We often take radiators for granted but they are a hugely important feature in most homes and business premises. Of course, their primary purpose is to keep areas warm and dry but they can also be supremely stylish; adding to interior designs in a way that could never have been envisioned when they first arrived on the scene.
The start of home heating
Traditional home heating can be traced back to what is now known as Ukraine, where hearths were in use 420,000 years ago. Made of mammoth bones and with a grass roof, they were also mobile.
Elsewhere, the Romans were also working on their own type of heating and they are credited with inventing the hypocaust. Read more about this at http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/romans/technology/.
This kind of heating was used to heat bathhouses and more buildings, and was the earliest kind of underfloor heating, with smoke and hot air being circulated from a furnace. Koreans also used a similar form of heating called Ondol as far back as 1000BC. This was surprisingly energy-efficient and featured a long underfloor flue to keep air moving towards an exit.
The Franklin Stove
Benjamin Franklin invented the Franklin Stove in 1741. This was a metal-lined fireplace which produced more heat with less smoke than traditional fireplaces at the time. Steam heating then followed but this was mostly used in public buildings and businesses, but it was around the same time, at the start of the 1800s, that radiators first began to take shape.
The radiators invented by the likes of Steven Gold were vastly different from the huge array of aluminium radiators and other designs available from retailers such as http://apolloradiators.co.uk, today. But the mattress radiator he came up with was circulated for 50 years. It was only after this time that other manufacturers starter making boilers and radiators in a variety of different designs. Gold’s designs date back to 1854 but there are some other examples recorded as long ago as 1841.
The Bundy Loop
The Bundy Loop design followed, developed in 1872 by Nelson H Bundy, and this style can still be seen in radiator design today.
The Victorian era was also a major time for radiator design, as this was when they transformed from simple heating devices to potential style elements in the home.