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Paper on fireplaces and cooking stoves
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00102132/00001
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Title: Paper on fireplaces and cooking stoves
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Gonzalez, Sergio Jr.
Publisher: Sergio Gonzalez, Jr.
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1976
Copyright Date: 1976
Subjects / Keywords: Architecture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Architecture -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Historic preservation
General Note: Course number: AE681
General Note: Professor Philip Wisley
General Note: UF AFA Historic Preservation document 18
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00102132:00001


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Table of Contents
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    Slide list
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Full Text

Sergio Gonzalez Jr.

AE 6i81

Prof. Philip Wisley

Fall 76

"A Paper on Fireplaces And Cooking Stoves "



It is in the caves of the stone age that the oldest

evidences of fire are found. Archeologists have

found blackened hearths and carbonised bones used for


When man first began building his own home he began

by digging a hole in the ground and covered it to

keep himself warm. With some imagination he decided

not to dig a hole but instead to build walls of the

same material he used for his roof. Man had made its

first hut.

(Slide 1)

Camp fire was shared by group. It would be moved (Slide 2)

nearer to the pit or hut. In one cold night he decided

to bring the fire indoors. All the members of the house

began to assemble around the fire.

The first indoor hearth is a shallow pit covered with

stones. It was set in the center of the room away from

the flammable walls. Behind the central hearth there

was a higher stone or raredos ", slightly hollowed (Slide 3)

on one face, forming a fireback. Large stones, put

around the fire to contain it, would in time serve to

support the cooking pots.


In the iron age; huts were again circular or oval.

The hearth was often close to a central post or

" roof tree". Wrought iron andirons to support the (Slide 4)

burning logs have been found on iron age sites. There

may also have been horinzontal iron bars laid between

them to carry the cooking pots, or to serve as spits.

In a house found at welwyn, and considered pre-roman.

The fire burned on a "Brandreth" an iron grate raise

on legs.

The hearth-men or the men in charge of starting the (Slide 5)

fire or keeping it alive were considered to be the

key men in any household. They usually lived, ate

and slept where the hearth was located. The room was

commonly called the "fire-house". The smoke originated

from the hearth located in the center of the room

escaped through a hole in the roof, between crannies

or thru a wind hole.

Types of Fuel:

The type wood used in a fire is important and also

how the wood was laid. Properly dry wood is good to

enough for any fire; but for a quantity of heat,

selecting the right type of wood is important.


For example, resinous wood do not serve well indoors.

They throw off substantial sparks. Among these resi-

nous woods are larch, birch and jupiter. Alder is one

of the worst fuel woods and ash the best of all because

it will burn dead or alive, wet or dry and with a hot

colorful flame. Applewood also produces a colorful

flame. Cherry wood is also good fire fuel. Cypress

is pleasantly aromatic. Chestnut is good but should

be covered and cured for a year. Oak is very good and

used a lot in Florida mostly from its branches. Plane

and willow give a clear flame without sparks. Poplar

need long drying and does not burn well (mostly used

for matches). Elm also burns bad.

The Chimney:

The chimney appeared late in history and it was only

used as an exit for smoke. It began to appear in

England late in the thirdteenth century. In the Norman

Castle the first improvement of the hearth was made.

It was moved from the center of the space to the wall.

In the castle, the upper floors would be formed of the

same thickness of the wall, with openings into great

chambers on one side, and windows -in the other.

(Slide 6)


To avoid weakening of the walls, no recess was made,

and the hearth was wholly inside the room. This was

still not a true chimney.

The first proper chimney's appeared in England. The

chimney Rose well clear off the roof providing a steady

draught free from down-currents.

The first cottages made of "cruck" construction (all

roof and no wall ) had the hearth at one end and the

chimney free-standing; It was made of wattlee and Daub"

on a timber frame, or stone. Brick was used after the

fourteenth century.


(Slide 8)

(Slide 9)

When the crucks were replaced by the post and beam

construction, the hearth could be near the center of a

side wall, and three sides of the chimney were now indoors.

