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Antiques and Collectibles: What are these old tanks?

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shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2012
9:42 AM

Post #9021920

We just picked up these 2 metal/cooper tanks from a man who found them in an old barn he's cleaning out. He also had either a water or oil can that my friend purchased that had N&W on it - saw that after she cleaned it up. I don't have a picture of it. I have no idea if what I have was used on a train or not.

Inside one is a material like a crock. It's cracked so you can feel the rough texture in the break of the crock. Lots of pipes where something went in and out of these tanks. There are fittings with Jenkins Brothers on it and on the bottom of one is Duke and a number.

I've googled until I crazy. Any ideas? The third picture shows a 'sprinkler' so it must rinse something.

Kathy

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ecnalg

ecnalg
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2012
3:48 PM

Post #9022410

Just a thought, but they might be vintage water heaters. I did find that the valve maker, Jenkins Bros, was bought out by Crane. There is a vintage Jenkins Bros ad currently on eBay.

On a different site, I did find an old water heater which talks about having a spray on top. Here is the link. It has a photo as well.

http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/whh/pages/historypages/humphrey.html

They might make interesting planters!
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2012
4:29 PM

Post #9022463

ecnalg
AMAZING ! I have googled N&W, water heaters (which made sense to me), and almost everything until I gave up and decided DGers would know. I wonder if the water heater was in a train? I know it wouldn't have to be just because they were together with the N&W can in a barn.

Also, how would power go to them to make heat? Or water pressure? It's all about in and out flows I know but how would it be powered? These are certainly interesting.

A magnet won't attach so it must be copper or brass - we haven't cleaned them so it's going to be an interesting search.
Thanks for your great info- it's a start.
Kathy

ecnalg

ecnalg
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2012
5:49 PM

Post #9022561

Kathy,

I saw the most amazing folding sink that had been installed on a train listed on eBay once. I have absolutely no idea if these ?? water heaters were on trains or if indeed that is what they are. I googled "vintage water heater" in my search.

Just now back basically at the same site but with a different water heater, it explains a bit how it worked. Here is the quote, followed by the link.

"Dating from about 1895, this British heater is gas-fired. It was installed in the bathroom next to the bathtub. Showers were virtually nonexistent. To operate, you light the pilot, turn on the water, then turn on the main gas.

"Temperature is adjusted by putting in the right amount of cold water. When shutting it off you had to be careful not to shut off the water before turning off the gas. If you did forget, the heater would quickly be ruined, probably melted down!

"The heater works by mixing hot gases and water, which although very efficient, wasn't particularly clean. British heaters have an interesting safety device built in that you can see on the side of it.

"The "shepherd's crook" actually makes an air gap in the water supply. This prevents any tainted water from the heater from possibly getting back into the water supply, (a rather modern concept). The slightly tainted hot water was to be used only for bathing. This heater burns roughly 100,000 Btu per hour."

http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/whh/pages/historypages/ewart.html

What are the overall dimensions of yours? They are interesting indeed. What a find!

Pat
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2012
8:13 AM

Post #9023195

http://newhaven.craigslist.org/atq/2813765887.html

check this out. A friend sent me this and another link. They appear to be Antique commercial coffee urns. Apparently the glass tubes show the level of coffee ? Don't know but I feel sure that is what I have. I believe mine may be much older because of the design, metal, etc. This one looks fancy but has the same tubing and side 'pouch'.

Pretty cool - now I need to clean them up and see what I really have!
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2012
8:14 AM

Post #9023197

springfield.craigslist.org/atq/2774422658.html

another link

ecnalg

ecnalg
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2012
9:35 AM

Post #9023289

I believe your friend is right. That's even better than water heaters. Please post photos when they're cleaned up.

ecnalg

ecnalg
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2012
9:59 AM

Post #9023308

I just looked on eBay and in this link there is one that appears very similar in style to yours. Their photo 3 is like your photo 4 and their photo 4 is like your photo 3. Do yours have lids?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-RESTAURANT-COFFEE-TEA-URN-MAKER-DOHRMANN-STEAM-/380339121288?pt=Antiques_Decorative_Arts&hash=item588dfa6c88
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2012
2:46 PM

Post #9023642

Yes, I have lids - going to go check them out on ebay.
Thanks
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2012
2:55 PM

Post #9023649

Just checked. The 2 we have are older I think. Ours do not have burners. It must have been air force heated. We were thinking it came from a train because my friend purchased an oil or water containter that is pretty large and it was from the same barn. It has N&W which was prior to Norfolk & Southern. We haven't had time to clean them up - I have strep & hubby is recovering from hernia surgery and can't lift. It will be a fun project to see what we uncover.

