M u s e u m  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Gun-style Oil Burner and Compact FHP Electric Motor

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HVACR Heritage Centre Canada, Cedar Valley, Ontario

'Fess' gun-style oil burner
The popularization of automated central heating would await the arrival of the high-pressure, fuel-atomizing, gun-style, conversion oil burner.
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Compact fractional horsepower (FHP) electric motors were essential for automation to occur.
By the mid-1920s the search was on for a small, self-starting, electric motor, operating on alternating current (by then the choice of most power utilities).
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Part A : Turning on the Heat (a warm up)
1. Find the words listed below in the word search puzzle. Words in the puzzle are backward, forward, up and down. There are no diagonals.

i n q w u d n p c a
q o l v a p o x a o
o e t i n g i h l v
v p w n u r t b i e
x v t q e o s v b r
e t a m o t u a r l
j i y n v o b c a o
d c m k a r m w t a
j o e l z z o n e d
q n i d y h c w s t

1) automate 2) calibrate 3) combustion 4) icon 5) ignite 6) nozzle 7) rotor 8) overload

2) Write definitions for at least 5 of the words from the word search puzzle.
Part B1 -- Heat on full blast: Gun-style Oil Burner
1. What was the purpose of the oil burner?
2. How could Canadians change from their older furnace to the new one?
3. How does the oil burner work?
4. What is meant by central home heating?
Part B2-- Heat on full blast: FHP electric motor
1. What qualities must an electric motor have for use in the home?
2. What qualities did the split phase, alternating current, induction motor have for home appliances?
3. What are the main features of the fractional horsepower electric motor of the 1950s? What was the purpose of each feature ?
Further Research
Questions (Use websites that contain key words from the questions):
A. ( i ) What does the term “high efficiency” mean in relation to today’s furnaces and boilers, primarily fired by natural gas, propane or fuel oil?
( ii ) What is the best colour for the flames from a natural gas, propane or oil-fired furnace or boiler to ensure efficient combustion?
( iii ) What is the name of the most common oil-fired burner? What are its features?

B. ( i ) When you look around your home at the many different electrical appliances, which ones would be missing if there were no small electric motors? Which appliances did you find that do have small electrical motors?
( ii ) What similarities do you see between the miniature computer chip and fractional horsepower motors (less than 1 hp) in advancing modern appliances and digital equipment?
Answers to Part A
1. automate - to install automatic procedures, as for manufacturing, servicing, etc.
2. calibrate - to determine, check or rectify the graduation of any instrument giving
quantitative measurements
3. combustion - the act or process of burning
4. icon - a picture, image or other representation
5. ignite - to set on fire
6. nozzle - a projecting spout, terminal discharging pipe, or the like, as of a bellows or a
7. rotor - a rotating member of a machine
8. overload - to load to excess
Answers to Part B 1
1. - automatic heating applications
2. - designed to readily convert hand-stoked wood or coal-fired furnaces to automated oil
3. - nozzle sprayed an oil mist into the combustion chamber where it was ignited with a
high-voltage electrical spark
4. - dispersal of heat throughout a house from one main source of heat, such as a furnace
Answers to Part B 2
1. - self-starting, quiet, vibration free, run at constant speed under varying loads, compact, built-in automatic overload device, affordable
2. - starting winding and automatic centrifugal switching mechanism, built-in overload protection
3. - automatic switch controls the windings
- squirrel cage rotor runs the motor quietly and efficiently

Learning Objectives

Part A : Turning on the Heat (a warm up)
* Students will become familiar with vocabulary related to these topics.
Part B1 -- Heat on full blast: : The Gun-style Oil Burner
* Students will be able to comprehend the advancement of heaters in the 1950’s.
Part B2 -- Heat on full blast: Compact Fractional Horsepower Electric Motors
* Students will understand the advancement of electric motors into the 1950’s.
* Students will understand the main working features of the compact fractional horsepower electric motor.
Further Research
* Students will increase their knowledge about oil burners.
* Students will use their ability to recognize different electrical appliances in the home that use small electric motors.