Heating a home, the Victorian way

Since the dawn of human existence, humans have wanted to try and keep warm. It’s something we found we could solve pretty quickly with the discovery of fire. The only problem with fire is its “a great servant but a terrible master”, meaning if you let it get out of control it will destroy anything in its path. There was also the problem of how to keep the fire going. We used Wood and coal or peat if you were in the Scottish Highlands to provide the answer, but it rather stunk up the place. Therefore, chimneys were invented to vent away from the smoke, but they needed cleaning and also had a tendency to catch fire if they weren’t cleaned out regularly.

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Gas was suggested and used but there was the issue of if the pilot light went out of the house suddenly became full of gas. This caused lots of problems should a spark or naked flame suddenly springs up or the inhabitants suffocated. It was either or I’m afraid. And so, inventors began to sort out ways to solve the problem and they came up with central heating.  We still need a boiler servicing Gloucester based company like http://www.hprservicesltd.com/gloucester-boilers/boiler-servicing-gloucester/ now and again to make sure they are running ok but generally, the heating system keeps us cozy. Where did it come from?

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It is very cold in Russia. A lot of it is in the arctic circle and the winds from the north chill the bones. The was a great need for a warm home in Russia so the search was very important. It was Franz San Galli, living in St Petersburg at the time, who came up with the first heating radiator. It got its showcase between 1855 and 1857. It was the savior of many Russian families, or at least those that could afford it, which were not many. The Victorian Briton’s decided they wanted the system and soon they were kitting out their homes. The Victorians were themselves experiencing something of an ice age as it is reckoned the world had a mini one as a result of some volcanic activity. They basically had seasons as opposed to our current experience of mild and wet ones, well, every season appears to be like that.

The Victorian radiator was a thing of beauty and they can still be seen in action to this day in some places. Unlike the copper pipes of today that we have, they are giant cast iron things with ornateness and embellishments so much so that you’re not sure you’re looking at a radiator in the first place, which is the idea. There were scrolling and intricately detailed work that set it apart from our mass-produced pieces now. Which is a shame but it also a sign of progress?


Author: PN

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