Our metal also seems to be heavier- not aluminum. The feed on ours seem to be cast iron.
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 28, 2012
2:55 PM

Post #9023650

Polish the copper in one section so we can see the difference.
schickenlady
Sherrie In, NH
(Zone 5a)

February 29, 2012
11:26 AM

Post #9024641

I can remember working with them as a kid! Glass liner on the inside and 2 glass tubes that ran down the side. One for the water level and one for the coffee level. Makes me feel old.
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 29, 2012
4:46 PM

Post #9025096

Oh my gosh S-lady,
tell me more! Have you seen some like my first pictures? They seem to be older than the pictures on the links posted after my original post. I'm just guessing. There is no 'burner' so I guess they were steam powered? Could these have been on a train? I can't see mine being on a table/floor but I just can't get the vision going on the setting. The links others posted seem fancy where mine seem more 'hard'. Please, Please tell me more!

Kathy - I'm sending you a dmail too
schickenlady
Sherrie In, NH
(Zone 5a)

March 1, 2012
4:52 AM

Post #9025488

The ones I worked with sat over a propane burner. They were also skirted with metal with holes to help heat and let the bottom of the pot breath. I would guess the ones I worked with were made in the 50's. Glass liner not ceramic. When I worked with them (up until 1994) the purpose was to serve many and serve quickly.

I belive the glass rods can still be replaced at a industrial restaurant supplier.

This message was edited Mar 1, 2012 8:10 AM
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 1, 2012
7:18 AM

Post #9025684

Do you think my ceramic/crock lined pots are older? How do you think my pots were heated? The one on ebay looks more decorative where mine seem like they were kept in the back room - for lack of a better way to put it. The heavy cast iron legs and no frills or decorative metal is what I am referring to.

Also the pots you used had glass liners. This is like a crock material. I'm so glad you posted to this. At least I know what they are, if I could determine how they were heated & if they are older than the glass lined pots...I'll google more about these.
Thanks for all this helpful information.
Kathy
moxies_garden
Batesburg, SC
(Zone 8a)

March 3, 2012
2:19 AM

Post #9027882

[quote="shihtzumom"]http://newhaven.craigslist.org/atq/2813765887.html

check this out. A friend sent me this and another link. They appear to be Antique commercial coffee urns. Apparently the glass tubes show the level of coffee ? Don't know but I feel sure that is what I have. I believe mine may be much older because of the design, metal, etc. This one looks fancy but has the same tubing and side 'pouch'.

Pretty cool - now I need to clean them up and see what I really have![/quote]


That's the first thing I thought, antique commercial coffee urns. The church I went to when I was little, in the 60's, had 2 side by side in their huge kitchen. My mom washed the dished after the big dinners, and I got to clean the coffee urns out several times. The glass tube showed how much coffee was left in the urn. I used to have to use a long twisted fuzzy wire brush thingy to clean out the glass tubes.

shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 3, 2012
8:34 AM

Post #9028202

They are heavy and after I find out what metal they are I will try to sell or decide what to do with them.

This message was edited Nov 4, 2012 9:24 AM
biddy52
BROOKFIELD
Australia

March 28, 2012
7:20 PM

Post #9061225

[quote="shihtzumom"]We just picked up these 2 metal/cooper tanks from a man who found them in an old barn he's cleaning out. He also had either a water or oil can that my friend purchased that had N&W on it - saw that after she cleaned it up. I don't have a picture of it. I have no idea if what I have was used on a train or not.

Inside one is a material like a crock. It's cracked so you can feel the rough texture in the break of the crock. Lots of pipes where something went in and out of these tanks. There are fittings with Jenkins Brothers on it and on the bottom of one is Duke and a number.

I've googled until I crazy. Any ideas? The third picture shows a 'sprinkler' so it must rinse something.

