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York made 1901 Pullman Ventilators installed in White House

The White House shown on page 16 of a 1902 Pullman Automatic Ventilator Company Catalogue (Catalogue in Collection of Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington, DE) and Product Nameplate (Submitted from Pullman Automatic Ventilator in the possession of Patrick Spinks)

Pullman Automatic Ventilators have a connection to The President of the United States. These ventilators were first tested in railroad cars, including the President’s car, and they were also a superior product for buildings, with the White House one of the earliest customers.

The White House is shown on page 16 of a 1902 Pullman Automatic Ventilator Company Catalogue. This catalogue is in the collection of the Hagley Museum & Library in Wilmington, Delaware. The product nameplate was submitted from a Pullman Automatic Ventilator in the possession of Patrick Spinks. I’ve pointed out where the ventilators can be seen at the bottoms of the White House windows. Also notice that the flag is at half-staff. In the fall of 1901, President McKinley dies from infections after taking an assassin’s bullet and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as President. This is likely a late 1901 photo of the White House.

Almost four years ago I wrote a series of five posts on these ventilators. At the time, I suspected, but was not certain if the White House ventilators were made in York, PA. I’ve now confirmed the Pullman Automatic Ventilator Company in York produced all of this type of ventilator applied in buildings. The York plant began producing products in early May of 1901; after receiving its charter in April 1901. The directors of this enterprise were: D. F. Lafean, C. C. Frick, Lemon Love, F. R. Smart Jr., W. C. Koller, R. S. Cannon and William S. Eisenhart.

Links and synopsis to the five prior posts follow:

In part 1, I discovered that the trade publication The Iron Age, issue of April 20, 1922, noted that (my distant relative) Walter B. Gilbert & Co., York, Pa. took title to the plant and business of the Pullman Automatic Ventilator & Mfg. Co. The construction buyers-guide National Builder, issue of December 1922, lists the address of this company as 201 Roosevelt Ave., York, Pa.

In part 2, I used another trade publication, The Metal Worker, issue of January 10, 1903. An article in that issue provided evidence that The Pullman Automatic Ventilator Company in York was a well-established company by January 10, 1903; making it easy to conclude, at the very least, they were in business during 1902 in York, PA. (For the present post, York Daily newspaper articles confirmed that production started early in May of 1901.)

In part 3, I revealed how the Pullman name of the ventilator company originated with Charles Lewis Pullman, the younger brother of the principal developer of the Pullman Palace Railroad Cars; George M. Pullman.

In part 4, I determined the Pullman Automatic Ventilator owned by reader Patrick Spinks appears to be a Model “A.” I also showed how the Pullman System of Natural Ventilation worked automatically without motors or control wiring.

In part 5, I discuss finding the 32-page catalogue that contained a long list of places and testimonials from prominent users of the patented Pullman System of Natural Ventilation. That catalog was noted in part 2 of this series, i.e. a 1902 catalogue was discussed in the trade publication The Metal Worker, issue of January 10, 1903.

Links to other posts in this series include:

Links to an assortment of Pullman Automobile posts include:

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts