History of District Heating in the United States

| Chronological List of District Heating Systems in the United States | District Heating Studies | District Heating in Rochester, New York |

District Heating Summary Document (pdf)

District heating has a very long history, with the system in Chaudes-Aigues, France, having operated continuously since the 14th Century (see 1999 reference below).

Although at least a few industrial and institutional facilities in the United States had installed district heating systems prior to 1877, including an 1853 system at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The first successful commercial system to heat multiple buildings from a single heating plant was introduced by Lockport, New York inventor Birdsill Holly, who secured several patents for his idea and introduced his district heating system there in 1877 after forming the Holly Steam Combination Company, Ltd., with Dr. David F. Bishop, Barnett D. Hall, Samuel Rogers, Francis N. Trevor, Isaac H. Babcock and Mortimer M. Southworth.  The Holly steam system had been introduced into nineteen cities by 1881.

Holly's system attracted several competitors, the first of which was William E. Prall, whose Prall Union Heating Company built a demonstration plant in New York City that hosted a meal for the American Society of Civil Engineers on November 11, 1880, at which the food was cooked used superheated water from the plant.  Prall was unable to gain financial backing until Theodore N. Vail formed the National Heating Company and built plants in Washington, D. C. and Boston.  The Boston plant operated from 1887 to 1889 before shutting down due to corrosion in the return water lines to the plant.

Holly's success led to the January 1881 incorporation of the American District Steam Company with a capital of $10 million.  This company continued to develop new plants well into the Twentieth Century and survives as Adsco Manufacturing LLC in Buffalo.

This study has identified 472 commercial district heating systems that were built between 1877 and 2020, with 395 (84%) of those built before 1918 and 64 still operating.  A breakdown by time periods is shown in the following table: 

Systems Built in Each Time Period
Years 1877-1900 1901-1925 1926-1950 1951-1975 1976-2000 2001-2020
Number Built 158 250 33
Average Service Life (years) 53.8
Still operating 17 13 6

1813 "Letter from Oliver Evans to his son George, May 19, 1813," reprinted in Oliver Evans:  A chronicle of Early American Engineering, by Greville Bathe and Dorothy Bathe (1935)
Page 193:  I have conceived a great improvement in the application of my inexhaustible principle of my Steam engine I warm a factory by Conveying the Steam by light coper pipes through all the appartments so that the Steam condensed to water will run back to the supply pump The air itself will condense the steam with the aid of the pressure of the Steam as the pipe fills and the hotter the supply water is returned to the boiler to be raised the less by the fire say 30° only the less fuel will be required because the difference between the elastic power of Steam in the boiler and condenser will be greater and this difference is the neat power of the engine.
At Patapsco near Baltimore they have a copper pipe run through all their appartments enough to condense for 100 horse power and their boiler to make the steam sufficient for a 20 or 30 horse engine the same fuel that they use would drive the Engine to work their Machinery is not this astonishing that this was not sooner seen in all the 7 years since I first calculated the above table and explained it in a book. This will secure our Steam engine 14 years perhaps longer but Mum.

1814 "An Oliver Evans License of 1814," reprinted in Power 40(11):378-379 (September 15, 1914)
This engine is not more than one fourth the weight of others; is more simple, durable, and cheap, and more suitable for every purpose; especially for propelling boats and land carriages. It requires no more water than the fuel will evaporate in steam, and this steam may be employed to warm the apartments of factories; or the condenser could be used as a still to distil spirits; or a vat or paper making, boiler in a brewery, dye factory, &c. &c.

1836 Mechanics' Magazine, and Journal of the Mechanics' Institute 7(6):323 (June 1836)
Mr. Perkins says he can heat a whole parish with one fire.

1842 Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain, by Edwin Chadwick
Page 254:  A few year since a gentleman, observing some ditches in London, in the neighborhood of the City-road, smoking with clean hot water running away from the steam-engine of a manufactory, directed attention to the waste, and suggested the expediency of using that water to supply public warm or tepid water baths.  After a time the suggestion was acted upon as a private speculation, and large swimming-baths were constructed.

1870 "Exhaust Steam for Heating Purposes," by Charles E. Emery, American Artisan 10:162-163 (March 16, 1870)

1876 Plan of First Underground Steam Main constructed in the United States.
[Holly actually installed this line in 1876.]

1876 The Holly Steam Combination Company, Limited, Lockport
Preliminary Certificate Filed November 27, 1876
Final Certificate of Incorporation, January 17, 1877
Capital $25,000
Business:  Manufacturing and putting into use machinery, pipes and appliances for supplying steam for heating, and machine labor.

1876 The Daily Journal of Commerce (Kansas City, Missouri), December 9, 1876, Page 1.
Mr. Holly, the inventor of the Holly water-works, proposes to beat the entire city of Lockport, by steam. The idea is not a novel one, as it has been brought up at various times and rejected by practical minds, who considered it impracticable. Mr. Holly has furnished cold water to many cities, including Kansas City, which, figuratively speaking, he has kept in hot water most of the time without extra charge.

1877 "Mr. Holly's Steam Heating Apparatus," Buffalo Courier, January 5, 1877, Page 2. | Part 2 |

1877 "Heating a City by Steam," Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, January 30, 1877, Page
Details of the Plan by Which Mr. Holly Will Heat Lockport.

1877 "Corporation Proceedings," Lockport Daily Journal, February 28, 1877, Page 4.
Petition of the Holly Steam Combination Company (limited), for permission to open streets and alleys between Main street and High street (north and south), and Washburn street and Transit street (east and west) for the purpose of laying steam mains and pipes for heating and manufacturing purposes, etc. Adopted.

1877 "Steam Expansion which Causes an Explosion," The Buffalo Sunday Morning News, July 22, 1877, Page 3.

1878 Announcement of the Holly Steam Combination Company Limited, of Lockport, N.Y. : for supplying heat to private dwellings and public buildings of every description, from a central point, through street mains and laterals, and to measure the steam used to each consumer. | also here | June, 1878

1878 William.E. Prall. Means for Heating and Ventilating Buildings. U. S. Patent No. 208,633. Patented Oct. 1, 1878

1878 Rochester Union and Advertiser, October 10, 1878, Page 2.
It is reported that the Holly Steam Heating Company are negotiating with parties in this city to have their system or heatng introduced here.  The company asks $75,000 for the exclusive right to use their invention in Rochester.

1878 "Heating Cities with Hot Water," The Baltimore Sun, December 21, 1878, Page 5.
The Prall Company, represented by William E. Prall, Wm. H. Webb. Frank E. Trowbridge and others, have applied for permission to heat public buildings and private houses in New York by hot water. At the same time General Spinola is pushing the Holly plan for heating the city by steam.

[1878] The Prall System of Heating Cities and Supplying Power by Hot Water, by William E. Prall
It is true that the more modern and expensive establishments, such as hotels, public buildings, and a few of the more costly private houses, have been provided with steam-heating apparatus, but while it may justify the expenditure for separate steam generators, and maintenance thereof, in such places, it would not be within the means of the masses to do so, hence many attempts have lately' been made to make steam wholesale as it were, and retail it to customers both for heating, and power purposes, through pipes, extending over a large area, and at considerable distances from the generators or boilers.
Confined to comparatively small areas the system has proved profitable, as shown by the Manhattan Real Estate Association, who for many years past have supplied the district lying between Thomas and Worth streets on Broadway, New York, with both heat and power, from a battery of boilers. The system has met with equal success in other cities for many years, notwithstanding the immense loss from radiation and condensation.

1879 "A Big Blaze," The Boston Globe, January 18, 1879, Page 1.
Another conflagration in New York City. [The burned buildings were owned and heaed by the Manhattan Real Estate Association, as mentioned in the above Prall document.]

1879 "The Holly System of Steam Heating," by Lewis M. Haupt, Read February 15, 1879,  Proceedings of the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia 1:100-103 (1879)

1879 Report upon the system of the Holly steam combination company limited, of Lockport, N.Y., by Herman Haupt, March 28, 1879.

1879 "The Holly System of Steam Heating," Scientific American 41(8):114-115 (August 13, 1879)

1880 An act to amend chapter two hundred and ninety of the laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, entitled "An act to amend chapter one hundred and forty-nine of the laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-four, entitled 'An act to amend an act, passed April twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred and seventy-two, entitled 'An act to amend chapter six hundred and lifty-seven of the laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-one, entitled 'An act to amend an act, passed February seventeenth, eighteen hundred and forty-eight, entitled 'An act to authorize the formation of corporations for manufacturing, mining, mechanical or chemical purposes,'" passed April twentieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-one, and to legalize the formation and acts of certain corporations formed according to the provisions of chapter three hundred and seventy-four of the laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-seven. May 8, 1880.
§1. Or the supplying of hot water or hot air or steam for motive power, heating, cooking or other useful applications in the streets and public and private buildings of any city, village or town in this State,

1880 The "Prall" System of Supplying Heat and Power to Cities by means of superheated water, by Prall Union Heating Company

1880 "The 'Prall' System," The Plumber and Sanitary Engineer, 3:448 (October 15, 1880)

1880 "Annual Meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers," Engineering News 7:391 (November 20, 1880)
Thursday, November 11.  To One hundred and Twenty-fifth street, where lunch awaited them at the establishment of the Prall Union Heating Co.

