would be an early application of the design commonly found throughout the industry to the end of the 29th century

Industrial Significance:
Tuthill would be widely acknowledged in the industry as an early innovator in the field, providing many of the engineering ideas, principles, products and breakthroughs which the industry would bill on – see for example ID#271, 272, 273.


Single stage rotary gear pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.148

Single stage rotary gear pump, with light weight die cast body, two hole flange and barrel mount for close, direct motor coupling; with internal pressure regulating and cut-off valves, inlet oil strainer and oil bypass, it would set a new standard for fuel oil pump assemblies, part of a 4th wave in engineering design, characterized by compacted and functionally integrated engineering, Fuelstat, EN, Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago, Circa 1937.



Item: Single stage rotary gear pump
Manufacturer: Tuthill Pump Co. Chicago
Make: Tuthill
Model: EN

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of 4th wave of fuel oil pump assemblies, compact and functionally integrated in light weight die cast body.

Industrial Significance:
Tuthill would be widely acknowledged in the industry as an early innovator in the field, providing many of the engineering ideas, principles, products and breakthroughs which the industry would build on – see for example ID#271, 272, 273.


Single stage rotary gear pump ‘Tuthill’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.149

Tuthill single stage rotary gear pump, carrying the corporate name of Prenco, Toronto Canada, similar to the Tuthill Model EN, see ID# 272, with modern, stylish name plate and logo in silver against grass green background, a marker of the rapidly expanding market for automatic oil heating equipment in Canada following W.W.II, Fuelstat, Prenco, Tuthill Pump Corp. Toronto, Circa 1948.



Item: Single stage rotary gear pump ‘Tuthill’
Manufacturer: Prenco, Tuthill Pump Corp. Toronto
Make: Prenco Tuthill

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of 4th wave of fuel oil pump assemblies, compact and functionally integrated in light weight die cast body.

Industrial Significance:
Tuthill would be widely acknowledged in the industry as an early innovator in the field, providing many of the engineering ideas, principles, products and breakthroughs which the industry would build on – see for example ID#271, 272, 273.

With modern, stylish name plate and logo in silver against grass green background, with smoothly rounded long radius corners it would signal a new era in industrial design, with a new role for the industrial designer, creating products with eye appeal, distancing the oil heat industry from the products of its industrial past [see for example ID#268]


Two stage rotary gear pump ‘Webster’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.150

Two stage rotary, gear style pump, in cast steel body with extended shaft, and Webster stylish logo, carrying a Canadian manufacturer’s name; an example of beautifully compacted and functionally integrated engineering. [4th wave] and of the rapidly approaching mature market years for high pressure, 100 psi. oil burner technology, bringing with it a giant bulge in the percentages of Canadian home owners and businesses that would enjoy automatic heating, Webster/ Canadian Acme Screw and Gear, Circa 1955.



Item: Two stage rotary gear pump ‘Webster’
Manufacturer: Canadian Acme Screw and Gear, Toronto
Make: Webster
Model: 2R-111D-AH

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of advanced 4th wave fuel oil pump technology, compact and functionally integrated in heavy cast steel body.

A marker of the now rapidly approaching mature market years for high pressure, 100 psi. oil burner technology, leaving room for a new generation of ultra-high pressure, 200 psi. technology.

Industrial Significance:
Webster a respected US manufacturer of oil burner components, including ignition transformers [see ID#12.07-1 and 2] and oil pumps, would like Tuthill seek Canadian partners in the post WWII period to take advantage of the rapid growth of the oil heating market in Canada.


Commercial rotary gear pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.151

Commercial, high capacity, two stage rotary, gear style pump, in cast steel body with extended shaft, a product of post W.W.II , compacted and functionally integrated engineering. [4th wave] it stands as a marker of the wide spread application of high pressure atomizing oil burner technology to commercial and institutional uses in Canada in the last half of the 20th century, Webster, Circa 1958.



Item: Commercial rotary gear pump
Manufacturer: Name plate missing
Make: Webster
Features: Original line fittings

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of a high capacity, advanced 4th wave fuel oil pump technology, compact and functionally integrated in heavy cast steel body, designed for commercial and institutional applications.


Compact fuel pump assembly

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.152

A compact, functionally integrated fuel pump assembly for gun type, low pressure atomizing oil burner, equipped with Tuthill fuel oil pump, drive coupling, pressure regulating valve, fitments, and oil filter all executed in solid brass/bronze, , Fess, Model J18, Circa 1930, partial assembly only. [see also 12.06-10, ID#267]



Item: Compact fuel pump assembly
Manufacturer: Fess Oil Burner of Canada
Make: Fess
Model: J18

Technical Significance:
By the early 1930’s the Canadian oil heating industry was progressing well beyond simple, gravity feed, vaporizing oil-heating equipment [see Group 11,05 artifacts]. Having developed mechanical, low pressure atomizing machinery [see ID# 12.06-9], it was ready to move on to more efficient, cleaner and more reliable atomizing methods, to be found in the pressure-atomizing “gun” burner technology of the period.

This historic artifact models well the sophisticated engineering and design achievements of the period, in compact, functionally integrated fuel oil pump assemblies for low pressure atomizing oil burners.

Modelled here is the best of the offerings of the industry to Canadian home owners of the period – at least to those that could afford the best and the latest is advanced automatic home heating technology in the early 1930 – in the midst of national economic depression.

A superb example of what was now possible, given the advances in oil atomizing technology, metallurgy, manufacturing and fabrication methods of the day.

Exemplified, too, is a new era of industrial craftsmanship with an eye for a new of eye-catching and pleasing industrial styling.

Seen here is a new generation of mechanical equipment, targeted on the hearts and minds of the Canadian homeowner, equipment which was starting to loose the crude industrial machinery look, and develop a new aesthetic, one distancing its self from the factory floor look of a few years earlier [see 12.06-9].

What had been acquired by the industry was a new sense of how to smoothly integrate and articulate mechanisms traditionally of widely different functions [oil pumps, motors, fans and pressure valves] into a single functioning whole. A new kind of sophisticated entity had been created, one made all the more appealing to the early 20th century discriminating homeowner of good taste with the addition of polished brass fitments. See Note #2

The new gun style burner consisted of a direct drive, flange mounted motor, a Sirocco type high pressure fan to deliver primary air for combustion, a compact positive displacement, gear pump, an oil atomizing nozzle, high potential electrical transformer, and ignition electrodes..

Industrial Significance:
Fess Oil Burners of Canada [later the John Wood Company, Toronto] became a major player in the development of the automatic oil heating industry, starting in the late 1920’s

Capitalizing on the sales potential of the new more compact and reliable “gun” type technology, the Fess J series of automatic oil burners would be representative of a new generation of highly innovative equipment, taking advantage of the newly emerging Canadian market in the early 1930’s.

Its Model J series of gun type, pressure atomizing burners, in their characteristic black-green, would be a familiar site in the basements of the well-to-do across much of central Canada in the 30’s.

The industry was moving to more compact, functionally integrated, unitary equipment configurations, away from the industrial machinery look. With the advent of the high pressure gun burner, the basic oil burner configuration had been established which, with many modifications and enhancements, would largely characterize the field through to the end of the 20th century.


8K volt ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.131

An 8,000 volt, electric spark, ignition transformers, in gloss black steel case with brass nameplate. Such devices in the home and the sparks they generated would be a source of great public mystery and often apprehension in the early years of the 20th century. Yet, they would be the true heroes of early technology for the Canadian home; without them the mechanical wonders of the period would not have been possible, the internal combustion engine, the automobile, and automatic home heating. Webster, Circa 1936.



Item: 8K volt ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Webster Electric Co., Racine, Wis.
Make: Webster
Model: 20-D F
Features: Original wire connector illustrating electrical trade practices of the times

Chrome plated cameo styled, brass nameplate, highly decorate with logo.

Technical Significance:
In a period of increasingly sophisticated mechanical contrivances, the development of electrical apparatus – including reliable, efficient high voltage ignition transformers and electric motors tended, for the most part, to lag well behind the mechanical mechanisms which they supported.

The engineering and manufacturing challenge was to build an electrical transformer, to operate on 110 volts alternating current [the then accepted standard for hydro electrification in Canada], one that would create a sufficiently hot spark, about 8,000 to 10,000 volts, needed to reliably ignite an atomised oil vapor and air mixture.

Little of a theoretical practical nature was known in the early years of the 20th century about the design of electrical equipment, certainly not high voltage transformers. The principles of alternating electrical circuits, as well as those of magnetic circuits were little understood, by those who must apply them.

Farada’s experiments of the 1840’s and 50 had only been translated into the mathematical formula needed for precise engineering design in the 1870’s. And Steinmetz would not set out the basic parameters for the design of electromagnetic circuits until the early years of the 20th century. But the market place could not wait, engineering design proceeded empirically, with the knowledge available – with much trial and error.

The toe crushing weight and size of these early specimens [15 to 20 lbs] is a reminder of the crude design criteria employed and the materials available, especially the crude dielectric materials for the insulation of wire and coil bundles operating at high potential levels. As a result electrical failure was common, with all the accompanying dangers of un-ignited explosive mixtures being pumped into the furnace fire box.

Of special significance is this, long obsolete, 25 cycle, AC specimen. Once the standard in Ontario, 25 cycle equipment was heavier and bulkier than its 60 cycle counter part.

Industrial Significance:
By the mid 1930’s the future of the Canadian oil heat industry was assured of a long period of solid growth. With hydro electrification now well advanced in many urban areas in Canada, the desire for automatic, home heating was almost universal, and with it the pressure to engineer high voltage ignition devices in Canada, at reduced cost and improved reliability and performance – See ID# 256 and 257.


10K volt ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.132

A 10,000 volt, electric spark, ignition transformers, in non-ferro-magnetic, brass case in gloss black enamel, manufactured and stencilled for Fess Oil Burners of Canada, an acknowledged early pioneer and Canadian market leader. Such high voltage devices in the home would be a source of great public mystery and often apprehension in the early years of the 20th century. But without the electric spark the mechanical wonders of the age would not have been possible, the internal combustion engine, the automobile, and automatic home heating. Webster, Circa 1938.



Item: 10K volt ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Webster Electric Co., Racine, Wis.
Make: Webster
Model: 27D13
Features: Original wire connector and cable stub, illustrating electrical trade practices of the times; Chrome plated, classical oval, brass nameplate, highly decorate with Fess logo, torch held high.

Technical Significance:
In a period of increasingly sophisticated mechanical contrivances, the development of electrical apparatus – including reliable, efficient high voltage ignition devices [transformers] and electric motors tended, for the most part, to lag well behind the mechanical mechanisms which they supported.

The engineering and manufacturing challenge was to build an electrical transformer, to operate on 110 volts alternating current [the then accepted standard for hydro electrification in Canada], one that would create a sufficiently hot spark, about 8,000 to 10,000 volts, needed to reliably ignite an atomised oil vapour and air mixture.

Little of a theoretical nature was known in the early years of the 20th century about the design of electrical equipment, certainly not high voltage transformers. The principles of alternating electrical circuits, as well as those of magnetic circuits were little understood, by those who must apply them.

Farada’s experiments of the 1840’s and 50 had only been translated into the mathematical formula needed for precise engineering design in the 1870’s. And Steinmetz would not set out the basic parameters for the design of electromagnetic circuits until the early years of the 20th century. But the market place could not wait, engineering design proceeded empirically, with the knowledge available – with much trial and error. The cost would be in reliability and performance standards

The toe crushing weight and size of these early specimens [25 lbs] is a reminder of the crude design criteria employed, and the materials available, especially the crude dielectric materials for the insulation of wire and coil bundles operating at these high potential levels. As a result electrical failure was common, with all the accompanying dangers posed by un-ignited explosive mixtures being pumped into the furnace fire box.

Of special significance is this 25 cycle specimen. Once the standard in Ontario, 25 cycle equipment was heavier and bulkier than its 60 cycle counter part. Frequency standardization in Ontario, a project of monolithic proportion, now long forgotten was a technological marvel in its own right. It occurred, largely, in the latter half of the 1940’s

Industrial Significance:
A rare marker of the early years in the Canadian, automatic oil heating industry, this ignition transformer by the acknowledged, early US leader in transformer engineering, design and manufacturer, Webster Electric, was stencilled for Fess Oil Burners of Canada, then an acknowledged early pioneer and market leader in the engineering, design and manufacture of oil burners in Canada. The suggestion here is that there were no Canadian ignition transformer manufactures in the period.

By the mid 1930’s the future of the Canadian oil heat industry was assured of a long period of solid growth. With hydro electrification now well advanced in many urban areas in Canada, the desire for automatic, home heating was almost universal, and with it the pressure to engineer high voltage ignition in Canada, at reduced cost and improved reliability and performance – See ID# 256 and 257.


10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.133

A 10,000 volt, 60 cycle spark, ignition transformer, in ferro-magnetic, steel case in gloss black enamel, with long radius corners, reminiscent of the Art Deco style. Equipped with built in junction box, adjustable base and brown porcelain high tension insulators with screw terminals, it stands as an historic example of the work of early, Canadian, ignition transformer, speciality manufactures, tooling up for the now rapidly expanding, home heating market in Canada, Amalgamated Electric, 1960.



