Share your favorites on Show & Tell

WW2-era Furnace

In Tools and Hardware > Show & Tell.
JImam's loves333 of 5422Italian Ceramics Large Studio Pottery Plate / Charger
12
Love it
1
Like it

AnnaBAnnaB loves this.
Ms.CrystalShipMs.CrystalShip loves this.
SEAN68SEAN68 loves this.
friscofrisco loves this.
Ted_StraubTed_Straub loves this.
gargoylecollectorgargoylecollector loves this.
bucketheadbuckethead likes this.
JImamJImam loves this.
CaperkidCaperkid loves this.
mikelv85mikelv85 loves this.
antiqueroseantiquerose loves this.
lzenglishlzenglish loves this.
See 11 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.


    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate


    Posted 2 years ago

    SpiritBear
    (813 items)

    Set between the wall and close by a supporting column of our early-1900s home is a big tealy-coloured hammered-finish box in which burns a perpetual flame.

    According to research and as confirmed by the historical society of Dowagiac, the Round Oak Company, manufacturer of stoves and, later, furnaces, indeed stopped producing in 1947, having sold out. Only parts continued with Round Oak as their name-- but the furnaces were no longer made.

    Thus, our furnace couldn't be newer than 1947! While this is not terribly amazing, as it really is just a large Bunsen Burner with a blower inside a box, the furnace only has a few modifications and several stickers from companies that have worked on it over the 70 years it's been down there. We can also assume the ducting is 1940s, which doesn't surprise me (I vacuum it weekly, and it never looks clean.)

    The house has its original coal-chute door, though the chute is covered by a built-in closet in the dim second room of our basement (door obscured by a bush). The furnace is too hard to get a good picture of, as it's set in a tight spot between a wall and a pillar and next to a shelving unit built in decades ago.

    The house was moved to its current location in 1924-1925. Before that it had sat in the field behind us, where you can still tell it once stood. Its history before the move is unknown to us, though two separate branches of the family that had built it (Nichols) have come in the last couple years to see how the house has changed. They told us various things-- interesting tidbits we couldn't otherwise know about the house.

    Apparently, on one wall in the basement was once a treasure-map to a still-buried 'treasure' they had buried in the 1970s. The driveway is also 1970s, apparently, as they lived there until then.

    We obtained the house about 5 years ago, though we don't know if we're going to stay much longer as the wooded lot next door has been bought and a house built, and they're destroying all the trees and bushes. We had bought the house because we liked it and liked the view even better!

    As moral guidance, consider your neighbours. We're quiet people and wanted peace and beauty. But our neighbours have removed approx. 80% of the trees that had been along the lot, so we clearly see their new house. They're continuing to remove more along our driveway, for which we assume they will build a parking pad.

    The question is, though, if they wanted cleared land, why did they buy wooded lot??????? One road over is a similar-sized lot for sale, cleared, and empty as the house had burned down in a storm a couple years ago.

    Comments

    1. SpiritBear, 2 years ago
      Pic 3 I took while working on the yard one day (when we moved in there was just a small hole with a broken pond liner. I widened and deepened it and added all the plants you see).
      Pic 4 is a winter day showing the field where the house once sat.
    2. lzenglish, 2 years ago
      Hello S.P. I have seen and worked on older units, but not very much older. Now when you moved in, did the gas company come out, give it a once over, turn on the gas, and light the pilot lite for you? If they did you are good to go. My only advice to you, is to invest in a plug in carbon monoxide detector, and locate it close to your heater. I love to see old units like this, that are still in operation after all these years. I must do my research on this brand, as i had never heard of it utill now. PS: On all those tags you found, did you happen see Fred Flintstone, or Barney Rubble's name listed as the Technician? LOL !!!! Thanks For Sharing It !!!!!!
    3. antiquerose antiquerose, 2 years ago
      Great and very detailed write up. I love it.

      Just one thing.....in your write up you say:
      "" Apparently, on one wall in the basement was once a treasure-map to a still-buried 'treasure' they had buried in the 1970s. The driveway is also 1970s, apparently, as they lived there until then....""

      It makes me feel so OLD.......as I was a teenager in the '70's ....LOL. So no problem, just funny that my era is vintage now, so am I ....LOL
    4. SpiritBear, 2 years ago
      lzenglish, I was 16 when we moved in and only recall over-hearing the realtor telling us, "The furnace will have to be replaced by winter."
      That was about 5 years ago now.
      There are two battery-operated alarms in the basement (one on a timber just a few feet from the furnace) and one in the separation between the living and dining room. And, no, they were from California (H-B Corp. that made the cartoons). ;)

      antiquerose, thank you. Do not be alarmed. I often refer to "the early 2000s" for things, too. Occasionally, too, the "early 10s" in reference to our current time. It's all just a historian viewpoint.
      Anything that has accumulated 20+ years is now considered vintage. By the average lifespan of humans, my life is now 1/4 over, as I told a cashier at work just 2-3 days ago.
    5. lzenglish, 2 years ago
      S.P., Thanks again for posting this old Company, and Your Heater, which i found to have a Very Colorful History Indeed. I spent the most part of my working career working on HVAC/R units, from Design, to Fabrication, Installation, and Repair. Of the many many links i read on this Company, i will post what i think, is the best of all of them below. Have a Good Day!

      http://dowagiacmuseum.info/wp-content/virtualexhibit/vex1/toc.htm
    6. SpiritBear, 2 years ago
      I'm glad you have enjoyed it, lzenglish. Major appliances like this I won't touch if something goes wrong as they're outside of what I've come to know.
      I'm afraid that the website is unresponsive (it opens up but keeps loading on and on) for me, which commonly happens on this computer. It can't handle large bits of info.
      My day went very well. You also have a great day.
    7. gargoylecollector gargoylecollector, 2 years ago
      cool,I need to post my Round oak cast iron parlor stove!
    8. SpiritBear, 2 years ago
      We await it, GargoyleCollector.
    9. gargoylecollector gargoylecollector, 2 years ago
      Round Oak stove for Spiritbear! | Collectors Weekly
    10. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 2 years ago
      My daughter lived in an old house for about a year before moving closer to her work.
      The house was wonderful, and one day the heater was on the blink. I went there and waited for the repair man. He climbed under the house, and was back in about half an hour. Said all it needed was a good cleaning. The furnace, he said, was around 70 years old. I asked if it should be replaced. He replied, No, this will last for many more years, they don't make them like this anymore!
      And about your "neighbors", shame on them.
      Where I live, it's against the law to take down trees like that. I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. Had a wonderful pasture/ field on the left of our property. Used to count deer at night. Property owner passed, children sold. Boom, boom, boom. Three houses were built. I sold the ranch two years ago.

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.