Humans have been finding ways to keep warm since the beginning of time. Although romantic, fireplaces are the least efficient of indoor heating system.
Water radiator concepts began in the 1830’s and by 1855, Polish born Franz San Galli, determined to fight off the piercing cold in St. Petersburg, Russia, perfected his design. Franz did this by ensuring there was controllable heat in the form of circulated steam. He framed it in cast iron, the most durable metal of the time.
Hot water radiators transformed homes across Britain, first adopted by wealthy Victorians. They eventually progressed as a must have for European and American homes throughout the early 20th Century.
The cast iron was a great conductor of heat and allowed for heat where and when you wanted it. Due to the intense pressure, radiators were fitted with steam valves which could suddenly release if the pressure rose too much. Imagine the reaction of homeowners when that little vent went off!
In 1863, the steam models were replaced by hot water circulation. Joseph Nason and Robert Briggs designed the system we generally see today and it was modified again in 1872 by Nelson H Bundy who coined the ‘Bundy Loop’.
So you see, the predecessor of designer radiators, was still a design to be marvelled.
In 2005, Russia commissioned local artist Nikolay Kuklev to design and produce a statute recognizing Franz San Galli’s invention and contribution to cold houses everywhere.