Ain't she a beaut!

Found this on one of todays inspections. Have seen one similar before, but not quite this old. No utilities on, so didn’t get to run it. Nice “insulation” wrap on ductwork, eh?:wink:

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Hi to all,

Nice find John, I used to see quite a few of those gravity or “Octopus” furnaces up in New England.



My first house had one, took up half the basement. I tell people it did not run on gas…anyone that went into the basement never came back…but I had heat…something out of a Stephen King novel…still some around up here.

They sure are built to last…not like todays.

Thanks for the pictures…thinking of the old house and the memories…

The only time I have ever seen one of those was on my test.:cool:

I saw one of those things once…late 50’s eary 60’s…then another…and another…and on and on…

I must have torn out quite a few hundred of those monsters…from 24" to 60".

24" to 60" is the diameter of the center ring and the total weight could be from three or four hundred pounds to nearly a ton. And boy! could a guy get dirty removing them.

Most were originally coal fired—and I converted a lot to gas or oil, then several years later I’d take them out and install a “modern” system–new duct and all. “Modern” for 1960, anyway.

I am sooooooooooooooo glad that’s all behind me—what a job that was.
But I made good money when I sold the cast iron…

check for the possibility that the insulation is Asbestos

Possibilty??? Heck, I’d just about guarantee it!!

Tore lot of that stuff out of those houses—no space suits, no masks, no whatever…now if you’ll excuse me, I have to do my nightly session on the electronic respirator.

My memories of this era was spending days on end loading the cellar with two logs and four foot wane clippings from the saw mill that we used to start the fire.
I pile so much of that in the fall that I wished I could of been called a pile-it.
That is what I did to get 6 to 8 cords of wood in the basement.
Then of course you know who had to un pile-it and put it in the furnace.

So, there is a lot of truth to the saying, when they went down, they did not come back up. If you did come back up, you just had to go fill that up side down jug of kerosene for the cooking stove, and man did I hate that.

Did not get paid much Jae for doing this like you did. I was only a kid in those days and you were already an old man right.??? ha. ha.

Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley: :wink: :wink:

:wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

Here’s the only Octopus I’ve come across as a home inspector:

[Ringo Starr 1]( octopus.jpg)

[Ringo Starr 2]( octopus 1.jpg)

It actually had a manufacturer’s plate still attached with a manufacture date of May 1938. It was still going strong, having been lovingly taken care of. The seller was 93, had built the house himself, and had all the maintenance and service records on everything in his home, which he provided to my Clients. The ol’ Octopus had been serviced annually each March, never having skipped a single year. Seller was an inspiration in pride of ownership.

Two pictures of the house where the Octopus was located.

[CSNY 1]( 1.jpg)

[CSNY 2]( garage side.jpg)

The second Octopus picture is the lead photo in the heating and cooling section over at I have three photos as leads over there at, HVAC, foundations, and electrical.

Did you mention in your report about the dangers of storing items that close to furnace?


I have all sorts of verbiage in SOLUTIONS to educate my Clients.