1880 "Roasting with Hot Water," Mining and Scientific Press 41:359 (December 4, 1880)
A most novel and interesting experiment is now being conduced at 256 West 125th street, New York city, where the Prall Union Heating Co., have erected a plant to demonstrate the principles involved in their system of supplying steam for power, or for heating purposes, and heat for cooking purposes.

1880 Ordinance granting rights to New York Steam Company (a corporation formed July 26, 1880). December 14, 1880.

1880 Third annual announcement, Holly Steam Combination Company.

1881 "The Prall System of Heating," Scientific American 44(1):2 (January 1, 1881)
During their recent convention in this city the members of the American Society of Civil Engineers were entertained by the Prall Union Heating Company. The dinner was cooked throughout by superheated water; and whatever may have been the cost on the relative economy of the system, the cooking was accepted as unquestionably satisfactory.
That bread can be baked and meat roasted by hot water may seem quite incredible to those who think of boiling water only as commonly seen in open vessels. Under atmospheric pressure water can be heated no higher than 212°, far below a roasting temperature. But when confined there is no limit to the temperature it may receive save the weakness or strength of the containing vessel.
The Union Heating Company propose to supply heat and power to houses by a system of pipes circulating water heated under pressure to about 376°, that is, a pressure of about 160 pounds above the atmosphere. In being conveyed a mile in boxed pipes, under ground, the water, it is claimed, loses not more than 1°, so that a temperature of 375° can be maintained in the pipes of a cooking range, a heat sufficient for all culinary purposes. The heating of houses can be effected either by air currents circulating around hot-water coils, or by means of steam radiators, the hot water being converted into steam in small converting chambers.
In the operation of the system, central boiler stations will be established in districts of about one square mile area. The pipes conveying the superheated water from the central station and back again, are laid in the same trench, and are so connected as to allow a forced circulation. The return pipe conveys to the generator all the water not drawn off for domestic or other purposes, thereby saving all the heat not available for heating purposes or for steam power.
The alleged advantages of this system of circulating superheated water over systems of steam heating consist in the smaller size and cost of the service pipes; in the smaller loss of heat by radiation and condensation, owing to the smallness of the pipes; and the saving of fuel through the return of all the unused condensed water to the central generator.
At the trial station at 125th street about 3,000 feet of pipe have been laid. The water to be circulated is heated to about 342°, and is said to be driven through the system at such a rate that no water is allowed to be more than fifteen minutes away from the boiler. It is estimated that two or three cubic feet of water an hour will suffice for heating an ordinary city house, and that the cost to consumers will be much less than with any other system of heating. To determine this, however, we are inclined to think that something more than brief experimental trials, under the management of the company's engineers, will be necessary. However promising a system may be theoretically, serious difficulties are apt to be encountered when it is put to the test of practical use at the hand of ignorant and unskillful servants. In the ordinary use of steam at low pressure for domestic purposes, leaking joints and valves are a source of constant trouble; much more must they be troublesome under a pressure four or five times as great. At any rate the successful use of superheated water in the way proposed will necessitate a style of valve making and steam fitting marvelously better than builders and house owners are able to obtain now.

1881 Buffalo Weekly Express, January 27, 1881, Page 2.
The "American District Steam Company" is the name of a new company just formed at Lockport with the following officers : President. Dr. D. F. Bishop; Vice-President, W. C. Andrews; Secretary, B. D. Hall ; Treasurer, J. H. Babcock. The capital stock is to be $10,000,000, consisting of 100,000 shares at $100 a share.

1881 "How Robbed by Daylight," The New-York Times, March 18, 1881, Page 2.
Prall New-York Heating Company stock certificates stolen from Mrs. Prall.

1881 "A New Enterprise," Decatur Daily Republican. April 5, 1881, Page 3.
Mr. E. L. Holly, superintendent of the American District Steam Co., (Holly System), which has offices at Lockport, N.Y., and at New York City.  Mr. Holly stated that there were now 19 cities in the United States being heated by the Holly system, and that all the works give satisfaction.  Nineteen other cities in the country will be by steam next winter, as companies have been organized for that purpose.

1881 "Experiments with Non-Conductors of Heat," by Charles E. Emery, Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2:34-40 (May 1881)

1881 "The Distribution of Light and Heat in New York City," Scientific American 45(21):319-320 (November 19, 1881) | also here |

1881 "The Combination System of Steam Heating for Towns and Villages," by Douglas Galton, Journal of the Society of Arts 30:84-94 (December 9, 1881)

1881 Crofutt's Grip-sack Guide of Colorado: A Complete Encyclopedia of the State: Resources and Condensed Authentic Descriptions of Every City, Town, Village, Station, Post Office and Important Mining Camp in the State, by George A. Crofutt
Page 32: The Denver City Steam Heating Co. was incorporated December 15th, 1879, to supply steam by the Holly system or any other to heat dwelling houses, stores, shops, factories, and other buildings, and for motive power to run machinery and other purposes. The company's works are located near the Platte River and gas works, foot of 18th street, are of brick; they have six 300-horse power boilers, and over two miles of pipe laid from their works. Steam was first turned on November 5th, 1880, and was a success from the start. The American Hotel, several engines and many offices are using the steam and declare it to be a great saving. The company have ordered more pipes, and they will be laid and the steam supplied in all parts of the city as soon ns possible. The company has a capital stock of $500,000, and $100,000 has already been expended in their works and business.  We notice among the incorporators J. W. Smith, Geo. Tritch, and E. F. Hallack. pioneer names in Colorado twenty years ago. These men have made their fortunes in the State, and are now all using it to introduce a steam heating system at once ample, cleanly, pleasant, always ready and cheap.

1882 Six per cent preferred stock, the American District Steam Company, March 1882.

1882 Philadelphia Steam Supply Company, April 25, 1882. | also here |

1883 "Note Relating to 'Water-Hammer' in Steam Pipes," by Robert H. Thurston, Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 4:404-409 (June 1883)

1883 The New York Steam Company
General map showing the locations of properties owned by the Company for ten steam stations now operated and to be constructed; also the principal streets in which steam mains are now laid and intended to be laid during the seasons of 1884, '85, '86. The mains to be extended as fast as possible to cover 250 miles of streets.

1884 New York Steam Company system of street steam distribution in New York City. Statement of Progress made to January 1, 1884.

1884 "The Distribution of Steam in Cities," by William P. Shinn, Vice President New York Steam Company, Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers 12:632-638 (February 1884) | also here | Map showing the Location of the Mains and Services of The New York Steam Co. |

1884 District steam supply : heating buildings by steam, from a central source, by James Herbert Bartlett
Includes details about 18 steam systems.

1885 "Heating Buildings by Steam from a Central Source," by J. H. Bartlett, Scientific American Supplement 487:7772-7774 (May 2, 1885)

1886 American District Steam Company Holly System of Street Distribution in Cities and Villages for purposes of heating and power supply.

1887 "Electric Motors," by Wm. Baxter, Jr., Proceedings of the National Electric Light Association 3:373-409 (February 1887)
Page 438:  It is said that in New York city the New York Steam Company is furnishing power to four hundred and thirty-five engines.

1887 Reports of Proceedings of the City Council of Boston for the Year 1887
Pages 282-284: March 21, 1887.  Boston Heating Company

1887 "The Comparative Value of Steam and Hot Water for Transmitting Heat and Power," by Charles E. Emery, Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 8:512-528 (May, 1887)

1887 "Men of Steam," Altoona Times, June 16, 1887, Page 1.
Williamsport, June 15. The annual session of the Holly District Steam Engineers, Superintendents and Managers' Association opened here to-day with a good attendance. The organization is devoted to matters connected with steam supply interests and represents the majority of the States in the Union. President Foreman, of this city, presides. Reports were presented today by the Secretary and Treasurer. Various papers will be read to-morrow.

