In Hot Water - History, Ideas & Art of Water Heating
Larry and Suzanne Weingarten wrote the book on domestic hot water heating (The Water Heater Workbook is available right here it here in the Books section). I’ve never met anyone who knows more about water heating than these two.
Larry also collects and restores old water heaters. His collection is so wonderful, and so historic, that the Monterey Peninsula Airport Art Gallery in Monterey, California (where Larry & Suzanne live) put much of it on exhibition during the winter of 2004. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am Youth Fund, and the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art funded the project. Some very serious water heaters here.
Now I didn’t have a chance to see the exhibition live, but Larry sent me this wonderful DVD, which was the next best thing to being there. It’s so professionally done that I thought I was watching The History Channel. Larry’s collection goes back to the very roots of modern plumbing, and each of his water heater/museum pieces is lovingly restored. During the program, he takes each antique heater apart and explains its inner workings, and its history. If you love mechanical things you’re really going to enjoy this DVD. So much of it made me wonder how people even survived during those early days. Wait until you see this technology!
And Larry is such a marvelous presenter, very gently, like Mr. Rogers, but with fire and water to play with. There’s a point in the show where he lights off one of the old heaters and you hear this wild gurgling sound as the water goes from ambient to really hot in just a few seconds. Larry looks into the camera and he has this mischievous twinkle in his eye. “Now there’s a sound that hasn’t been heard in a hundred years,” he says, as if that might be a good thing. It’s such great fun.
Get this DVD and savor it. You’ll learn much in about 40 minutes, and you’ll be that much more interesting to your customers on your next water heater call. And by the way, Larry also talks about modern heaters on this DVD, and gives quite a bit of solid advice, some things you may not have considered.
Larry and Suzanne wrote the book. Now you can enjoy the show. Share it with everyone you know who has a love for plumbing and wonderful old machines. This is such great stuff.