Franklin Stove

The stoves/fireplaces of Benjamin Franklin’s time (mid to late 1700s) were very inadequate in heating a room, all of the heat would escape up the chimney. Franklin described it as “scorched before and frozen from behind.[1] The fireplaces before Franklin’s did not radiate the heat into the room, instead most of the heat would go up the chimney and was therefore useless to the inhabitants. Additionally, the earlier fireplaces would consume an enormous amount of wood. The United States had a greater supply of wood than Europe but by Ben Franklin’s time people would have to travel acres to harvest enough wood to last the winter. The German immigrants were using a stove similar to those like Franklin’s but the British immigrants wanted to be able to see the fire burning.


[1] Seymour Stanton Block,  Benjamin Franklin, Genius of Kites, Flights and Voting Rights (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co, 2004), 110.

Image Citation

“Bright Idea: Franklin Stove.” (accessed  3/09/2011).

Comments are closed.