Item: 10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Jefferson Electric, Amalgamated Electric Corporati
Make: Jefferson
Model: Cat No. 638-241
Features: Original wire connector and cable stub, illustrating electrical trade practices of the times

Art Deco inspired, long radius. rounded corners

Technical Significance:
Early high voltage ignition transformers were built in non-ferro magnetic, brass enclosures [See ID# 255 and 256], considered necessary to isolate the enclosure from the electro magnetic circuit. Subsequent engineering studies confirmed the use of magnetic steel shells, as seen here – a cost saving feature for the manufacturer.

By the 1960’s the toe crushing weight of early ignition transformers [See ID# 255 and 256] had been reduced by 50%, due to advances in engineering design, the use of new inorganic dielectric, insulating materials able to with stand high voltages and surges, as well as as a consequence of frequency standardization [25 to 60 cycle]

Industrial Significance:
The smoothly rounded, long radius corners, giving this device a distinctly modern Art Deco look, is also a marker of the advanced, production manufacturing methods of the 1960’s

The early patent numbers are somewhat surprising [1930 to 1932], suggest that there was little new in the technology, which could be patented, through the ensuing years to the 1960’s, the major advances being made in materials and manufacturing methods.

By the 1960’s the Canadian automatic oil heating industry was into supplying a major after-market, for parts and upgraded equipment. This ignition transformer is a marker of those times, built with adaptable, slotted base-plate, making it readily adaptable to a number of different oil burner manufacturer’s applications.

The increasingly wide range of different physical configurations, as well as different technologies appearing on the Canadian oil heating market by the 1960’s, demonstrated the immense inventiveness characterizing the Canadian automatic oil heating industry of the times. As a result, Canadian ignition transformer manufactures were called upon to adapt their deigns to many different configurations, in order to meet the needs of original equipment manufacturers, as well as the diversity of forms required to economically service the after market [See also ID# 258].

Much of the credibility of the Canadian oil heat industry would rest on its ability to service the after-market promptly, efficiently and at a cost homeowners could afford. Motors, high voltage ignition transformer and electrodes, as well as high pressure oil atomizing nozzles and oil pumps were all casualties of normal ware and tear, often breaking down as a result of prolonged periods of cold Canadian winter weather. A substantial service industry in towns and cities across the country would develop by the 1960’s, with the challenge of maintaining a stock of replacement parts in the many configurations required for emergency, “no-heat” service.


10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.134

A 10,000 volt, 60 cycle spark, ignition transformer, in ferro-magnetic, steel case in gloss black enamel, with long radius corners, reminiscent of the Art Deco style. Equipped with hinged base-plate and enclosed high tension insulators with adjustable brass pressure contacts and built in junction box, it stands as an historic example of the immense diversity and inventiveness of the Canadian oil heat industry during its years of post W.W.II rapid growth, Allison 1964.



Item: 10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Allanson Armature Mfg Co. Ltd, Toronto
Make: Allanson
Model: Cat No. 521, ty
Features: Original wire connector and cable stubs, illustrating electrical trade practices of the times

Art Deco inspired, long radius. rounded corners

Technical Significance:
Early high voltage ignition transformers were built in non-ferro magnetic, brass enclosures [See ID# 255 and 256], considered necessary to isolate the enclosure from the electro magnetic circuit. Subsequent engineering studies confirmed the appropriate use of magnetic steel shells, as seen here – a cost saving feature for the manufacturer.

By the 1960’s the toe crushing weight of early ignition transformers [See ID# 255 and 256] had been reduced by 50%, due to advances in engineering design, the use of new inorganic dielectric, insulating materials able to with stand high voltages and surges, as well as as a consequence of frequency standardization [25 to 60 cycle]

Industrial Significance:
The Canadian automatic oil heating industry was expanding rapidly in the 1960’s. The Allanson, Armature Mfg. Co., having made its name in the manufacture electric armatures for the automotive industry, for use in generators and starters would see in the heating industry opportunities for horizontal expansion, making use of its core skills – electrical coil winding.

By the 1960’s the Canadian automatic oil heating industry was into supplying a major after-market, for parts and upgraded equipment. This ignition transformer designed with a hinged base and enclosed high tension connections stands as an example of the range of configurations needed in transformers to meet the diverse engineering and design requirements of the period

The increasingly wide range of different physical configurations, as well as different technologies appearing on the Canadian oil heating market by the 1960’s, demonstrated the immense inventiveness characterizing the Canadian automatic oil heating industry of the times. As a result, Canadian ignition transformer manufactures were called upon to adapt their designs to many different configurations, in order to meet the needs of original equipment manufacturers, as well as the diversity of forms required to economically service the after-market [See also ID# 258].

Much of the credibility of the Canadian oil heat industry would rest on its ability to service the after-market promptly, efficiently, and at a cost homeowners could afford. Motors, high voltage ignition transformer and electrodes, as well as high pressure oil atomizing nozzles and oil pumps were all casualties of normal ware and tear, often short lived, often breaking down as a result of prolonged periods of cold Canadian winter weather. A substantial service industry in towns and cities across the country would develop by the 1960’s, with the challenge of maintaining a stock of replacement parts in the many configurations required for emergency, “no-heat” service.

The smoothly rounded, long radius corners, giving this device a distinctly modern Art Deco look, is a marker of the advanced, production manufacturing methods of the 1960’s


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.102

A 1920’s automated combustion controller for Canadian oil fired, home heating systems, with Bourdon tube actuated mercury switch for “pressure ignition control” and “Adjustatherm,” safety cut-out, marketed in Ottawa by Shaver Bros, Type SDP 22, , Mercoid Corp., Circa 1929. [partial assembly only]



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: Mercoid Corp. Chicago Ill.
Make: Mercoid
Model: Type SDP22
Features: – high style, brass name plate with logo and graphics in red and black
– Stencilled for Shaver Bros Ottawa

Technical Significance:
– Representative of the earliest automatic combustion control technology for oil fired domestic heating systems marketed in Canada, using oil pressure to actuate electric ignition transformer at predetermined set point, and a temperature sensing stack switch, as safety device, in case of flame failure. See schematic diagram.
– Representative, too, of the earliest complex systems introduced into the Canadian home. See Note #1

Industrial Significance:
– Mercoid, a name no doubt derived from the company’s reliance on mercury bulb switching, would prove to be a time honoured one in the HVACR field as it evolved over the 20th century and into the 21st. Current catalogues show similar Bourdon tube driven mercury bulb switching, as used in this 1920’s device [See Dwyer Instruments Web site]


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.103

A 1920’s automated combustion controller for Canadian oil fired, home heating systems, with oil pressure actuated, pancake style bellows safety switch, electric thermal safety lock-out with manual reset and flapper valve actuated mercury bulb switch, enclosed in stylish, heavy cast steel enclosure with highly decorated cover plate, Hart Oil Heat, Preferred Oil burners Inc., Circa 1929.



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: Hart Oil Heat, Preferred Oil burners Inc., Peoria, Ill.
Make: Hart Oil Heat, Preferred Oil Burners
Model: Partially obliterated
Features:
– high style, painted stencilled cover plate in red, gold and black
– Original wiring harness
– Original oil piping connectors

Technical Significance:
– Representative of the earliest automatic combustion control technology for oil fired domestic heating systems marketed in Canada
– Characteristic of a period of embryonic technological development in any field, this automated combustion controller and safety switch further demonstrates the array of mechanisms, new and novel being experimented with. From the perspective of the early 21st century, without the benefit of documentation or schematic diagram, it is not at all clear even how the various interacting and mutually supporting component parts of this panel operated to variously provide the required level of automation and safety protection required for public comfort and safety.
– Representative, of the earliest complex systems introduced into the Canadian home. See Note #1


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.104

A 1920’s automated combustion controller for oil fired, home heating systems, equipped with electro-magnetic actuated, tilting mercury bulb line voltage contractor and thermal electric safety lock-out with manual reset. Paired with a stack mounted, bimetal, automatic heat-sensing switch, it would set a new standard of performance, comfort, reliability and safety for Canadian homeowners. Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., Model 77, Circa 1929. [1 of 2, See also ID# 231]



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind.
Make: Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls
Model: Number 77, Model 125
Features:
– Gloss black cabinet
– Sophisticated name plate and logo in black, red and chrome
– Original wiring harness

Technical Significance:
– With the “Locksmith” system, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction the Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp, moved to adopt an integrated systems approach, with its companion stack mounted heat sensor [ID # 229] and room thermostat [ID #215. The system stopped and started the oil burner, on call from the room thermostat, through a line voltage, electric solenoid actuated mercury bulb switch. Ne for the times, a compact thermally timed interlock, with manual reset performed the safety protection function.
– While simple, by contrast to the next generation of combustion controllers [See 234], these automated, electrical control devices were non-the-less something of a marvel, given the embryonic nature of engineering systems know-how of the times.
– Evident in this new generation of automated electrical devices was the introduction of electronic components, heralding the period, then 40 years or so ahead, in which combustion controllers would be primarily electronic devices, for example employing photo-electric sensing. Here a simple electronic condenser had been added to the analogue electrical switching mechanism, in order to help control arching, see Company Manual Ref #1 p.42
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Flame monitoring device

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.105

A 1920’s high tech, automated, flame monitoring device for oil fired, home heating systems. Paired with the manufacturer’s “Locksmith” electromagnetic combustion controller [see ID#228], it operated using a helical bimetal spring to actuate twin mercury bulb switches, in order to control starting and running operations, ignition duration, flame failure and safety recycling time, Model 48H, Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind. [I of 2, see ID# 236]



Item: Flame monitoring device
Manufacturer: Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind.
Make: Time-O-Stat Controls
Model: Model 48H
Features:
– Gloss black, pressed steel cabinet with built in electrical junction box
– Sophisticated name plate and logo in black, red and chrome
– Instructions stencilled to the inside of cover is a reminder of the complexity of the system, the dangers and risks of malpractice and the need for informed owners and operators
– Original wiring connector

Technical Significance:
– The controller, with twin, tilting mercury bulb switches, stands as a marker of the period in the development of early line voltage automated, alternating current switching devices for inductive loads [electric motors]. Here the mercury tube became the preferred switching medium.
– The charred inside surface of the control cover shows the effect of an electrical fire at one point, not uncommon in early switching devices used on high starting current A.C. induction loads [electric motors]
– With the “Locksmith” system, and stack located heat monitor, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction the Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp, later Time-O-Stat Controls Co.moved to adopt an integrated systems approach, with its companion stack mounted heat sensor [ID # 229] and room thermostat [ID #215. The system stopped and started the oil burner, on call from the room thermostat, through a line voltage, electric solenoid actuated mercury bulb switch. New for the times, a compact thermally timed interlock, with manual reset performed the safety protection function.
– While simple, by contrast to the next generation of combustion controllers [See 234], these automated, electrical control devices were non-the-less something of a marvel, given the embryonic nature of engineering systems know-how of the times.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Control and switch panel

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.106

An 1920’s, field assembled electrical control and switch panel for oil fired, home heating systems, equipped with Time-O-Stat, Locksmith control [See ID# 230] and Square D, fused, manual, safety, disconnect switch, mounted on handmade pine panel board with walnut finish and fire protective covering; an icon of its times reflecting something of the trade practices and public expectations of the period, as well as the attention given to public safety, Circa 1929.



Item: Control and switch panel
Manufacturer: Unknown, Possibly Howard Oliver Aurora Ontario
Make: Shop fabricated

Technical Significance:
– The panel board is an icon of its time, reflecting something of electric trade practices and public expectations for craftsmanship in the early years of the 20th century, an embryonic period in the electrification of Canadian homes and the installation of electric equipment.
– The attention to styling and detail in the construction of the panel reflected the culture of the day. While relatively crude in construction it reflected the expectation for craftsmanship of the period, including mitred corners, finishing mouldings and furniture style walnut finish
– Here evidence of what might be seen as “over design” is every where evident. And for good reason, the public were fascinated but nervous about new unfamiliar technology in the home, especially electrical equipment that operated automatically, without the touch of human hand.
– The danger of fire and electrocution were matters of public concern. The robustly designed equipment, the evidence of government certification and equipment testing standards, as well as evidence of competent field practices and craftsmanship were intended to demonstrate due care, caution and respect in the public good.
– With the “Locksmith” system, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction by Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– The heavy steel encased, fused “safety”, disconnect switch, mounted on fire proofed panel was designed to give the customer a feeling of perfect confidence that all possible steps had been taken for the safety of the household
– Approved field practice, enforced by electrical inspectors, required that such panel boards be installed at the entrance to the furnace or boiler room within easy reach, allowing the homeowner full control and access, in order to shut down the system manually in the case of emergency.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.107

A 1920’s automated combustion controller for oil fired, home heating systems, equipped with electro-magnetic actuated, tilting mercury bulb line voltage contractor and thermal electric safety lock-out with manual reset. Paired with a stack mounted, bimetal, automatic heat-sensing switch, it would set a new standard of performance, comfort, reliability and safety for Canadian homeowners. Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., Model 125, No. 77, Circa 1929, missing internal component parts. [2 of 2, See also ID# 228]



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind.
Make: Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls
Model: Number 77, Model 125
Features:
– Condenser separately found with the control, likely removed for testing and or replacement, No, M-377; Capacity.15 to 20 M. F. , Date Feb 8, 1929
– Gloss black cabinet
– Sophisticated name plate and logo in black, red and chrome

Technical Significance:
– With the “Locksmith” system, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction the Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp, moved to adopt an integrated systems approach, with its companion stack mounted heat sensor [ID # 229] and room thermostat [ID #215. The system stopped and started the oil burner, on call from the room thermostat, through a line voltage, electric solenoid actuated mercury bulb switch. Ne for the times, a compact thermally timed interlock, with manual reset performed the safety protection function.
– While simple, by contrast to the next generation of combustion controllers [See 234], these automated, electrical control devices were non-the-less something of a marvel, given the embryonic nature of engineering systems know-how of the times.
– Evident in this new generation of automated electrical devices was the introduction of electronic components, heralding the period, then 40 years or so ahead, in which combustion controllers would be primarily electronic devices, for example employing photo-electric sensing. Here a simple electronic condenser had been added to the analogue electrical switching mechanism, in order to help control arching, see Company Manual Ref #1 p.42
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Combustion controller for oil

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.108

A late 1920’s, one-piece, trend setting, automated combustion controller for oil fired, home heating systems, elegantly named the “Pyrotherm”, it was unitary in design, stack mounted, helical bimetal heat actuated, performing essentially the same functions as the earlier two-piece technology [See ID#231 and ID#229], but with greater precision. The device was a marvel of inter-connected mechanical, electrical and electro-magnetic components, operating three mercury bulb switches; Mercoid, Type 8M, Circa 1930.



