Heating with Steam

Thomas Messenger never seriously embraced heating systems using steam and there are only a two known instances of him becoming involved in any way. The first was in October 1867 when they altered Messrs Francis & William Edward White’s heating system.

The second and last occasion was in October 1870 when Thomas Forman, a printer newspaper proprietor[1], engaged Thomas Messenger to install heating into the offices he was building on the corner of Sherwood Street and Forman Street, Nottingham. The new building also included a printing works, although that appears to have been excluded from the scope of Messenger’s brief.

Thomas Forman had engaged Thomas Messenger on several previous occasions, although all in a private capacity. Therefore, he must have been suitably content with the quality of work to offer him the opportunity to undertake this commission.

Thomas Messenger came up with three options:

  1. The first was a standard hot water system, which essentially formed the basis of the other two, was built around a No. 13 boiler that was of sufficient size to be able to heat all the offices. The rest of the materials were standard hot water system components, including 350 yards of 4-inch pipe and 190 cement joints. The price of £109, included 48 man-days installation time. An option to use tinned and bored joints in place of cement joints, added an additional £11.
  2. The second, a steam heated system using tinned and bored joints throughout; replacing the 4-inch pipes with 3-inch pipes. This option was priced at £84, £25 less than option one.
  3. The third, another a steam heated system, but this time with cement joints, which reduced the price still further down to £74.



  1. Thomas Forman (1819-1888) was born in Louth, Lincolnshire and took over the Nottinghamshire Guardian newspaper. In 1861, he founded the Nottingham Daily Post and in 1878, the Nottingham Evening Post. He died at his home, Castle Grove, Nottingham in July 1888.