A coal-fired 1940s domestic hot water heater.

A coal-fired, cast iron domestic hot water heater, Windsor 40 model, made by Taylor Forbes, Windsor, Ontario, 1946. Compact as it was, this backup unit still weighed 110 pounds, was 14" x 10" x 18" tall.

G. Leslie Oliver, Mark Dorlandt Photography.
Ron Shuker, Nigel Heseltine
c. 1940
Central Canada, CANADA
2003.081
© 2011, HVACR Heritage Centre Canada. All Rights Reserved.


A look into the firebox of the Windsor 40 coal-fired, cast iron domestic hot water heater

A look into the firebox of the Windsor 40 coal-fired, cast iron domestic hot water heater reveals the means used to remove the ash. Turning a handle on the front of the unit tipped the grate so the ash fell into the collection chamber below where it could be easily removed through the access door.

G. Leslie Oliver, Mark Dorlandt Photography.
Ron Shuker, Nigel Heseltine
c. 1940
2003.081
© 2011, HVACR Heritage Centre Canada. All Rights Reserved.


Rear view of the Windsor 40 coal-fired, cast iron domestic hot water heater showing the water inlet and outlet connections

Rear view of the Windsor 40 coal-fired, cast iron domestic hot water heater showing the water inlet and outlet connections, as well as the exhaust vent.

G. Leslie Oliver, Mark Dorlandt Photography.
Ron Shuker, Nigel Heseltine
c. 1940
Central Canada, CANADA
2003-081
© 2011, HVACR Heritage Centre Canada. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The Learning Objective for this Learning Object is to understand how few methods existed for providing domestic hot water during the early 20th century, and discover how those methods differed from ones in use today.

1.) How could Ontario residents ensure they had hot water when electricity often failed from excess demand and inadequate capacity during the 1940s?

2.) How do ways of providing domestic hot water in modern times differ from methods used in the first half of the 1900s?

3.) Which energy source is likely more reliable in providing all the hot water needed in an average home in modern times and why is that?

4.) What role would family play in ensuring that hot water was available in the day-to-day running of the home in the first half of the 1900s?

5.) What was the event that more often than not happened on a Saturday night in the homes of your grandparents or great grandparents that filled some family members with glee and others with dread?

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