Heating stoves have been a fixture of farmsteads, cabins, and even castles for centuries. Heating stoves, a variation of the standard fireplace in homes and other buildings, still have a mysterious origin, but much of the ingenuity of the contemporary design can be traced to early American life, notably one industrious Benjamin Franklin. Wood burning stoves had been around for decades prior to the 1740’s when Franklin fiddled with the faulty design of the original hoping to perfect it. He lined his regular brick fireplace with metal, leaving the front open, instead of having a closed chamber unit; simply put, it was a metal fireplace. This allowed for more heat and was less smoky. Franklin’s experimentation adjusted the location of the flue, at one time putting it near the floor, until finally settling it near the chimney for the greatest efficiency in proper air circulation.
Around 1796 the Rumford fireplace, named after Count Rumford, was built, the first to angle the hearth with bricks, and to also tighten the chimney. Restricting the width of the chimney helped increase the updraft – a natural airflow created by differences in pressure within the stove and chimney. Initially, heating stoves were used just for that, to heat, but as their popularity expanded, so too did their utility.
Metal drawers were eventually added and sideboard ovens used to cook food, bake loaves of bread, and place kettles for boiling. Freestanding stoves then came about, removing stoves from the architectural design of the home and shifting their application to that of an appliance. Certain lighter metals went into their design making them truly transportable. These freestanding models became much more utilitarian for culinary purposes. Sideboard drawers and ovens were still applicable, but the flat tops of these newer wood stoves were the precursor to our modern-day stoves. The burners were manufactured with removable plates to expose pots and pans directly to the flames, precisely how modern gas and electric stoves function.
Heating stoves today are less a functionary appliance for subsistence than they are an aesthetic one for the home. Wood burning stoves are still around, but natural gas, propane, coal burning, electric, oil, and pellet heating stoves now can be used, each with their own pleasantries and attributes. Here at FireforLess.com we offer a wide selection of all types of stoves, from a heating device for your home to an ornament for your backyard patio. We’re sure you’ll find a heating stove right for you.