Kathy[/quote]

It reminds me what my Aunt had in her bathroom. The water was next to the end of the bath and to fill with hot water, you opened the tap and let it run in. I think we also had one when I was a child and I am 1952 vintage!
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 29, 2012
6:54 PM

Post #9062549

So water heater not coffee pot. I'm still not sure what they are. I have seen 'nicer' versions of these and they are listed as coffee pots. But these seem to heavy and not ornate so it isn't a fancy coffee pot if that is what it is. What was the purpose of the glass tubes for the water heater?

I have no idea what to do with them. They were such a cheap bargain and so interesting that we decided to buy them. Now I'm stuck with what to do with them.

I'm 1959 so you aren't vintage (cause I'm not).

Thanks for posting this info - I still need to find out what we have...kathy

ecnalg

ecnalg
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 30, 2012
6:02 AM

Post #9062919

I think they were a great score, and would make fantastic planters, particularly with something that trails down as part of the planted items. Should not be too hard to find pots that would fit in the opening and get supported by the wider top band of the pot and could drain into the tanks. You'd be the only one in your neighborhood to have them, or perhaps in all of VA.
moxies_garden
Batesburg, SC
(Zone 8a)

March 30, 2012
2:13 PM

Post #9063443

Drools...
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 1, 2012
7:26 AM

Post #9065307

Yeah, that would be neat but if I could find a buyer I probably will let them go.
Kathy
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 1, 2012
8:01 AM

Post #9147547

UPDATE:
Yesterday we took time to look over the tanks outter "coating". My husband used a 'buffer' on a small spot since the "aluminum coating" was coming off. It's COPPER! The tanks & lid is copper under a coated shell. I need to google or find out how to remove the finish so we can polish up the copper tanks.

I still don't really know what they were used for. One appears to be a coffee pot but the other isn't. Biddy52 seemed to think water heater and that could be what we have. None the less, copper!

Suggestions on cleaning up these???
Kathy
biddy52
BROOKFIELD
Australia

June 28, 2012
12:41 AM

Post #9184301

[quote="shihtzumom"]We just picked up these 2 metal/cooper tanks from a man who found them in an old barn he's cleaning out. He also had either a water or oil can that my friend purchased that had N&W on it - saw that after she cleaned it up. I don't have a picture of it. I have no idea if what I have was used on a train or not.

Inside one is a material like a crock. It's cracked so you can feel the rough texture in the break of the crock. Lots of pipes where something went in and out of these tanks. There are fittings with Jenkins Brothers on it and on the bottom of one is Duke and a number.

I've googled until I crazy. Any ideas? The third picture shows a 'sprinkler' so it must rinse something.

Kathy[/quote]

This has to be a hot water boiler!
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 28, 2012
7:01 AM

Post #9184490

Biddy,
The 2 tanks are different in some ways. One has the 'ceramic' inside with a sprinkler head like you could rinse it out or fill it up using the sprinkler. It has a place for 2 glass tubes.

The other has a large metal bolt on top and you can't see inside - we haven't taken the bolt off but it would only be a small opening and not a tank like the other one.

As I said above the metal coating is coming off and they are copper. I'll google water boiler. Let me know more and thanks for your post!
Kathy
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

July 22, 2012
12:56 PM

Post #9214578

I think if you look at the round thingy in picture #2, it looks like a regulator . My thoughts are that a gas line connected to it and the heater is inside the pot , on the bottom , and it is a coffee maker . The lining would be insulated to keep the beverage hot and the fittings were stamped Jennings Bros , meaning Jennings Brother valves . Let us know . If all else fails , Make a homade still out of them . LOL
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2012
8:26 AM

Post #9215557

LOL I have a still my daddy made of solid copper. He was a machinist and it's been around for a long time. It's really neat. Never used.

They are copper and we really have no use for them - we have to much 'crap' stilling around. I would like to sell them but not sure if they are worth more in metal scrap (copper) or being sold.

