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American Decorative Arts
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Designer possibly: Charles S. Smith, American, born ca. 1843
Manufacturer probably: H. B. Smith & Company, Westfield, Mass., founded 1853

Steam Radiator

patented 1874

Cast iron

37 1/2 × 63 × 7 1/2 in. (95.25 × 160.02 × 19.05 cm)
Yale University Art Gallery
2012.171.1
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, steam began to be used for heating homes and institutional spaces. By 1876 H. B. Smith & Company of Westfield, Massachusetts, completed adapting Street Hall, then Yale’s School of the Fine Arts and home of the University’s art gallery, for steam heat. This radiator, patented by Charles S. Smith in 1874 and based in part on a patent from 1868, was originally installed in a foyer of the building. Supported on piers that resemble classical or Egyptian columns, the four horizontal tubes of the radiator have projecting fins that increased surface area for radiating heat.
Geography: 
Manufactured in Westfield, Massachusetts
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Architectural Elements
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.