Edwin Ruud

April 15, 2009

It’s a time beyond recollection for most of us now. But before Edwin Ruud, hot running water on demand was a luxury unknown to even the most affluent Americans. While working in Pittsburgh in the 1880s for industrialist George Westinghouse, young Ruud built the first automatic, storage tank-type gas water heater. The unit went into production around 1889 and patents followed soon afterward.

Ruud eventually bought the rights to his invention and in 1897 organized his own company to make water heaters. Other breakthroughs, large and small, followed over the years, as Ruud became a leading pioneer in water heating products for the home as well as for commercial and industrial applications. By the time Ruud departed the scene, his breakthrough innovation had changed the daily hygienic habits of every living American.



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