Industry veteran Larry Weingarten donated nearly all of his antique water heater collection to The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York. His collection is now on permanent display at West 44th Street in Manhattan.
Along with the antique water heaters, The General Society also received Weingarten’s library of books about hot water and engineering topics.
“The reason for gathering these things has always been to learn about and preserve the ideas, so they could be considered and perhaps reused in the modern world,” he said. “By giving them to the GSMT, their life as a teaching tool will most likely continue for hundreds of years. If I’d simply kept them, the collection would certainly be broken apart and lost when I’m gone. Other places that were or might have been interested, would not have been able to preserve and use the collection nearly as well as the GSMT, which has been teaching people in the trades since 1820, tuition free! It clearly is the perfect home for my collection. Perhaps now I know what it feels like to have a child leave home, but I do know it’s for the best.”
Founded in 1858, The General Society is the oldest trade school in the U.S. Weingarten’s antique water heater collection will be used to educate plumbing and HVAC students for years to come, noted Dan Holohan, current president of The General Society and chair of the Mechanics Institute.