Heating 50,000 sq. ft in 1930, HB Smith NO 60 Boiler

Heating 50,000 sq. ft in 1930, HB Smith NO 60 Boiler

PostBy: coal_kid On: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:17 pm

Do you want to heat a 4 floor 44,000 sq. ft (with maybe 6,000 sq. ft more if you count the basement that had a restaurant and bargain basement) downtown store in 1930? This is how you did it.

I know the floor I am working in has its own natural gas hot air furnace / AC, I bet the rest of the floors are heating and cooling the same way. I have no idea when it was shut down, the store was shutdown in the early 80s. I’m assuming when it was split into office space it was shutdown. Maybe before then.

I’d love to see this roaring in its prime. I bet they had a guy during the day and a guy at night to keep it running. Maybe a third to cover for time off.
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I normally only upload 800x600 pics, but I figured these were worth the full 1024x768.
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Last edited by coal_kid on Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostBy: coal_kid On: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:23 pm

Here are more pictures of this monster.
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PostBy: coal_kid On: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 pm

From what you can see, its a HB Smith NO 60 Boiler. The building was built in 1930, so I'm sure thats when this monster was built. I had to share this with everyone, its not something you see everyday.

Sorry about the bandwidth admin. I'd click on some google ads if they were there.

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This is the air handlers / heat exchanger. This isn't a great picture, but there are copper coils in the middle where the air passed though. The air would flow left to right in the pictures, out of the picture on the left are air filters.

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:37 pm

Impressive, hook it up in your backyard and you can be your own utility for the neighbors. :lol:
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:46 pm

I'll bet that puppie is about 100 horsepower. That is serious iron.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: europachris On: Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:30 am

Sweet! Thanks for the pictures! It's not very often you run across something like this that hasn't been busted up for scrap LONG ago.

It would be fun if someone had the time and equipment to move that boiler out of there and into a setting where it could be used again (apartments, industrial facility, etc) and fire it up.

Any indication of what kind of shape the grates and firebox are in?

Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

PostBy: coal_kid On: Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:10 pm

Unfortunately I was in this basement without a flashlight and this area wasn't well lit. From what I could see the firebox looked good, the grates looked ok, but didn't try to move them.

I bet a pro could bring it back to life. If you were doing it for yourself it would still cost a lot to move it. If you had a warehouse, factory, or something like that would be manned for at least 2 shifts it might be feasible. I’m sure each city has a few of these in old commercial buildings, and even old schools.. all shutdown like this, where the next step would be scrap :-( . Unfortunately not many business owners would be interested in the maintenance associated with something like this, where you can just get a big gas or oil fired boiler that is hands off. Insurance might be another issue.

For apartments you'd want it to be hands off too. They make some great stoker boilers at Axeman-Anderson (Made in Williamsport), and so does the makers of the "Coal-Gun" from Alternate Heating Systems. One of our forum members uses one for multi unit apartments building. Alternate Heating Systems has all sizes for single home up to 50,000 SQ ft. They have monster too, the S1500 Coal Gun is rated at 1,650,000 BTU / hr, and 50,000 SQ ft. Auger that puppy into a 500-1000 lb coal bin, you'd be set for a while.


old boilers

PostBy: MINO On: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:13 am

That is impressive!!!! In the old school in Mahanoy City PA they had two boilers to heat the school that would dwarf the size of this boiler I wish I could get pics but it is shut down now and cant get access.

They used to be hand fired the janitors used to bail the coal in them, but toward the end of the schools life they converted the hand fired operation to automated stokers, I think efm units. They put two units in each boiler and I think the burn pots were 3 foot in diameter each. I think they are called efm 50's and I could remember the flames coming out of the burn pots like 5-6feet high of solid blue flame buck coal was used in them but I knew the school used to have bids on coal deliveries and it was for 100 ton a year