Item: Combustion controller for oil
Manufacturer: The Mercoid Corp.,Chicago
Make: Mercoid
Model: Type 8M

Technical Significance:
– The “Pyrotherm”, introduced by Mercoid, an early innovator in the field of heating and refrigeration controllers, would trigger a world change, setting the stage for much of the next 30 years of combustion, safely control engineering
– The device was a marvel of inter-connected mechanical, electrical and electro-magnetic components, operating three mercury bulb switches
– A significant design consideration in the development of unitary, stack-mounted controls was the high ambient temperatures to which they were subjected. High temperature wiring and heat shielding were new design requirements to be dealt with.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– By the standards of that day the introduction of one-piece, compact, electro-magnetic combustion controllers represented a world change in precise engineering design and manufacture, requiring new materials and engineering know how.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Mercoid, a name no doubt derived from the company’s reliance on mercury bulb switching, would prove to be a time honoured one in the HVACR field, as it evolved over the 20th century and into the next – see Dwyer Instruments web site


Radiant heat sensor

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.109

The “Protectostat”, a late 1940’s radiant heat sensor for combustion safety control. It would set new standard for combustion safety for higher firing rate, oil atomizing heating systems found in large Canadian estate homes, institutions and small industrial applications. Sited directly on the fire, it used a black metal diaphragm to mechanically actuate a low voltage control system through a Minneapolis Honeywell “Protectorelay”, Minneapolis Honeywell, Type A, Circa 1948.



Item: Radiant heat sensor
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co.
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: Type A
Features:
– Handsome corporate name plate and logo in red, black and chrome

Technical Significance:
– Mounted adjacent to the burner fire tube, the device immediately sensed the radiant heat of combustion, providing here-to-for unheard of rapid response needed for the safe and satisfactory operation of larger oil fired boilers and furnaces, operating in the range of 3 to 12 gallons per minute of number 2 or 3 fuel oil.
– The Protectostat operated a Minneapolis Protectorelay, consisting of electro-magnetic switches and a thermal safety, automatic cut out timing device.
– The Protectostat with Protectorelay would become the standard of the industry for institutional and small commercial and industrial, automatic oil fired systems until the introduction of photo-electric eye, electronic sensing technology in the 1950’s, see reference.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the early introduction of complex systems into Canadian homes and places of business. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– The potential explosive power of several gallons per minute of high pressure vapourized fuel oil being sprayed into a combustion chamber is awesome and a source of fear to system owners, operators and service people alike. The importance of fast response for safety shut down in case of delayed ignition on unattended, automatic systems is paramount. The development of the radiant heat sensor opened up new applications for automatic operation of boilers, where operating engineers in constant attendance became unnecessary under certain conditions.


Combustion controller ‘Honeywell’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.110

An example of innovative, mid 20th century combustion safety control technology that would dominate the field of household automatic oil heating through much of the balance of the century; stack mounted, bimetal heat actuated safety switching, electro-magnetic relay controlled; equipped for intermittent ignition, heat anticipation, 3 wire room thermostat, Type RA117A, 25 cycle, Minneapolis Honeywell, Toronto Circa 1945. [See also ID#235]



Item: Combustion controller ‘Honeywell’
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co.
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: RA117A
Features:
– Pristine enclosure in high gloss grey, a break in tradition with the “black look” of heating control devices
– Handsome corporate monograph in distinctive Minneapolis Honeywell red
– Original wiring diagram on inside of cover

Technical Significance:
– Of special significance is the 25cycle engineering of this controller, built for the Ontario market in the period prior to frequency standardization, which took place in the closing years of the 1940’s in much of the province. These devices being electro-magnetic were frequency sensitive. The large rear mounted transformer used to provide control circuit power tells the story. The 6o cycle equivalent is shown on item ID#235.
– With the introduction of new generation of integrated, relatively reliable control systems for household heating in the early 1940’s a new era of mass produced technology had arrived, setting the stage for a new, Canadian mass market.
– It combined up-dated, bimetal combustion control technology with the three wire, heat anticipating thermostat, – providing comfort, safety and reliability levels unheard of a decade earlier.
– By the early 1940’s Minneapolis Honeywell’s unitary designed, combustion controller, the RA117A Protectorelay, had arguably become a kind of standard of achievement for the home, automatic, oil heating industry in much of Canada.
– The fragile and potentially poisonous mercury bulb switching of earlier combustion controls was replaced here with quiet, reliable, electro-magnetic and bimetal driven snap action contacts,
– A significant design consideration in the development of unitary, stack-mounted controls was the high ambient temperatures to which they were subjected. High temperature wiring and heat shielding were new design requirements to be dealt with.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– This pristine control, un-used, was a factory reconditioned, control by Minneaplolis Honeywell, Toronto. It exemplifying the great care taken in recycling of equipment, part of the practice and conservation ethic of the day, delivering
reliable reconditioned equipment to a market that desperately needed it .
– It was a period quite different from that which would exist towards the end of the century, where damaged and un-reliable equipment would be declared expendable, too costly or superseded, as a result of rapid technological, design or manufacturing changes.
– By the mid 1940’s the HVACR industry recognized that a new era in the popularization of automatic home heating equipment was under way. Unitary designed, oil home heating equipment had evolved into a “home appliance”, on which many householders would now become heavily dependent.
– This new, widespread dependency on automatic heating, throughout Canada’s long cold winters, would require the industry to strive for enhanced performance in matters of reliable, maintainable and readily serviceable equipment, with readily obtainable replacement parts.
– Public expectations for 24 hour emergency service was part of the new world of popular technology that had been created. Honeywell and other manufacturers would respond by providing a line of rebuilt controls for field service people to stock for emergency purposes.


Combustion controller ‘Honeywell’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.111

An example of innovative, mid 20th century combustion safety control technology that would dominate the field of household automatic oil heating through much of the balance of the century; stack mounted, bimetal heat actuated safety switching, electro-magnetic relay controlled; equipped for intermittent ignition, heat anticipation, 3 wire room thermostat, Type RA117, 60 cycle, Minneapolis Honeywell, Toronto Circa 1948. [See also ID#234]



Item: Combustion controller ‘Honeywell’
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co.
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: RA117A
Features:
– Cabinet in black “ripple” finish part of the look of the day, based on the metalic coatings technology of the day
– Handsome corporate monograph in distinctive Minneapolis Honeywell Red
– Original instruction sheet
– Original field installed wiring ends
– Original porcelain cable box connector
– Original wiring diagram on inside of cover

Technical Significance:
– Of special significance is the 60 cycle engineering of this controller, built for the Ontario market following frequency standardization, which took place in the closing years of the 1940’s in much of the province. These devices, being electro-magnetic, were frequency sensitive. The much smaller rear mounted transformer used to provide control circuit power tells the story. The 25 cycle equivalent is shown on item ID#234.
– With the introduction of new generation of integrated, relatively reliable control systems for household heating in the early 1940’s a new era of mass produced technology had arrived, setting the stage for a new, Canadian mass market.
– It combined up-dated, bimetal combustion control technology with the three wire, heat anticipating thermostat, – providing comfort, safety and reliability levels unheard of a decade earlier.
– By the early 1940’s Minneapolis Honeywell’s unitary designed, combustion controller, the RA117A Protectorelay, had arguably become a kind of standard of achievement for the home, automatic, oil heating industry in much of Canada.
– The fragile and potentially poisonous mercury bulb switching of earlier combustion controls was replaced here with quiet, reliable, electro-magnetic and bimetal driven snap action contacts,
– A significant design consideration in the development of unitary, stack-mounted controls was the high ambient temperatures to which they were subjected. High temperature wiring and heat shielding were new design requirements to be dealt with.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– The control cabinet cover in black “ripple” finish is representative of the trendy look of the day, based on the new, metallic coatings technology of the period
– By the mid 1940’s the HVACR industry recognized that a new era in the popularization of automatic home heating equipment was under way. Unitary designed, oil home heating equipment had evolved into a “home appliance”, on which many householders would now become heavily dependent.
– This new, widespread dependency on automatic heating, throughout Canada’s long cold winters, would require the industry to strive for enhanced performance in matters of reliable, maintainable and readily serviceable equipment, with readily obtainable replacement parts.
– Public expectations for 24 hour emergency service was part of the new world of popular technology that had been created. Honeywell and other manufacturers would respond by providing a line of rebuilt controls for field service people to stock for emergency purposes.


Flame monitoring device ‘Time-O-Stat’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.112

A 1920’s high tech, automated, flame monitoring device for oil fired, home heating systems. Paired with the manufacturer’s “Locksmith” electromagnetic combustion controller [see ID#228], it operated using a helical bimetal spring to actuate twin mercury bulb switches, in order to control starting and running operations, ignition duration, flame failure and safety recycling time, Model 48H, Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind. [I of 2, see ID# 229]



Item: Flame monitoring device ‘Time-O-Stat’
Manufacturer: Time-O-Stat Controls Co., Elkhart Ind.
Make: Time-O-Stat Controls
Model: Model 48H
Features:
– Gloss black, pressed steel cabinet with built in electrical junction box
– Sophisticated name plate and logo in black, red and chrome
– Instructions stencilled to the inside of cover is a reminder of the complexity of the system, the dangers and risks of malpractice and the need for informed owners and operators

Technical Significance:
– The controller, with twin, tilting mercury bulb switches, stands as a marker of the period in the development of early line voltage automated, alternating current switching devices for inductive loads [electric motors]. Here the mercury tube became the preferred switching medium.
– The charred inside surface of the control cover shows the effect of an electrical fire at one point, not uncommon in early switching devices used on high starting current A.C. induction loads [electric motors]
– With the “Locksmith” system, and stack located heat monitor, compact and elegant in concept, design and construction the Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co. would introduce a new generation of advanced engineered combustion safety controls [c.f., ID # 226 and 227] and take over acknowledged leadership in the field of automatic oil heating for the Canadian home.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp, later Time-O-Stat Controls Co.moved to adopt an integrated systems approach, with its companion stack mounted heat sensor [ID # 229] and room thermostat [ID #215. The system stopped and started the oil burner, on call from the room thermostat, through a line voltage, electric solenoid actuated mercury bulb switch. New for the times, a compact thermally timed interlock, with manual reset performed the safety protection function.
– While simple, by contrast to the next generation of combustion controllers [See 234], these automated, electrical control devices were non-the-less something of a marvel, given the embryonic nature of engineering systems know-how of the times.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the earliest introduction of complex systems into the Canadian home. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would launch a new generation of combustion control and safety technology with their “Locksmith” system. Compact and elegant in concept, design and construction it would prove to be the market leader. Later Time-O-Stat would be bought out by Honeywell to carry on in the position of widely acknowledged industry leader in HVACR automation and control
– Time-O-Stat Lockswitch and Stack Switch technology was widely used on both mechanical atomizing [See collection display item H2] and pressure atomizing [See collection display item H4] automatic oil heating systems in Canada throughout the early years of the industry.
– These control systems were a source of wonderment and no little fear for the Canadian public, as well as for many of the tradesmen who were called upon to understand, install and repair them, as well as to advise the homeowner on their proper, satisfactory operation.
– Absolute Con-Tac-Tor Corp., later Time-O-Stat Controls Co., would be among the first technology suppliers to the HVACR field, who understanding the increasing complexity of their automation technology, would provide service, installation and logic, trouble shooting guides.


Double function temperature control

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – High Temperature Limit Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.113

A mid 20th century, state-of-the-art, double function, adjustable temperature control for home “winter air conditioner”. Used for automatically shutting down the system to prevent over heating, as well as to star and stop the furnace fan at air temperatures that would help ensure draft free comfort; equipped with helical bimetal heat sensor, twin, tilting mercury bulbs, mechanical brass linkage and manual fan on-off switch, fan and limit control, Type M80, Mercoid, 1938.



