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What Is This device ???

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by KD8GFC, May 30, 2011.

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  1. KD8GFC

    KD8GFC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello I hope Im in the right forum to ask this question. My neighbor came across this device from an old apartment building and we have no clue what it might be. Looks like it's from the 1930's does anyone know what this is and what it was used for, it has no model numbers or anything written on it. Thanks Jim, KD8GFC

    Attached Files:

  2. K0SPN

    K0SPN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kind of looks like a countdown timer.
    Plug it in, set the minutes you want the thing to run, plug in the running device, and there you go; shuts off automatically after X minutes.
  3. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wondered what happened to that.
    Please ship it to me ASAP.
    I am stuck in the year 1765 without it!!
  4. KD8GFC

    KD8GFC Ham Member QRZ Page

    We thought that to but if it was a timming device why would it have a gauge that says Heat-O-Meter ? Strange maybe someone out there has seen or used one of these what ever it might be. Thanks for the reply. Jim !!
  5. KI6ZIF

    KI6ZIF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looks like a Time version of a Thermostat. Perhaps the Heat-o-meter tells you the temperate of the units internal workings (aka crude load meter).
  6. WW3QB

    WW3QB Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. N8CPA

    N8CPA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm curious how it regulated the fire, via the coal conveyor, the heating oil valve, gas valve, etc.
  8. WW3QB

    WW3QB Ham Member QRZ Page

    It looks like it cut off the 110V to the old furnace (oil, coal). In those days there may have not been any thermostats. All they could do is control the size of the flame, so this would have been a huge advantage.
  9. N8CPA

    N8CPA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The house I grew up in had manually shoveled coal until I was 7 years old. The existing furnace was converted to gas. Until then, there was no thermostat, just a damper control. It was a small winding type key connected to chains that ran down through the floor to a flap on the air intake duct. During winter, the last thing dad did before bed, was go into the basement to throw on a shovelload of coal. The first thing when he got up, go into the basement and stoke it up for the day.

    Most coal heated houses had a coal chute. The truck would pulll up next to the house, deploy a chute from the truck to a coal access door on the house and let coal pour down from the truck's hopper into the basement. Most houses also had motorized stokers to feed the coal. Not ours, though. Nope.

    The truck would pull up in front of the house and dump the coal at the curb. And it would be up to us, from toddlers to adults, to go out to the curb and carry it to a basement window where we'd simply drop it in, so dad could shovel it later as needed. That job was somewhat eased, though, when Santa brought me a Radio Flyer wagon. I still think he really brought it for dad. :D


    The first prototype Flux Capacitor. 1.21 gigawatts
  11. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    in addition to "heat-o-stats" , there were also "draft-o-stats" that controlled a damper in the heating flue.
  12. KD8GFC

    KD8GFC Ham Member QRZ Page

    So is this what it is some kind of old furnace control device ?
  13. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    It wasn't until the early 1950s that "stokers" (motorized coal delivering devices) started becoming popular in homes. Industrial applications used them well before World War II.

    "Iron Fireman" was one of the first home "stokers". My father was in the heating and air conditioning business and it wasn't until around 1950 or 1951 that he installed a "stoker" in our house. The coal for these home types was MUCH finer (smaller pieces) than "regular" coal. Basically, you filled up the "stoker" at night and it got you through at least the next 24 hours. Also, the coal was often chosen for its ability to form "clinkers" instead of ashes. You had to remove the clinkers from the firebox every day, usually when you filled the "stoker". I was very happy when my father converted the furnace to oil when I was in the 8th grade since I got the "privilege" of filling the "stoker" and getting out the "clinkers"!

    At least in the part of the country in which I lived (northwestern Indiana), there were still a lot of coal burning furnaces that were still hand stoked until the late 1960s well into the 1970s. Even as those furnaces in town were converting to either "stokers" or oil, there were a LOT of rural homes that still had the huge gravity type of furnaces in the basement.

    In high school, I basically worked with my father during summer vacation installing new oil, and a few gas, furnaces. I got the job of crawling inside those old gravity furnaces to disassemble them from the inside out. When we got home I would literally be covered with soot from head to toe and my father would be basically spotless! Now you know why I went into the telecommunications field!

    Glen, K9STH
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