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The Fireplace: History and Evolution

the HEART OF THE HOME Though we may enjoy the warm-and-toasty feeling of basking in front of the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate on a crisp winter evening, fireplaces haven't always been about the ambiance of a flickering flame. From a necessity for warmth, to a modern day electric appliance, the fireplace has a story to tell. 500 BC The lelts For hundreds of years peasants lived in small huts with a central fire pit to radiate heat with smoke exiting through a hole in the roof Imagine a bonfire in the middle of your living room! 43 AD The Roman Era Roman bakers used fireplaces with flues that piped smoke outdoors Roman buildings were heated by a Hypocaust venting system Romans also used braziers, or containers for fire, which could be carried from room to room like today's space heater in modern times. Building floors were held up by pillars of tiles that were warmed by hot air and smoke that passed through flues in the walls to the roof without polluting indoor areas with smoke After the fall of the Roman Empire these innovations were lost and forgotten for over 1000 years 450 AD Medieval England Much like the Celts, English peasants lived in small huts with a central fire pit for cooking and warmth with smoke exiting through a hole in the roof Fire pits eventually morphed into hearths 1066 AD | Jwo-story Houses Call por New Technology Fire pits were replaced with fireplaces and moved to the outside wall Chimneys were invented to create a draft and expel the smoke vertically. - Made it possible to put a fireplace on each floor - Originally fireplaces were horizontally vented 1678 AD Elevated Fireplace Grate Prince Rupert of the Rhine, nephew of Charles I, invented the fireplace grate Elevated grate allowed air to reach the firewood from underneath and fuel the fire 1700s | Coal por Fuel Timber became scarce and coal became more commonly used in the domestic setting After the Great Fire of London in 1666, building regulations demanded narrower chimneys. - Coal smoke was toxic - Required elaborate chimney systems for ventilation - Produced soot and ash that clogged chimneys and brought forth the rise of the chimney sweep 1741 | Pennsylvania Fireplace Invented by Benjamin Franklin The Franklin stove was a free standing cast iron stove, normally located in the center of a room. It used an "inverted siphon" which allowed fumes to be drawn out of the chimney. It was also able to radiate twice the heat using a quarter of the fuel. Free standing cast iron stove normally located in the center of the room to radiate more heat 1796 | Shallow Firebox Count Rumsford, an American born British loyalist, invented a smaller, shallower fireplace - Heat could more easily radiate into the room, but did not have a deep hearth for cooking - Streamlined neck allowed smoke to escape more easily - Rumsford's design was used throughout the 19th century 1900S | Central Heat With the introduction of central heat, fireplaces were relied upon less for warmth 1933: Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced "fireside chats;" weekly radio addresses that many families gathered around the fireplace to enjoy. Roosevelt's chats introduced an enjoyment factor to the fireplace that had previously only been used for functional purposes. Design and architecture became the focal point 1995 Electric Fireplace Dimplex developed and produced the first electric fireplace offering the ambiance of a true "wood burning" flame effect SAFETY FIRST IN THE MODERN AGE |Heeping Your Fireplace up to Snuff If you have a wood burning stove, the EPA recommends - Only burn dry, seasoned wood - Wet wood creates smoke and pollutants - Do not burn garbage, plastic, or treated lumber - These emit toxic fumes 87% of residential building heating fires were caused by fires confined to chimneys, flues, or flue burners, according to the United States Fire Administration Electric fireplaces can be a great alternative to a wood burning fireplace - No smoke emissions - Can provide efficient heat - Do not require remodelling to install - Can be placed in conventional fireplaces that can no longer be used Visit COMPACTAPPLIANCE.COM to add some old-world ambiance to your modern home with an electric fireplace heater. Sources archive.museumoflondon.org.uk/Londinium/analysis/homelife/fittings/ apartmenttherapy.com/quick-history-chimneys-162580 victorianweb.org/technology/domestic/fireplace.html sarahwoodbury.com/the-invention-of-the-chimney/ primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/saxons/houses.htm fireplacesmagazine.com/fireplace-buyers-guide/history-of-fireplaces.html popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/energy-efficient/know-your-wood-burning-stoves-3#slide-3 m.heatilator.com/Shopping-Tools/Blog/Fireplace-Evolution.aspx COMPACT CAPPLIANCE DEVELOPED BY N NOWSOURCING rumford.com/Rumford.html ultimatehistoryproject.com/chimneys.html epa.gov/burnwise/pdfs/kitarticle.pdf

The Fireplace: History and Evolution

shared by NowSourcing on Jan 08
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Fireplaces in homes have changed drastically since people stopped living in caves. Learn more from this infographic.

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