Antique Space Heaters
Antique space heaters are early versions of small heating units, designed to heat a single room.
History & Description
Space heaters are self-contained heating devices and are typically used to warm small, enclosed areas. They are in complete contrast to central heating, which is designed to warm many connected spaces simultaneously.
Space heaters are usually small and portable which allows them to be transported from one room to another.
There are a variety of different types of antique space heaters. The earliest models were made from cast-iron and heat was produced from burning wood or natural gas. In the early-twentieth century, space heaters were powered by electricity.
Guide for collectors
Antique space heaters are infrequently sold through auctioneers and prices tend to range between $200 and $400 for early-twentieth century electric space heaters.
In addition, antique space heaters are also occasionally advertised on online bidding sites, such as eBay. However, collectors should take note that the majority of space heaters advertised on eBay are vintage natural gas or electric heaters, rather than cast-iron fuel-burning space heaters.
While restoring antique space heaters is recommended, collectors or existing owners are urged to go through respected professional restorers to ensure that as much of the item’s original features are retained. Additionally, any below-part restoration can potentially decrease an item’s value.
Notable auction sales
On October 16th 2010 at The RSL Auction Company in Oldwick, New Jersey, an antique cast-iron space heater, made in England, circa 1890, realised a price of $200.
On February 29th 2012, a vintage Art Deco natural gas space heater, in excellent condition, was sold on eBay for $70.
On November 11th 2006 at Edison Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, three early electric space heaters, all circa 1918, realised a price of $400.
On November 11th 2006 at Edison Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, six early-twentieth century electric space heaters realised a price of $200.