If you’ve got a period home, you’ll likely want to consider replacing your current heating system with modern, replica cast iron designer radiators. The retro design will be in keeping with the style of the building, and the fact that it’s new will ensure maximum heat output and cost-effectiveness (not to mention a long guarantee).

A brief history of the cast iron radiator

The hot water central heating system as we know it originated in France at the end of the 18th century. The inventor Jean Simon Bonnemain designed it originally as a means of incubating chicken eggs to try and solve the food shortages which resulted from the French Revolution. His heat regulator went on to be adapted for other uses and was later recognised by the Council of the Société d’Encouragement for: heating hops for beer, distillating wine, concentrating liquids, washing linen, manufacturing glue, heating greenhouses and heating flats or rooms for sick people.

Over the years, Bonnemain’s system was tweaked and improved upon, but it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that we first saw the invention of the radiator as we know it, when Nelson H Bundy invented the ‘Bundy Loop’ – a cast iron radiator that had loops screwed into the base which was designed to run on a steam system. In America, central heating really took off, and in the 1890s, decorative designs on radiators became fashionable.

However, it wasn’t until American Radiators set up a manufacturing plant in Hull in 1905 that they became big business in the UK. And, as technology improved, the British also began buying the kind of ornate models that have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

Modern cast iron radiators

All the cast iron designer radiators we sell are high quality, with good heat outputs. They also come in a choice of different colours and finishes, meaning they are even more likely to fit in with the style of your Victorian or Edwardian property. If you would like to see our range of cast iron and other designer radiators ‘in the flesh’, visit one of our radiator showrooms in either Clapham, Leamington Spa, Bristol. St Albans, Brighton or Islington.