Edwin Ruud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Edwin Ruud
Black and white portrait photograph of Edwin Ruud from a 1922 publication of Gas Age, Volume 50.
Edwin Ruud
Born (1854-06-09)June 9, 1854[1]
Died December 9, 1932(1932-12-09) (aged 78)[1]
Resting place
Plot: Rudd Mausoleum Section 11, lot 39; Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, USA[1]
Nationality Norwegian-American[2]
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Inventor
Engineering career
Engineering discipline Mechanical Engineering
  • The Fuel Gas and Manufacturing Company
  • Ruud Manufacturing Company
Significant design The Ruud Instantaneous Automatic Water Heater
Significant awards
Signature EdwinRuud-inventor-Signature.png

Edwin Ruud (1854–1932) was a Norwegian mechanical engineer and inventor who immigrated to the United States where he designed, sold, and popularized the tankless-water heater.[3][4]


Early life[edit]

The Fuel Gas And Manufacturing Company[edit]

In the 1880s, Ruud began working for George Westinghouse at the Fuel Gas and Manufacturing Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[3] Eight years after filing his first US patent, Ruud filed the first of five patents he would assign to Westinghouse's Fuel Gas and Manufacturing company.[5][6][7][8][9]

In 1889, Ruud engineered a design for an automatic storage tank-type gas water heater that used a bottom gas heater and temperature controlled gas-valve.[4] He later patented the design in 1890.[6] In October 1890, he expanded on his first water heater design, under the Fuel Gas and Manufacturing Company.[8]

Ruud Manufacturing Company[edit]

On January 22, 1897, Ruud filed a patent separate from the Fuel Gas and Manufacturing Company for an Automatic Water Heater. His new design consisted of a cast iron shell, enclosing burners, heating surfaces (a coil of copper tubing through which water flows), and thermostat controlling gas-valves.[10] The object of the design improvement was, "to maintain the supply of water at the desired temperature at all times."[11] With this new design, Ruud left the Fuel Gas and Manufacturing Company to start Ruud Manufacturing, his own engineering and manufacturing shop where he began to manufacture and popularize in home, as well as commercial and industrial water heaters.[3] Ruud was issued his patent for the coiled tube Automatic Water Heater on September 6, 1898.[11]

The Anatomy of the Ruud Instantaneous Water Heater 1915

Ruud's business grew as he popularized and improved on his instant water heater design. In 1908, Ruud Manufacturing acquired two local heating and plumbing firms. James Hay of the James Hay Company, heating and plumbing engineers, closed his business in order to operate as president of the Ruud Manufacturing Company in 1908.[12] and J.H. Folsom of Folsom-Webster Co., heating and plumbing contracting firm, dissolved his partnership in Folsom-Webster Company in 1908 to serve as chief of the Cincinnati branch of the Ruud Manufacturing Company. By 1915, the Ruud Manufacturing Company had offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Kalamazoo, Michigan,; Toronto, Canada; and Hamburg, Germany.[10]

The Ruud Instantaneous Automatic Water Heater[edit]

A Ruud no.3 Instantaneous and Automatic Water Heater from the early 1900s. In use in Berkeley, California - 2013

The Thermal Valve Model, Type F, of the The Ruud Instantaneous Automatic Water Heater is a design that allows the user to instantaneously heat water for on demand applications while not heating, thus saving fuel, when not in use. The Type F was able to use artificial gas, natural gas, and gasoline, requiring only a change of burner spud orifices, and was manufactured in two variations, the "Standard Pressure Heaters," designed to operate in conditions where pressure was at least twenty-five pounds per square inch (1.7 bar), and "Low Pressure Heaters," where operational water pressure could be as low as four pounds per square inch (0.3 bar). Thermal Valve Model, Type F heaters were manufactured in four residential sizes reflective of their output in gallons per minute: 3, 4, 6, 8.[10] In 1915, there were approximately one-hundred-thousand of the Type F installed throughout The United States and Canada.[10]

The water heater arm of Ruud Manufacturing was purchased by Rheem in the 1959.[4] However, the Ruud name continued with RUUD Heating and Air Conditioning Equipment.[3]


  • 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World’s Fair) Gold Medal for his automatic water heater[4]
  • 1905, the Franklin Institute presented him with the Edward Longstreth Medal of Merit for the Ruud Instantaneous Automatic Water Heater.[4]


  • Balanced Slid-Valve: July 4, 1882 US260612
  • Stuffing Box: August 5, 1890 US433824
  • Water Heater: December 30, 1890 US443797
  • Fluid Meter: May 5, 1891 US451881
  • Water Heater: September 29, 1891 US460513
  • Automatic Steam Regulator for Gas Producers: September 6, 1892 US482320
  • Automatic Water-Heater: September 6, 1898 US610281
  • Automatic Cut-off For Gas-Service Pipes: September 10, 1901 US682345
  • Storage Water-Heater: May 14, 1907 US853738
  • Thebmostatic-Valve-Operating Mechanism: December 31, 1907 US875217
  • Automatic Temperature Control for Self-heating Flat Irons: September 30, 1913 US1074467
  • Water Valve for Instantaneous Water Heaters: February 26, 1918 US1257932
  • Fluid-Mixing Apparatus: April 6, 1920 USRE14836