Item: Double function temperature control
Manufacturer: Mercoid Corporation, Chicago Ill.
Make: Mercoid
Model: Type M80
Features:
– Temperature calibration dial in red and gold
– Operating, adjustment instruction etched in gold on twin fibreboard insets
– Glass bezel
– Original wiring stubs with steel sheathed cable [BX] and heavy duty L box connectors

Technical Significance:
– A mid 20th century, dual function temperature controller, exquisitely crafted using the materials and engineering know-how of the immediate pre W.W.II years
– Designed for a new, emerging, yet still elite market for winter comfort, the “winter air conditioner”. Mercoid went to great lengths to show off its new, elite, automatic, dual temperature control technology, beautifully crafting with showy glass front panel and mechanical operating mechanism crafted in brass. It was to be a prestigious controller for the homeowner anxious, and able to afford the best that the HVACR industry of the times could provide, anxious too to be able to show it off for what it was, a piece of new technology ahead of its times.
– Air circulation was a matter of engineering concern, ensuring draft free comfort for homeowners not at all used to constantly moving air in the home. The key was the temperature at which the winter air conditioner’s fan would start circulating the pre-warmed air, and at what air temperature would the fan stop
– The manual fan switch was an important sales feature, too, allowing the homeowner to manually turn the system on in the summer time to circulate filtered air throughout the home [For an account of recommended industry practices of the time operation See, “Winter Air Heating and Winter Air conditioning”, John Norris McGraw-Hill 1950.
– It would be a period characterised by much research in the field of human comfort. its necessary and sufficient conditions and the means of creating it in Canada’s climate of weather extremes. Warm air heating research would become a legitimate topic for university, as well as industrial research with technical papers and how-to-do-it manuals to follow.
– Characteristic of the period and the emerging market for winter comfort was the creation of the National Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Association of Canada [forerunner of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada]. Their extensive set of engineering manuals produced through the 1950’and 60’s would be the standards of the field

Industrial Significance:
– The control of air movement in forced air, residential systems, to ensure safe comfortable conditions was and continues to be a challenge. With fixed, non modulating, forced air heating equipment, which characterizes the residential field, the control of air movement through the furnace and the home was accomplished with on-off switching of the fan motor. The goal is to ensure the furnace doesn’t over heat, as a result of low air quantity, but at the same time, the householder is not subject to the movement of unheated air through the house causing drafts.
– For the purpose of initially balancing the system, variable speed fan pulley drives were widely used to adjust fan speeds [see collection Group 12.11], until electrically variable speed, digital motor control technology became available.
– Two speed motors with double windings were also used in the 1950′ through 80’s, with two step controller to reduce air flow at low during start up and shut down.


Single function temperature control

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – High Temperature Limit Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.114

A mid 20th century, single function, adjustable temperature safety control for home “winter air conditioner”. Used for automatically shutting down the system to prevent over heating if, for example, the fan failed to come on allowing heat to build up in the furnace plennum beyond the safe operating point; equipped with helical bimetal heat sensor, single tilting mercury bulb line voltage switch, LA419, Minneapolis Honeywell, 1946. [1 of 2, similar to ID#239]



Item: Single function temperature control
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co. Toronto 17
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: LA419A1X
Features:
– Complete with original T. H. Oliver tag, marketed used LA419, H limit, operation OK
– Original label with wiring diagram and specifications
– With original swivel compression mounting device allowing the postioning of the temperature sensor in the furnace hot air plennum

Technical Significance:
– A mid 20th century, single function temperature limit safety controller exemplifying the materials and engineering know-how of the immediate pre W.W.II years.
– The Post W.W.II market for “winter air conditioning” was enormous and the industry sensed the potential, but there was still the public concern over the safety of all automatic equipment operating unattended in the home.
– The development of affordable, reliable high temperature limit automatic shut off control was a key to achieving market potential. Sales people, installers and service people would make a point of pointing out the safety features, why and how they worked. Some sales people would carry one of these safety controllers with them to clinch a sale.

Industrial Significance:
– The simplicity of the controller is surely a hallmark of the times, reflecting sophisticated engineering and manufacturing methods, as well as the availability of the engineering materials needed
– This controller may be one of the first class of products to be built in Canada by Minneapolis Honeywell, for the then rapidly growing market – see dateline in side cover “Toronto 17”
– Also made as a fan on-off controller, this series of limit safety controls by Honeywell would become the work horse of the industry throughout the major growth years of the winter air conditioner market in Canada, from the 1940’s through 60’s
– The original tag on the control tells the stories of the time, where controls were repaired and held in stock by service shops for quick replacement as needed.


Single function temperature control

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – High Temperature Limit Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.115

A mid 20th century, single function, adjustable temperature safety control for home “winter air conditioner”. Used for automatically shutting down the system to prevent over heating if, for example, the fan failed to come on allowing heat to build up in the furnace plennum beyond the safe operating point; equipped with helical bimetal heat sensor, single tilting mercury bulb line voltage switch, LA419, Minneapolis Honeywell, 1946. [1 of 2 similar to ID#238]



Item: Single function temperature control
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co. Toronto 17
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: LA419A1X
Features:
– Original cable connector
– Original wiring harness stubs
– Original label with wiring diagram and specifications
– With original swivel compression mounting device allowing the postioning of the temperature sensor in the furnace hot air plennum

Technical Significance:
– A mid 20th century, single function temperature limit safety controller exemplifying the materials and engineering know-how of the immediate pre W.W.II years.
– The Post W.W.II market for “winter air conditioning” was enormous and the industry sensed the potential, but there was still the public concern over the safety of all automatic equipment operating unattended in the home.
– The development of affordable, reliable high temperature limit automatic shut off control was a key to achieving market potential. Sales people, installers and service people would make a point of pointing out the safety features, why and how they worked. Some sales people would carry one of these safety controllers with them to clinch a sale.

Industrial Significance:
– The simplicity of the controller is surely a hallmark of the times, reflecting sophisticated engineering and manufacturing methods, as well as the availability of the engineering materials needed
– This controller may be one of the first class of products to be built in Canada by Minneapolis Honeywell, for the then rapidly growing market – see dateline in side cover “Toronto 17”
– Also made as a fan on-off controller, this series of limit safety controls by Honeywell would become the work horse of the industry throughout the major growth years of the winter air conditioner market in Canada, from the 1940’s through 60’s
– The original cable connector and wiring stubs tells the stories of the trade practices and materials of the times.


Room thermostat ‘Mercoid’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.089

An early, automatic room temperature control device, using an hydraulic bellows, temperature sensor, with mercury bulb, line voltage switching, stencilled for Williams-Oil-Matic Heating, Bloomington, Ill., promoted as “the world’s largest producer of automatic oil burners”. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian house hold and become markers of profound social and cultural change; Type 0104111, Mercoid Corp., Circa 1927.



Item: Room thermostat ‘Mercoid’
Manufacturer: Mercoid Corp., Chicago, Federal Warranted
Make: Mercoid for Williams Oil-0-Matic
Model: Type 0104111
Features:
– built in line voltage connection junction box

Technical Significance:
* The competing, thermostat, technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring temperature and hydraulic bellows designs. The copper bellows with heavy spring ballast appears to be less responsive for household home applications, possibly better suited to commercial situations in which Mercoid had made its name. [See ID 215]
* Equipped with a finely calibrated scale, locking adjustment lever, and leveling adjustment screws, it uses a large, commercial type, 3″ mercury tube switch.
* Much larger and much less finely sculptured than its Time-O-Stat counterpart, and without the sales appeal, it appears to be targeted on a different market segment.
* Requiring a robust contact structure,capable of handling motor starting current, would make the device much less responsive to temperature changes than later developments would allow, see for example #ID 217 and 220

Industrial Significance:
* Mercoid’s concept of what a room thermostat should look like, in order to please the tastes of the well-to-do marketplace appears well behind those of their competitor, Time-O-Stat [See ID # 215].
* Considerably less elegant in appearance, this thermostat mirrors Mercoid’s experience in commercial and industrial controls of the period. It could well be the company’s initial foray into the residential, room thermostat market, where it would find that appearance was everything.


Room thermostat ‘Penn’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.090

An early, automatic room temperature control device, using an hydraulic bellows, temperature sensor, with open contact, line voltage switching. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian household, set new standards of winter comfort and convenience for Canadians, and in so doing become markers of profound social and cultural change; Type A, Penn, Circa 1930.



Item: Room thermostat ‘Penn’
Manufacturer: Penn Electric Switch Co., Des Moines, Iowa
Make: Penn
Model: Type A

Technical Significance:
* The competing thermostat technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring [See ID 215] and hydraulic bellows designs, shown here.
* Much larger and much less finely sculptured than its Time-O-Stat counterpart [See ID#215], without the sales appeal, it appears to be targeted on a different market segment.
* While similar in many ways to the engineering and construction of the Mercoid thermostat [See ID #213], the Pen model employed open contact switching, a break with much of the practice of the field in this period.
* Requiring a robust contact structure, capable of handling motor starting current, would make the device much less responsive to temperature changes than later developments would allow, see for example #ID 217 and 220

Industrial Significance:
* Penn’s concept of what a room thermostat should look like, in order to please the tastes of the well-to-do marketplace appears well behind those of their competitor, Time-O-Stat [See ID # 215]. It could well have been the company’s initial foray into the residential, room thermostat market, where it would find that appearance was everything.
* Pen Electric, much like the Mercoid Company, came into the market with a hydraulic bellows, actuated room thermostat, hoping to capture a portion of the then rapidly expanding, household, automatic, oil heating business. But even in the early 1930 the automatic heating industry was entering an increasingly competitive market, although it likely appeared at the time to be almost unlimited.
* The competing thermostat designs of the 1920’s and early 30’s [See ID #213, 214, 215] amply demonstrate the immense inventiveness of the period in which a range of technologies were being experimented with for automating home heating systems.
* Simple devices, by 21st century standards, they were non-the-less products of great engineering ingenuity for their times. They required materials and manufacturing techniques and expertise, which challenged the best engineering minds of the day.


Room thermostat ‘Time-O-Stat’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.091

An eye appealing, early automatic room temperature control device, using a helical by-metal spring temperature sensor, with mercury bulb, line voltage switching. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian household, set new standards of winter comfort and convenience for Canadians, and in so doing become markers of a new technology-based consumerism and thus of profound, Canadian, social and cultural change; Cat. No 135, Time-O-Stat, Circa 1928. [See also ID# 218]



Item: Room thermostat ‘Time-O-Stat’
Manufacturer: Time-O-Stat Controls, Elkhart, Ind.
Make: Time-O-Stat
Model: Cat No. 135

Technical Significance:
* The competing thermostat technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring, shown here, and hydraulic bellows designs, [See ID 214].
* Much smaller and more finely sculptured than its competitors [Penn and Mercoid] the Time-O-Stat would have greater eye appeal and potential sales appeal, as a result.
* Actuated by a hefty, eight turn, 3/8″, 1 13/16″ OD, helical bimetal, this control can be expected perform only modestly well. With substantial inertia, and with out heat anticipation features of future generations of such devices, the home owner will experience significant over and under run and slow system response. The good news is that, with a 2 degree operating differential, it will provide comfort home conditions unparalleled for its times.
* In an astonishingly simple configuration, a 3/8″ dia. x 1 3/4-mercury bulb is attached to the floating, rear centre point of the bimetal, to which a delicately shaped brass adjustment lever is also attached. This allowing the householder to set the desired home temperature by tipping the switch bulb manually to the desired temperature.

Industrial Significance:
* An elegant room thermostat that would be seen on the walls of the drawing rooms of the Canadian well-to-do in the 1920’s.
* Tastefully and delicately proportioned, in a modest, brown, molded Bakelite case, it was a masterpiece of industrial design, instantly attracting homeowners of the period to a new, modern lifestyle of comfort and convenience.
* With patent numbers shown in the manufacturers catalogue from 1918 to 1928, Time-O-Stat must surely be accorded the position of HVACR market leader in the development of electric, room thermostatic controls for automatic, oil-fired heating systems found in Canadian homes.
* Time-O-Stat would quickly become the market leader in the new Canadian consumer culture of the 20th century, where the company would find that appearance was everything.
* Time-O-Stat products would soon appear in the catalogues of a new industry leader, Minneapolis Regulator Co. under that company’s name.
* The competing thermostat designs of the 1920’s and early 30’s [See ID #213, 214, 215] amply demonstrate the immense inventiveness of the period in which a range of technologies were being experimented with for automating home heating systems.
* Simple devices, by 21st century standards, they were non-the-less products of great engineering ingenuity for their times. They required materials and manufacturing techniques and expertise, which challenged the best engineering minds of the day.
* The attention given by Time-O-Stat to the market place and to the consumer’s appetite for the new, novel, attractive and prestigious was seen in their portable “Thermoswitch”. It was configured in the form of a minature, classic mantel clock of the period. It was inteded to stand out in the living rooms of the well-to-do, as a conversation piece and object of desire [See cat F.277-15.429, Page 12]
* Time-O-Stat’s pension for innovation was also marked a nigh-time clock operated temperature set back control, likely the first of its kind [See cat F.277-15.429, Page 11], and an early forerunner of the classic Minneapolis Honeywell Chronotherm [See ID # 216.
* Time-O-Stat would be unique in its times, bringing to the market a systems approach, providing a comprehensive, integrated set of controls for residential and commercial heating applications. “Lockswitch” safety combustion control engineering by Time-O-Stat would be the standard of the industry throughout the 1920’s and early 30’s [ See series 12.8 artifacts]


“Chronotherm” room thermostat

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.092

The “Chronotherm” room thermostat with “Telechron”, synchronous, electric motor driven automatic night set-back, helical bimetal temperature sensor, low voltage, snap action, open contact switching, and mercury glass stem thermometer, would prove to be iconic in its times, a precursor of much to come in layered, multi-functional, consumer technology for the Canadian home, Type T12, Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co, Minneapolis, Minn., Circa 1934.