The house was kept warmer. Sometimes all four sides of

the chimney were indoors making the house warmer still.

In the sixteenth century there is more concern for

interior space. The hearth is moved out into a recess,

its back wall projecting outside and tapering to the



Early Fireplaces:

(Slide 10)

(Slide 11)

The gothic fireplace with the flattened four-center

arch, carved out of a single piece of stone, the

wainescoating continued over the fireplace is one

of the earliest designs.

In the english renaissance the use of ornamental

strapwork is used. The openings become rectangular.

The fireplace becomes an object of special display.

"Iron chimleys or grates" were common in the six-

teenth century. They were designed only to burn coal.

Other hearths were unsuitable for this new type of

fuel. They were known to be a complete nuisance because

of the excessive amount of smoke it produced.

These early iron chimleys were interesting and coarsely (Slide 12)

designed. One example is seen at The London Charterhouse

built in 1610 for sir Thomas Sutton. You can see on the

slide the elaboration of detail. This monumental chimney-

piece as well as the cast iron grate bear his seal. Since

cinders are now liable to fall on the carpet "The fender"

(an iron grille in front of the coal) became necessary.

The entire piece holding the coal was called the "Hob Grate"

which survived through the nineteenth century.


(Slide 13)

(Slide 14 )

(Slide 15)

The decorative treatment of the iron chimley was

reduced as can be seen in this slide of a design

by Inigo Jones for sir George Price. It covered

the entire height of the room.

The problem of extracting useful heat from the

raising vapour before it escaped up the chimney,

had offered many solutions. One of the earliest

was known as "Prince Rupert's Fireplace". The

opening into the flue was very small, and very

low, just above the fire. An iron baffle plate

behind this opening forced the smoke down behind

the fireback before it could rise into the flue.

When first lit, with a cold flue, the fire could

not be expected to draw through this roundabout

passage, so the baffle was hinged, to open directly

into the flue until the fire was going well. This

early invention had its problems. For example it

was never totally free of smoke, users were warned

to use charcoal if possible. A fire door was also

needed to mask the main opening when starting up.

Another invention was M. Dalesme's heating machine

introduced in 1680. It was a totally different kind

- 7 -

of invention. It was laid with the coal below, the

wood above it and the paper on top. The air entered

from above, and the smoke and fumes were extracted

from below through a downward pipe that then turned

to connect with the fuel. Although it was claimed

that this invention consumed all smoke it was difficult

to start.

Benjamin Franklin is one of the many mentioned among

the notably versatile contributors to the art of heating.

In 1745 Franklin's Pennsylvania fireplace was designed

in wood. It tended to smoke with coal, and its ducts to

choke up with soot. As shown on this slide air enters

at B, passes along flue A, then left and right as it

descends through the ducts EE, and emerges into the

room at D. The smoke and vapour go in the direction

of the arrows drawn on the section at right.

He also invented the revolving grate which offered for

the first time, a means of adding fresh fuel below the

fire as opose to refueling from the top having a down-

ward draught. This cylindrical fuel cage rotates. To

refuel, the top bar is removed, fresh coal is added and

the bar replaced and locked.

(Slide 16)

(Slide 17)


The cage in then rotated half a turn, reversing the

fire front-to-back and top-to- bottom at the same time.

The fresh coal is now below, its gas is not waisted,

and its smoke is consumed.

Isaac Ware was a chimney boy before he became an (Slide 18)

architect. He favoured the "continued chimney-piece','

in which the composition is continued up into the ceiling.

He proposed that a principal compartment should be raised

over the fireplace to receive a picture, and terminated

by a pediment. He adapted this idea at the chesterfield

house. Some more examples of this idea can be seen in

the following slide.

This part of this report is a condense portion from

the book written by Lawrence Wright. Home fires

burning, published in 1964.