My husband was just diagnosed with bladder cancer and we need to clean out some things - it's time for us to take a new look on life.
kathy
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

July 23, 2012
9:46 AM

Post #9215634

Kathy , You and D H have a lot of decisions ahead of you . Hopefully this cancer will respond well to treatment . Keep faith , it's the most powerful weapon there is . I , and all your D G friends will be right there for you both. Keep us informed . Hugs , Sally
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2012
12:55 PM

Post #9215871

Sally,
What a kind message. I greatly appreciate all the prayers we can get. Toby is a wonderful man that God sent to me 14 years ago. I'm sure he's going to be just fine... :(

kathy
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

July 23, 2012
2:44 PM

Post #9216039

We're all family here , Kathy
biddy52
BROOKFIELD
Australia

July 23, 2012
4:06 PM

Post #9216167

[quote="shihtzumom"]LOL I have a still my daddy made of solid copper. He was a machinist and it's been around for a long time. It's really neat. Never used.

They are copper and we really have no use for them - we have to much 'crap' stilling around. I would like to sell them but not sure if they are worth more in metal scrap (copper) or being sold.

My husband was just diagnosed with bladder cancer and we need to clean out some things - it's time for us to take a new look on life.
kathy[/quote]

Sorry to hear of your husband's diagnosis. Be strong! Sending good health your way - good luck with your deliberations and hope everything works out.
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 24, 2012
6:53 AM

Post #9216737

thank you so much biddy! We meet with the doctor tomorrow (wed) for pathology reports.
biddy52
BROOKFIELD
Australia

October 30, 2012
4:28 PM

Post #9320517

[quote="shihtzumom"]thank you so much biddy! We meet with the doctor tomorrow (wed) for pathology reports.
[/quote]

Only just got back to this thread - how is your husband - good diagnosis I hope?
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 4, 2012
6:26 AM

Post #9324225

thanks for asking. Hubby has been through 2 TURBS (scope procedure to removed growths). He has CIS which is a very aggressive cancer. He is getting BCG treatments - not chemo but they use a TB virus strain to put into the bladder by catheter which takes less than 5 min. Weekly treatments for 6+ weeks then she scopes again.

We want to sell these tanks. They are copper under the metal finish. Offers welcome.
Kathy

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

November 4, 2012
7:10 AM

Post #9324265

Kathy, sorry to hear of your DH's cancer, and hoping the TB virus works!
biddy52
BROOKFIELD
Australia

November 4, 2012
1:20 PM

Post #9324493

[quote="shihtzumom"]thanks for asking. Hubby has been through 2 TURBS (scope procedure to removed growths). He has CIS which is a very aggressive cancer. He is getting BCG treatments - not chemo but they use a TB virus strain to put into the bladder by catheter which takes less than 5 min. Weekly treatments for 6+ weeks then she scopes again.

We want to sell these tanks. They are copper under the metal finish. Offers welcome.
Kathy[/quote]

Keep strong - very hard for both of you at the moment.

I would love to take them off your hands - two problems: 1. I am in Australia 2. I am only renting!

Saw a great use for them yesterday - I was at a property - acreage - and the lady is a mosaicist - I was there for a workshop - she used an older water tank to put up one of her works on! Looked fabulous - so anyone out there close to Kathy want to make a feature in your garden?

Regards,

Di
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 6, 2012
8:40 AM

Post #9326056

I just can't invision that. Did you take pictures?

Kathy
biddy52
BROOKFIELD
Australia

November 6, 2012
2:03 PM

Post #9326310

[quote="shihtzumom"]I just can't invision that. Did you take pictures?

Kathy[/quote]

No I didn't, but I will see if I can get one from her!
biddy52
BROOKFIELD
Australia

November 7, 2012
6:24 PM

Post #9327436

Kathy,

Here are a couple of photo's of Kathryn Portelli's mosaic structure which she has mounted on an old boiler!

The description is:

TIME by Kathryn Portelli.
(Its been out in the world winner of CMAs Time Competition 2010, judge Martin Cheek and entered in MAANZ exhib and 2010 local exhib in the Bot Gardens called OAK, so you are kind to be asking.)

This is a very unusual shape to mosaic and Kathryn explained that it started with plastic irrigation tubing, which was filled with the puffer-type gap filler and then wound with a compound glue/render with strips of cloth netting the give a firm layer and reinforce - then mosaiced and grouted - sounds easy but would have taken a bit of work. She then added the little wire figures! Enjoy - Regards, Di Crea

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