Item: “Chronotherm” room thermostat
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co., Minneapolis
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: Type T12, See Note

Technical Significance:
* The T12 makes use of Series 10, three-wire thermostat circuitry with heat anticipator, bringing the heating system on sooner than otherwise, in order to reduce the thermal lag in the heating system.
* The introduction of the automatic, time/temperature actuated control systems for home heating was as much a marker of profound technologic change as it was socio-cultural change [see below]. They introduced layered, multi-functional, consumer technology to the Canadian home [devices that would perform more than one function].
* Such devices were iconic in their impact and consequences for Canadians, beginning to suggest the power of technology and its potential for shaping and constantly re-shaping the life of Canadians throughout the balance of the 20th century.
* With the introduction of automatic night set-back thermostats in the late 1920’s through early 30’s, by both Time-O-Stat and Honeywell, the automation of the Canadian household was ratchet up one more notch, It would seem, at the time, that the automation of home heating comfort, by the HVACR industry, had gone as far as it was likely to go. Such, however was not the case, however, with a myriad of new consumer devices to follow, with for example automatic: heat anticipation [See ID 220], humidity control [See ID 222], air filtration [See series 15.06, early air filtration technology, area temperature zone control and integrated heating/cooling controllers [See ID 217].

Industrial Significance:
* Earlier versions of the technology, using an 8-day wind-up clock, are shown in Time-O-Stat’s product catalogue with patent numbers sited back to 1928.
* The development of the miniature, self starting, synchronous, alternating current motor technology by Telechron, and the mass production of motors for electric clocks and timing devices, was in itself an significant scientific, engineering and manufacturing accomplishment for the period – with applications and benefits which would be far reaching.
* Following the introduction of small synchronous type motors for electric clocks in the early 1930’s Minneapolis-Honeywell introduced their “Chronotherm”, a basic technology that would appear in various forms through to the introduction of digital control technology in the 1990’s.


Room thermostat ‘Honeywell – 87F’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.093

A room heating-cooling thermostat in the Honeywell classic round configuration popular throughout the latter 20th century; high style, gold plastic body, helical bimetal activated, low voltage, miniature mercury bulb switch, adjustable heat anticipator, with helical bimetal thermometer and heat-cool, fan on-off switch base, Type 87F, Honeywell, Circa 1975. [See also ID #220]



Item: Room thermostat ‘Honeywell – 87F’
Manufacturer: Honeywell Controls Limited, Toronto
Make: Honeywell
Model: T87F

Technical Significance:
* Household temperature control technology, analogue and largely electro- mechanical and electro-magnetic in character, had reached its highest point of development by the mid 20th century, as represented here by the Honeywell T87F.
* The stage had been set for the progressive evolution of solid state, digital control HVACR control technology, which would soon dominate the field.

Industrial Significance:
* With the development of packaged mechanical cooling equipment for residential and commercial applications, the thermostat would become a multi-functional device, controlling room temperature during the heating cycle, as well as the cooling cycle and allowing switching between heating and cooling, in addition to the control of the air circulating fan on forced air systems. All this was to be accomplished within a single integrated device – to be popularly affordable and mass-produced.
* The miniaturized, single pole, double throw, mercury bulb switch required for cooling as well as heating was a masterpiece of design and mass production engineering, as was the entire configuration with small helical, bimetal, actuator and adjustable heat anticipator. It was executed in an attractive, moulded plastic, round, gold-colored format.
* A series of matching, optional, switch bases was provided by the manufacturer, in order to accommodate various switching functions, here heating/cooling on-off, fan on/automatic, part of the movement of equipment manufacturers to a comprehensive systems approach required of the times.
* The development of quiet, hermetic compressors in large capacities needed for home air conditioning applications, as well as the production and successful marketing of attractive packaged condensing units and evaporator coils for residential use contributed to the significant growth of the Canadian HVACR industry starting in the 1960’s


Room thermostat ‘Time-O-Stat’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.094

An eye appealing, earlyau tomatic room temperature control device, using a helical by-metal spring temperature sensor, with mercury bulb, line voltage switching. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian household, set new standards of winter comfort and convenience for Canadians, and in so doing become markers of a new technology-based consumerism and thus of profound, Canadian, social and cultural change; with original shop tag, Cat. No 135, Time-O-Stat, Circa 1928. [See also ID# 215]



Item: Room thermostat ‘Time-O-Stat’
Manufacturer: Time-O-Stat Controls, Elkhart, Ind.
Make: Time-O-Stat
Model: Cat No. 135

Technical Significance:
* The competing thermostat technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring, shown here, and hydraulic bellows designs, [See ID 214].
* Much smaller and more finely sculptured than its competitors [Penn and Mercoid] the Time-O-Stat would have greater eye appeal and potential sales appeal, as a result.
* Actuated by a hefty, eight turn, 3/8″, 1 13/16″ OD, helical bimetal, this control can be expected perform only modestly well. With substantial inertia, and with out heat anticipation features of future generations of such devices, the home owner will experience significant over and under run and slow system response. The good news is that, with a 2 degree operating differential, it will provide comfort home conditions unparalleled for its times.
* In an astonishingly simple configuration, a 3/8″ dia. x 1 3/4-mercury bulb is attached to the floating, rear centre point of the bimetal, to which a delicately shaped brass adjustment lever is also attached. This allowing the householder to set the desired home temperature by tipping the switch bulb manually to the desired temperature.

Industrial Significance:
* An elegant room thermostat that would be seen on the walls of the drawing rooms of the Canadian well to do in the 1920’s.
* Tastefully and delicately proportioned, in a modest, brown, molded Bakelite case, it was a masterpiece of industrial design, instantly attracting homeowners of the period to a new, modern lifestyle of comfort and convenience.
* With patent numbers shown in the manufacturers catalogue from 1918 to 1928, Time-O-Stat must surely be accorded the position of HVACR market leader in the development of electric, room thermostatic controls for automatic, oil-fired heating systems found in Canadian homes.
* Time-O-Stat would quickly become the market leader in the new Canadian consumer culture of the 20th century, where the company would find that appearance was everything.
* Time-O-Stat products would soon appear in the catalogues of a new industry leader, Minneapolis Regulator Co. under that company’s name.
* The competing thermostat designs of the 1920’s and early 30’s [See ID #213, 214, 215] amply demonstrate the immense inventiveness of the period in which a range of technologies were being experimented with for automating home heating systems.
* Simple devices, by 21st century standards, they were non-the-less products of great engineering ingenuity for their times. They required materials and manufacturing techniques and expertise, which challenged the best engineering minds of the day.
* The attention given by Time-O-Stat to the market place and to the consumer’s appetite for the new, novel, attractive and prestigious was seen in their portable “Thermoswitch”. It was configured in the form of a minature, classic mantel clock of the period. It was inteded to stand out in the living rooms of the well-to-do, as a conversation piece and object of desire [See cat F.277-15.429, Page 12]
* Time-O-Stat’s pension for innovation was also marked a nigh-time clock operated temperature set back control, likely the first of its kind [See cat F.277-15.429, Page 11], and an early forerunner of the classic Minneapolis Honeywell Chronotherm [See ID # 216.
* Time-O-Stat would be unique in its times, bringing to the market a systems approach, providing a comprehensive, integrated set of controls for residential and commercial heating applications. “Lockswitch” safety combustion control engineering by Time-O-Stat would be the standard of the industry throughout the 1920’s and early 30’s [ See series 12.8 artifacts]


Room thermostat ‘Mercoid’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.095

An early, automatic room temperature control device, in large, decorated brass enclosure, using an hydraulic bellows, temperature sensor, with large mercury bulb, line voltage switching, and calibrated scale 60 to 80 degrees F. Temperature control devices of this genre, would introduce automation into the Canadian house hold and become markers of profound social and cultural change; Type 0104111, Mercoid Corp., Circa 1927. [See also ID # 213]



Item: Room thermostat ‘Mercoid’
Manufacturer: Mercoid Corp., Chicago, Federal Warranted
Make: Mercoid
Model: Type 010426
Features:
– built in line voltage connection junction box
– original box connector for shielded cable, used in the period
– original 3 inch toggle bolt used for mounting on lath and plaster walls of the period

Technical Significance:
* The competing, thermostat, technologies of the day were helical bimetal spring temperature and hydraulic bellows designs. The copper bellows with heavy spring ballast appears to be less responsive for household home applications, possibly better suited to commercial situations in which Mercoid had made its name.
* Equipped with a finely calibrated scale, locking adjustment lever, and leveling adjustment screws, it uses a large, commercial type, 3″ mercury tube switch.
* Much larger and much less finely sculptured than its Time-O-Stat counterpart, and without the sales appeal, it appears to be targeted on a different market segment.
* Requiring a robust contact structure, capable of handling line voltage motor starting current, would make this device much less responsive to room temperature changes than later, low inertia devices with heat anticipation features, see for example #ID 217 and 220

Industrial Significance:
* Mercoid’s concept of what a room thermostat should look like, in order to please the tastes of the well-to-do marketplace appears well behind those of their competitor, Time-O-Stat [See ID # 215].
* Considerably less elegant in appearance, this thermostat mirrors Mercoid’s experience in commercial and industrial controls of the period. It could well be the company’s initial foray into the residential, room thermostat market, where it would find that appearance was everything.


A/C room thermostat ‘Honeywell – 87C’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.096

A summer air conditioning, room thermostat, in the Honeywell classic round configuration, popularly found in the mid and latter 20th century on residential oil heating systems with add-on summer cooling; high style, gold coloured plastic body, helical bimetal temperature activated, low voltage, miniature mercury bulb switch, with helical bimetal thermometer, Type 87C, Honeywell, Circa 1964 [See also ID #217]



Item: A/C room thermostat ‘Honeywell – 87C’
Manufacturer: Honeywell Controls Limited, Toronto
Make: Honeywell
Model: T87C

Technical Significance:
The significance of the Honeywell T87 lay in a number of directions:
* It was representative of a new, exciting era, the early years of residential, year around air conditioning in Canada.
* While at the same time it marked the end of an era of household temperature control technology, which was analogue and largely electro- mechanical and electro-magnetic in character. This modus operandi had reached its highest point of development by the mid 20th century, as represented here by the Honeywell T87C. The stage had been set for the progressive evolution of solid state, digital control HVACR control technology, which would soon dominate the field.
* It would represent, too, a simplicity and precision only made possible, for the first time, by the cumulative engineering design, manufacturing and mass production experience and knowledge of the middle years of the 20th century.
* As well, there was in the Honeywell round a sophistication, maturity in styling and commitment to form, function and color that would set standards and turn heads in the field of industrial design.

Industrial Significance:
* The development of packaged, add-on, mechanical cooling equipment for residential and small commercial applications, triggered a new Canadian market starting in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The market targeted on those that already had an up-to-date forced air oil heating system.
* This then was the new “conversion market”, a market place which would be worked by much of the industry, very much as the industry had cut its teeth on the conversion business in the 1920’through 40’s. Then it sold oil burners and forced air fans for conversion of gravity, coal fed furnaces, making them into modern forced air automatic home heating systems.
* The movement triggered the demand for cooling thermostatic controls, as add-on’s to the existing heating system, already equipped with its own heating thermostat. The result was a hearing cooling, year round, elemental air conditioning system without the benefit of interlocks and automatic transfer function from heating to cooling. Honeywell responded to the market with the T87C, using the same thermostatic platform developed for their heating thermostat the T86A.
* A series of matching, optional, switch bases would also be made available from the manufacturer, in order to accommodate various switching functions, as needed, part of the movement of equipment manufacturers to a comprehensive systems approach required of the times.


Home humidistat

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.098

A mid 20th century, humidity controller, “humidistat”, for the Canadian home. A “low tech” device, using materials found in nature, it employed treated human hair for its actuating element. Stencilled for “RP”, Research Products, a leading manufacturer of humidifiers for forced air, oil fired heating applications in the post W.W.II years, it tells many stories of emerging humidification technology, through to the introduction of solid state humidity sensors, Penn, Type 842, circa 1952.



Item: Home humidistat
Manufacturer: Pen Electric Switch Co. Goshen, Ind.
Make: Pen for RP
Model: Type 842, Model1024
Features:
– actuating element of treated human hair
– classic gold metal sheath with RP, Aprilaire monograph, and
– customer recommended temperature humidity guide

Technical Significance:
– A mid 20th century, humidity controller, “humidistat”, for the Canadian home, developed in a period when engineers, without the range of high tech materials available at century’s end, would look to natural materials with the needed properties, and performance characteristics – here human hair
– Stencilled for “RP”, Research Products, a leading manufacturer of humidifiers designed for forced air, residential oil fired heating applications in the post W.W.II years through to the end of the century, it tells many stories of the emerging humidification technology of the mid 20th century, through to the introduction of solid state humidity sensors.
– It would be a period characterised by much research in the field of human comfort. its necessary and sufficient conditions and the means of creating it in Canada’s climate of weather extremes. Warm air heating research would become a legitimate topic for university, as well as industrial research with technical papers and how-to-do-it manuals to follow. In the field of winter humidity control, for example, see “Winter Air Heating and Winter Air conditioning”, John Norris McGraw-Hill 1950, Chapter 9, Humidity and the properties of Air.
– Characteristic of the period and the emerging market for winter comfort was the creation of the National Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Association of Canada [forerunner of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada]. Their extensive set of engineering manuals produced through the 1950’and 60’s would be the standards of the field

Industrial Significance:
– With the development of the forced air furnace “the winter air conditioner” came many new possibilities for winter comfort, automatic combustion control for solid and liquid fuels [coal and oil], automatic room temperature control, air distribution [well beyond that possible with natural convection], constant air circulation. air filtration, as well as automatic humidification . These features would be promoted by the warm air sector of the industry, as a competitive edge, over the “hot water heating systems [hydronic systems] of the times, once considered the preferred type of central heating for all that could afford it.
– During the 1940’s and 50’s the Howard Furnace Co of Toronto would be an acknowledged leader in the field of winter air conditioning equipment for the Canadian market, see reference. There promotion would read “Enjoy filtered, humidified, gently moving air throughout every part of your home”, “Have even temperature maintained in all rooms with lowest possible fuel costs and little attention”. This was surely new world experience for Canadians in the middle years of the 20th century


Temperature / humidity gauge

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.099

A pair of mid 1930’s room temperature and humidity dial read-out devices for locating around the home. With the promotion of coal and oil “winter air conditioning”, new expectations had been established by the Canadian HVACR industry about the winter human “comfort zone” now made possible [See ID#222]. It was a period, too, in which the popular mind was being increasingly bombarded with information on the wonders of modern science and the importance of scientific measurement – if you can’t measure it you can’t control it, Taylor, 1936.



