Between air conditioning and the pope, I’ll take air conditioning

Our story so far: As reality has caught up with this blog about converting a 126-year-old Methodist church into our home, I’ve run across a few odds and ends that occurred after I wrote about the subject initially. That’s how it goes with a real-time memoir. Sometimes stuff happens after publication. So for the next week or so, I’ll be sharing a few little stories that will ultimately be integrated into the relevant location in the memoir. Think of this as the time in the novel—especially a mystery novel—when you page back to reread a few passages to remind yourself about what’s going on. Today, a tidbit for Chapter 9.

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Excelsior
Don’t miss how unique this is. All-caps unique.

Amusing things one finds in a 126-year-old Methodist church: Along with an assortment of pots of pans, a wooden box labeled TNT and a 1969 map of Palestine, Tyler found the owner’s manual for The Excelsior UNIQUE Oil Burning Air Conditioner in the furnace room.

An oil-burning air conditioner?

A careful reading of the manual from the Exelsior Steel Furnace Company revealed the air being conditioned was probably for heat, not cooling. There is no date on the manual, but I guessed it was at least sixty years old. Excelsior Steel Furnace was founded in 1886 and, based on the existence of an operational website, National Excelsior Company was apparently still in operation as an HVAC supplier. The oil furnace in the church had been replaced at some point by gas forced air.

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Today’s headline comes from Woody Allen’s character Harry Block in “Deconstructing Harry.”

Tomorrow: What happened to the French doors we found. Read about it here.

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