Manhattan building is still heated with 1850s radiator, rubbish removal co. says

My oldest customers know that cool antiques are the way to my heart, and my most recent Chelsea trip only proved the point.

I was visiting a longtime customer, a building management company, and I spotted this old, cast iron radiator in the hallway of the building. I noticed it was made by A.A. Griffing Iron Co and it had a date printed on it.

“Did you know that this radiator is from 1874?” I asked my friend.

“Nick, only you would find that,” she said, adding that the building was built in 1850.

I started picturing horse-drawn carriages rolling down 23rd Street. One would stop in front of this building, the very one we were in, and a New Yorker would step out and enter the building. The person would stand next to this very heater, the same one I was standing next to more than 120 years later.

The heating radiator was invented sometime from 1855 to 1857 by a guy named Franz San Galli. That means that this building was not heated by a radiator for at least five to seven years after it was built. It also means that Franz probably made a lot of money.

Know anything cool about cast iron radiators? Share with us in the comments or on Twitter.

~ by Sarah K. on February 16, 2012.

2 Responses to “Manhattan building is still heated with 1850s radiator, rubbish removal co. says”

  1. Do you happen to know who repairs leaky radiators and can pick-up / return? (I’m in LIC, Queens.) I have a great one that I won’t give up even though I have to keep a pan under it to catch the drips. Thanks.

    • Hi there,

      I don’t know of any LIC repair shops off hand, but my advice would be to call your local welding shop to see if they know the best person for the job. Thanks for visiting the blog.


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