1887 Investments in New York City, New York Steam Company, July 1, 1887

1887 "The Plant of the Boston Heating Company," by Arthur V. Abbott, Read before the Boston Society of Civil Engineers, November 16, 1887, Association of Engineering Societies 7(10):389-410 (October 1888)

1887 Central station heating: address before meeting of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers, November 16, 1887, by Arthur V. Abbott, National Heating Company (1888)

1887 Report made to the National Superheated Water Company on the Prall system of supplying heat for cooking, heating and steam power, by Benjamin Franklin Isherwood

1888 "Heating Company at Work," The Boston Globe, January 7, 1888, Page 6.
The Boston Heating Company formally began operations for the winter yesterday evening. After all the mains boilers and pumps had been tested and found to be in satisfactory condition. Mr. Richards, the President of the company. turned the valve which set the hot water circulating in the complex system of pipes.

1888 "A Description of the Plant of the Boston Heating Company," by Arthur V. Abbott, Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers 16:870-887 (February 1888)

1888 "Heating Cities by Steam," by Charles E. Emery, Journal of the Franklin Institute 126:199-222 (March 1888)

1888 Report of the Board of Experts on the Central Station Heating and Power System of the National Heating Company, by Rossiter W Raymond, C. C. Martin and George W. Plympton, March 26, 1888

1888 "The Prall System of Distributing Heat and Power from Central Stations," by E. D. Meier, Read May 2, 1888, Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies 7(8):305-313 (August 1888)

1888 "Holly Steam Engineers," Springfield Republican, June 21, 1888, Page 3.
An Important Convention in This City.  The association numbers 45 members.

1888 "Close of the Steam-Heat Conference," Springfield Republican, June 22, 1888, Page 4.

1888 "Holly Steam Engineers," Harrisburg Daily Independent, June 22, 1888, Page 1.
Springfield, Mass, June 22 -

1888 "Holly Steam Engineers," Engineering News 19:543 (June 30, 1888)
The Holly District Steam Engineer's, Superintendents' and Managers Association held its third annual convention at Springfield, Mass. June 22, and elected the following officers:
President, R. H. GALLAGHER, Harrisburg, Pa.: First Vice-President, C. E. EMERY New York; Second, E. P. HOLLY, Springfield, Mass. Third, G. W. SHOUCK, Wilkesbarre, Pa.: Fourth, WILLIAM RIDLEY, Denver, Col.; Secretary, IRA A. HOLLY, New Haven; treasurer, ROBERT MOWBREY; Financial Committee, A. Z. SHOCK, Bloomsburg, Pa., J. D. WALSH, of Lockport, N.Y., and A. D. MERRITT, Springfield.
The following papers were read and discussed: 'High and Low Pressures for Heating Buildings from a Central Station", by R. H. GALLAGHER, Harrisburg. Ha.: "Crude Oil and Coal Compared as Fuels", by E. P. HOLLY; "Can Cooking be done economically by Steam?" by CHARLES S. CHASE, New York: "General Management of the Holly Steam Plants”, by A. Z. SCHOCK, Bloomsburg: "Incrustation in Boilers", by WILLIAM RIDLEY, Denver, Col. “Is it Advisable to Heat Feed Water by Direct Steam" by B, C. SMITH, Auburn, N. Y.: "Cost of Maintaining Steam Meters" by JOHN WALSH, Lockport, N. Y.; "Saving Fuel by the Automatic Regulation of the Damper", by N.C. LOCKE, Salem; "Combustion of Fuel and Boiler Furnaces", by THOMAS MURPHY, Detroit, Mich.; "Rocking Grate Bars", by C. B. HOLLY, Phillipsburg, Pa.

1888 The Manufacturer and Builder 20:214 (September, 1888)
Transactions of the Holly District Steam Engineers, Superintendents and Managers' Association during the Year 1887. New Haven, Conn.: Geo. W. Moffatt. 1888.
The above-named pamphlet contains the transactions of the second annual meeting of the superintendents, chief engineers and managers of the Holly District Steam Supply companies of various cities throughout the United States, which was held at Williamsport, Pa., June 15-16 of the present year.  It embraces papers on Piping Buildings for Steam Heat, by Geo. S. Chase, of Bellefonte, Pa.; The Most Economical Way of Generating steam-the size and Kind of Boilers, by Wm. Ridley, of Denver, Col.; On the Rating of the Horse-Power of Steam Boilers, by W. P. Trowbridge, of New York, and C. B. Richards, of New Haven, Conn.; besides a number of reports upon subjects of technical interest to the members. The association exhibits a commendable degree of activity, and will doubtless prove of much advantage to its members as a means of mutual improvement.

1888 Central station heating and power supply [by the use of superheated water], by Rochester Superheated Water Company

1889 "The District Distribution of Steam in the United States," by Charles Edward Emery, Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 97:196-290 (March 1889)

1889 "The Uses of Steam," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 26, 1889, Page 6 | pdf |
The new Holly System of Steam Distribution.  Includes a list of installations.  This appears to be reprinted from a publication of the American District Steam Company that is otherwise unknown.

1889 "Report of the Board of Experts on the Central Station Heating and Power Supply System of the National Heating Company, New York, 1888," by Dr. Rossiter W. Reymond, C. C. Martin, and Prof Geo. W. Plympton, Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 97:471-473 (1889)
Report of the plant of the Boston Heating Company

1890 American District Steam Company Holly System of Street Distribution in Cities and Villages for purposes of heating and power supply.

1891 "Distribution of Steam from Central Stations," Proceedings of the National Electric Light Association 9:58-78 (February 1891)

1891 Electrical Enterprise 2(24):477-478 (December 12, 1891)
The sale of residual products of gas works pays the dividends, the salaries, and a portion of the operating expenses. As good a showing can be made by electric light stations conveniently situated. The exhaust steam of a non-condensing plant has nine-tenths of all the heat absorbed by the water evaporated. This steam is worth for heating purposes than the cost of the coal burned. The demand for heat is greater in the months of longest lighting.  An excellent field for an experiment to determine the possibilities in the utilization of exhaust steam is in the neighborhood of the Head place station of the Edison Illuminating Company.  An engineer who has had experience in this line declares that the company could sell $20,000 worth of steam a year without increasing the back pressure on the exhaust more than five pounds at the utmost.

1892 "Heating a City with Exhaust Steam," Street Railway Review 2:69-72 (February, 1892)
A Description of the Ottumwa, Iowa, Electric Railway and how it Increased its Dividends

1892 "Light, Heat and Power Service at the Thompson-Houston Company, Buffalo," Western Electrician 10:118 (February 27, 1892)

1892 "The Utilization of Exhaust Steam for Heating by the Springfield, Ill., Electric Light & Power Company's Plant," by W. Forman Collins, The Electrical Engineer 13(213):545-548 (June 1, 1892)

1892 Holly system of direct and exhaust steam distribution in cities and villages for heating and power, American District Steam Company

1895 The Electrical Engineer 25:36 (January 5, 1895)
The Home Heating & Lighting Company, Toledo, O., capital stock $50,000, has been incorporated to do heating and lighting by electricity, steam and hot water, etc.  J. F. Zahm, Homer Yaryan, and R. W. Smith are interested.

1895 "Central Station Hot-Water Heating," Heating and Ventilation 5:3 (February 15, 1895)
Yaryan plant in Toledo

1895 American steam and hot-water heating practice, from The Engineering Record

1896 "Methods of Insulating Underground Systems of Steam Piping," By R. C. Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Transactions of the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers 2:119-143 (January, 1896)

1896 "Big Exhaust Steam Heating System," The Street Railway Review 6(5):317 (May 15, 1896)
Philadelphia Heat, Light & Power Company.

1896 "Heating by Exhaust Steam," The Street Railway Review 6(7):451-452 (July 15, 1896)
This system of heating is in extensive use by the Springfield, Ill., Electric Light & Power Company, the Terre Haute, Ind., Electric Railway Company, The Danville, Ill., Electric Light & Power Company, the St. Joseph, Mo., Light, Heat & Power Company and many others.

1898 "The Yaryan Heating System, Plant No. 2," Abstract of Thesis of Ralph Collamore and Chas O. Cook, The Michigan Technic 11:99-102 (1898)

1899 "Central Hot Water Heating Plant," by Arthur C. Loomis, Mattoon, Illinois, Annual Report of the Iowa Society of Engineers and Surveyors 14:198-202 (January 1899)
Yaryan hot water system at Mattoon, Illinois

1900 "Central Station Heating in Connection with Electric Lighting Plants," by W. H. Schott, Electricity 18:55 (January 31, 1900)

1900 "Central Station Heating Plants," by C. C. Hammond, Power 20(4):18 (April 1900)

1900 "Utilization of Exhaust Steam for Heating," by Harry J. Frith, Proceedings of the Convention of the National Electric Light Association 19:116-144 (May, 1900)

1900 "Hot-Water Heating From a Central Station," by Homer T. Yaryan, Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 21:937-960 (May, 1900)
Page 949:  During the past two years the system I have described has been installed, and is now in successful operation in the following cities and towns : La Porte, Ind. ; Matton, Ill. ; La Crosse, Wis. ; Kenosha, Wis.; Alton, Ill.; Portage, Wis.; Boone, Perry, Ida Grove, Iowa Falls, and Mason City, Iowa.

