"You'll Never Bell-ieve It" - an unMetered Story

"You'll Never Bell-ieve It" - an unMetered Story

Don’t you hate being too cold? I mean it’s more than just a feeling, but it includes shivering, shaking, the goosebumps on your skin, and the just all around acheyness of being cold. Well being too hot is no respite either. Instead of shivering and shaking, now your sweating and swelling. You stick to seats and it feels like your skin is getting ripped off every time you try to move. If you know what I’m talking about, then you’ll appreciate today’s story and be grateful for its hero.

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Thanks for listening to another unMetered Story, brought to you by Middle Tennessee Electric.

Don’t you hate being too cold? I mean it’s more than just a feeling, but it includes shivering, shaking, the goosebumps on your skin, and the just all around acheyness of being cold.

Well being too hot is no respite either. Instead of shivering and shaking, now your sweating and swelling. You stick to seats and it feels like your skin is getting ripped off every time you try to move.

If you know what I’m talking about, then you’ll appreciate today’s story and be grateful for its hero.

But before we get into our story today, let’s talk about experiences, and in particular, your experience as a member of Middle Tennessee Electric. Middle Tennessee Electric is an electric cooperative that doesn’t have customers. There are people getting bills, but they aren’t our customers. You’re something more than just a customer, you’re a member, and membership has benefits.

One of these benefits you experience is home energy audits by our Energy Services Coordinators. Normally the audits cost $75, but in April and May, members are getting the $50 off. That’s right, for $25 our energy efficiency experts come out to your home to show you how to consume less energy and improve the efficiency of your home. How’s that for an experience you and your wallet can enjoy?

You can get more information by going to MTEMC.com/eScore or giving us a call at 877-777-9020.

Now I mentioned being too hot and being too cold at the beginning of this podcast, so what does that have to do with anything. Well, it has to do with everything.

Today’s story is called “You’ll Never Bell-ieve It.”

It was a cold day when the bell rang in 1883. Henry was in the middle of cleaning up a spill at the Whitewater Normal School in southeast Wisconsin when he heard the bell. It’s not surprising that the bell went off as Wisconsin is not known for having a warm climate and recently they had been in a cold spell.

The bell was annoying and Henry was not a fan of it. Since it was installed, it seemed like all he did was wait for the bell to go off. As you can imagine, answering the bell is quite disruptive for a janitor’s workload when he is never near it when it goes off.

But it was his job, so he stopped what he was doing and pushed his broom and dustpan to the side and started the long walk down to the basement. It might not have been such a long walk if Henry was a younger man, but Henry was not a young man. His knees were tight and his back was stooped. As he approached the stairs, he grabbed the railing with his gnarled, callous hand and almost fell as the railing gave way. Henry thought to himself, “One more thing to fix on a long list of maintenance items.”

The bell was still ringing. He could hear it going off even at the top of the stairwell. “If I could get away with it, I’d hit it with a stick,” he mumbled under his breath. Henry continued to make his way down the stairs to the basement, where the answer to the bell awaited.

As he passed the second-floor landing, Professor Johnson was waiting. “Did you not hear the bell, Henry? This is exactly why I created it, so I wouldn’t have to try to track you down when I needed you,” he said. Henry simply smiled and apologized for the delay. “I’m on my way there now, Professor,” he responded as he kept trudging down the steps.

As Henry reached the bottom of the staircase, the bell continued to ring. By this point, as you can imagine, Henry was infuriated with the dang bell. It rings and rings and nobody but Henry did anything about it. “It’s not hard to fix,” he grumbled as he opened the door and stepped into a room of oppressive heat.

Immediately he began to gather sweat on his forehead as the heat radiating from the industrial furnace pushed against him. He walked over to the furnace and pulled the switch to open the damper all the way up. However, the bell continued to ring.

In frustration and desperation to stop the bell’s incessant noise, he put on his glasses, which he swore were not necessary, to see which bell was ringing. It was the bell on the right. Which meant he needed to close the damper all the way instead.

The bell stopped ringing. All was silent except the sound of the furnace fire burning and Henry’s breathing. “Professor Johnson’s electric tele-thermoscope thingy is so annoying,” Henry tells himself. “I wish there was a better way for him to control the temperature of his room than this new fangled invention. I have work to do and stopping every hour to fix how much heat he wants in his room isn’t on the list!”

As Henry closed the door to the furnace and began to climb back up the stairs to retrieve his broom and dustpan to finish his previous chore, he heard a sound. It was the bell ringing once more.

And that’s the unMetered Story of Warren Seymour Johnson’s electric tele-thermoscope, or as we call it, the first electric thermostat. It was designed to prevent Johnson from tracking down the school’s janitor to adjust the temperature. Instead, Johnson could set the temperature in his room and a bell would ring based on the need for more or less heat pumped into his room.

Johnson went on to create 50 more patents around a variety of industries, but his most successful invention was the automatic multi-zone temperature control system. This allowed different rooms to be heated based on individual thermostats settings. Johnson went on to create his own company centered on electric apparatuses like the thermostat. The company is now called Johnson Controls.

Don’t forget to check your thermostat as the temperatures change. Setting your thermostat to 75 degrees or higher during warm weather and 68 or lower during cold weather can help you save money by cutting down on your energy consumption.

If you want to know more energy efficiency tips or want to learn more about the benefits of membership at Middle Tennessee Electric, go to ExperienceMembership.coop.

Be sure to subscribe to our podcast channel, YouTube, or Facebook pages to get the latest unMetered Podcast Episodes and Stories along with a host of other content centered energy efficiency, safety, and service.

Thanks for listening and we hope you have a great day!

 

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