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Dearborn space heaters

Posted by maj999 
Dearborn space heaters
January 14, 2017 04:18PM
Was this company based in Dallas? Were they manufactured here? When did they go out of business?
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 14, 2017 06:53PM
maj999 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Was this company based in Dallas? Were they
> manufactured here? When did they go out of
> business?

You might get answers from this company, which claims to have access to Dearborn heaters that are in like new condition. They advertise as being heater headquarters for Texas, so they might be able to provide information.

[www.eastwaysales.com]

Dave McNeely
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 15, 2017 07:28AM
I have one and the tag riveted to the heater shows it was manufactured by the Dearborn Stove Company, Dearborn, Michigan with a manufacturing date of 09-1951. It and another were in the attic when I purchased the house. Sure came in handy during the LONG power outage of New Years Day 1980 from a ice storm that lasted 9 days. It and the kitchen stove provided sufficient heat to survive.

This house built in 1946 has the old gas outlets with a valve and hose connector in both bedrooms. There were two hoses still attached to the heaters.

I gave one of them to a East Texas relative that had numerous power outages and they still use it. I plan on having the remaining one restored, it needs new ceramics and cleaning.

I am not completely useless, I can always be used as a bad example.
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 15, 2017 10:33AM
When I was a kid, most of the rent houses we lived in were drafty (to put it mildly), and heated by open heaters. I don't think we were ever in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning because there was so much unintended ventilation. But we always shut the heaters off at night, even in the coldest weather. I recall that Dearborn was considered the Cadillac of space heaters. The largest and best of them were installed with a flue, actually two, one for intake and one for outlet, and had a closed firebox, so they were in effect a furnace, but in the living space. And of course, with that setup, no open flame. But many of course, were open flame heaters, with clay radiants (grates).

Before we moved to Dallas, my oldest sister (grown, married, and pregnant) caught fire from an open heater. It was bitterly cold with a fierce wind. She was home alone. Her life was saved, ironically, by how badly she was burned. She tried to get out of the house, but would have just been engulfed in flames from the wind. Her hands were burned so that she could not grip the door knob to open it. Then she remembered to lie down and roll in the floor, and actually wrapped a rug around her, thus putting out the flames. My mother just happened to return to the house as she was on the floor.

She survived severe burns, and gave birth successfully, but prematurely, to twins.

When we returned to Oak Cliff after our sojourn in East Dallas, we finally owned our own small house, and it had a floor furnace, thermostatically controlled. We considered that to be the height of luxury.

I remember in sixth grade "social studies" class reading that many houses in the "South" (probably including Texas in the author's mind) were colder in winter than those in the "North" because they were inadequately heated.

Dave McNeely
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 15, 2017 02:02PM
Had a large Dearborn gas heater in the living room of our small house on Western St. in the middle to late 50s which replaced a large open flame ceramic heater on which one could get burned pretty easily if one came into the slightest contact with. There were smaller ceramics in each bedroom that were left burning on low all night but the Dearborn was turned off at night making for a very chilly living room experience in the morning.

Have always been amazed we didn't get blown up or gassed with this method of heating because the connection to the gas jets was just a rubber hose forced on to the jet nozzle without any securing hardware at all on either end. Used to fill balloons with natural gas from those jets and they'd float away just like the helium filled ones.
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 15, 2017 04:03PM
In January 1953 a group of Dallas investors announced the purchase of the Dearborn Stove Company, which had plants in Dallas and in Chicago. The plant in Dallas was at 1700 West Commerce Street. In August 1960 the company announced plans to build a facility in Garland on Kingsley Road with 225,000 square feet for manufacturing, warehousing, and office space. I do not know when the company went out of business, but it was still on Kingsley Road in the 1980s.
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 16, 2017 11:08AM
I remember these things from the 50s into the early 60s. Fairly standerd unless you were pretty well-off and had central air and heat. Our house was old…circa 1920. Nobody got up to get around on a winter morning in our house until Dad got up and lit the thing. He got up at 5AM. We had in the living room a little ceramic gas heater with radiants and a flimsy rubber hose connected to a cone-shaped spigot outlet protruding from the wall. The rubber was known to crack. Also during a freeze, Mom or Dad would go under the house in a crawl space and wrap the steel pipes with old bed sheets. I also remember the windows with iron counterweights that rattled in the cold winter wind along with the dry leaves making a strange rattling sound as they were blown up the driveway. Jim
Re: window weights
January 16, 2017 03:25PM
Jim Goodman wrote: "I also remember the windows with iron counterweights that rattled in the cold winter wind along with the dry leaves making a strange rattling sound as they were blown up the driveway. "

My master's thesis at University of North Texas involved sampling fish populations from North Lake, at that time (circa 1970) a power plant cooling reservoir owned by Dallas Power and Light Company. I used gill nets for part of the sampling. Gill nets have a diamond shaped mesh that fish become tangled in, though it is not their gills that are caught, but more often their fins or they just get stuck at the deepest part of their bodies.