1900 "Hot Water Heating from a Central Station" by Homer T. Yaryan, Scientific American Supplement 49(1278supp):20490-20491 (June 1900)

1900 "Steam or Hot-water Heating from Central Stations," July 9, 1900 letter by I. H. Babock, American District Steam Company, Western Electrician 27:27 (July 14, 1900)

1900 "Two Revenues Instead of One:  Electricity as By-Product," by A. J. Stahl, La Porte, Ind., Proceedings of the Ohio Electric Light Association 6:27-35 (August 1900)

1900 "Statistics on Hot Water and Steam Heating Plants," Municipal Engineering 19(5):412-414 (November 1900)
Page 414:  Table of Data Concerning Central Heating Plants using hot water and steam

1900 Test of Heating and Ventilating Plant Installed by Evans Almirall and Co. of New York City in Public School No. 22, by August Peter Sonnin Krebs and Arthur Samuel Blanchard, Thesis, Cornell University

1900 The History of Public Franchises in New York City: Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, by Gustavus Myers
Pages 182-184:  Steam Heating

1901 "Some Notes on Central Station Heating," by William H. Bryan, Transactions of the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers 7:97-131 (January 1901)

1901 "Utilization of Exhaust Steam," Street Railway Review, 11:71 (January 15, 1901)

1901 "Heating from Central Stations," by Alton D. Adams, Municipal Engineering 20(2):65-68 (February 1901)

1901 "A Central Heating Plant at Washington Court, O., Municipal Engineering 20(2):112-113 (February 1901)

1901 "Heating from Central Stations - A comparison with Private Heating Plants," Municipal Engineering 20(3):136-138 (March 1901)

1901 "Central Station Steam Heating Plant," Municipal Engineering 20(3):152 (March 1901)

1901 "Hot-Water Central Heating in Red Oak, Ia.," The Engineering Record, 43:307-308 (March 30, 1901)
Evans Almirall system

1901 "Central Station Heating," Municipal Engineering 20(4):195-202 (April 1901)
Smead hot water system at Washington Court House, Ohio.  Isaac D. Smead

1901 "The First Central Station Heating Plant on the Smead System," Municipal Engineering 20(4):243-244 (April 1901)

1901 "Steam Heating from Central Stations," by Charles R. Maunsell, Proceedings of the Convention of the National Electric Light Association 20:371-392 (May 1901)

1901 "Design of Pipes for Hot Water Heating from Central Station," Electrical Review 38(20):616-617 (May 18, 1901)

1901 "New Franchise at Ottumwa," The Street Railway Journal 18(6):171 (August 10, 1901)
The Ottumwa Electric and Steam Company, of Ottumwa, Ia.  It was the first company in Iowa to do exhaust steam heating and has about 3 miles of pipe line, installed by the American District Steam Company.

1901 "Hot-Water Heating from a Central Station," by C. W. Niles, Fire and Water 30(14):356 (October 5, 1901)

1901 "Hot Water for Public Heating Systems," The Improvement Bulletin 25:10 (December 14, 1901)

1901 "Exhaust-steam Heating," Western Electrician 29:405-406 (December 21, 1901)

1902 "Central Heating Plants in the United States," Engineering News 47:231-232 (March 20, 1902)

1902 The Municipal Year Book, edited by Moses Nelson Baker, April 1902
Pages xxiii-xxvii: Commercial Central Heating Stations.
[This table lists 122 stations in 119 cities with a population over 3,000, plus another 8 in cities with a population less than 3,000.  Moses Nelson Baker is best known for his water works publications.]

1902 "Hot-Water vs. Steam Heating," by J. F. Porter, Proceedings of the Convention of the National Electric Light Association 21:469-492 (May 1902)

1902 "Central Station Heating," by D. F. McGee, Red Oak, Ia., American Gas Light Journal 76:692-693 (May 12, 1902)
Red Oak, Iowa, Evans-Almirall hot water system, start October 1899

1902 "Many Gas Companies Supplying Heat," The Improvement Bulletin 28:10 (September 6, 1902)
Alton Railway, Gas and Electric Light Co., Alton, Ill.; Bellefonte Gas Co., Bellefonte, Pa.; Brice Gas and Electric Co., Mason City, Ia.; Champaign and Urbana Gas and Electric Railway Co., Champaign, ill.; Danville Gas, Electric Light and Street Railway Co., Danville, Ill.; Davenport Gas and Electric Co., Davenport, Ill.; Grand Forks Gas and Electric Co., Grand Forks, N. D.; Kenosha Gas and Electric Co., Kenosha, Wis.; Merchants' Electric Light and Power Co., Coshocton, O.; Muscatine Electric Railway Co., Muscatine, Ia.; Paris Gas Light and Coke Co., Paris, Ill.; People's Electric Light, Heat and Power Co., Greenville, Pa.; People's Electric Light, Heat and Power Co., Bedford, Ind.; Springfield Electric Light Co., Springfield, Mass.

1902 Central Electric Light and Power Stations, Bureau of the Census (1905)

1903 "Report of Committee on District Heating," by John W. Glidden, Proceedings of the Convention of the National Electric Light Association 22:363-381 (May 1903)
Your Committee on District Heating finds that there are about one hundred heating plants of this character in operation in the United States at the present time.  Possibly ten of these are live-steam heating plants, operating solely for the heating business.  The remainder are about two-thirds exhaust-steam heating plants, and one-third hot water heating plants.

1903 "Hot Water Heating from a Central Station," by C. W. Niles, Delaware, Ohio, The Metal Worker 59(20):60-61 (May 16, 1903)

1903  Central station heating at Urbana, Illinois, by Ralph Southward Drury and Roy Weaver Putt, thesis for the degree of bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, University of Illinois, June 1903

1903 "The Engineering of Heating Systems," Street Railway Journal, 22:289 (August 19, 1903)
William H. Schott, engineer, of Chicago, Illinois.

1903 "The Central Heating Plants of Indianapolis," William King Eldridge, Tenth Annual Convention of the American Society of Municipal Improvements 10:109-112 (October 1903)

1904 "Heating from a Central Station," by W. H. Pearce, Journal of the Western Society of Engineers 9(1):1-33 (February, 1904)

1904 "Report of Committee on District Heating," by E. F. McCabe, Proceedings of the Convention of the National Electric Light Association,, Volume 1, 23:436-496 (May 1904)
Includes anonymous data on 36 steam and 16 hot-water systems.

1904 "The Relation between Central Station Heating Plants and Existing Electric Light and Power Plants," by J. C. Hornung, The Iowa Engineer 4(1):10-13 (June 1904)

1904 "Central Station Heating," by W. H. Schott, Municipal Engineering 27:450-454 (December 1904)

1904 "Edisonia," a Brief History of the Early Edison Electric Lighting System, by the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies.
Page 65:  Pearl Street station.  The engines were non-condensing and exhausted into the atmosphere through exhaust feed-water heaters.

1905 "Central Station Heating Plants," Municipal Engineering 28(1):26-29 (January 1905)
Pages 27-28:  Table of Central Station Heating Plants; 38 hot water systems and 42 steam systems

1905 "A Study for a Central Power and Heating Plant at Washington," by Bernard R. Green and S. Homer Woodbridge, Engineering Record 51:167-169 (February 11, 1905)

1905 "The System of the Bloomington & Normal Railway, Electric & Heating Company," by C. H. Robinson, Street Railway Journal 25(21):934-937 (May 27, 1905)
Yaryan hot water system.  Sections of old and new heating pipe insulation.

1905 "Report of Committee on District Heating,"  Proceedings of the Convention of the National Electric Light Association, Volume 1, 24:410-430 (June 1905)
Pages 23-24:  Hot water plant of the Columbus, Ohio Public Service Company

1905 "Notes of the Design of Central-Station Hot-Water Heating Systems," by J. D. Hoffman, Transactions of the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers 11:199-221 (July 1905)

1905 Improved Holly System of Direct and Exhaust District Steam Heating for Cities and Villages through Underground Mains, by American District Steam Company.

1905 "Steam Heating for Central Stations," by R. S. Wallace, The Technograph 19:30-44 (1905)

1906 "The Springfield, Ill., Light, Heat and Power Co's., Station and System," Electrical World 47(5):252-256 (February 3, 1906)

1906 "A Central Steam Heating and Power Plant," by W. N. Zurfluh, The Engineer  43(12):399- 401 (June 15, 1906)
Home Lighting, Power and Heating Company of Springfield, Ohio.  Steam first produced January 10, 1901.

