Steam Radiator Designer: possibly Charles S. Smith (American, born ca. 1843)
Manufacturer: probably H. B. Smith & Company (Westfield, Mass., founded 1853)

patented 1874

American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

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.


Cast iron


37 1/2 × 63 × 7 1/2 in. (95.25 × 160.02 × 19.05 cm)

Credit Line

Yale University Art Gallery

Accession Number



19th century


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 records is ongoing.

Object copyright
Additional information


"PAT NOV 10 1868" cast into each foot; "4" cast into the back side of the top element at the jucture between the proper left column and the horizontal panel.

Technical metadata and APIs


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