iron radiators are rapidly becoming the hottest feature in the house as modern
cast iron foundries replicate original period designs.
history of cast iron radiators can be traced right back to the early 18th
century with America leading the way with their invention. Perhaps the earliest
form of radiators as we know them today was invented by Joseph Nason and Robert
Brigss (1863), their design used vertical wrought iron tubes screwed into a
cast iron base. Soon after this Nelson H Bundy (1872) invented the ‘Bundy
Loop’, a cast iron radiator which became increasingly popular and played an
important role in the advancement in the birth of our modern day radiators.
of the cast iron radiator passed through many stages with continuous development
especially during the Victorian period when cast iron became a decorative
feature within the home. However, it wasn’t really until the early 20th century
that cast iron radiators brought central heating to Britain; in fact very few
homes had the luxury of central heating until well into the 1950s.
changed so did the popularity of radiators; although homeowners loved the
comforts of central heating the radiator was considered ‘obtrusive’ within a
room. The marvel of a foundryman’s art in making thin cast iron ornate
radiators became a thing of the past, as enclosing radiators behind boxed
grills and painting them to disguise them within a room become the new interior
we have now in fact gone full circle, as big bulky cast iron radiators with
peeling paint salvaged mainly from demolished hospitals and schools have made a
reappearance as a fashionable ‘must have’ interior feature. Today’s trend of
visiting salvage yards to buy reclaimed goods to restore Victorian and Edwardian
interiors back to their original splendour has launched the rival of the cast
iron radiator which now claims pride of place in living areas.
radiators plays an important part in gathering material evidence of our
heritage. Many have been saved from the scrap man’s crusher and been
sandblasted back to their former glory. Reputable salvage yards are very good
at testing the cast iron radiators for leaks and are pressure rinsed to remove
any sediment. However, there is a common situation where reclaimed radiators don’t
fit within the room and their functionality is handicapped by either providing
too much heat or not enough; therefore becoming a redundant decorative
feature. Another consideration is the valves. Many reclaimed cast iron radiators
come without valves, therefore the correct ones have to be sourced, which can
prove problematic. Historical cast iron radiators were made at local foundries
that also produced the valves. This means the correct valves have to be sourced
back to the foundry, which in many cases no longer exist.
many restorers of cast iron radiators feel that modern replicas lack the
elegance and quality finish of the originals, reproduction cast iron radiators
provide design and heating solutions for both period and contemporary settings.
One of the biggest advantages of buying a reproduction cast iron radiator is
that they are ‘bespoke’. Therefore, you can have as many sections as you wish
according to the size of the room and be energy efficient. Reproduction cast
iron radiators also come with all the fixtures and fittings which can save time
and money in the long run.
a number of modern replica cast iron radiators available which can be used in
conjunction with other radiators and form of heating. To recreate the elegance
of the Victorian/Edwardian interiors, a ‘Nouveau’ look can be created by
installing a cast iron radiator with a scrolled elaborate detailed design. A
more Victorian look can also be achieved with cast iron radiators replicated from
the 19th century. The Victorian style cast iron radiators also lend
themselves perfectly to a more contemporary interior especially with modern day
conversions of warehouses, barns and attics.
radiators should no longer have a ‘humble’ status within a room; they are now
an essential centrepiece that serves a functional purpose as well as being a
stylish accessory to complement any interior.
For more information please contact
Tuscan Foundry Products Ltd,
Tel: 0800 174093 or visit
Tuscan Foundry Products is one of the
UK’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of cast iron, steel and aluminium
plumbing heating and drainage products