1906 "Central Station Heating Plants," Municipal Engineering 31(6):454-456 (December 1906)
List of hot water, steam and other heating plants.

1906 Heat and Light from Municipal and Other Waste, by Joseph Gerald Branch

1906 Steam Generation, Pipe-fitting Tools, Pipe-fitting Practice, Steam-heating Pipe Systems, Exhaust and Vacuum Systems, Hot-water Heating Systems, Hot-wat Heating Apparatus, Central-station Heating, International Correspondence Schools

1908 "Some Results of Steam Heating from a Central Station," by James A. White, Central Station 7:880-884 (May, 1908)
Citizens' Light, Heat & Power Co. of Johnstown, Pa.

1908 "Meter Rate and Flat Rate in District Steam Heating," Heating and Ventilating Magazine 5:20-21 (May 1908)

1908 "The Schott System of Hot Water Heating," by J. C. Hornung, Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies 41(2):33-42 (August, 1908)

1908 "Some Facts and a Few Theories Concerning the Operation of a Central Station Hot Water Heating and Electrical Generating Plant," by J. D. Hoffman, Heating and Ventilating Magazine 5:1-6 (October 1908)

1908 "Test of Underground Conduit Containing Hot Water Piping," by Harry Gillett, Heating and Ventilating Magazine 5:21-22 (October 1908)

1908 "Underground Insulation of Steam and Hot Water Pipes," by Harry Gillett, Heating and Ventilating Magazine 5:33-34 (November 1908)

1908 "Systems of Central Station Heating," by J. C. Hornung, The Metal Worker, Plumber and Steam Fitter 70(14):54-56 (October 3, 1908)
Holly System thirty years ago, Yaryan System, Schott Hot Water System

1908 Annual Report of the Indiana Engineering Society, Volume 28
Page 142:  Indiana Central Station Heating Plants, January 1, 1908

1909 "Central Station Operation of Steam Plants in Connection with Lighting Company's Service," by S. Morgan Bushnell, Proceedings of the Thirty-Second Convention of the National Electric Light Association 36(2):778-815 (June 1909)

1909 Proceedings of the First Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (November 1909)

1909 Index to National Electric Light Association Conventions 1-32 1885-1909
Page 27:  Heating, hot water; steam

1909 "The Advantages to Electric Companies of Central Station Steam Heating," by Charles R. Bishop, The Electrical Age 40:269-273 (October 1909).  Paper read before the New England Branch of the National Electric Light Association's Summer Meeting held at the Wentworth Hotel, Newcastle, New Hampshire, September 9th-10th, 1909.
Page 269:  In the New England States there are 72 cities having a population over 4000, but still in but three of them is there a district-heating system of any magnitude, while Pennsylvania, having 82 cities of over 5000 inhabitants, can claim central station heating plants in at least 69 cities.  Illinois has 51 cities of 5000 population and over, out of which 30 have more or less extensive systems of heat distribution, and in addition, there are heating plants in eight cities in Illinois of less than five thousand population.

1910 "Report of the Review Committee for 1910 on Central Heating Plants," Transactions of the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers 16:125-127 (January, 1910)

1910 "Toledo Yaryan System," by A. Carle Rogers, Engineering Review 20:58-59 (May 1910)

1910 "Central Station Hot Water Heating," by Byron T. Gifford, Engineering Review 20:59-61 (May 1910)

1910 Proceedings of the Second Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (May 1910)
Pages 3-12:  List of member systems and Central Station Heating Plants in United States, Not Members of the National District Heating Association

1910 Municipal Franchises: Introductory. Pipe and wire franchises, Volume 1, by Delos Franklin Wilcox
Pages 406-497:  Chapter XV. Central Heating Franchises

1910 Memoirs of Lucas County and the City of Toledo: From the Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present, Including a Genealogical and Biographical Record of Representative Families, Volume 2, by Harvey Scribner
Pages 230-232: Homer T. Yaryan

1910 "Development and Application of Central Station Heating," by Charles R. Bishop, Proceedings of the Third Annual Convention of the Pennsylvania Electric Association 3:71-85 (September, 1910) | also here |

1910 "District Steam Heating Plants," by Paul Mueller, Proceedings of the Annual Convention of the American Society of Municipal Engineers 17:279-289 (October, 1910) | also here | (great pictures)

1911 Proceedings of the Third Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (June 1911)

1911 Central Station Heating, by American District Steam Company

1912 Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (June 1912)

1912 Wisconsin Heating rates. A compilation of rates in force October 1, 1912

1912 Central electric light and power stations and street and electrical railways with summary of the electrical industries, Bureau of the Census (1915)
Pages 152-154:  Central Station Steam and Hot-Water Heating and Supply of Steam for Power
The total number of heating companies in the United States in 1912 was about 250.

1912 Central Station Heating, by Byron Towne Gifford | Second Edition 1918 |

1913 Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (May 1913)

1913 Seventh Annual Report Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York  | Also here |
Page 523-529:  New York Steam Company

1913 Seventh Annual Report of the Public Service Commission, Second District, for the year ended December 31, 1913, Volume III
Pages 326-328:  Steam Corporations

1913 Thirty Years of New York, 1882-1892: Being a History of Electrical Development in Manhattan and the Bronx, by New York Edison Company
Page 130:  The cellar annex opened at 60 Liberty Street in 1886 did not manufacture its own steam, but contracted for it from the New York Steam Heating Company.

1914 Annual Report of the Public Service Commission of Indiana for the Fiscal Year Ending April 14, 1914
Pages 243-246:  Names of Towns and Corporations, showing kind of service furnished.  Eight towns have heating service

1914 In the Matter of the Hearing on the Motion of the Commission on the Question of Improvements in the Methods Employed by the New York Company in Manufacturing, Distributing and Supplying Steam for Heat or Power and the Property, Equipment or Appliances Used in Connection Therewith, Case No. 1763. P.S.C. 1 N.Y.R 5:265, July 24, 1914
Corporate history of the New York Steam Company

1914 The Heating and Ventilating Magazine 11(8):63 (August 1914)
Deaths. Quimby N. Evans, senior partner of the firm of Evans, Almirall & Company, engineers and contractors for heating, ventilating and power plants, died suddenly July 6. Mr. Evans was one of the pioneers in the heating business in this country, having been in partnership with Frederick Tudor of Boston, under the firm name of F. Tudor & Co., in the '70s. In 1880 he formed a partnership as The Q. N. Evans Co., doing business in Boston and New York. In 1892, Mr. Almirall became associated with him and, a couple of years later, the present co-partnership of Evans, Almiral & Co. was formed. During the past two years Mr. Evans had not been actively engaged in the business, having felt that he could leave it in younger hands. His death was quite unexpected. The business of Evans, Almirall & Co., it is announced, will continue as in the past.

1914 Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association held at Rochester, New York (May, 1914)

1914 "Reminiscence and the Early Day Struggle of Central Station Steam Heating," by John Walsh

1914 Encyclopedia of Exhaustive Steam Heating, by Harrison Safety Boiler Works

1915 Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (June 1915)

1915 State Public Utilities Commission of Illinois, Part II, Statistical Report
Pages 1139-1140: Table VI Heating Corporations Miscellaneous statistics for the year ended June 30, 1915.

1915 Sweet's Engineering Catalogue
Page 464:  The Ric-Wil Underground Pipe Covering Company
Pages 465-: Tyler Underground Heating System

1915 District Heating: A Brief Exposition of the Development of District Heating and Its Position Among Public Utilities, by S. Morgan Bushnell and Frederick Burton Orr

1915 Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York, Volume 3
Page 624:  The New York Steam Company

1915 Ninth Annual Report of the Public Service Commission, Second District, for the year ended December 31, 1915, Volume III
Pages 318-320:  Steam Corporations

1916 "Central Station Heating in Minnesota," Minnesota Municipalities, 1(1):23 (February, 1916)
Page 24:  Central Station Heating in Minnesota

1916 Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (May 1916)
Pages 406-410:  District Heating Plants in the United States.  346 Cities in the United States having heating plants.

1916 Tenth Annual Report of the Public Service Commission, Second District, for the year ended December 31, 1916,

1916 Engineering of Power Plants, by Robert H. Fernald and George A. Orrok
Pages 341-353:  Chapter XVII - District Heating

1917 Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (June 1917)

1917 "District Heating Companies in the United States," Heating and Ventilating Magazine 24(8):47-49 (August, 1917)
There are no less than 401 central station heating plants shown on the map, 351 of which are steam and 50 hot water.
It should be noted that the plants listed include many installations that supply heat to more than one building, but which are not strictly district heating systems.  As it was difficult, in some instances to draw the line, they have all been included. - EDITOR.  {The map referenced was displayed at the 1917 NDHA convention, but not published.]

