The Grundy stove
Originally developed for heating a chapel in Tyldesley, the Grundy stove delivered warm air through ducts. Its inventor, John Grundy, became the first president of the Institute of Heating & Ventilating Engineers in 1898.
John Grundy Senior was born in Tyldesley near Manchester in 1807. He was a grocer and flour trader. He was a warden of the local Top Chapel. When the chapel needed a heating system he developed and installed a revolutionary warm-air heating stove with an arrangement of plenum and discharge ducts. This was so successful that in 1859 he set up in business to manufacture and market his heating apparatus, which he later patented. The business flourished and he continued to make improvements, increasing its efficiency and effectiveness, and securing more patents. He died in 1879. His son, John Grundy Junior, born in 1844, took over and expanded the business. In the 1880s, he moved to live in Islington and opened three London offices. The firm became so successful that he set up his own iron foundry in Tyldesley. The Grundy stove became well-known in the industry, and in 1897 (the year of the founding of The Institution of Heating & Ventilating Engineers) he could claim to have heated some 3000 places of worship, including many famous cathedrals, as well as mansions, houses, hotels, hospitals, schools, warehouses, factories and workhouses. The firm advertised ‘Winter, warmth and comfort — pure warm air’. John Grundy was one of the entrepreneurs who established the IHVE. In 1898 he was elected the first president. He died in 1913. His son Herbert Hamilton Grundy took over the business and served as IHVE President in 1915. Herbert died in 1932, but the stoves were so well-liked that manufacture continued into the 1970s. Examples can still be found in use today, a history that can be traced back nearly 150 years.