Residential Heating Technology

Home heating in Canada from early settlement, through pioneer years, to the early 20th century was characterized by the use of solid fuels, primarily wood, of which there was considered to be an excess and inexhaustible supply – at least in rural areas and hamlets of the country.

Coal became extensively used in urban areas through out the 19th century and on into the 20th century.

Starting in the mid 1920’s, with the reliable production and transportation of fuel oils, in many urban areas where home electrification had taken place, the movement was increasingly from solid fuels to fuel oils, in the search for more automated forms of home heating, leading to greater human comfort, convenience and a less arduous lifestyle.

Elemental hand tools for home heating with solid fuels, aids to labour and energy saving, and convenience
[Circa 1898]

Home-made, Hand 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 are evident.

Employed by the householder to separate out and reuse the unburned and partially burned pieces of coal, and to separate the ash, which would often dug into the garden.

A common, made-at-home, energy conservation technology of the times.

Wind-up Damper Control Motor

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.

Elemental equipment for automatic home heating combustion/temperature control using solid fuels
Honeywell Heating Specialties Co.

Flow Meter for Vaporizing Oil Burner

A non-motorized, metering device for vaporizing oil burner for the Canadian home, employing natural gravity feed.

  • Fuel reservoir and brass float actuated fuel oil metering.
  • Polished brass valving and tubing.

Engineered by a widely acknowledged pioneer of oil heating equipment in Canada, Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd. Toronto, Ontario.

Atomizing Oil Burner

Early 20th century high pressure oil burner assembly, with direct drive, 2 stage, Tuthill gear pump.

Built-in oil reservoir, original valving, and 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“.