1917 Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District for the year ending December 31, 1917.
Pages 517-536:  The New York Steam Company

1917 Annual Report of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Page 774:  Steam Heating Companies [45 companies]

1917 Central Electric Light and Power Station with Summary of the Electrical Industries, Bureau of the Census  (1920)
Page 23:  Table 8.  6,543 commercial and municipal central electric stations

1918 Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York
Pages 929- : New York Steam Company, receivers appointed August 19, 1918.

1918 Industrial Directory of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Pages 694-695:  Steam Heating Companies [50 companies]

1918 Central Station Heating: Its Economic Features, with Reference to Community Service, by John C. White, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Technical Paper No. 191

1919 Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (June 1919)

1919 "Central-station heating in Detroit," by J. H. Walker, Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 41:209-238 (June 1919)

1919 Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York for the year ending December 31, 1919
Pages 929-944:  The New York Steam Company, operated by a receiver.

1919 Annual Reports of the Pubic Service Commission of Indiana 1919-1933

1920 Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (May, 1920)

1920 Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York for the year ending December 31, 1920
Pages 962-978:  The New York Steam Company, operated by a receiver.

1921 Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (June, 1921)

1921 "The Heating System for the Girard Estate, Philadelphia," The Heating and Ventilating Magazine 18:43 (June 1921)
Evans-Almirall system supplies 481 houses, stores and apartments on the Girard Estate

1921 "Take Over Defunct Steam Supply Co.," The New York Times, August 15, 1921, Page 19.

1921 In One Man's Life: Being Chapters from the Personal & Business Career of Theodore N. Vail, by Albert Bigelow Paine
Pages 190--194:  The Boston Heating Company

1921 Handbook of the National District Heating Association

1922 Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (June, 1922)

1922 Annual Report of the Missouri Public Service Commission
Page 113:  Cities and Towns Supplied with Steam Heating Service

1923 Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (June, 1923)

1924 Central and District Heating: Possibilities of Application in Canada, by Frank Aubrey Combe

1924 Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Convention of the National District Heating Association (June, 1924)

1924 "Present Development of the Central Station Heating Industry," by Fred B. Orr, The Heating and Ventilating Magazine (October 1924)

1924 Moody's Analyses of Investments and Security Rating Books: Public utility securities
Pages 1306-1308:  New York Steam Corporation

1925 "New Utility of Steam on Top," by M. C. Krarup, Forbes 15:550 (February 1, 1925)

1925 "Giant power : large scale electrical development as a social factor," by Moris Llewllyn Cooke, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 118(1) (March 1925)
Page xii: Introduction by Gifford Pinchot, Governor of Pennsylvania.  Men can use steam power only where it is generated. That is why steam has concentrated vast numbers of people in industrial cities. In a steam-driven civilization the worker must go to the power, but in an electrically-driven civilization the power will be delivered to the worker. Steam makes slums. Electricity can replace them with garden cities.

1925 The ADSCO System of Atmospheric Steam (Vapor) Heating

1926 "Municipally Owned Utilities and Services," Municipal Index, pages:95-101 (1926)
13 cities owned municipal heating plants.

1927 Central station heating and its relation to the electric utility. Presented at the forty-third annual meeting of the Association of Edison illuminating companies, by John W Meyer

1928 "Homer T. Yaryan: An Autobiography," American Chemical Industry:  The World War I period: 1912-1922 2:383-385 (1945)
Reprinted from Hercules Mixer, June 1928
Page 383:  My next invention was heating with hot water from a central station.  I built 3 plans in Toledo between the years 1894 and 1896.

1929 Annual report of the Public Service Commission of Oregon
Page 154:  Steam heat companies

1932 Fifty years of New York steam service; the story of the founding and development of a public utility, by New York Steam Corporation

1932 Handbook of the National District Heating Association
Page 361:  List of hot-water systems as of 1930.

1933 Principles of economical heating, by National District Heating Association

[1935] ADSCO Red Diamond Brand Casing for underground steam and hot water lines.

1940 Directory of Electric Utilities in the United States, by Federal Power Commission | 1941 |
Other services provided by each utility are also noted, including steam and hot water heating.

1944 "Municipal Central Heating System Serves Whole City," Engineering News Record 133:79 (December 28, 1944)
Virginia, Minnesota

1950 "The Heat's On in New York," Business Week, January 14, 1950, Page 80.

1951 "District Heating with Coal," by Wesley Calef, Illinois Academy of Science Transactions 44:65-72 (1951)

1951 District Heating Handbook, Third Edition, National District Heating Association
Page 9:  In 1949 there were in the United States seventeen hot-water systems and eighteen systems supplying both steam and hot water. 

1953 Manual of Design Criteria, Military Construction, High Temperature Hot Water Heating Systems, Prepared by Paul L. Geiringer

1958 High Temperature Water Systems, by Owen S. Lieberg | 2nd Edition (1963) |

1959 "The History of District Heating," by John F. Collins, Jr., District Heating 44(4):154-161 (April 1959)

1959 "More About Steam," December 6, 1959

1959 "Nation's Largest High Temperature Water installation heats U.S. Air Force Academy," MIT Technology Review 62(2) (December 1959)

1962 "Public and Private Sellers of Heat in the United States and Canada, Part 1," District Heating 47(4):155-157 (April 1962)

1962 "Public and Private Sellers of Heat in the United States and Canada, Part 2," District Heating 48(1):32 (July 1962)

1962 Principles of economical heating, 6th Edition, by National District Heating Association

1963 High temperature water heating its theory and practice for district and space heating applications, by Paul L. Geiringer
Page 4:   the first high temperature water cascade heating system in the United States was installed in 1950 at Loring Air Force Base, and the first forced circulation heating system was installed at Lockbourne Air Force Base in 1952.
Page 48:  War damages to high temperature water lines
During an aerial attack on the city of Carlsbad, lines carrying 185°C high temperature water and embedded in trenches were damaged at three points, but the supply of heat was interrupted for only eleven hours.
In 1944, an aerial bomb hit the main pipe tunnel of Bayerischen Flugmotorenwerken, in Munich. The roof of the tunnel was ripped away for a distance of 9 m, and the two 225 mm main lines carrying 130°C and 95°C high temperature water were ruptured. The resulting pressure caused the pipe stump to be bent upwards at right angles.  The stricture of the pipes at the bend was so great that when the shut-off valves were closed, the expansion vessel containing 25 cu m of water had not yet drained. The mixture of water and steam did not escape uniformly from the pipes but in pulsations lasting about five minutes each.
An aerial attack in 1944 on the missile installation at Peenemuende ruptured the two main 250-mm lines, which were carried on supports. Because of the shock of escaping water the pipes dropped from the supports. They whipped about for about 40 ft and felled a number of trees in the vicinity. This plant was heavily attacked four times and each time it took only as long to restore the district heating system as it took to repair the electric cables.

1964 Power – from Horses to Atoms:  The Story of the Toledo Edison Company, John K. Davis
Pages 23-24:  Rail-Light's utility competition in Toledo consisted of two small artificial gas companies and one electric company serving what is now the Old West End residential system.
The latter was Homer Yaryan's Toledo Heating and Lighting Company, organized in 1894 to market Mr. Yaryan's system of central station heating for residential customers. He built his first plant at Jefferson Avenue and Michigan Street, and piped hot water through insulated underground ducts to houses in the neighborhood. The idea of getting their homes heated without shoveling coal appealed to the well-to-do residents of that district and soon Yaryan built another plant on Floyd Street near his home. Other plants followed, one on Twenty-Second Street and a large one on Detroit A venue and soon most of the mansions in the West End area were being heated the Yaryan way.
Yaryan used steam boilers and heat exchangers to heat the water in his system, and before long he was producing electricity as a by-product. In the Floyd Street plant he installed an engine-driven generator which exhausted steam into his heat exchangers.  This started out as a toy, and he strung wires to his neighbors' homes and sold them current for $1.00 a month. At that price, his service was very popular and his subsequent plants were designed to produce electricity as well as hot water. Before long he had covered the West End with an electric distribution system.
In 1905, David Robison, Jr., and his two sons decided to move into the utility field once more. They began by acquiring the gas companies—the Toledo Gas Light and Coke Company and its subsidiary, the Citizens Gas Light Company. These they consolidated with the Toledo Heating and Lighting Company after protracted negotiations with the reluctant Mr. Yaryan.
A legend persists in Toledo that at first Mr. Yaryan flatly refused to take part in the merger. Robison, however learned that Yaryan was a believer in astrology and often let the stars guide his business decisions. Mr. Robison is said to have gone to Mr. Yaryan's astrologer and handed her half of a thousand-dollar bill, saying, "The other half is yours if you tell Mr. Yaryan his constellation is in the right quadrant for selling his utility."
It may be only a legend, but the fact is that Mr. Yaryan did sell.

