Friday, June 14, 2013

One Offs #6 : The Bryant Boxer Pup Gauge

1940's Bryant gauge

Everyone's familiar with the more-famous examples of dog mascots, especially in the corporate world. The Taco Bell Chihuahua, the Greyhound Bus Line, the Target Stores Bull Terrier, the Mack Truck Bulldog...

At one time, the Bryant Company was the number-one maker of gas-fired boilers in this country, and today nobody remembers, or frankly, really cares.

But in the early-1900's, the name was ubiquitous with boilers, and so was their mascot, the Boxer pup, who was introduced with the slogan that Bryant furnaces were so simple "you should make your pup your furnace man".

In 1908, after discovering that some people were using up to 8 of his water heaters to heat their homes with hot water, Charley Bryant decided to invent the gas-fired hot water boiler.  The Bryant Heater & Manufacturing Co. was formed and began to manufacture the first-ever gas-fired cast iron tubular hot water boiler.

 They were a household name, and like almost all industrial companies, during the Second World War they switched to armaments. Here's a great illustration from an ad at that time...

Fix that tank, pup!

"Bryant's Anthony" switched from Boxer to Boston Terrier, but he was still a constant mascot for the company for years, and they were happy to commercialize him in sculpture...

And papier-mache representations...

In 1958, they even began to sponsor racing, focusing on the Indianapolis 500 event. They were involved for decades until finally, this year, their 45-year support of racers paid off with their first win (Tony Kanaan).

And occasionally, one of their vintage gauges pops up on Ebay. What's cool about it is that it's a pressure and temperature gauge, so it's totally adaptable to a car dash. After all, a bourdon tube is a bourdon tube, the mechanical car gauges have them, it's just a matter of temp range, and this one falls right in there...

You see the water temperature range goes to 260, totally adequate for your engine. The upper dial is a 70-pound pressure range, so that's either gonna be a dummy-gauge or maybe a vacuum pressure set-up.

It has a fairly-short temp tube, but like I said before, these are hooked up to the same type of mechanism as your mechanical car gauge, so any decent gauge shop can adapt a longer line.

But if you're a dog-lover, especially Boxers, then this is right up your alley.

Who wouldn't want this guy greeting them everyday when they turned their engine on?

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