I've often said to many people that HVAC in general, and duct fabrication and assembly in particular, is an industry where change is slow. Rarely are there blockbuster developments; instead, change is incremental and evolutionary. 

That's evident if you look at some of the articles we’ve written on history-related subjects, whether covering our own history or that of a sheet metal shop or even a piece of equipment.

As a history buff who always loved the subject in school, history pieces are some of my favorite types of articles to write. We’ve covered contractors who own a machine that may have been the first one ever produced and of course we’re always writing about the contractors who install new coil lines or other types of equipment.

While many contractors love to have new equipment — if they can afford it — others take pride in keeping a vintage piece of machinery running for decades after its payback period has passed. With a little maintenance and other TLC, they brag that a press brake has been helping make ductwork since the Eisenhower administration — or earlier.

I’m working on such a story right now, about a contractor who’s still in possession of a machine that has been in the family-owned sheet metal shop since the 1930s.

Do you have any great stories about equipment in your shop? Maybe a workhorse piece that’s still in use after five or six decades? Or a piece that’s even older but has a place of honor in the lobby of your shop? Tell me about it.