1965 "Nassau Bay Central Heating and Cooling Plant in Houston, Texas," District Heating 51(1):15-17, 33, 40 (July 1965)

1967 "Bellefield Boiler Plant," by Louis M. Susany, District Heating 52(3):91-99, 102 (Winter 1967)

1967 "Modern Gas Sets the Climate at Allegheny Center," by William F. Goffe, Jr., Equitable Gas-Energy Company, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the National District Heating Association 58:29-36 (June, 1967)

1967 "New Total Energy System in Omaha, Nebraska," District Heating 53(2):64-65 (Fall 1967)

1968 "Underground Social Capital," by Arthur H. Cole, The Business History Review 42(4):482-492 (Winter 1968)

1968 "New Central Plant for Heating and Cooling Texas Medical Center, Inc. in Houston," District Heating 54(1):32 (Summer 1968)

1968 The Position of District Heating in the World, World Power Conference (1968).

1968 Space and District Heating, by Rudolph Maximilian Eugen Diamant, Jack McGarry

1971 "District Heating-Cooling at Century City in Los Angeles", by Donald F. Buckner, District Heating 56(3):23-25 (Winter, 1971)

1974 "The Story of Franklin Station Rochester, Minn.," by William D. Latham, District Heating 59(3):20-22 (January-February, 1974)

1977 "District Energy Suppliers in the United States and Canada," District Heating 62(3):6-8 (January-February-March 1977)

1977 "Con Ed's Steam System An Endangered Species," by Anthony J. Parisi, The New York Times, December 27, 1977, Pages 57, 59.

1978 "Survey of Existing District Heating Systems," by Volker Scholten and Manfred Timm, Nuclear Technology 38 (April 1978)

1979 "Score in Minnesota: 14 operating, 15 closed," by Karen Anderson and Mary Williams, Public Power 37(5):50-52 (September 1979)

1980 Dual Use Energy Systems - District Heating Survey, July 1980

1981 "Duluth District Heating," by Harvey E. Sandstrom, District Heating 67(2):16-36 (Fourth Quarter 1981)

1983 "Hot-water district heating works well for Willmar, Minn," Public Power 41(9):66-68 (July August 1983)

1983 District Heating Handbook, Fourth Edition, International District Heating Association

1983 "The U.S. District Heating Industry: A Case Study of Corporate Strategy and Public Utility Regulation," by Robert Loube, Doctoral Dissertation in Economics, Michigan State University | pdf |

1985 Central Heating Plants, by Naval Facilities Engineering Command, April 1985

1985 "Electricity and Steam Heat: Co-generation in Flagstaff, 1920-1966," by Joyce Griffen, The Journal of Arizona History 26(2):172-202 (Summer 1985)

1985 "District Heating in Minnesota," by Tom Hughes, Minnesota Cities 70(12):8,9 (December 1985)

1985 District Heating and Cooling in the United States, Prospects and Issues

1985 Hydronic System Design and Operation:  A guide to heating and cooling with water, by Erwin G. Hansen
Pages 418-419:  Prall's promotion of his HTW system, in spite of violent opposition in the trade papers (see Plumber and Sanitary Engineer, October 15, 1880), led to the founding of The National Superheated Water Company in New York and the construction of the first large-scale HTW district heating system in Boston.
The plant of the Boston Heating Company was located off Atlantic Avenue and consisted of six boilers with a common economizer. The district covered a considerable area bounded by Atlantic Avenue, Broad Street, State Street, Washington Street, Milk Street, Devonshire Street, and Summer Street. Within this area, an interconnected grid system was constructed consisting of 4-in (100-mm) HTW supply mains and 8-in (200-mm) gravity return mains. It was an excellently constructed system, costing approximately $1.5 million, and the details of construction, as described in the April 28 through May 26, 1888 issues of the Engineering and Building Record, and in the Transactions of American Institute of Mining in the same year, make interesting reading even today.
The plant was completed and started selling heat in January 1888. It soon had 70 customers signed up, all of whom expressed complete satisfaction with the service rendered to them. Nevertheless on November 9, 1889, that is, after less than 2 years of operation, the plant and system shut down and went out of business. The cause of the failure was the complete disintegration of the gravity return line through corrosion.  While a steam system can be operated without condensate return at an increase in the fuel consumption and fuel cost of approximately 12 percent, the Prall system without recovery of the spent water incurred a cost increase of 60 percent due to fuel consumption. It was thus no longer economically viable.
At the time the causes of corrosion were not understood, and it was thought that the continuously changing return temperature was at the origin of the failure. Now, of course, we know that the culprit was the atmospheric oxygen picked up in the open return. One lesson to be learned from the Perkins and Prall systems is that a truly closed HTW system lasts indefinitely, whereas an open system can disintegrate in almost no time at all.

1986 "Cogeneration and DHC in Trenton," by Tom Casten and Kevin Brown, Cogeneration Development Corporation, District Heating and Cooling 71(3):7-12, 14, 16-17 (First Quarter 1986)

1987 "District heating decisions in Iowa- non-decision decision making," Robert I. Wessel, Iowa State Journal of Research 62(1):63-73 (August 1987)

1987 "Development of District Heating in Buffalo, New York," by James D. Griffin, Charles E. Rosennow, John C. Friedline, Jr., Fred V. Strnisa, I. Oliver, District Heating and Cooling 72(4):11-15 (Second Quarter 1987)

1988 A Century of Planning and Construction at the University of Northern Colorado, by Morris A. Pierce Masters' Thesis in History, University of Northern Colorado
Heat and Light for the University of Northern Colorado

1989 "Century City:  A City Within the City of Los Angeles," District Heating and Cooling 75(1):6-11 (3d Quarter 1989)

1991 "Trigeneration Brings Cost & Energy Savings to Nassau County," by Tom Casten and Claudette Greene, District Heating and Cooling 76(4):4-7, 9-11, 13-15 (Second Quarter 1991)

1991 High Temperature Water Heating Systems, Departments of the Army and Air Force (December 1991)

1992 National Census of District Heating, Cooling and Cogeneration (July 1993)

1993 "The introduction of direct pressure water supply, cogeneration, and district heating in urban and institutional communities, 1863-1882," by Morris A. Pierce, Ph.D. Dissertation in History, University of Rochester

1993 "Steam Heat and Power in Philadelphia," by Morris A. Pierce

1993 "Boston Heating Company," by Morris A. Pierce

1994 "Competition and Cooperation:  The Growth of District Heating and Cooling, 1882-1917," by Morris A. Pierce, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International District Heating and Cooling Association 85:19-29 (June 1994)

1995 "A History of Cogeneration Before PURPA," by Morris A. Pierce, ASHRAE journal 37(5):53-60 (May 1995)

1995 "The road to Lockport: Historical background of district heating and cooling," by Morris A. Pierce" ASHRAE transactions 101:885-892, Part 1; PB: 1517
The idea of district heating can be traced back to Roman hypocausts, some of which warmed multiple buildings. They were reintroduced into Europe during the Renaissance and slowly evolved into modern hot air, hot water, and steam heating systems. Major heating milestones are summarized, along with requirements to conserve fuel and abate smoke. Early district-heating proposals in London (1623 and 1820s), Pennsylvania (1869), Warsaw and Zuerich (1872) are discussed, as are steam systems actually installed at the US Naval Academy (1853), the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, and a hot water cogeneration system at the Banstead Downs Asylum in England (1876). Birdsill Holly--a Lockport, New York, inventor--installed the first successful commercial district heating system there in 1877. By 1890, more than 50 were installed, many of which are still operating today. District cooling began shortly after that, with successful introduction of systems using brine and ammonia.

1995 "Steam on the  Frontier:    District Heating in  Denver,  1880-1995," by  Jan  E.  Wagner and Morris  A.  Pierce  ASHRAE transactions 101:893-903, Part 1; PB: 1517
In late 1879 a group of Denver businessmen led by pioneer John W. Smith incorporated the Denver City Steam Heating Company to supply heat and power to their frontier own. The following summer they installed a Holly district steam system, including a boiler plant and several thousand feet of underground steam pipe laid under unpaved streets. On November 5, 1880, the company began supplying steam to downtown Denver. Henry M. Porter, Smith`s son-in-law, became president of the company in 1888 and replaced the distribution system with larger pipes in anticipation of asphalt paving. Although rarely meeting the financial expectations of its owners, the system grew over the years and in 1909 was acquired by a predecessor to the Public Service Company of Colorado. The Denver steam system is the oldest commercial district heating company in the world and continues to supply steam for heating and cooling to a large portion of downtown Denver from its original plant location.