"The evolution of the heating and cooking stove"

The stove as a heating element:

In very early days a heated room was called a stove,

not used for living purposes but rather as a hot house

or drying room. Later the stove was known as an en-

closed fireplace, used for warming rooms and cooking.

In 1821, a stove was defined as a contrivance or appa-

ratus. The principle of the stove is to absorb all the

heat possible from the fire source before it escaped

through the chimney.

(Slide 19)

The earliest form of a stove was the Roman Hypocaustum (Slide 20)

first used for baths. It was later introduced in homes.

The paved floor was heated by means of fire below it, the

heat being communicated indirectly. As shown in the slide,

a number of columms or arches were built 18" in height.

These supported a pavement formed of tiles about 18 inches

square, each tile being supported at each corner by the

columns, or along two sides when arches were used.

The tiles were fastened together by cement, calculated

to resist fire, and generally covered by mosaics. A fire

was made at one end below the level of the ground, and

this heated the pavement as the flame played beneath a

10 Ic

portion of it. The hot air and smoke passed around and

between the columns before escaping at some point of exit

at the opposite extremity.

The chinese, adopted similar means of giving warmth.

They made the fire outside the building and the hot air

passed along channels below the pavement, or along hollow

benches, and then ascended within hollow walls before

its final escape.

The Greeks and Romans too used portable stoves or braziers

for their homes. A Grecian tripod was used at the time (Slide 21)

of the Greek conception of the origin of fire. Wood was (Slide 22)

used for fuel and burned in the bowl and the smoke was (Slide 23)

allowed to escape through a window or other openings.

The Roman adoption of the Greek method had luxurious


The brazier was also common is Spain and had wheels so

that it could easily be pushed from room to room.

Later rooms were set aside to be used for the winter.

They were decorated with plain cornices and colors

which would not show any soot. It became common to

seclude the kitchen as much as possible from the living

portion of the dwelling.

The chinese classics point at the use of cast iron at (Slide 24)

a very early date. Among these cast iron objects found

in the "han tombs" are well-preserved cast iron cooking


This stove was a rentangular body in the shape of a

horse shoe which rests on four cast legs. It is provided

with a chimney at the rounded end, has five cooking holes,

and a platform in front of the fire-chamber.

Early Stoves in New England:

Enough has been written to know that in houses built

after the first crude shelters stoves were commonly used.

Evidence of a built-in stove of dutch design was found in

Plymouth Massachusetts at the site of the home of 2

Pilgrim John Howland. The house was built in 1638 and

burned between 1676 and 1690. The site was undisturbed

until the family made recent excavations.

The pilgrims lived for twelvee years in Holland before

coming to new England, and they brought with them the


The first stove in the colonies were made of wood, daubed

with mud and elay. In 1629 the first importation of

britkes had arrived they were used to line a few stoves.

Others were used for chimneys and fireplaces.

Stoves were also used by the Dutch Settlers of New York

and the Swedish Settlers in lower Delaware before the

English Settlement of Pennsylvania.

Many of these early stoves cannot be found, Many of

the iron stoves cracked and broke by the heat of the

fire. Many were remelted at the time of the revolution

when scrap was in demand for war pruposes.

Benjamin Franklin also invented a special type of stove. (Slide 3!3)

The first Franklin stove was intended to be set inside

an open fireplace. The oldest known Franklin stove a

modification of the original made in 1750 is in the bucks

county historical museum at Doylestown Pennsylvania.

James Sharp's estaloguee of stoves made on the Franklin (Slide 26)

principle, gave full credit for the invention to Benjamin (Slide 21)

Franklin. These stoves were produced during th 1760's-


In this slide we can see a stove of the late 18th century.(Slide 28)

It shows the opening typical of the time. It had the

appearance and advantages of a fireplace, but it did not

have the smoke.

Many stoves~ of similar design were 'cast in iron as

in the Franklin stoves. They were cheap and easier

to install.

Here we see another Franklin stove,the top rail, brass

rosettes and knobs give it elegance. Is was purchased

in 1820.

