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Nov 23, 2021 14:41:22   #
KTJohnson Loc: Northern Michigan
 
Any of you "old-timers" familiar with this? I was remembering when I was little & at my grandparents house. My grandfather & I would go down to the basement & he let me shovel some coal from the coal bin into a bucket (coal scuttle?) and then we would empty that into the "stoker" (basically a large box with a lid that automatically transferred the coal to the furnace). Then we would take out the "clinkers" (by-products of coal combustion) and haul them off to the "dump" (local junk yard). On the ceiling above the furnace was what looked like a giant octopus ( all the huge, round duct-work for carrying the heat to different portions of the house).
Great memories, but I have no pictures. Does anyone? If so, please post them.

Photo below is not mine but shows what I'm talking about. It seems to have been converted to natural gas.



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Nov 23, 2021 15:14:35   #
quixdraw Loc: American Free States -- Montana
 
Looks very much like my Grandfather's house, coal, then later converted to heating oil. Classic octopus. There were no fans, hot air rises, called a gravity furnace. If you ever stepped on one of the iron floor grates barefoot when the furnace was going full out, a memorable experience and one you would not repeat.

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Nov 23, 2021 15:29:07   #
rlscholl Loc: California
 
It looks like gas conversion, not oil.

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Nov 23, 2021 15:31:31   #
BassmanBruce Loc: Middle of the Mitten
 
Same here, looks exactly like the one in my Grandmothers house. It too was converted to oil.
We also called it the octopus. Brings back great memories!

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Nov 23, 2021 16:01:52   #
quixdraw Loc: American Free States -- Montana
 
rlscholl wrote:
It looks like gas conversion, not oil.


No idea what this conversion is - Grandpa's was oil, they put the tank in the old coal bin. I remember the smell.

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Nov 23, 2021 16:01:54   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
rlscholl wrote:
It looks like gas conversion, not oil.

He said his grandfather's house was converted to oil, not this one.

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Nov 23, 2021 16:02:44   #
quixdraw Loc: American Free States -- Montana
 
Longshadow wrote:
He said his grandfather's house was converted to oil, not this one.



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Nov 23, 2021 16:03:51   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
...

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Nov 24, 2021 07:02:27   #
Manglesphoto Loc: 70 miles south of St.Louis
 
KTJohnson wrote:
Any of you "old-timers" familiar with this? I was remembering when I was little & at my grandparents house. My grandfather & I would go down to the basement & he let me shovel some coal from the coal bin into a bucket (coal scuttle?) and then we would empty that into the "stoker" (basically a large box with a lid that automatically transferred the coal to the furnace). Then we would take out the "clinkers" (by-products of coal combustion) and haul them off to the "dump" (local junk yard). On the ceiling above the furnace was what looked like a giant octopus ( all the huge, round duct-work for carrying the heat to different portions of the house).
Great memories, but I have no pictures. Does anyone? If so, please post them.

Photo below is not mine but shows what I'm talking about. It seems to have been converted to natural gas.
Any of you "old-timers" familiar with th... (show quote)


Yep I remember stoking one of the monsters until I got married and moved out, the first two winters was bank the fire in the morning and go to school, come home clean out the clinkers and add more coal to the fire, then bank the fire and go to bed. The dad bought a used stoker and we installed it the it was fill the stoker and clean out the clinkers, after they cooled I would spread then in our parking area off the alley they packed so hard it was like concrete, The summer after I got married Dad installed a Gas furnace, I accused my little brother of being a sissy because he didn't have to mess with the coal.
I do remember getting my revenge on the furnace by busting it up with a sledge hammer and selling it for scrap.

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Nov 24, 2021 07:08:10   #
Gitchigumi Loc: NC
 
Yes… I remember! It was my job to keep the stoker full and to remove the clinkers. After I went into the service, the whole system was replaced with a new natural gas unit. That was about 1967 or so.

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Nov 24, 2021 08:45:24   #
fourlocks Loc: Londonderry, NH
 
I had one just like it in my first house; that was around 1975. Mine had been converted from coal to oil but had the exact same configuration. I can't even begin to guess how inefficient these systems must have been. Good thing fuel oil was about 27 cents per gallon, back then.

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Nov 24, 2021 08:49:03   #
alberio Loc: Colorado
 
I had the pleasure of moving one of those out of a basement. Maybe that is why my back is in the shape it's in. The only reason I volunteered for the job is I wanted the furnace to heat my auto repair shop, because I could get coal for less than $10 a ton.

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Nov 24, 2021 08:50:43   #
AzPicLady Loc: Behind the camera!
 
Our house had a coal stove. We didn't get a stoker until some time later. It was sure nice to wake up to a warm house after getting the stoker!

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Nov 24, 2021 08:51:20   #
davidrb Loc: Hangar i13
 
An HVAC technician's night-mere. Semi-effective and safer than wood burning stoves. In the history of mechanical devices these enjoyed a rather short time span. Luckily, electric motor technology allowed for these to be replaced. The last of these that I saw was being torn out and replaced by a much more efficient unit that took about 1/4 the floor space. It also put out many more BTUs. Ain't technology grand?

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Nov 24, 2021 09:20:41   #
jaymatt Loc: Alexandria, Indiana
 
Nice find. I grew up with a stand-alone hard coal stove in the living room to heat a six-room house. Carrying coal was a must.

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