News From Terre Haute, Indiana

History

May 27, 2012

HISTORICAL TREASURE: Radiant heating — a hot idea

TERRE HAUTE — This week’s Historical Treasure is a bit out of season, but a wood stove will help drive away the morning chill and you can make breakfast on it. The Vigo County Historical Museum’s cast iron stove is located on the second floor in the school room. It is either a coal or wood burning stove and has a small cooking surface on top of it.

In the 17th and early 18th centuries, wood burning stoves made of cast iron were an improvement over earlier fireplaces. They addressed the issues of the occasional smoky room and inefficient heating, not to mention the danger of fire caused by an errant spark. By the early 1700s various forms of cast iron stoves were being manufactured. Known as six-plate stoves, these were constructed of metal plates that were bolted together to form a box and had a pipe at the top to allow the smoke to escape.

In 1741 Benjamin Franklin invented the “Pennsylvania Fireplace,” a metal-lined fireplace with improved airflow. His design ensured that more of the fuel, including that in the smoke, was burned, and that more heat was transferred from the stove to the room. The warm air in the room was unable to escape through the chimney as it would in a traditional fireplace, which was a great improvement in efficiency. Franklin refused to patent his new invention, which allowed others to use it and make improvements upon it.

Later designs of wood stoves in the 18th and 19th centuries were commonly known as box stoves. These stoves were lighter and more finely cast due to improved casting techniques but were similar in design to the earlier six-plate stoves. Box stoves were not placed in a fireplace but were situated in the room, which helped to heat the room more efficiently.

The wood stove on display at the Vigo County Historical Museum is a model from the 19th century. A Ruby No. 11 model, patent dated June 21, 1859, it was cast in Cincinnati by W. Rebor & Co. This exact stove might have been cast at a later date, but it made use of the design from this time. While stove design has evolved over the past 150 years, the method of radiant heating remains an effective means of heating that has been made more efficient over time.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
History
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Obama: 'Blood of Africa Runs Through My Veins' 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Today in History for July 31st Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity