The best design always wins out. Right? Or is it merely the cheapest? Indeed, both cases can be true, as we're ready to prove here.
Today's water heaters are clearly superior to some of the earlier designs. But all? You can decide for yourself.
We've delved into the history of water heating -- and found some surprises, which we'd like to share with you. Take a look at the photo at right. Some of the heaters there bear some resemblance to your current water heater. But the rest? Well, either R2D2's companions are on the loose or there are pages to the history of water heating that you never guessed existed. Time to read up!
Click on a snapshot below to see the bigger picture, as well as the accompanying explanation.
One more thing: if you have a heater like this and you're wondering, "What's my "antique" worth?" The only answer is to put it on eBay and see what someone will bid for it. Antique water heaters aren't quite the same as Chippendales. Many of the Weingarten heaters have been extensively restored, and in some cases, parts have even been fabricated. Some largely resembled junk when they were found. And they were heavy junk, at that. That may put a damper on potential sales.