American Heating the Home 1730

One of the great problems with early colonial houses was heating them, a problem exacerbated by the coldness of the winters compared with those in Britain. Early colonists took advantage of the bountiful supply of wood to build large, centrally located fireplaces, twice the size of those they had known in England. In addition to the tendency of fireplaces to send much of their heat up the chimney, heat also escaped through the many cracks and other openings in the walls. If a person was not close to the fire, he or she often derived little warmth from it, and fireplaces and open hearths were also dangerous for children. The fireplace’s insatiable hunger for wood contributed to deforestation and meant that much of the household’s daily labor was spent chopping down trees and preparing wood for the fire. This was a task whose burden increased over time, as people exhausted the timber resources close to their dwellings and had to go farther and farther afield for wood. (A supply of wood was a common perquisite of ministers. Samuel Parris, later to become infamous as a leader of the Salem witch hunt, had bitter disputes with his parishioners for years over what he alleged was their failure to keep his house adequately supplied with firewood.) Firewood was particularly a problem for cities, given their population concentrations. Boston, which had no native timber, was perpetually bedeviled by a shortage of wood and, after 1730, turned to importing coal from Britain. New York City had to pass strict laws regulating the fees that could be charged for hauling wood, in order to prevent exploitation by haulers during the winter. America’s firewood situation improved with the development of better houses, and eventually the introduction of the more efficient stove for heating. German colonists are often credited with bringing heating stoves to America. They spread only slowly to the Anglo-American population Benjamin Franklin pointed out that stoves had the disadvantage of not allowing people to see the flames. He combined a visible fire with the heating advantage of the stove in his Pennsylvania Fire Place. Since a fire was necessary for cooking even on hot days, early colonists in the South faced the problem of dissipating heat during the summer. One solution was to put the fireplace at the end of the house rather than at the central location common in northerly climes. Eventually, many Southerners physically separated the kitchen from the rest of the house.Furniture Early American Colonial Furniture Design Under Fashion … Ltf

American Heating the Home 1730 Photo Gallery

American Heating the Home 1730

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