A Thing for Radiators


    Here’s a guest post that a reader sent in…The cold weather is here and we are now thinking of heating our homes. Some people collect rare coins, others collect baseball cards, I collect radiators. How crazy is that?! I bought my brownstone 10 years ago, it was built in 1910 and I remembered being really bothered by the plain radiators it had. This was the time when plain Edwardian style was in and the ornamental Victorian radiators were out. So I said the heck with it and started searching for interesting ornamental radiators, restoring them and installing them in our house. I remember thinking, “it’s a large functional object in my space, so it should be attractive”. The variety of style in the castings I find really interesting. Some of the designs look like stylized flames and clouds of steam. They breathe and hiss with such personality too. One of the earliest ones I have has a lace shelf on top and has a stamping on it that reads J.R. Reed’s Patent April 9. 1878. Another one has a floral design from the American Radiator Co. It has a humidifier that works really well. My cat loves to drink from it for some strange reason. Recently I found one of the rarest examples in a ghost town in PA. It sat in an old bar that hasn’t been in use for 70 years. This odd radiator has a built in warming oven that works much like a hot plate keeping food warm. It was made for fancy dining rooms at the turn of the century. It works surprisingly well, just yesterday it kept a cup of coffee warm at 110 degrees.

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