12.11-7: Howard Furnace 1939 Two Inch Air Filters

HHCC Accession No. 2006.122HHCC Classification Code: 12.11-7

Two inch air filter for winter air conditioner, in black heavy card board frame with decorative grill patterning and oil treated steel wool filler, set of four, Howard Furnace Company, Toronto, circa 1939.

Image Gallery (2 Images)

12.11 Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Equipment and Systems - Other Components and Parts


Howard Furnace


Howard Furnace Company, Toronto

Serial No.:

11 x 20 x 2 inches, each


1.5 lbs. Each




Exhibit, education, and research quality, illustrating the newly emerging concept of air filtration for the Canadian home in the late pre W.W.II years

Patent Date/Number:

From York County (York Region) Ontario, once a rich agricultural hinterlands, attracting early settlement in the last years of the 18th century. Located on the north slopes of the Oak Ridges Moraine, within 20 miles of Toronto, the County would also attract early ex-urban development, to be come a wealthy market place for the emerging household and consumer technologies of the early and mid 20th century.

This artifact was discovered in the 1950’s in the used stock of T. H. Oliver, Refrigeration and Electric Sales and Service, Aurora, Ontario, an early worker in the field of agricultural, industrial and consumer technology.

Originally used in a Howard, South-Wind, winter air conditioner installed at 68 Spruce Street Aurora in the home of Howard and Leta Oliver.

Type and Design:

Decorated card board frame oil treated steel wool fill

Special Features:

Decorated and imprinted in silver on black With self contained user instructions for cleaning and replacing

Performance Characteristics:
Control and Regulation:
Targeted Market Segment:
Consumer Acceptance:
Market Price:
Technological Significance:

Winter air conditioning was new for the Canadian home, in the late 1930’s. It was for the Canadian consumer, seen as one of the ‘big’ technologies of the day, like the radio and the automobile, for it would come to change the lives of people, what they did in the course of the day, the way they lived and went about there lives, as well as their expectations of the comforts, amenities, which life had in store for them From the perspective of the early 21st century it would be difficult to imagine the euphoria with which these technologies were viewed, by those who could afford to dream about the joys and benefits they held for life and life’s ways. The air filter was front and centre in the promotion of the winter air conditioner technology, an important component of the hyperbola used. What was new was not so much the promise of a warm home for a cold Canadian winter, but filtered, dust free air, circulated through the home at 1000 cubic feet per minute. See sales material by Howard furnace reference below See also ID # 222 and 223 for companion technologies, targeted on improvements in air quality, humidification for the winter air conditioner in Canada

Industrial Significance:

The Howard Furnace Company of Toronto would be a widely acknowledged Canadian market leader in the field of winter air conditioning in the 1930’s through 50’s, setting industry design and innovative development standards. The promise of filtered air would open up a massive market segment in Canada that would continue to grow, part of the promotion for both winter and summer air conditioning equipment, through to the early years of the 21st century

Socio-economic Significance:
Socio-cultural Significance:

G. Leslie Oliver, The T. H. Oliver HVACR Collection

HHCC Storage Location:
Bibliographic References:

Howard furnace Co., Toronto, sales brochure


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