1995 "Controlling urban climates: The need for local heat supply planning," by Morris A. Pierce, Journal of Urban Technology 2(3): (1995)

1995 "Cogeneration, District Heating and District Cooling:  A Century of District Energy in Indianapolis," by Morris A. Pierce, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International District Energy Association 86:1-17 (June 1995)

1995 The Evolution of Heat, Light, and Power Systems at the U.S. Naval Academy:  1845-1995, by Morris A. Pierce, Presented at the Twelfth Naval History Symposium, 26-27 October 1995.

1996 "Heat-supply planning: A practice worth importing," by Morris A. Pierce, District Energy 81(4):4 (Second Quarter 1996) 

1996 "State and local heat supply planning:  Insurance for a warm future," by Morris A. Pierce, ASHRAE transactions v 102, n 1, p 801-808,

1999 "Using Geothermal Waters in France: The District Heating System of Chaudes-Aigues from the Middle Ages," Pages 287-305, Stories from a Heated Earth: Our Geothermal Heritage, by Jean Pierre Gilbert and Florence Juadin

1999 Turning off the heat: why America must double energy efficiency to save money and reduce global warming, by Thomas R Casten
Page 5:  When appropriately sized generating plants are built near users of heat, the normally wasted heat from electric generation can be recovered and sold, thus saving money and avoiding burning more fuel to make heat. The process is called "combined heat and power" (CHP). It is not a new idea and was in fact utilized by Thomas Edison's very first commercial electric-generating plant on Pearl Street in Manhattan in 1881.
Page 45:  The first commercial power plant was on Pearl Street in the Wall Street area of Manhattan, New York. Edison recovered the steam left over from this early generator and piped it to nearby buildings to sell for heat in the winter. This generated more revenue and lowered Edison's net cost of making electricity. This combination of heat and power generation, or CHP, was the early pattern for all electricity generation and led to the development of district steam systems in most major cities. [The exhaust steam from the Pearl Street station was not sold for heat but exhausted into the atmosphere. See 1904 reference above.]

2003 High Temperature Water Heating Systems (May 2003)

2003 "Skyscrapers and District Heating, an inter-related History 1876-1933," by Emmanuelle Gallo, Construction History 19:87-106 (2003)

2001 District Energy Trends, Issues, and Opportunities: The Role of the World Bank, by Carolyn Gochenour

2006 Evaluation of European District Heating Systems for Application to Army Installations in the United States, July 2006

2008 "Denver's 128-year-old System System: 'The Best is Yet to Come," by Jan Wagner and Stephen P. Kutska, District Energy 94:(4):16-20 (Fourth Quarter 2008)

2008 U.S. geothermal district heating : barriers and enablers, by Hildigunnur H Thorsteinsson, MIT Masters Thesis

2012 "High-Temperature Hot Water District Heating: A Brief History," by Morris A. Pierce, District Energy  (Fourth Quarter 2012)
Page 17:  The first high-temperature hot water district heating system was patented by the American inventor Angier March Perkins in 1831 and was widely used in Britain throughout the 19th century; some systems remained in service into the 1930s. The Perkins system used small-bore (less than 1-inch) piping that distributed hot water at 300-600 degrees Fahrenheit and 300-3,000 psig. Although none of these systems is known to have been used to heat multiple buildings, Perkins said in 1836 that he could “heat a whole parish from one fire.”
After Birdsill Holly introduced commercial district steam heating in 1877, several competitors appeared including William Prall, who in 1878 patented a “superheated” water system that could deliver heat over a much longer distance than the low-pressure steam networks then in use. His National Superheated Water Co. developed systems that distributed hot water at 400 F to individual buildings, which was flashed into steam for heating and to power engines. The condensate was then metered and returned to the plant through a low-pressure condensate return line.
Small Prall systems were built in New York and Washington, D.C., before he convinced Bell Telephone founder Theodore Newton Vail to invest in a much larger system to serve the financial district in Boston, which was being rebuilt after a large fire in 1872. Vail’s Boston Heating Co. began construction in 1886 and started serving 70 customers in January 1888. In November 1889 the system was shut down and went out of business due to the complete disintegration of the open return lines from atmospheric oxygen corrosion. Unlike a district steam system that can operate reasonably well without the return condensate, the Prall network was not economically viable without it. The abandoned hot water pipes were (and may still be) used as conduits for telephone wires.
German engineers in the 1920s resurrected high-temperature hot water systems, recognizing as Perkins did that a closed system was not subject to corrosion. Large high-temperature hot water systems were installed in many German industrial facilities prior to World War II, and a few were installed in American factories in the 1930s. The German systems proved to be resistant to damage from aerial bombs and could be quickly repaired, which the U.S. Air Force discovered in its survey of wartime damage. In 1947 a high-temperature hot water system operating at around 400 F was installed at the new Loring Air Force Base in Maine. Within 10 years, more than 30 similar systems were installed at other air bases, while the U.S. Navy also adopted the technology for many of its facilities. Rutgers and Brigham Young universities installed similar systems in the 1950s, with many more installed on other campuses and military bases in later years.
One notable installation was the high-temperature district  heating network at the new U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, which began service in 1957. This system operates at 454 F and 440 psia – the highest known temperature and pressure to have been used on such a system.

2017 "Design of a High-Temperature-Hot-Water-Plant Expansion," by Eric Chrencik, HPACEngineering, January 12, 2017
This article discusses a recently completed expansion of a high-temperature-hot-water (HTHW) plant at George Mason University.  The university’s HTHW system typically operated at 360°F and supplied water with a 100°F temperature differential (260°F return temperature). The system-pressure setpoint was approximately 220 psig.

2017 "International review of district heating and cooling," by Sven Werner, Energy 137:617-631 (April 2017)

2020 Distribution of district heating | 1st Generation | 2nd Generation | 3rd Generation | 4th Generation | by Jan Eric Thorsen, Oddgeir Gudmundsson, and Marek Brand, Danfoss District Heating Application Centre

The Holly District Steam Engineers held three meetings in 1886, 1887 and 1888, publishing a set of proceedings for the 1887 meeting, but no copy of this has been found.

The National District Heating Association was founded in 1909 and published proceedings of their annual conventions every year, except 1918 when no convention was held.  They began publishing a quarterly magazine, The Bulletin of the National District Association in 1915.  The name was changed to District Heating in 1953, to District Heating and Cooling in 1985 and to District Energy in 1995 to reflect changes in the name of the association.

Indices to publications of the National and International District Heating Association
1909-1934 1935-1944 1945-1964 1965-1969 1970-1974


The Bulletin of the National District Heating Association
Volume 1 - October 1915 - June 1916 Volume 2 - October 1916 - June 1917 Volume 3 - October 1917 - June 1918 Volume 4 - October 1918 - June 1919
Volume 5 - October 1919 - June 1920 Volume 6 - October 1920 - June 1921 Volume 7 - October 1921 - June 1922 Volume 8 - October 1922 - June 1923
Volume 9 - October 1923 - June 1924 Volume 10 - October 1924 - June 1925 Volume 11 - October 1925 - June 1926 Volume 12 - October 1926 - June 1927

The ADSCO Advocate was published by the American District Steam Corporation starting in 1927.  The issues shown below are the only ones available. If any other issues are available I would be happy to scan and return them.

ADSCO Advocate
Volume 1 - 1927 No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6
Volume 2 - 1928 No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6
Volume 3 - 1929
No. 1
No. 2
No. 3

Volume 5 - 1930  No. 1 No. 2 No. 3

Volume 6 - 1931 No. 1 No. 2

Volume 7 - 1932 No. 1

Volume 8 - 1933 No. 1

Powers' Central Station Directory and Buyers' Manual
Mar 1900 Mar 1901 Mar 1902 Mar 1903

McGraw Hill Central Station Directory
Later issues include information about heating service
Mar 1904 Apr 1908 Oct 1909 Apr 1910 Apr 1911 Oct 1911 Apr 1912 Oct 1912
Apr 1913 Oct 1913 Apr 1914 Apr 1915 Oct 1915 Apr 1916 1917 1918
Apr 1904
Jun 1904
Sep 1904
Dec 1904

Links:  | International District Energy AssociationEuroheat & Power | District Heating (Wikipedia) | List of Large District Heating Systems (Wikipedia) |

Additional information, suggestions, questions, and corrections are always welcome and can be submitted to:

Morris A. Pierce
Department of History
364 Rush Rhees Library
University of Rochester
Rochester NY 14627-0070

Late updated November 26, 2020.

© 2020 Morris A. Pierce