IOWA HISTORY PROJECT
MODERN CONVENIENCES FOR THE FARM HOME
EXAMPLES OF HOMES WHERE SOME MODERN CONVENIENCES HAVE BEEN INSTALLED
From the many country homes where advantage has been taken of improved appliances for comfort and the saving of labor a few have been selected as illustrations of the cost of introducing such conveniences. The cost has been furnished in each case by the owners.
One two-story house of 8 rooms has a hot-air furnace, with registers in 7 rooms. A range was used in the kitchen, so no other heat was needed there. The furnace was furnished and installed for $150. the cost of the coal used in both range and furnace has averaged about $54 a year for the last four years. The following plumbing fixtures were set up, with complete supply and waste pipe connections as far as the outside of the house, for $180: In the bathroom lavatory, bath tub, and water-closet; a lavatory in one bedroom; in the kitchen a sink and a 30 gallon range boiler; a cold water faucet in the laundry, and a sill cock for the hose outside the house.
A six-room cottage has a hot-air furnace, with registers in every room, which was furnished and installed for $133. From two rooms the heat is shut off part of the time, and coal is not used in the kitchen range. The cost of the coal per year has been $36. Water is supplied to the plumbing fixtures through a tank in the attic. The cost of the attic tank, the bathroom fixtures, which consist of bath tub, lavatory, and water-closet; the kitchen sink and hot-water heating tank, with connections to walls of house, was $115.
A home in central Iowa has a pneumatic tank 8 feet long and 30 inches in diameter in the cellar. This tank is supplied with water and some air by a windmill, erected in common with two neighbors. There is in the cellar a smaller tank of 66 gallons' capacity, connected by a hand force pump to the rain-water cistern. Three or four minutes' pumping with the hand pump every day supplies a good pressure on the cistern water. The soft-water tank supplies a 30-gallon hot-water boiler, which is connected with a hot-water coil in the furnace and with a gasoline heater in the cellar. The plumbing fixtures consist of a sink in the kitchen and a bath tub, lavatory, and water-closet in the bathroom. Each fixture has 3 faucets containing, respectively, cold well water, cold cistern water, and hot cistern water. The tree pipes are run to the laundry and faucets set. The cost of the entire plumbing, including connections to windmill and to rain-water cistern, hand pump for cistern, steel tanks and all, but not including a share of th windmill and deep well, was $300. The heating system consists of a hot-air furnace with registers in every room, there being 9 rooms and halls in the house, including kitchen and third-story room, and cost $200 to install. The average cost of fuel per year is $75.
A five-room cottage is heated with a hot-water system installed by the owner. The cost of material and fittings was under $200. In four years the additional cost for repairs has been $20.65. The whole house is kept at about 70' F., and the cost for soft coal has never exceeded $38.50 for the whole firing season.
The advantage in the hot-water system is in the fact that the water begins to circulate through the pipes as soon as the fire is built and the radiators will retain heat from five to ten hours after the fire is out.
The first-floor rooms of one home are heated by using a large wood stove in teh cellar. This stove is large enough to take cord wood in full length. It is walled in with brick, and pipes lead from this hot-air chamber to the various rooms. This method gives "splendid satisfaction."
A furnace with six registers was put into an old two-story house at a cost of $125. One of the old chimneys was used for a fireplace. The grate and the tile front cost $17, and a carpenter put in the wooden frame and mantel shelf for $10. The cost of the coal per year is from $43 to $50.
There is a plan for a water-supply and sewage-disposal system for a cottage near Chappaqua, N. Y. By building a stone dam about 30 feet long, a brook was made to give a head of 6 feet 2 inches for a compound ram located a few feet below the dam. The water from above the dam flowing through the drive pipe forces spring water through 650 feet of 3/4-inch pipe to a 65-gallon galvanized iron tank in the attic of the cottage, at an elevation of 87 feet above the dam. The overflow from this tank wastes into the drain for the rain-water leaders. Water is piped from the attic tank to the bath tub, lavatory, and water-closet tank in the bathroom and to the sink and 30-gallon hot-water boiler in the kitchen. The boiler is connected to a water back in the kitchen range and hot water is piped to the kitchen sink, to the bath tub, and lavatory. One line of soil pipe collects all the liquid wastes. About 10 feet outside the foundation wall this cast-iron soil pipe connects to a 4-inch vitrified-pipe sewer, leading to a 50-gallon settling chamber, 75 feet from the house. The effluent from the settling chamber is emptied into a line of 4-inch draintile laid with open joints and with a very slight fall, about 10 inches below the surface of the ground. The cost of the entire system was about $200. The plumbing fixtures were procured at cost; the owner was his own superintendent, and used unskilled labor at $1.50 per day.
Modern Conveniences Table of Contents