Even in Pinehurst
where nine times out of ten overcoats are worn for looks rather than
protection against the rarely unseasonable weather, where golfers plod their
happy way around the courses every day of the year in flimsy sweaters, and
lightweight trousers, where nature enthusiasts buzz through the pine scented
woods without scarfs, woolen socks or furlined mittens, there is apt to a
wee bit of bite in the air on occasion; just a wee bit of bite that
alarmists might conceivably describe as "chilly".
It is for these alarmists that we are writing this little yarn about
plumbing and heating, and it is Ellis Fields, chief of the Plumbing and
Heating department of Pinehurst Incorporated, to whom we owe credit for the
facts herein gathered and tabulated for the public delectation.
Ten years ago when men were harder than they are now, Pinehurst got
along middling well without a heating department. The only heat that was
publicly generated was on the golf courses and generally in the vicinity of
untameable roughs or unusually deep sand pits. This heat, suffice it to say,
was explosive and undependable. Although it would give undue warmth to a
limited spot for a short time, there was no consistency about it at all, and
the Corporation, realizing this as well as the fact that Pinehurst should
stand ready to supply heating conveniences and services to its residents and
guests, decided to haul off and add "Heating" to the sign that bore the word
"Plumbing." "Plumbing and Heating" was the way the shingle read, after the
painting department got through with it.
Before that time the duties of this portion of Pinehurst's varied
services had been limited to plumbing and sheet metal work and the duties
did not overwork the small crew. Slipping into the past of 28 years ago, it
is learned that the staff at that time consisted of one workman and his
helper. The helper of 1911 is today the manager of the division which now
employs from six to twelve workmen, the number depending on the seasonal
variation in the various lines of work they do. Ellis Fields, who was
appointed manager of the division a year and a half ago
after serving since he was just out of
knee pants, has watched Pinehurst and what has become his department, grow
with each succeeding year.
"There were just about half a dozen privately owned houses in 1911,"
The work of the department, then, was confined almost exclusively to the
corporation owned buildings. Since that time a growing percentage of its
work has been done on privately owned residences, although, of course, it
continues to do the plumbing and sheet metal work for Pinehurst
The division is kept pretty these days, Mr. Fields said, maintaining
the intricate plumbing and heating plants and installing new systems. At the
present time the division is completely equipping the R. W. White home on
Linden road, now being built with modern plumbing and heating facilities.
A query as to just how the house will be heated was readily answered by Mr.
Fields, as he is decidedly interested in keeping the house comfortably
fortified against the onslaught of falling temperatures.
And today, he said, the trend is away from steam and hot air heat.
Air conditioned heating is the newest wrinkle in the field. Mr. Fields is a
veritable encyclopedia on this subject for, he says, he's studied it pretty
thoroughly and he believes that eventually no modern home will be without
Among the information elicited from him on this subject which might
prove of interest to the layman, not interested in how the thing ticks, but
rather what the results of its ticking is, is the fact that air
conditioning, besides costing no more than ordinary methods of heating and
doing the job more efficiently, is also an aid in keeping good health.
With hot air heating it's practically the same idea except, of course, that
you have registers instead of radiators to contend with. It gets
uncomfortably warm. Shut off the furnace and pretty soon it gets chilly
again, and like it or not, cold air which has been drawn in through the
pipes will start sneaking out of the registers and nipping at your ankles.
That's not to say it's a cure-all for the thousand and one ailments a human
can suffer at one time
or another but it definitely is
a protection against, for one thing, the all too common cold. This is
explained easily. Ordinary steam will throw off warmth from a radiator and
so keep the room hot. But when it gets too warm and you turn the furnace
off, the radiator will remain hot for awhile and then slowly it will cool.
In turn that will make the room cool until, unless you're disgusted and go
to bed, set the furnace doing full blast again, reversing the process about
the radiator. In that way there is a constantly varying temperature. Even if
you have an adjustable thermostat which takes care of the furnace, opening
and shutting the drafts automatically, the problem of the radiator is still
But with an air conditioning system in the house its a different matter,
said Mr. Fields. "It gives the most satisfactory heat - of that there is no
question." He said.
He went on to explain why this is so. An automatic thermostat
regulates the furnace from any room in the house and maintains a set
temperature - whatever you want it to be. When the room temperature gets to
that set point the fan which blows the warm air up through the pipes
automatically stops. And then, just at the proper moment, it will start
again to distribute the warm air which has been imprisoned. There is no
period of falling and rising temperatures. It is always maintained at a set
level through some mechanical magic which is a little too complicated for
the non-technical mind to grasp. Another feature is the electric clock which
is connected to the thermostat. It has an arrangement something like an
alarm clock so that while everyone in the house is asleep the house will be
kept at a temperature of, say, 60 degrees. But an hour before it is time to
get up, it will automatically switch over to the temperature you had set if
for the night before when you decided it would be good to wake up and find
the house at a temperature of about 70.
Also, air conditioned heating system keeps the air moist, unlike
ordinary methods of heating which quickly absorb all moisture from the room.
Six houses in Pinehurst, including his own, have installed this new system
since it became practical. Modernity has triumphed again.