A Victorian Fireplace History Of Heat, Then And Now
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Most Victorian houses were heated by fireplaces burning coal or logs in every room. Until Benjamin Franklin invented. the Franklin Stove

In the early Victorian era. Houses were heated by fireplaces burning coal or logs in every room. Central heating was a distant dream. Until steam heating was invented in the 1850,s

Fireplaces started to gain in popularity during the Victorian era. During this time in addition to the heat fireplaces produced, The people of this era felt that fireplaces added a touch of class, providing their homes with a cozy, quaint and a more sophisticated environment.

Some Victorian fireplaces had a rather ecclesiastical look with a pointed inner arch above the fire, rather like a church window. The fireplaces were extremely imposing but fortunately Vicitorion homes generally had large rooms with high ceilings so the fireplaces did not look too out of place. Generally Victorian fireplaces reflected the style of the home, with grander houses having some very ornate and lovely fireplaces, made from slate or marble. Later cast iron frames become popular. Being able to shape iron this allowed decorators to add floral patterns, or tiled designs. Even with all these advancements. The basic fireplace stayed the same Some Victorian fireplaces had a rather ecclesiastical look with a pointed inner arch above the fire, rather like a church window. The fireplaces were extremely imposing but fortunately Victorian homes generally had large rooms with high ceilings so the fireplaces did not look too out of place.

Along with these fireplaces, the fireplace screens became the focus of attention . The ladies of the house would show off their embroidery and tapestry skills by embroidering fire screens and many of them were becoming works of art. Later stained glass screens, with their ornate colors and paintings became the became the most popular type.

Furnishings and architecture during the Victorian era gradually changed and became more Gothic and this also influenced the style of fireplaces.

Benjamin Franklin discovered , fireplaces were losing most of the heat through the walls. This inspired him to create what is known today as a free standing fire box. or the Franklin stove. Franklin discovered by placing the stove in the middle of the room. The whole room heated evenly, later Franklin discovered by using cast iron for the stove the room stayed heated longer because the cast iron retained the heat, thus today we have cast iron radiators. Even with Franklins invention there was one flaw. This was venting the smoke from the room. This problem was solved by David Rittenhouse. When he invented what today is known as stove pipe. Now the stove can be vented through a ceiling or wall. This way you were able to seal around the outside of the pipe, with this method you were able to insulate against the outside weather. Thus keeping the room or rooms warmer longer. When Steam Became the popular heating source, with coal being the primary heating source , At this time Fireplaces started to take a step backward. one reason is ,people were heating by other sources, Then architects and builders did not Design housing with fireplaces in mind. Now fireplaces are coming back. Because there is nothing like sitting around the fireplace with family and friends .Please see more articiles fireplacescreensplus Written by owner and operator


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