The Cross House

Can You Identify This Boiler?


In my previous post I offered a lot of conjecture about the history of heating the Cross House.

In 1999, Bob Rodak removed an ancient boiler:


The boiler.


The boiler.


Looking at the boiler I would date it circa-1950.

Are there boiler experts out there? If so, how old do you think the boiler was?




13 Responses to Can You Identify This Boiler?

  1. If you find a tag with name you google it .Forget the name of a HVAC organization. I just replaced a 1929 Sunbeam gas gravity furnace. It measured 81″ x 48″ . A monster, original furnace in my 130 ??? Y/o house. They furnace guys were nice enough to cut out the label so I may frame it to keep on display with the house for the next 130 years. Good luck !!

  2. My bet is late 1940’s or 1950’s. Already smaller than something from the 1920’s and more efficient. We had one of similar vintage in our last house. It finally went, but really was pretty amazing – it lasted 55-60 years!

  3. Based on basic size and style, I’d concur with the 40s/50s estimate. Our house has a Weil-McLain D-series gas-fired boiler from the early 1960s, which looks similar, but with slightly more modern lines (squared sheetmetal housing instead of rounded, etc).

  4. No idea as to what the boiler is, but this is for those of you out there replacing an old boiler. The iron workings inside such a boiler are often fascinating. They were built in sections and held together with compression joints like in an old radiator. If you remove the metal skin and use wood wedges to drive the segments apart, they make interesting garden sculptures. I turned one section and two old oil tanks into a fountain with each tank cut to various heights which fed into each other via spouts that I made in the edge of the top three by heating and hammering where I wanted each spout. The uppermost two tanks were on top of my retaining wall and the other two at grade. The boiler section rose from the highest tank and the water was pumped up from the lowest. I never painted any of it so called it “Rusty Waters”. Alas I have no pictures and he was taken by scrap metal scavengers during my move.

  5. I have no idea how old the boiler is. But in that photo, it looks like something that would have sent Hansel and Gretel running back into the forest.

  6. A boiler very similar to this was in our house back in the mid-80s; my grandfather’s cousin owned the house at the time, and I remember when they removed it in the early 90s and replaced it with a new one. The old boiler had replaced the original coal boiler in the late 1940s.

    • I accidentally hit POST before I was finished; what I was leading to was to ask where is the boiler located in relation to this hole? When the 1940s boiler was removed, the only way to get it out and the new one in was to demo a section of the basement exterior wall, and dig a sloped trench outside. Could it be that the hole was cut to get the new boiler into the basement?

      • Bob Rodak removed the circa-1950 boiler in 1999. He smashed it with a sledgehammer, and took the bits out the exterior basement door.

        This was a common way to remove old boilers.

        • I wasn’t very clear, and I sort of mixed your house with mine; what I was wondering was if the 1950s boiler might have been lowered through the hole when it was installed, then the hole floored over.

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