Despite the fact that Franklin’s Stove reduced the percentage of heat wasted and reduced the amount of wood needed to fuel it, the stove did not initially have much of an impact on the American people. The idea of heating a whole room did not catch on until the later part of the 18th century. They believed that heating the air was unhealthy.[1] Furthermore the stove was expensive, complex and difficult to operate. No one wanted to deal with that. Only Franklin seemed to have written positive reviews on the stove and his brother in law was only able to sell two stoves in twenty years. [2] The manufacturing of the stoves had all but ceased after two decades. [3]

And yet, people still talk about the “Franklin Stove” today, as almost all wood stoves erroneously became known as Franklin Stoves. Although, the real Franklin Stove did not continue to be sold, many of the ideas behind the stove can be found in today’s modern stoves and fireplaces. The Franklin Stove served more as a building block for other inventors to adapt from. In fact, there is only one original Franklin Stove known to exist still today.


[1]   Seymour Stanton Block, Benjamin Franklin, Genius of Kites, Flights and Voting Rights (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co, 2004) 119.

[2] Ibid, 118-119.

[3] I. Bernard Cohen,  Benjamin Franklin’s Science (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990) 207.

Image Citations

Adam Gerard, Fire Place, December 25, 2009. Flickr (Accessed 3/30/2011).

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