Item: Temperature / humidity gauge
Manufacturer: Likely Taylor Instrument Co. Rochester N.Y.
Make: Taylor
Features:
– Modern styling reflecting the new modernism of the 1930’s, executed in black, red and chrome

Technical Significance:
– The immediate pre W.W.II years was a period of ever increasing expectations about the winter comfort that was now available for the Canadian home – for all those that could afford it. With the development of the forced air furnace, “the winter air conditioner”, came many new possibilities for winter comfort. Included were, automatic combustion control for solid and liquid fuels [coal and oil], automatic room temperature control, air distribution [well beyond that possible with natural convection], constant air circulation. air filtration, as well as automatic humidification. These features would be promoted with great success by the warm air sector of the industry, as a competitive edge, over the “hot water heating systems [hydronic systems] of the times – once considered the preferred type of central heating for all that could afford it.
– By the mid 1930’s many Canadians had become used to the new automated, in-door comforts now possible for the home. They had become used, also, to the glass stem thermometer conspicuously mounted on the wall thermostat and would check it regularly to make sure their heating system was operating properly. But what was new, here, with the advent of the “winter air conditioner”, with forced air circulation, was the suggestion that temperature and humidity conditions should be more or less uniform throughout the entire home, not merely at the thermostat.
– With the marketing and popularization of such remote temperature and humidity measuring devices, homeowners were being invited to check it out for themselves. They were encouraged to purchase a set of scientific air temperature and humidity measuring instruments, make their own scientific measurements and consequently make such changes in the operation of the system, largely by opening and closing registers and dampers, as needed to bring the entire home into one uniform comfort zone. Needless to say many would quickly find the limitations of the new technology – for automatic zone control was still several decades away for most Canadian’s with forced warm air heating systems.
– There was a sense that local heating technicians, such as Howard Oliver, Aurora, in marketing temperature and humidity, dial read-out devices such as these, was inviting the home owner to be part of a new “do it yourself generation”. They were invited to take their own scientific measurements and make their own adjustments, within their own ability and that of the system to respond.

Industrial Significance:
– The 1930’s and 40’s would be a period characterised by much research in the field of in-door human comfort, its necessary and sufficient conditions and the means of creating it in Canada’s climate of weather extremes. Warm air heating research would become a legitimate topic for university, as well as industrial research with technical papers and how-to-do-it manuals to follow. In the field of winter humidity control, for example, see “Winter Air Heating and Winter Air conditioning”, John Norris McGraw-Hill 1950, Chapter 9, Humidity and the properties of Air.
– Characteristic of the period and the emerging market for winter comfort was the creation of the National Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Association of Canada [forerunner of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada]. Their extensive set of engineering manuals produced through the 1950’and 60’s would be the standards of the field

– During the 1940’s and 50’s the Howard Furnace Co of Toronto would be an acknowledged leader in the field of winter air conditioning equipment for the Canadian market, see reference. There promotion would read “Enjoy filtered, humidified, gently moving air throughout every part of your home”, “Have even temperature maintained in all rooms with lowest possible fuel costs and little attention”. This was surely new world experience for Canadians approaching the middle years of the 20th century.


Automatic draft stabilizer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.116

Employed to automatically bypassing air up the chimney, this automatic draft stabalizer, for use on home heating systems fired with coal, fuel oil or gas was equipped with cast iron frame with sheet metal boot. The brake-formed, pivoted damper blade is decorated in handsome red, wrinkled finish, with balancing weight affixed to a travelling screw, which is manually adjusted with a rotating knurled hand wheel, Draft-O-Stat, circa 1935.



Item: Automatic draft stabilizer
Manufacturer: Hotstream Heater Co, Cleveland, Ohio
Make: Hotstream
Model: Unspecified
Features:
– Equipped with gold lettering Accessories
– Handsome red, wrinkled finish
– Needle point pivot damper mounts
– Original installation instruction sheet

Technical Significance:
– The introduction of automation for home heating systems in Canada brought with it a range of engineering and operational challenges, which were often unexpected. A largely unanticipated requirement, in the early years, was the need for an over-the-fire automatic draft control.
– The performance, safety and efficiency of automated combustion was dependent on reasonably stable draft – not too high not too low. It was a period in which heating systems operated on conventional chimneys, which would produce a great range of draft conditions, depending on height, flue size, wind strength, direction and so forth.
– The simple, weighted, pivoted, bypass damper blade system opened to allow excess air [beyond what was required for clean combustion] to pass up the chimney, rather than be drawn over the fire.
– The system was ideal for the heating applications of the period, which were predominantly of the “conversion” type in which existing furnaces and boilers, operating on conventional chimneys were converted from manual to automated combustion
– The device, in various configurations, would become the standard of the industry for home heating systems, through to the introduction of forced draft and induced draft combustion in the latter part of the 20th century.

Industrial Significance:
– With increasing sophistication in system design came the need for greater precision in the setting of draft regulators. The draft gauge and combustion efficiency test kit would become an essential tools in the installers and service technicians tool box [see Collection Group 12.12]
– An exemplary “Cadillac” version of the draft stabilizer, this device by Draft-O-Stat, decorated in black, red and gold, would soon appear in much lower cost versions, as the pressure for cost reduction and market forces began to be key factors in the development of automatic home heating equipment.


Oil furnace panel board

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.117

A 1920’s, field assembled panel board, typically found in homes equipped with automatic, oil heating of the period, used for mounting of manual disconnect switch and other controllers at the entrance to the furnace or boiler room. Crudely made of pine board with walnut finish and fire protective covering; an icon of its times reflecting something of the trade practices and the attention given to public appearance and safety, Circa 1929. [See also ID#230]



Item: Oil furnace panel board
Manufacturer: Unknown, Possibly Howard Oliver Aurora Ontario
Make: Shop fabricated

Technical Significance:
– The panel board is an icon of its time, reflecting something of electric trade practices and public expectations for craftsmanship in the early years of the 20th century, an embryonic period in the electrification of Canadian homes and the installation of electric equipment.


Safety disconnect switch

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.118

A 1920’s automatic oil heating, safety, disconnect switch, in heavy steel, 4 pound enclosure, telling many stories around a master narrative, dominant in the times. The prospect of home electrification brought with it widespread concern for public safety with steps taken by authorities to help ensure safe practice and to ally unnecessary public apprehension, Square D, Circa 1928 [See also ID#230]



Item: Safety; disconnect switch
Manufacturer: Square D Company Canada Ltd., Walkerville Ontario
Make: Square D
Model: Cat 96211
Features:
– Brass name plate, decorated in black with safety instructions
– Blue and white seal of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario, aproval No. 634
– Original box connector
– Field installed dual knock out cover in galvanized sheet metal stock, screwed in place with 2 no 8-32 x 3/4 inch machine screws, illustrates the adherence to the electrical code requirements of the day
– External # 8 solder lug affixed to the box, illustrates the grounding practice of the day in which much cable was not grounded and required a separate grounding network.

Technical Significance:
– The danger of fire and electrocution were matters of wide spread public concern in the 1920’s through 30’s. Robustly designed equipment, evidence of government certification and equipment testing standards, as well as evidence of competent field practices and craftsmanship were all-important indicators intended to demonstrate due care, caution and respect for public safety.
– Approved field practice, enforced by electrical inspectors, required that such panel boards be installed at the entrance to the furnace or boiler room within easy reach, allowing the homeowner full control and access, in order to shut down the system manually in the case of emergency [see ID#230].
– The switch provides an example of the use of terminology in the description and specification of safety switches in the early years of home electrification technology. The device is described prominently on the cover as “single throw fused bottom’.
– Of technological significance, in the history of emerging technology of home electrification , is this 120 volt, fused, disconnect switch designed with a fused neutral – a practice which would be rethought a few years later, and abandoned.

Industrial Significance:
– The device tells the stories of the widespread apprehension over the coming of home electrification and the steps taken by the underwriters, regulators [codes and practices], electric utilities and equipment manufacturers to ally public fears over home electrification – and in fact ensure public safety in an embryonic and rapidly developing field where there was little practical experience to draw on.
– The embryonic HVACR industry of the times was anxious to work with the electrical equipment manufacturers, regulators and underwriters in publishing re-assuring information on the many benefits and safety of home electrification, as well as educating the tradesmen of the day on electrical codes and safe practices. For these were seen as necessary prerequisites for the sale of automatic home heating equipment.


Hard fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.119

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, hard fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1938.



Item: Hard fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: A – Empire DP

Technical Significance:
In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature “Hard” fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature.

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references.

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

With the evolution of the industry came softer lighter fire brick, see ID#244, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


‘Soft’ fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.120

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, “soft” fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1940.



Item: ‘Soft’ fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came soft light weight fire brick, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


Fire box sections

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.121

Pre-cast, sectional, circular, high temperature refractory sections, made in a range of sizes and compositions, became widely used starting in the 1940’s for the construction of “fire boxes” [combustion chambers]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, 2 sections, model 424, A P Green, Circa 1945.



Item: Fire box sections
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: 424

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory sections in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers

The evolution of pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory was hastened by the development of unitary, factory made and assembled warm air furnaces, winter air conditioners and hot water home heating boilers. Shipped to the job site this equipment came complete with oil burner, refractory and control system reedy for installation.

Industrial Significance:
With the evolution of unitary equipment for residential heating in Canada came generally higher levels of system performance, reliability and safety, with much of the guess work required with the conversion of hand fired wood and coal fired systems gone.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


Furnace air filter

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.122

Two inch air filter for winter air conditioner, in black heavy card board frame with decorative grill patterning and oil treated steel wool filler, set of four, Howard Furnace Company, Toronto, circa 1939.



Item: Furnace air filter
Manufacturer: Howard Furnace Company, Toronto
Make: Howard Furnace
Features: Decorated and imprinted in silver on black; With self contained user instructions for cleaning and replacing

Technical Significance:
Winter air conditioning was new for the Canadian home, in the late 1930’s. It was for the Canadian consumer, seen as one of the “big’ technologies of the day, like the radio and the automobile, for it would come to change the lives of people, what they did in the course of the day, the way they lived and went about there lives, as well as their expectations of the comforts, amenities, which life had in store for them

From the perspective of the early 21st century it would be difficult to imagine the euphoria with which these technologies were viewed, by those who could afford to dream about the joys and benefits they held for life and life’s ways.

The air filter was front and centre in the promotion of the winter air conditioner technology, an important component of the hyperbola used. What was new was not so much the promise of a warm home for a cold Canadian winter, but filtered, dust free air, circulated through the home at 1000 cubic feet per minute. See sales material by Howard furnace reference below

See also ID # 222 and 223 for companion technologies, targeted on improvements in air quality, humidification for the winter air conditioner in Canada

Industrial Significance:
The Howard Furnace Company of Toronto would be a widely acknowledged Canadian market leader in the field of winter air conditioning in the 1930’s through 50’s, setting industry design and innovative development standards.

The promise of filtered air would open up a massive market segment in Canada that would continue to grow, part of the promotion for both winter and summer air conditioning equipment, through to the early years of the 21st century.


Motor drive pulley

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.123

The variable speed motor drive pulley would be a hero of the moment, a simple, unobtrusive, “low tech” means for controlling air quantity, temperature, and distribution velocity, on which much of the customer acceptance of forced warm air heating and winter air conditioning sales would rest in Canada, starting in the late pre W.W.II years; set of three pulleys in various design configurations, Circa 1945.



Item: Motor drive pulley
Features: Each showing different signs of use and misuse, telling stories of application, including patterns of ware, over painting and corrosion

Technical Significance:
The variable speed motor drive pulley was a “low tech”, solution for adjusting fan speed, on belted fan drives, used for balancing air volume circulated by winter air conditioners, starting in the late 1930’s through the introduction of direct drive centrifugal fans employing electrical motor speed adjustment technology.

The successful development and wide spread adoption of the winter air conditioner and forced warm air heating in the Canadian, starting in the late pre W.W.II years, brought with it a wide range of engineering and manufacturing challenges, Those related to combustion management and control [see historic artifacts of the period, Group 12.05 to 12.07], automatic temperature and safety control [Group 12.09 to 12.10] and air flow and air quality control [see Group 12.11]. Prior the development of forced air systems, a flow technology and controlwas of little consequence, the focus being on combustion systems and automatic safety control technology. But all that would quickly change as the 1940’s emerged.

