Do You Know Your Radiator History?

Some time ago in 1855, a Polish-born Russian named Franz San Galli was so sick of the cold that he decided to put his time to use by creating a heating system. Little did he know, that he’d be creating the building blocks for heating systems to come.


Back in the day, most radiators were run by steam, rather than hot water. Steam works at great pressures which is why all early radiators were fitted with steam valves. However the steam releasing from the radiators used to really scare people, thankfully the rise in popularity of hot water filled radiators was not too far away.

The fashion and elegance of Victorian homes was reflected by the Victorian cast iron radiator designs, which included intricate scrolled detail into the iron casting which the manufacturers were able to create. Today’s modern flat and curved designed radiators are manufactured from mild steel are unable to create such an interesting design. This is why people are increasingly opting for more traditional column radiators or heated towel rails in their bathrooms.

Modern day radiators have come a long way since the beginning. Radiators today come in all colours, shapes and sizes. Mild steel has been the most popular material for radiator construction in the UK since the 1970s, but that’s beginning to change as more British consumers are turning to aluminium radiators. This is mainly down to aluminium being a great conductor of heat.

The main materials used for radiators today are: Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, Cast Iron and Aluminium. All materials have their own unique qualities. Mild Steel is great because it can take many shapes. It is easy to mould and can be crafted into numerous designs. Stainless Steel is exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a stainless. It looks after itself and is guaranteed to never rust. Cast Irons are the big heavy boys that throw out the heat. Cast Iron stoves and radiators look fantastic but can be expensive and take quite a while to get hot.

Last but not least we have Aluminium. Aluminium is amazing because its lightweight, efficient and can be crafted into all kinds of shapes and designs. Aluminium is so efficient that it can be up to 40% better than the standard Mild Steel in terms of heat efficiency.

Whatever the style or heat output you’re looking for, we have it all on our website. Take a look at our traditional Victorian style cast iron range, or venture over to our brushed/polished stainless steel works of art.


To learn more about these products or for any enquiries you may have please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@nwtdirect.co.uk or on 01492 573738.

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