American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation’s beginnings date back to 1886 when Clarence Mott Woolley formed the Michigan Radiator & Iron Company of Detroit. Woolley’s company manufactured cast iron (rather than the more expensive steel) radiators. The business was a success, and by 1891 the company merged with the Detroit Radiator Company and the Pierce Steam Heating Company, which eventually brought six American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation plants to Buffalo, New York.

In 1899, the Ahrens and Ott Manufacturing Company, the Standard Manufacturing Company, the Dawes and Myler Manufacturing Company and six smaller corporations consolidated to form the Standard Manufacturing Company, which manufactured a variety of sanitary and plumbing supplies. During the early 1900s, American Radiator became very profitable, and by 1929, the Standard Manufacturing Company consolidated with American Radiator and formed American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation. The plumbing division, Standard Sanitary, continued to manufacture and sell their products under the “Standard” label until 1967, when the company changed its name to American Standard Corporation. In 2007, American Standard broke up its three divisions (kitchen and bath; WABCO; and vehicle controls division) and the company’s name was changed to Trane Company. American Radiator continues to operate and manufactures radiator and other heating equipment.

American Radiator/American Standard Buffalo Facilities

American Radiator/American-Standard Buffalo Plants have a long and winding history. In 1881, Joseph Bond and John B. Pierce established the Pierce Steam Heating Company at 1741 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, New York. Pierce manufactured and sold steel boilers and cast iron radiators. The Elmwood facility included a large radiator foundry with machine shops and boiler works, and because it was located at the crossing of the New York Central Railroad tracks, its location was ideal for cost effective shipping and receiving. In 1892, Pierce merged independent manufacturers to form the American Radiator Company, and in 1929, the company merged with the Standard Sanitary Company to become American Standard, Inc.

In Buffalo, New York, there were six plants, which operated under the American Standard/American Radiator Names:

  • American Radiator Pierce Plant – 1741 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo
  • American Radiator Company Bond Plant at 97 Rano Street in Buffalo
  • American Radiator Company Standard Plant Warehouse – 44 Roseville Street, Buffalo
  • American Radiator Institute for Thermal Research – 1807 Elmwood Avenue
  • American Radiator Plant – 23 Austin Street Buffalo
  • American Standard Plant as part of Tonawanda Iron & Steel – River Road, Tonawanda, New York

Asbestos in American Radiator and American-Standard Boilers and Furnaces

Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford has represented numerous boilermakers, plumbers and HVAC personnel who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer as a result of their exposure to asbestos-containing materials associated with water or steam based boiler systems, as well as furnaces. Up until the late 1970s, numerous models of American Radiator and American Standard residential and commercial boilers and furnaces contained asbestos insulation on both interior and exterior surfaces. Asbestos served as an excellent insulation material because of its durability and fire resistant properties. Asbestos insulation also allowed for boilers and furnaces to operate properly. Massive exposure to asbestos occurred when boilermakers, plumbers and/or HVAC personnel installed, maintained and removed residential and commercial boilers and furnaces.

Boilers manufactured by American Radiator were fueled by coal, oil, gas, or wood and produced steam or hot water, which was delivered to radiators through a system of pipes in order to heat a residence or small building. Up until the early 1960s, a round series residential boiler was often covered in inch thick asbestos insulation, otherwise known as asbestos shorts. Hot water or steam pipes associated with these boilers were insulated with asbestos-containing pipe covering and insulating cement. Square sectional boilers manufactured by American Radiator also contained corrugated air-cell asbestos lining to prevent radiation heat loss. Laborers who installed, repaired and maintained boilers manufactured by American Radiator were exposed to asbestos, which can cause mesothelioma or lung cancer.

American-Standard Furnaces

Up until the late 1970s, American-Standard incorporated asbestos-containing materials into residential and commercial furnaces. Residential furnaces that contained asbestos components include gravity furnaces and square-shaped forced air furnaces. Duct work and piping associated with both gravity and forced air furnaces were also insulated with or composed of asbestos materials. Individuals who installed, repaired, maintained and removed furnaces were exposed to asbestos, which can cause mesothelioma or lung cancer.

In the process of representing boilermakers, plumbers, HVAC personnel and their families, our attorneys have gathered numerous medical and liability documents that could be instrumental in your legal representation. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease as a result of working with or around residential boilers and/or furnaces, contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.