About: Iron Fireman coal stoker
I've got an opportunity to pick up one of these, very close to the same model. It's sitting in the basement of an old house, appears to have just been set aside when it was replaced by an oil furnace. It looks largely complete and in relatively good shape, but the one of the three pipes that is connected to the bowl is badly corroded. It looks like the first pipe is forced air, the middle pipe is the coal shuttle and these are both fine. It's the third pipe that has almost rusted through and I can't figure out what it's for. It doesn't run all the way back to the body of the unit and it has a cap on it. Is yours the same way? Any idea what this third pipe is for?
I still heat my nearly 100 year old home with an iron fireman stoker. The only parts which aren't original are the gasket for the hopper lid, the brass shear pin for the auger and the motor which drives the auger. I believe it's from the early 1930's.
It's pretty dusty and must be loaded about once per week during very cold weather. Otherwise, not to bad, and I can heat for an entire season with about $200 worth of slack coal.
Brings back memories. My dad worked at Iron Firemen during the 1940's, and we lived near the plant on 106th Street.
Our stoker fed a big hot water boiler, which had gravity feed to the radiators.
The clinkers were formed by the ash melting together because the fire was so hot. Besides removing clinkers, every once in a while my dad would open a big door on the front of the boiler and clean out soot from the fire tubes. When the boiler sprung a leak my dad had a good incentive to get rid of the boiler and the coal. Gas heat had just become available. The new gas boiler was a fraction of the size of the old coal boiler. This was around 19532 or 53.
I would like to find one complete and working.
I have an Iron Fireman Stoker feeding my boiler. It's a Deluxe Model, and has been heating our 1800 square foot home since 1978. I have no idea how many years it put in before that, but I would guess it is pre World War II. It provides great, trouble-free heat. And although it's at least 75 years old, my plumber says it will outlast all the "new" gas furnaces in my subdivision in this Colorado mountain town. The trouble is, the coal mines here may be nearing their last decade or so. Then what?
Hi Eric. His name was Harold Baxter
Hi Dan, My Grandfather Richard C. Wright was the V.P. in Cleveland during the 1950's. What was your grandfather's name? I have a bunch of old photos of him with some of his co-workers.
Wow! this thing is great. Now, I have made up my mind to get locomotive. At my grandfather's house in Richmond, VA, he had an Iron Fireman that fed the furnace for him. That was what he called it, so it maybe made by the same company. He was not a rail road man, but his brother used to find out when one rail road man was going to be out of town so he could comfort the guy's wife when her husband was 100 miles away. He was a nice guy to do that and she may told him about the iron fireman.
In the early '50s I had to tend one of these heating a large church. It was a hopper-feed stoker, not a bin-feed, so the hopper had to be tended, especially in very cold Michigan winters. If I missed a couple days removing clinkers the "donut" of glassy hard stuff could become too big to handle, and had to be broken apart for removal.
Thanks for the video. The reassuring click of the blower and the screw drive was a joy. No longer did someone have to go down and bank the fire-bed and adjust the draft damper (the chain drive for which was in the good parlor above the furnace) for evening. The fireman often made perfectly round clinkers which if we could remove whole we got a dime for sometimes. I must have been about 8. Later Uncle George Bell boughtt Gram the Timkin Oil burner which replaced our old furnace about 1950
Great video. My grandfather was the branch manager for the Iron Fireman in Cleveland from the late 30s to his retirement in the early 60s. I remember his stoker (which he had converted to oil) down in the basement.
PART 2 - So, it got me on an "Iron Fireman" kick, trying to see how this thing worked. I've read articles on it, seen photos - but your video is the first I've seen on actually "in action" - so... yeah - really enjoyed the video. Thanks for posting it.
Hey, really enjoyed this video. We have a 100 year old house (Harrisburg), that had an Iron Fireman in it. The decal is still on the wall (traced the decal back to a 1936 appliane store). In the basement floor, there's a sealed up "pit" (looks like a rectangular brick-walled box, that had a broken cement top - which I pryed off, 'cause I wanted to see what was underneath. Turned out to be a 5' deep pit filled with Iron Fireman coal - mixed with ashes - and even a few BADLY eroded furnace parts