12.11-9: 1929 Shop Fabricated Panel Board

HHCC Accession No. 2006.117HHCC Classification Code: 12.11-9

A 1920’s, field assembled panel board, typically found in homes equipped with automatic, oil heating of the period, used for mounting of manual disconnect switch and other controllers at the entrance to the furnace or boiler room. Crudely made of pine board with walnut finish and fire protective covering; an icon of its times reflecting something of the trade practices and the attention given to public appearance and safety, Circa 1929 [See also ID#230]

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


Shop fabricated


Unknown, Possibly Howard Oliver Aurora Ontario

Serial No.:

15 x 17 x 5’ h


5 lbs.




Exhibit, education, and research quality, illustrating field practice and public expectations for quality and craftsmanship in the electrical installation of automatic oil heating systems in the 1920’s

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.

This particular panel was used on a residential heating system in York County [York Region], North of Toronto during the 1930’s.

Type and Design:

Field assembled electrical panel board [less controls] Handmade pine panel board with mouldings and walnut finish Equipped with fire protective covering of the period

Special Features:
Performance Characteristics:
Control and Regulation:
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Consumer Acceptance:
Market Price:
Technological Significance:

The panel board is an icon of its time, reflecting something of electric trade practices and public expectations for craftsmanship in the early years of the 20th century, an embryonic period in the electrification of Canadian homes and the installation of electric equipment.

Industrial Significance:
Socio-economic Significance:
Socio-cultural Significance:

The attention to styling and detail in the construction of the panel reflected the culture of the day. While relatively crude in construction it reflected the expectation for craftsmanship of the period, including mitred corners, finishing mouldings and furniture style walnut finish
A splash of whitewash on the side of the panel is a marker of the household practices of the time. Those that could afford automatic heating were also those that lived in relatively grand homes, invariably with well whitewashed basement walls.


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

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