The stove in this slide represents one of the earliest

of the wilson patents. Thirteen stars surround the

.eangle~ which represented the number of the state in the

union. The Dunce-cap dome, which added a great deal of


(Slide 29)

(Slide 30)

This early stove of 1818-20

office in Wo~rcester, Mass.

was for years in a law

(Slide 31)

(Slide 32)

(Slide 33)

Seventeen stars surround the eagle with spread wings in

this stove. The heating dome is omitted.

In this slide we can see a simple Franklin stove in

a home.

This stove is very rare, it shows the last super done

in iron. Of the 1850.


A 1704 a czechoslovakian heating stove seized by the

Germans in 1939.

A yellow porcelain stove of the Lovis xv period.

A white porcelain stove from the Bavarian Royal castle


(Slide 34~)

(Slide 3p)

(Slide 36)

Stoves used for heating and cooking:

Box stoves:

The box stove is an apparatus made in the form of a box. (Slide 37)

The earliest were Jamb stoves, cast iron boxes with five

sides, whose open end fitted into a hole in the wall.

Box stoves of the 19th century were made more accurately

and the plates fitted together very well.

But later in the 19th century a new type of stove was

invented. Two vertical flues instead of one connected

by a horinzontal member from which a pipe led to the

chimney. They were advertised as two columm stoves.

One of the big selling points of a box stove was the

economy of fuel. Another feature of the two-colunm

stoves was that they were made with doors which could

be open after the fire started and gave the appearance

of a fireplace.

(Slide 36)

(Slide 39)

- 15 -

The stove as a cooking element:

Parlor Cook Stoves:

The box stove became eventually a cook stove and Henry

Miller in Warcester advertised it in 1845. He placed

two boiling holes in front of the columms and made it

wider. It looked like a rural letter box and cakes,

pies and other dishes in small quantity could be baked.

The parlor cook stove idea became so popular that very

elaborate designs were made in their decorations.

In this slide we can see a parlor cook stove in the

victorian manner.

Pyramid Stoves:

These stove were in use for some time and were invented

by Jordan L. Nott of New York in 1833. They were large

at the base and tapering at the top. Mott found that

the stove presenting the greatest quantity of surface

gave the greatest quantity of heat.

(Slide 40)

(Slide 41)

Example of Dr. Nott's pyramid stove.

(Slide 42)

(Slide 43)

The air-tight stoves:

Invented in 1L836 by Isaac Orr of Washington D.C. wP;:asi:ohe;~- (Slide 44)

s i derdl:rqul~~e: tewar: adv~and~seis l istd~v~e .des ign .

- 16 -

(Slide 45)

(Slide 46)

It had no seams to smoke and it burned almost everything

but coal. It was oval in shape varying from 24 to 36

inches. It had a door on a end a large opening in the

top which a big chunk of wood could be slipped.

Soapstone Stoves:

Soapstone was used for making stoves as early as 1797.

From quarry discovered in 1790 by Daniel Fuller. The

stove from the quarry was cut up for foot stoves.

Soapstone stoves had the advantaged that once warmed

they hold the heat all night long, and the house would

be comfortable in the morning.

P 7

The word Range is a very old word referring to any

row of cooking fixtures. It may have also come from

the "Ranging Bars" which were sloping iron bars with

crooks (hangers) to hold the spits (cooking utensiles).

One of the earliest cooking inventions or range was

produced by Benjamin Thomson, better known as Count

Rumford, in 1798.

His system was based on the idea of not producing the

heat until it was needed and not to produce it in excess.

(Fuel in those days was very expensive and it had to be

conserved) He also insulated the fuel and to use it

before it could lost.

His invention was considered different, modern and effi- (Slide 47)

cient. A lot of brick was used in the construction and it

had a flat top with a large number of holes used to fit

the cooking utensiles. Below each utensiles there was

an individual fire or grate and a door to regulate the air.

