W.S. Rockwell Brass Valve Tags

In my flea market & thrift store travels I often happen upon little pieces of history. My mom and I picked up these brass tags, marked W.S. Rockwell, at a street fair & flea market in NYC in September. Yesterday was a deliciously rainy morning and afternoon so I curled up with some tea and did a little research. Here’s what I discovered:

W.S. Rockwell Co. was established in 1880. The company made furnaces and was chartered in 1908. They owned many patents on their furnace innovations, like this one for a tilting crucible melting furnace. Their main office was located on 50 Church Street in New York City in the Hudson Terminal Building. Their company slogan was “Better Heating, Lower Cost.” Their dedication to a quality furnace and thus quality heat lead them to write a book on their industrial craft in 1922 called The Elements of Industry. The book itself is fascinating–filled with diagrams and explanations of metal working.

I found little about the tags themselves, except that they were used to identify and differentiate between valves. I have a whole key ring of valve 29s. They are beautiful brass tags that certainly reflect the beauty of Rockwell’s furnaces.

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