Franklin Fireplace Stoves Cast with Style
|Benjamin Franklin invented the "Pennsylvania Fireplace" in 1740 (see p. 13). Although the technological principles of his original stove were improved upon during the eighteenth century, the overall design remained the same. In 1816 James Wilson of Poughkeepsie, New York, patented a stove reminiscent of Franklin's and called it a "Franklin Stove." Thereafter, all similar type stoves retained the original designer's name. In these stoves heat was conducted by the cast-iron and radiated by the open flames.
Franklin-type stoves, though more efficient than fireplaces, were the most inefficient and furnished the least amount of heat of all cast-iron stoves. The stove design is still popular today, as it has always been a pleasure to see the flickering flames of a wood- burning fire.
Made with eight plates, the stoves often have two or four brass finials, which conceal the tie- rods that hold the top and bottom plates in position. Either wood or coal with a grate could be burned. Later improvements included doors that contained the hot air and preserved the coals.