Air quality and movement throughout the home and the technologies required to control and regulate it, including air quantity, temperature, humidity and draft free air distribution, quickly became a significant factors in ensuring customer comfort, product satisfaction and wide spread market acceptance.

The development of centrifugal fan and related drive technology, as well as manufacturing methods needed to help ensure affordability, high performance, efficient and reliable air handling were central factors in the race for market share.

It was the early years of fractional horse power electric motor development, suitable for reliable use on automatic home heating equipment, where fail could quickly produce hazardist conditions [see Group 16.00 artifacts]. The motor and drive for centrifugal fan application was a special challenge, met in part through the use of belted drive systems.

A system was urgently required to adjust fan speed and thus air volume, temperature and velocity for belted fan applications, in order to ensure comfort conditions, which were largely idiosyncratic, dependent on home configuration and occupancy response – the latter, often on an illusive sense of human comfort and well being. Home owners used to static air environments would be critical of spaces with rapid air change rates and accompanying drafts.

The variable speed pulley became the hero of the moment, a simple, unobtrusive, low tech solution, on which much of the customer acceptance of forced warm air heating and winter air conditioning equipment sales would rest in those early development years

See also ID # 222 and 223 for companion technologies, targeted on improvements in air quality, humidification for the winter air conditioner in Canada

Industrial Significance:
Practice of balancing forced air heating systems, to ensure customer comfort and satisfaction, evolved on trial and error basis. By the late 1940’s field manuals became available for the guidance of installers and technicians, for the adjustment and balancing of forced air heating systems. Among them were those produced by the National Warm Air Heating and Air conditioning Association, active in the training field in the 1950’s and beyond, see references.


Electric hot water heater

Electric Heating Equipment – Water Heating

Accession # HHCC.2003.083

In the early years of household electrification Canadians, next to valuing the benefits of the carbon filament, electric light bulb, would look to electricity to provide a constant, reliable flow of hot water for personal and domestic purposes. The Hotpoint, electric circulating, hot water heater would become a ubiquitous fixture in the homes of the nation, for all those who could avail themselves of this new found luxury, Canadian General Electric, Hotpoint, 1929.



Item: Electric hot water heater
Manufacturer: Canadian General Electric
Make: Hotpoint
Model: 2W25

Electric simulated fireside

Electric Heating Equipment – Space Heating

Accession # HHCC.2003.084

A quite remarkable piece of early 20th century styling and engineering of an electrical, room heating appliance by a small, uniquely Ontario, foundry company, branching out into the electric, home equipment business. Canadians, it is said, value their quintessential, winter, fireside, experience above all, So the electric, simulated fireside, with electric heating coils and flickering lights, filtered through amber chunks of glass was seen as a market winner in the early1930’s, Renfrew Electric Products, Renfrew Ont, 1935.



Item: Electric simulated fireside
Manufacturer: Renfrew Electric Products ltd., Renfrew Ont
Make: Renfrew
Model: 65B


Electric baseboard heater

Electric Heating Equipment – Space Heating

Accession # HHCC.2006.100

An electric baseboard style room heater, a marker of what would prove to be a relatively short blip in time when electrical energy in much of Canada was perceived as plentiful and highly promoted for residential space heating. Here shown in a 42 inch unit with simulated walnut metallic finish, built in thermostat and line cord, 1200 w, 120 volts; HeatFlo, Canada, Cat PB414, circa 196.0 [See also ID # 221]



Item: Electric baseboard heater
Manufacturer: Heatflo, Canada
Make: Heatflo
Model: Cat. PB414
Features:
– Company name on black on gold background, on inexpensive adhesive label

Technical Significance:
The significance of this artifact is two fold:
– First, as a representative of the class of portable room heaters that emerged in the late 1950’s and 1960’s, piggy backing on the popularity of central system, electric, resitance, base-board home heating. It would be a trend relatively short lived, as other forms of portable electric space heaters came along more convenient, compact, safer and with more inherent market appeal.
– Second, as a representative of the form and construction of the baseboard units used as components in central systems of the times.

Industrial Significance:
– As in any new, rapidly expanding field of engineering and production of consumer goods many new players are attracted to the field. Many hope to turn a quick profit under the market conditions of the moment, with a minimum investment, but often without the staying power needed for long term growth and participation in the field. “Heatflo” appears to have been of that nature, using very conventional low-tech cabinet manufacturing and assembly techniques, possibly purchasing their electric heaters from another major supplier of the period.


Electric space heating thermostat

Electric Heating Equipment – Room Temperature Thermostats

Accession # HHCC.2006.097

An electric space heating thermostat, a marker of what would prove to be a relatively short blip in time when electrical energy in much of Canada was plentiful and highly promoted for residential space heating. With 21 ampere capacity, conveniently configured for mounting on a standard electrical wall box, it is decorated with red logo and stencilled “Electric Heating”, in Honeywell’s then well known, high style gold-look, Honeywell T46, circa 1959. [See also ID # 224]



Item: Electric space heating thermostat
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell, Regulator Co
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: T460A or B
Features:
– decorated in the then familiar, sophisticated, high style gold-look established by Honeywell in their round series of thermostats,
– handsome Honeywell logo in red, and
– marked “Electric Heating”, a social prestige symbol of the period

Technical Significance:
– With high capacity 21 ampere, non inductive load rating, built on a simple all plastic platform, the thermostat exemplifies the sophistication of engineering and manufacturing methods achieved in the period.

Industrial Significance:
– The line voltage, electric space heating thermostat would be popular in many of the housing developments of the period. Much less costly then the low voltage counterparts, it would become a common place in the electrically heated housing developments of 60’s through 80’s, as well as in some custom building.


Commercial rotary gear pump

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.151

Commercial, high capacity, two stage rotary, gear style pump, in cast steel body with extended shaft, a product of post W.W.II , compacted and functionally integrated engineering. [4th wave] it stands as a marker of the wide spread application of high pressure atomizing oil burner technology to commercial and institutional uses in Canada in the last half of the 20th century, Webster, Circa 1958.



Item: Commercial rotary gear pump
Manufacturer: Name plate missing
Make: Webster
Features: Original line fittings

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of a high capacity, advanced 4th wave fuel oil pump technology, compact and functionally integrated in heavy cast steel body, designed for commercial and institutional applications.


Commercial rotary gear pump ‘Detroit’

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Oil Pumps

Accession # HHCC.2006.153

Commercial, high capacity, two stage rotary, gear style pump, in cast steel body, with barrel and flange motor mount and brass drive coupling. A product of post W.W.II compacted and functionally integrated engineering. [4th wave], it stands as a marker of the wide spread application of high pressure atomizing oil burner technology to commercial and institutional uses in Canada in the last half of the 20th century, Detroit Lubricator, Circa 1958.



Item: Commercial rotary gear pump ‘Detroit’
Manufacturer: Detroit Lubricator, Detroit
Make: Detroit Lubricator
Model: CR8-333
Features: Original line fittings and tubing illustrating the historic trade practices of the period

Technical Significance:
From the vantage point of the early 21st century, the evolution of oil fired, automatic home heating equipment would be seen as generally advancing in four broad waves, each of which would take place over a considerable period of time, each producing many variations of the genre:

1. Vaporizing, non-motorized and non-electrified, technology [see Group 11.01 artifacts, no. 11.01-1]

2. Elemental, motorized, platform mounted technology with peripheral piping and valving components [see Group 12.01, artifact no 12.01-1, and pump assembly 12.06-1]

3. Compacted motorized technology with inherent, peripheral component parts engineered into the pump assembly [see pump assembly Group 12.06, artifact, and 12.06-2]

4. Functionally integrated, motorized technology, beyond being compacted, a number of functions would be smoothly integrated into a single pump assembly, including piping and valving [see Group 12.01, artifact 12.01-2 and pump assembly 12.06-2]

This pump assembly stands as an example of a high capacity, advanced 4th wave fuel oil pump technology, compact and functionally integrated in heavy cast steel body, designed for commercial and institutional applications.

Industrial Significance:
Detroit Lubricator would be one of a relatively few engineering manufactures that would produce for both the oil heating and refrigeration sectors of the HVACR industry. Their reputation in regulating valves and electric controls for refrigeration systems was well established – see group classification 7.02 and 3.02.


8K volt ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.131

An 8,000 volt, electric spark, ignition transformers, in gloss black steel case with brass nameplate. Such devices in the home and the sparks they generated would be a source of great public mystery and often apprehension in the early years of the 20th century. Yet, they would be the true heroes of early technology for the Canadian home; without them the mechanical wonders of the period would not have been possible, the internal combustion engine, the automobile, and automatic home heating. Webster, Circa 1936.



Item: 8K volt ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Webster Electric Co., Racine, Wis.
Make: Webster
Model: 20-D F
Features: Original wire connector illustrating electrical trade practices of the times

Chrome plated cameo styled, brass nameplate, highly decorate with logo.

Technical Significance:
In a period of increasingly sophisticated mechanical contrivances, the development of electrical apparatus – including reliable, efficient high voltage ignition transformers and electric motors tended, for the most part, to lag well behind the mechanical mechanisms which they supported.

The engineering and manufacturing challenge was to build an electrical transformer, to operate on 110 volts alternating current [the then accepted standard for hydro electrification in Canada], one that would create a sufficiently hot spark, about 8,000 to 10,000 volts, needed to reliably ignite an atomised oil vapor and air mixture.

Little of a theoretical practical nature was known in the early years of the 20th century about the design of electrical equipment, certainly not high voltage transformers. The principles of alternating electrical circuits, as well as those of magnetic circuits were little understood, by those who must apply them.

Farada’s experiments of the 1840’s and 50 had only been translated into the mathematical formula needed for precise engineering design in the 1870’s. And Steinmetz would not set out the basic parameters for the design of electromagnetic circuits until the early years of the 20th century. But the market place could not wait, engineering design proceeded empirically, with the knowledge available – with much trial and error.

The toe crushing weight and size of these early specimens [15 to 20 lbs] is a reminder of the crude design criteria employed and the materials available, especially the crude dielectric materials for the insulation of wire and coil bundles operating at high potential levels. As a result electrical failure was common, with all the accompanying dangers of un-ignited explosive mixtures being pumped into the furnace fire box.

Of special significance is this, long obsolete, 25 cycle, AC specimen. Once the standard in Ontario, 25 cycle equipment was heavier and bulkier than its 60 cycle counter part.

Industrial Significance:
By the mid 1930’s the future of the Canadian oil heat industry was assured of a long period of solid growth. With hydro electrification now well advanced in many urban areas in Canada, the desire for automatic, home heating was almost universal, and with it the pressure to engineer high voltage ignition devices in Canada, at reduced cost and improved reliability and performance – See ID# 256 and 257.


10K volt ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.132

A 10,000 volt, electric spark, ignition transformers, in non-ferro-magnetic, brass case in gloss black enamel, manufactured and stencilled for Fess Oil Burners of Canada, an acknowledged early pioneer and Canadian market leader. Such high voltage devices in the home would be a source of great public mystery and often apprehension in the early years of the 20th century. But without the electric spark the mechanical wonders of the age would not have been possible, the internal combustion engine, the automobile, and automatic home heating. Webster, Circa 1938.



Item: 10K volt ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Webster Electric Co., Racine, Wis.
Make: Webster
Model: 27D13
Features: Original wire connector and cable stub, illustrating electrical trade practices of the times; Chrome plated, classical oval, brass nameplate, highly decorate with Fess logo, torch held high.

Technical Significance:
In a period of increasingly sophisticated mechanical contrivances, the development of electrical apparatus – including reliable, efficient high voltage ignition devices [transformers] and electric motors tended, for the most part, to lag well behind the mechanical mechanisms which they supported.

The engineering and manufacturing challenge was to build an electrical transformer, to operate on 110 volts alternating current [the then accepted standard for hydro electrification in Canada], one that would create a sufficiently hot spark, about 8,000 to 10,000 volts, needed to reliably ignite an atomised oil vapour and air mixture.

Little of a theoretical nature was known in the early years of the 20th century about the design of electrical equipment, certainly not high voltage transformers. The principles of alternating electrical circuits, as well as those of magnetic circuits were little understood, by those who must apply them.

Farada’s experiments of the 1840’s and 50 had only been translated into the mathematical formula needed for precise engineering design in the 1870’s. And Steinmetz would not set out the basic parameters for the design of electromagnetic circuits until the early years of the 20th century. But the market place could not wait, engineering design proceeded empirically, with the knowledge available – with much trial and error. The cost would be in reliability and performance standards

The toe crushing weight and size of these early specimens [25 lbs] is a reminder of the crude design criteria employed, and the materials available, especially the crude dielectric materials for the insulation of wire and coil bundles operating at these high potential levels. As a result electrical failure was common, with all the accompanying dangers posed by un-ignited explosive mixtures being pumped into the furnace fire box.

Of special significance is this 25 cycle specimen. Once the standard in Ontario, 25 cycle equipment was heavier and bulkier than its 60 cycle counter part. Frequency standardization in Ontario, a project of monolithic proportion, now long forgotten was a technological marvel in its own right. It occurred, largely, in the latter half of the 1940’s

Industrial Significance:
A rare marker of the early years in the Canadian, automatic oil heating industry, this ignition transformer by the acknowledged, early US leader in transformer engineering, design and manufacturer, Webster Electric, was stencilled for Fess Oil Burners of Canada, then an acknowledged early pioneer and market leader in the engineering, design and manufacture of oil burners in Canada. The suggestion here is that there were no Canadian ignition transformer manufactures in the period.