But the main point here is that the nets are anchored on the bottom edge with heavy weights, and suspended from floats on the top edge. At that time, the cylindrical window weights were readily available from building materials salvage vendors. I used them to weight my nets, as did many people who used fishing nets back then.

I also remember the windows with those weights. The weights acted as a counterbalance to the weight of the windows, in theory allowing one to raise a window to any position and it would stay in place. In practice, in older houses, the cotton line that suspended the weight (or brass chain in some cases) was broken, and so the window would not stay in place. I remember in some of the old rent houses we lived in propping the window open with a stick.

Dave McNeely
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 17, 2017 09:26AM
I grew up with Dearborn space heaters, and I thought they were great. We had them in Lakewood, and took them with us when we moved to Hollywood Heights in 1973. When we moved into that house, it had small wall-mounted Dearborns, bearing large "UNVENTED HEATER" labels across the top, in two of the bedrooms (about 20" x "16", sticking out about 5" from the wall), and a small semi-recessed wall-mount in the bathroom. The house also came with two large free-standing ones in the dining room and utility room, and gas logs in the fireplace. We were basically set up, in that we only had to hook up one of our small free-standing ones, and the others were stored in the garage.

Our house in Lakewood was built in 1927, and the one in Hollywood Heights in 1929, so they both had plenty of "ventilation" to cope with carbon monoxide. The one in Hollywood Heights originally had floor furnaces (very common in the neighborhood) which were taken out in the '60s and replaced with the Dearborns, when wall-to-wall carpet was installed. In the last few years that my mom lived there, and gas lines under house started developing leaks (black steel pipe). She had to hire a contractor to work on the lines, and due to a lack of funds had to give up some of the Dearborns, because of the cost of potentially replacing all of the lines and connections. The house has since been completely gutted (interior walls taken down and moved, and a half second floor added), so the space heaters and window units are a thing of the past.
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 18, 2017 11:12AM
We had floor furnaces and then central heat (but not air) in North Dallas c. 50s-60s, but all of my non-dorm student housing in Denton had space heaters with open radiants. I remember how horrified my mother was to see open gas heaters in a second floor Depression era apartment with back door nailed and sealed shut because the outside stairs were falling down. I think I moved soon after that. I'd be very surprised if that building didn't catch fire eventually.
I remember my mother drying laundry and the occasional wet newspaper over the floor furnace on rainy winter days.

Victoria Snyder Alvey
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 31, 2017 02:22PM
Yes, I remember the gs heaters with the ceramic inserts that glowed red.
One in every room.
The house had the wood floor with wood blocks supporting the floor beams.
Periodically, I was small enough to "shinny" under with cedar shingles and a hammer and shim up the foundation and stop the squeaky oak floors inside.
Always moist under there!.
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 31, 2017 03:21PM
mrchuck Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, I remember the gs heaters with the ceramic
> inserts that glowed red.
> One in every room.
> The house had the wood floor with wood blocks
> supporting the floor beams.
> Periodically, I was small enough to "shinny" under
> with cedar shingles and a hammer and shim up the
> foundation and stop the squeaky oak floors
> inside.
> Always moist under there!.

Those wooden blocks were almost certainly, if the house was older than 1960s, bois d'arc (osage orange, horse apple), probably simply cross cut sections of the tree trunk. Most houses in N. Central Texas of the period were built that way. My mother's houses in Oak Cliff certainly were. The ground under the house should not have been wet if the crawl space was properly ventilated, but many were not, or the owner's failed to open the vents in summer. If the vents were left open in winter, the pipes were apt to freeze. I had to crawl under to repair a broken pipe on one occasion.

Osage orange is the densest wood that grows in N. America, and is also the most rot resistant, both qualities contributing to its usefulness in residential foundations. It is a North Central Texas specialty, with most botanists believing that its broader range is the consequence of (1) Native Americans planting it near their homes as a source of bow wood (basis of the French name bois d'arc), and (2) European Americans planting it as a living hedge, especially in the prairie country of the Midwest.

Dave McNeely
Re: Dearborn space heaters
January 31, 2017 05:22PM
CORRECT DAVE !!
We used Bodark blocks we cut from a "horse-apple" tree on the SW corner of Golf Drive and Normandy Ave.
It was a "female" because it bore fruit.
We got chased many times throwing those "sticky" green apples.
Here on my property in Gun Barrel City,Texas, I have a huge male Bois de Arce that is HUGE and is a "protected"
tree and is listed and protected by the State of Texas. Appraised as 300 years old.
Re: Dearborn space heaters
February 01, 2017 06:24AM
I also remember the gas heaters with asbestos backs.
Re: Dearborn space heaters
February 01, 2017 10:35AM
When we were kids, we would roll horse apples across streets like bowling balls, to get cars to run over them, and sometimes they would bounce (uh oh!). Man, we did some stupid and dangerous things.
Re: Dearborn space heaters
February 03, 2017 07:21PM
We've got three of them. Two in use and one as a spare. The house, built in 1942, has a floor furnace that hasn't worked in decades. With the space heaters I don't have any reason to replace it.

Paul
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