Thursday, April 28, 2016

Benjamin Franklin and fireplaces

Benjamin Franklin  played an important role in the invention of fireplaces. He discovered that fireplaces lost a tremendous amount of heat through the wall. This inspired him to create the first freestanding firebox, which became to be known as the Franklin stove. Trying to find ways to best heat a room, he placed the first stove in the center of the room. The result was that the entire room was heated thoroughly and evenly. His other discovery was that by using heavy cast iron, even when the flames went out, the heat continued being produced.

Even with all his great discoveries, Benjamin Franklin's first attempt had a flaw. Because smoke was vented from the bottom, air could not be drawn in. A man living in Philadelphia by the name of David Rittenhouse decided to use Benjamin's creation but now add an L-shaped stovepipe as a way of moving the air through the fire and then vent the smoke out through a chimney. This addition proved quite successful and by the late 1700s, these freestanding stoves were being used throughout the country. Although David Rittenhouse made the stove a success, the name Franklin stove is what stuck.      

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