The Capitol: A Memorial

An old metal plate fastened to worn black metal. The plate reads The Capitol, and displays the serial number and size code.

Back in the beginning of the winter of 2007, we had to replace our old furnace. Before the good people at Petro came in and deconstructed it, I took some photos for posterity.

No one knew exactly how old the furnace was, but most people agreed that our estimate of 60 years old (based on its styling, which looked ’40s or so), was accurate, or at least reasonable. Here’s a large version so you can check out the details of that door.

We were told that the big beast was probably operating at 40–50% efficiency. In other words, for every two gallons of oil we paid for, we were warmed by one. Our new furnace is about 1/3 the size, but lacks any charm whatsoever.

We were enamored with the gauges and dials, so we had them save this gauge, as well as a few other bits. We plan on hanging them up, once we prep them a bit.

Detail: I dig that funky type at the bottom of the gauge.

We took a kind of odd pride in our throwback furnace, a piece of industrial design from an era where styling crept into every crevice of product design because every product was evidence of America’s prosperity. But it was time to let it go. Perhaps we’ll hang the gauge next to our digital thermostat, in memoriam.

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