I haven't done any searching yet, but I was wondering, How did the old Coal furnaces of the past hundred years heat an entire home? Did they run duct work through the home back then or was the furnace centered in the basement and the heat would seep up throughout the house??
As I remember it from the 50s the homes were built with a large center grate....maybe 3'x3'...positioned right over the furnace. Some are still in use today. Most had a coal/gas combo stove in the kitchen also.
WNY's vintage 1880's ? house has a furnace with a central hot air plenum with a large floor grate in the center of the main level floor.. his house does have cold air returns.. I can't remember where they draw from.
Our first house had an old cast iron furnace in the basement. There was a large grate in the middle of the first floor that let the heat up. The second floor was nippy, at best. Just natural air circulation for heat on the second floor. We tore that thing out right after we moved in.
Yeah we did. I didn't want to use it so we busted it up and scrapped it. The house was just a standard run of the mill house in Wilkes-Barre but it had all stained chestnut molding and built in book cases that I tore out and scrapped. I even smashed up the claw foot tub. Replaced it all with clamshell molding and a piece O *censored* fiberglass tub. What a dam fool I was at the age of 25. I wish I held onto that stuff.
We must have had a high end luxury model because ours had a blower on it and a couple of ducts to various rooms in the house. I dont think it had any return ducts but had a large opening on the first floor in the center of the house to allow cold air to return to the basement. I can remember my father throwing dead rats that he had caught in the traps into the coal fire. We moved to a new (to us) house in the spring of 1967 and it too had a coal furnace. The first thing my father did was tear it out and replace it with a gas furnace. Then the next thing on his list was to put in a modern bathroom and do away with the out house.
My house had an old Montgomery Ward (octopus) furnace.Coal converted to oil. All the ducting was gravity heat (no blower) and the cold air return was nothing more than a few registers that were open to the basement.
every house on the block where my parents live had a hand fed forced air furnace........i dont think there is one left out of about 25 homes......my grandparents took the coal furnace out of their house in the late 50's and my dad put in an oil burner in his house in 1971.......there was one person with the coal furnace, but when he passed away the new owners put in an oil furnace
my grandparents had one of those big central cast iron grates.It was gravity(hot through the middle and cold return anound the edges).I still remember her standing over it with her housedress puffing out. DON