Recently our office sold an older home that was owned by an elderly lady who was the second owner. She and her husband had purchased the home in about 1956 . That is 52 years ago almost as old as me....not quite. Well the water heater was shown to have some problems and the technician indicated that no parts were made for this water heater, because it was so outdated.
Now let me tell you, in our area 10 years old is old for a water heater . The salt content in our water tends to devour things like water heaters... It isn't uncommon to see them go out in 3 or even four years!
Now when I was told that this heater could still heat water, but wasn't sound, I wanted to go see for myself what it was. I once saw a water heater that was about 40 years old, and that was amazing to me. I know the early heaters were well built even by today's standards. Take a look at those easy to use "Man-Sized" controls. Now a days, in order to adjust the temp on modern water heaters, you have to unscrew a plate, move the insulation, and lay on your stomach to change the temperature with a small screwdriver, while hoding a flashlight.
I think this one could be pushing the record for old age in water heaters folks, and in the very least may be a record for our area. Here are a few shots. It appears to be manufactured by Sears. But that is all I know. Maybe someone out there recognizes it. If so speak up please.