Keystone water heater

Anybody ever run across a Keystone water heater? Made for Crane - copper tank. Serial number 2393660. Any information?

I have inconsistent information on them, but the great supermajority of the seven-digit numbers seem to start with week-week-year-year, so I believe yours is the 23rd week of 1993.

Thanks Russel, but I believe it was at least 25 years old - hoping for confirmation, but not concerned about it.


Crane has been OUT OF BUSINESS since 1965.

Thanks for that David - this one may be the oldest I’ve seen, don’t know that it worked because the gas was off.

And what leads you to that belief?

Crane as a company has been out of business since 1965. However, the name lived on for many years under the umbrella of Crane-Sunnyland, then Fraser & Johnston, then York, then York/Unitary Products.

The last confirmed Crane that I have in my records is 1997, confirmed by the ANSI date.

The seven-digit serial numbers for Crane were used ca. 1984 (that’s the earliest I have) to 1997 (that’s the latest I have). Everything I have indicates 23rd week of 1993.

This leads me to that belief:

Patent numbers from 1920s and 1930s.

Keystone small.jpg

Example of write up if you can not find sufficient supporting documents of age:

Keystone water heater - Crane. Serial# 2393660 We were unable to find supporting documentation to verify date of manufacture. Water heaters have a life expectancy of 9-15 years that generally can be extended with proper care along with manufactures maintenance suggestions but depending on use and water condition or makeup. Due to the vintage look of this unit, we anticipate it to be over 25 years. Budgeting for repairs or replacement should be anticipated.

Patent numbers shouldn’t lead you to any specific conclusion other than the fact that the unit was manufactured after those patent numbers were acquired, so we know that it wasn’t manufactured before 1920.

There are many items in today’s world that are based on very old patents, such as light bulbs, for example, and if you were to actually look at, say, computer equipment and software and then go look up the date that all those patents were acquired, you’d find a lot from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, yet the latest version of my software is Copyright 2008.

I did not say that patent numbers have lead me anywhere. Thanks anyway.

This is your direct quote:

What did I miss? I’m only trying to help.

Probably because you feel the need to pick everyones post apart to feel superior… but I’m just guessing… :roll: Most of us do work during the day and sometimes we come on here to get a quick answer,… not to hear about your “wise ol grandmother” or links to drive traffic to your marketing websites or insert babble about the history of patent number and plug about some software you have copyrighted(your post #9). Some of us would just like a simple answer… and some get tired having to wade through your “Russel Ray wisdom” posts… But then again, when you have nothing to do all day but drink your “margaritas” and rack up 13+ THOUSAND posts,… your world may get a little foggy and some may be a little short with you,… don’t take it too personal. Just IMO

  1. Good Housekeeping Seal - since 1909
  2. Copper
  3. “Automatic”
  4. named “The Keystone”
  5. 1920’s and 30’s patent dates

It is way old, or a clever forgery. :smiley:

CANT BE!!! Russel Ray says its only 15 years old. and is doing the darndest to sway Mr Magee into thinking he’s correct.

Thanks for helping me, Peter. Best wishes from my wise old grandmother to you and yours for health, happiness, peace, and prosperity.

I’ve got over thirty years of research on water heater and furnace serial number date coding, but I’m always happy to update my records when confirming information can be found. I’ll be sure not to share anything here anymore where it might accidentally help someone. :wink: :mrgreen:

For what it’s worth: A local water heater specialist replied to an email I sent to him with an opinion that this wh is probably from the late 30’s. The house was built in 1940. I may yet find out if it still works.

The burner configuration closely resembles the burner image shown in newer of the patents.

draft hood.jpg


I think it’s worth a lot. That’s the kind of information that is good for my ongoing research.