By the mid 1930’s the future of the Canadian oil heat industry was assured of a long period of solid growth. With hydro electrification now well advanced in many urban areas in Canada, the desire for automatic, home heating was almost universal, and with it the pressure to engineer high voltage ignition in Canada, at reduced cost and improved reliability and performance – See ID# 256 and 257.


10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.133

A 10,000 volt, 60 cycle spark, ignition transformer, in ferro-magnetic, steel case in gloss black enamel, with long radius corners, reminiscent of the Art Deco style. Equipped with built in junction box, adjustable base and brown porcelain high tension insulators with screw terminals, it stands as an historic example of the work of early, Canadian, ignition transformer, speciality manufactures, tooling up for the now rapidly expanding, home heating market in Canada, Amalgamated Electric, 1960.



Item: 10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Jefferson Electric, Amalgamated Electric Corporati
Make: Jefferson
Model: Cat No. 638-241
Features: Original wire connector and cable stub, illustrating electrical trade practices of the times

Art Deco inspired, long radius. rounded corners

Technical Significance:
Early high voltage ignition transformers were built in non-ferro magnetic, brass enclosures [See ID# 255 and 256], considered necessary to isolate the enclosure from the electro magnetic circuit. Subsequent engineering studies confirmed the use of magnetic steel shells, as seen here – a cost saving feature for the manufacturer.

By the 1960’s the toe crushing weight of early ignition transformers [See ID# 255 and 256] had been reduced by 50%, due to advances in engineering design, the use of new inorganic dielectric, insulating materials able to with stand high voltages and surges, as well as as a consequence of frequency standardization [25 to 60 cycle]

Industrial Significance:
The smoothly rounded, long radius corners, giving this device a distinctly modern Art Deco look, is also a marker of the advanced, production manufacturing methods of the 1960’s

The early patent numbers are somewhat surprising [1930 to 1932], suggest that there was little new in the technology, which could be patented, through the ensuing years to the 1960’s, the major advances being made in materials and manufacturing methods.

By the 1960’s the Canadian automatic oil heating industry was into supplying a major after-market, for parts and upgraded equipment. This ignition transformer is a marker of those times, built with adaptable, slotted base-plate, making it readily adaptable to a number of different oil burner manufacturer’s applications.

The increasingly wide range of different physical configurations, as well as different technologies appearing on the Canadian oil heating market by the 1960’s, demonstrated the immense inventiveness characterizing the Canadian automatic oil heating industry of the times. As a result, Canadian ignition transformer manufactures were called upon to adapt their deigns to many different configurations, in order to meet the needs of original equipment manufacturers, as well as the diversity of forms required to economically service the after market [See also ID# 258].

Much of the credibility of the Canadian oil heat industry would rest on its ability to service the after-market promptly, efficiently and at a cost homeowners could afford. Motors, high voltage ignition transformer and electrodes, as well as high pressure oil atomizing nozzles and oil pumps were all casualties of normal ware and tear, often breaking down as a result of prolonged periods of cold Canadian winter weather. A substantial service industry in towns and cities across the country would develop by the 1960’s, with the challenge of maintaining a stock of replacement parts in the many configurations required for emergency, “no-heat” service.


10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Ignition Transformers

Accession # HHCC.2006.134

A 10,000 volt, 60 cycle spark, ignition transformer, in ferro-magnetic, steel case in gloss black enamel, with long radius corners, reminiscent of the Art Deco style. Equipped with hinged base-plate and enclosed high tension insulators with adjustable brass pressure contacts and built in junction box, it stands as an historic example of the immense diversity and inventiveness of the Canadian oil heat industry during its years of post W.W.II rapid growth, Allison 1964.



Item: 10Kv 60 cycle ignition transformer
Manufacturer: Allanson Armature Mfg Co. Ltd, Toronto
Make: Allanson
Model: Cat No. 521, ty
Features: Original wire connector and cable stubs, illustrating electrical trade practices of the times

Art Deco inspired, long radius. rounded corners

Technical Significance:
Early high voltage ignition transformers were built in non-ferro magnetic, brass enclosures [See ID# 255 and 256], considered necessary to isolate the enclosure from the electro magnetic circuit. Subsequent engineering studies confirmed the appropriate use of magnetic steel shells, as seen here – a cost saving feature for the manufacturer.

By the 1960’s the toe crushing weight of early ignition transformers [See ID# 255 and 256] had been reduced by 50%, due to advances in engineering design, the use of new inorganic dielectric, insulating materials able to with stand high voltages and surges, as well as as a consequence of frequency standardization [25 to 60 cycle]

Industrial Significance:
The Canadian automatic oil heating industry was expanding rapidly in the 1960’s. The Allanson, Armature Mfg. Co., having made its name in the manufacture electric armatures for the automotive industry, for use in generators and starters would see in the heating industry opportunities for horizontal expansion, making use of its core skills – electrical coil winding.

By the 1960’s the Canadian automatic oil heating industry was into supplying a major after-market, for parts and upgraded equipment. This ignition transformer designed with a hinged base and enclosed high tension connections stands as an example of the range of configurations needed in transformers to meet the diverse engineering and design requirements of the period

The increasingly wide range of different physical configurations, as well as different technologies appearing on the Canadian oil heating market by the 1960’s, demonstrated the immense inventiveness characterizing the Canadian automatic oil heating industry of the times. As a result, Canadian ignition transformer manufactures were called upon to adapt their designs to many different configurations, in order to meet the needs of original equipment manufacturers, as well as the diversity of forms required to economically service the after-market [See also ID# 258].

Much of the credibility of the Canadian oil heat industry would rest on its ability to service the after-market promptly, efficiently, and at a cost homeowners could afford. Motors, high voltage ignition transformer and electrodes, as well as high pressure oil atomizing nozzles and oil pumps were all casualties of normal ware and tear, often short lived, often breaking down as a result of prolonged periods of cold Canadian winter weather. A substantial service industry in towns and cities across the country would develop by the 1960’s, with the challenge of maintaining a stock of replacement parts in the many configurations required for emergency, “no-heat” service.

The smoothly rounded, long radius corners, giving this device a distinctly modern Art Deco look, is a marker of the advanced, production manufacturing methods of the 1960’s


Hard fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.119

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, hard fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1938.



Item: Hard fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: A – Empire DP

Technical Significance:
In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature “Hard” fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature.

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references.

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

With the evolution of the industry came softer lighter fire brick, see ID#244, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


‘Soft’ fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.120

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, “soft” fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1940.



Item: ‘Soft’ fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came soft light weight fire brick, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


Fire box sections

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.121

Pre-cast, sectional, circular, high temperature refractory sections, made in a range of sizes and compositions, became widely used starting in the 1940’s for the construction of “fire boxes” [combustion chambers]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, 2 sections, model 424, A P Green, Circa 1945.



Item: Fire box sections
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: 424

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory sections in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers

The evolution of pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory was hastened by the development of unitary, factory made and assembled warm air furnaces, winter air conditioners and hot water home heating boilers. Shipped to the job site this equipment came complete with oil burner, refractory and control system reedy for installation.

Industrial Significance:
With the evolution of unitary equipment for residential heating in Canada came generally higher levels of system performance, reliability and safety, with much of the guess work required with the conversion of hand fired wood and coal fired systems gone.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


Radiant heat sensor

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Fuel Flow and Combustion Controls

Accession # HHCC.2006.109

The “Protectostat”, a late 1940’s radiant heat sensor for combustion safety control. It would set new standard for combustion safety for higher firing rate, oil atomizing heating systems found in large Canadian estate homes, institutions and small industrial applications. Sited directly on the fire, it used a black metal diaphragm to mechanically actuate a low voltage control system through a Minneapolis Honeywell “Protectorelay”, Minneapolis Honeywell, Type A, Circa 1948.



Item: Radiant heat sensor
Manufacturer: Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co.
Make: Minneapolis Honeywell
Model: Type A
Features:
– Handsome corporate name plate and logo in red, black and chrome

Technical Significance:
– Mounted adjacent to the burner fire tube, the device immediately sensed the radiant heat of combustion, providing here-to-for unheard of rapid response needed for the safe and satisfactory operation of larger oil fired boilers and furnaces, operating in the range of 3 to 12 gallons per minute of number 2 or 3 fuel oil.
– The Protectostat operated a Minneapolis Protectorelay, consisting of electro-magnetic switches and a thermal safety, automatic cut out timing device.
– The Protectostat with Protectorelay would become the standard of the industry for institutional and small commercial and industrial, automatic oil fired systems until the introduction of photo-electric eye, electronic sensing technology in the 1950’s, see reference.
– These embryonic, electric automated systems were representative of the early introduction of complex systems into Canadian homes and places of business. See Note #2

Industrial Significance:
– The potential explosive power of several gallons per minute of high pressure vapourized fuel oil being sprayed into a combustion chamber is awesome and a source of fear to system owners, operators and service people alike. The importance of fast response for safety shut down in case of delayed ignition on unattended, automatic systems is paramount. The development of the radiant heat sensor opened up new applications for automatic operation of boilers, where operating engineers in constant attendance became unnecessary under certain conditions.


Hard fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.119

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, hard fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1938.



Item: Hard fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: A – Empire DP

Technical Significance:
In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature “Hard” fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature.

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references.

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

With the evolution of the industry came softer lighter fire brick, see ID#244, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


‘Soft’ fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.120

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, “soft” fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1940.



Item: ‘Soft’ fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came soft light weight fire brick, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


Fire box sections

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.121

Pre-cast, sectional, circular, high temperature refractory sections, made in a range of sizes and compositions, became widely used starting in the 1940’s for the construction of “fire boxes” [combustion chambers]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, 2 sections, model 424, A P Green, Circa 1945.



Item: Fire box sections
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: 424

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory sections in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers

The evolution of pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory was hastened by the development of unitary, factory made and assembled warm air furnaces, winter air conditioners and hot water home heating boilers. Shipped to the job site this equipment came complete with oil burner, refractory and control system reedy for installation.

Industrial Significance:
With the evolution of unitary equipment for residential heating in Canada came generally higher levels of system performance, reliability and safety, with much of the guess work required with the conversion of hand fired wood and coal fired systems gone.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


Hard fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.119

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, hard fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1938.



Item: Hard fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: A – Empire DP

Technical Significance:
In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature “Hard” fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature.

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references.

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

With the evolution of the industry came softer lighter fire brick, see ID#244, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


‘Soft’ fire brick

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.120

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance. It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the size of the fire chamber, the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner, “soft” fire brick, A P Green, Circa 1940.



Item: ‘Soft’ fire brick
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came soft light weight fire brick, as well as pre-cast moulded refractory materials, in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers, see ID#245

In the embryonic and early development years of automatic, oil heating systems in Canada, high temperature fire brick were the building blocks of the “fire box” [combustion chamber]. Shaped much like regular bricks, but made from clays withstanding high temperature

The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, a matter of concern for the installer and technician.

It would be skilfully crafted on-the-job, according to the combustion rate and the unique flame configuration of the oil burner the size of the fire chamber and the gut feel of the installer.

Industrial Significance:
The construction of fireboxes was an art form of the day, with all to often little for the installer to guide him in a wide range of decisions to be made, effecting the performance of the oil burner and the safety of the system see references

Most heating automatic oil heating systems of the 1920’s on into the 40’s in Canada were of the “conversion” type, typically coal and wood fired furnaces and boilers in which oil burners were installed. Wood and coal grates were removed and firebrick used to build a box like configuration, typically, but not always, with a hole at one end to receive the blast tube of the oil burner.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.


Fire box sections

Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems – Other Components and Parts

Accession # HHCC.2006.121

Pre-cast, sectional, circular, high temperature refractory sections, made in a range of sizes and compositions, became widely used starting in the 1940’s for the construction of “fire boxes” [combustion chambers]. The firebox, holding a 2.600 degree F. flame in check, was a critical component, determining both system safety and performance, 2 sections, model 424, A P Green, Circa 1945.



Item: Fire box sections
Manufacturer: A P Green, Toronto
Make: A P Green
Model: 424

Technical Significance:
With the evolution of the industry came pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory sections in a range of sizes, pre-shaped for certain firing rates and fire chambers

The evolution of pre-formed, sectional, circular refractory was hastened by the development of unitary, factory made and assembled warm air furnaces, winter air conditioners and hot water home heating boilers. Shipped to the job site this equipment came complete with oil burner, refractory and control system reedy for installation.

Industrial Significance:
With the evolution of unitary equipment for residential heating in Canada came generally higher levels of system performance, reliability and safety, with much of the guess work required with the conversion of hand fired wood and coal fired systems gone.

The significant developments in ceramics engineering, reflected in the refractory materials of the period, should not be understated, for they made possible the evolution of automatic home heating and its seminal contribution to life in Canada. An unobtrusive technology in the public eye, the accomplishments in ceramics engineering tend to get lost in the midst of the Gee-Whiz technological achievements in combustion and electric control engineering of the 1920’s and 30’s.

By the 1960’s much ceramic-based combustion chamber engineering would give way to light weight stainless steel configurations, considered preferable for the new world of unitary equipment, pre-tested and shipped to the job site ready for installation.