From each little fire, a flue ran around the utensil before

going to the main flue exit. Two roasted ovens were heated

by a separate fire, and a hot-water boiler by the nearest

fire in use.

His kitchens were usually designed in U-shaped to make it

simple to work around it.

- 18

In 1840 an new range was invented called the Brown's

apparatus. It had a border heated by a flue and the

cooking side was at the side furthest from the fire.

In 1842 the Sylvester's range came out. In this range

only one side of the boiler is exposed to the fire. The

bottom of the oven is open to the bottom of the fire.

(Slide 48)

(Slide 49)

In 1846 Harrison's economical derby range is convertible (Slide 50)

into a close-stove, a semi-close stove or an open fireplace.

Typical open fire range 1850.

(Slide 51)

A kitchen of 1850

An insulated kitchen of 1869

The above ranges or cooking apparatus were being developed

in Europe.

In America the ranges being invented, were more compact

and easy to transport.

The first cooking stove began to appear in 1847. We

begin to see standard kitchen units. They were movable,

on legs, with the oven above and very decorative.

(Slide 52)

The portable cooker 1914

(Slide 53)

(Slide 54)

The range and grilling stove 1892.


Slide List:

1. Early stone age man-from rumford fireplaces-cover

2. The taming of fire-home fires burning-page 4

3. Raredos H.P.B.-page 6

4. Kelto Roman fire dog- H.P.B. page 7

5. The hearth-men H.P.B. page 48

6. The norman castle H.F.B. page 21

7. Chimneys H.F.B. page 25

8. Londond chimney's H.P.B. page 75

9. A "Cruck Cottage" H.P.B. page 38

10. Gothic fireplace H.F.B. page 59

1. The drawing room, Boston house H.F.B. page 61

12. A coal merchants fireplace H.P.B. page 68

13. Chimney piece H.P.B. page 70

14. Pince Rupert's Fireplace H.P.B. page 33

15. Dalesme's heating machine H.P.B. page 85

16. Franklin's fireplace H.P.B. page 88

17. Franklin's revolving grate H.F.B. page 89

18. Chimney piece H.F.B. page 95

19. 18th. century tile stove fire on the hearth page 1

20. Roman hypocaustum F.O.H. page 26

21. Braziers F.O.H. page 27

22. Braziers 14th and 15th centuries H.P.B. page 30

23. Curtew used to conserve hot embers home fires burning page 18


24. Chinese stove F.O.A. page 30

25. Oldest Franklin stove Fire on the Hearth page 42

26. Franklin stove F.O.H. page 43

27. Franklin stove F.O.H. page 46

28. 18th. century fireplace F.O.H. page 47

29. Wilson stove F.O.H. page 50

30. Stove of 1820 F.O.H. page 51

31. Early stove fire on the hearth page 52

32. Frankling stove F.O.H. page 55

33. Rare stove with last supper F.O.H. page 62

34. Czechoslovakian stove 1704 F.O.H. page 78

35. Yellow porcelain stove F.O.H. page 80

36. White porcelain stove F.O.H. page 81

37. Box stove F.O.H. page 90

38. The four-o-clock stove F.O.H. page 106

39. Two column stove F.O.H. page 117

40. Parlor cook stove F.O.H. page 122

41. Parlor cook stove -P.O.H. page 124

42. Pyramid stove F.O.H. page 127

43. Pyramid stove -F.O.H. page 128

44. Air-tight-stove F.O.H. page 145

45. Soapstone stove F.O.H. page 160

46. Soapstone stove -F.0.H. page 161

47. Rumfords cooker Home fires burning page 115


48. Brwn's apparatus H.P.B. page 122

49. Sylvester's apparatus H.P.B. page 123

50. Harrison's apparatus H.F.B. page 125

51. Ranges H.F.B. page 126

52. American cooking stove H.P.B. page 128

53. Portable cooker H.P.B. page 132

54. Range and Grilling stove H.P.B page 134

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