in Europe Count Rumford, through many experiments with friction
and heat, set about designing a fireplace to be an effective radiant
research produced a tall, shallow firebox with widely flared sides
and a streamlined throat to eliminate turbulence and efficiently
carry away the smoke. The design reflected huge amounts of
heat over a wide area, with little heated room air being lost
up the chimney.
combustion air was fed to the fire via a vent, allowing the fireplace
to maintain high temperatures, thus increasing the heat storing
capacity of its refractory materials (brick and mortar). The Rumford
design allowed for the complete combustion of the wood, leaving
only fine ash for disposal.
immediately after writing about his design in the 1790's his "Rumford
fireplace" became state-of-the-art worldwide. In fact
Jefferson had them installed at Monticello, and Thoreau listed
them among the modern conveniences of his time that everyone took
was a very active inventor. In addition to his fireplace design
he invented such things as: the double boiler, the modern kitchen
range, the drip coffeepot, central heating, the kitchen oven,
thermal underwear, the pressure cooker, and numerous other inventions.
He was also responsible for bringing James Watt's steam engine
into widespread use.
with the renewed interest and popularity of early American and
classical architecture, Rumford fireplaces are enjoying a comeback
mainly for their tall classic elegance and superb heating efficiency.
Rumford design fireplaces that Jim Young Masonry produces are
not prefab inserts from a factory. They are built
on sight from the ground up. Just like they were back in
Count Rumfords day.
more info on Count Rumford check out:
Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford - from Wikipedia
Life & Legend of Count Rumford
Rumford: Scientist, Inventor, Innovator, Spy