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it cannot well be made to fit so exactly but that air will enter, and that in a violent stream, so as to blow up and keep alive the flames, and consume the wood, if the draft be not checked by turning the register to shut the flue behind. The register has also two other uses. If you observe the draft of air into your fireplace to be stronger than is necessary (as in extreme cold weather it often is), so that the wood is consumed faster than usual; in that case, a quarter, half, or twothirds turn of the register will check the violence of the draft, and let your fire burn with the moderation you desire; and at the same time both the fire-place and the room will be the warmer, because less cold air will enter and pass through them. And, if the chimney should happen to take fire (which indeed there is very little danger of, if the preceding direction be observed in making fires, and it be well swept once a year; for, much less wood being burnt, less soot is proportionably made; and, the fuel being soon blown into flame by the shutter, or the trap-door bellows, there is consequently less smoke from the fuel to make soot; then, though the funnel should be foul, yet the sparks have such a crooked, up and down, round-about way to go, that they are out before they get at it;) I say, if ever it should be on fire, a turn of the register shuts all close, and prevents any air going into the chimney, and so the fire may easily be stifled and mastered.
The Advantages of this Fire-place.
Its advantages above the common fire-places are, 1. That your whole room is equally warmed, so that people need not crowd so close round the fire, but may sit near the window, and have the benefit of the light for reading, writing, needlework, &c. They may sit
with comfort in any part of the room, which is a very considerable advantage in a large family, where there must often be two fires kept, because all cannot conveniently come at one.
2. If you sit near the fire, you have not that cold draft of uncomfortable air nipping your back and heels, as when before common fires, by which many catch cold, being scorched before, and, as it were, froze behind.
3. If you sit against a crevice, there is not that sharp draft of cold air playing on you, as in rooms where there are fires in the common way; by which many catch cold, whence proceed coughs,* catarrhs, tooth-aches, fevers, pleurisies, and many other diseases.
4. In case of sickness, they make most excellent nursing-rooms; as they constantly supply a sufficiency of fresh air, so warmed at the same time as to be no way inconvenient or dangerous. A small one does well in a chamber; and, the chimneys being fitted for it, it may be removed from one room to another, as occasion requires, and fixed in half an hour. The equal temper,. too, and warmth of the air of the room, is thought to be particularly advantageous in some distempers; for it was observed in the winters of 1730 and 1736, when the small-pox spread in Pennsylvania, that very few children of the Germans died of that distemper in proportion to those of the English; which was ascribed, by some, to the warmth and equal temper of air in their stove-rooms, which made the disease as favorable as
* My Lord Molesworth, in his account of Denmark, says, "That few or none of the people there are troubled with coughs, catarrhs, consumptions, or such like diseases of the lungs ; so that in the midst of winter in the churches, which are very much frequented, there is no noise to interrupt the attention due to the preacher. I am persuaded," says he, " their warm stoves contribute to their freedom from these kinds of maladies." p. 91.
it commonly is in the West Indies. But this conjecture we submit to the judgment of physicians.
5. In common chimneys, the strongest heat from the fire, which is upwards, goes directly up the chimney, and is lost; and there is such a strong draft into the chimney, that not only the upright heat, but also the back, sides, and downward heats are carried up the chimney by that draft of air; and the warmth given before the fire, by the rays that strike out towards the room, is continually driven back, crowded into the chimney, and carried up by the same draft of air. But here the upright heat strikes and heats the top plate, which warms the air above it, and that comes into the room. The heat likewise, which the fire communicates to the sides, back, bottom, and air-box, is all brought into the room; for you will find a constant current of warm air coming out of the chimney corner into the room. a candle just under the mantel-piece, or breast of your chimney, and you will see the flame bent outwards; by laying a piece of smoking paper on the hearth, on either .side, you may see how the current of air moves, and where it tends, for it will turn and carry the smoke with it.
6. Thus, as very little of the heat is lost, when this fire-place is used, much less wood* will serve you, which is a considerable advantage where wood is dear.
* People, who have used these fire-places, differ much in their accounts of the wood saved by them. Some say five sixths, others three fourths, and others much less. This is owing to the great difference there was in their former fires; some (according to the different circumstances of their rooms and chimneys) having been used to make very large, others middling, and others, of a more sparing temper, very small ones; while in these fire-places (their size and draft being nearly the same) the consumption is more equal. I suppose, taking a number of families together, that two thirds, or half the wood, at least, is saved. My common room, I know, is made twice as warm as it used to be, with a quarter of the wood I formerly consumed there.
7. When you burn candles near this fire-place, you will find that the flame burns quite upright, and does not blare and run the tallow down, by drawing towards the chimney, as against common fires.
8. This fire-place cures most smoky chimneys, and thereby preserves both the eyes and furniture.
9. It prevents the fouling of chimneys; much of the lint and dust that contributes to foul a chimney being, by the low arch, obliged to pass through the flame, where it is consumed. Then, less wood being burnt, there is less smoke made. Again, the shutter, or trap-bellows, soon blowing the wood into a flame, the same wood does not yield so much smoke as if burnt in a common chimney; for, as soon as flame begins, smoke in proportion ceases.
10. And, if a chimney should be foul, it is much less likely to take fire. If it should take fire, it is easily stifled and extinguished.
11. A fire may be very speedily made in this fireplace by the help of the shutter, or trap-bellows, as aforesaid.
12. A fire may be soon extinguished by closing it with the shutter before, and turning the register behind, which will stifle it, and the brands will remain ready to rekindle.
13. The room being once warm, the warmth may be retained in it all night.
14. And lastly, the fire is so secured at night, that not one spark can fly out into the room to do damage.
With all these conveniences, you do not lose the pleasing sight nor use of the fire, as in the Dutch stoves, but may boil the tea-kettle, warm the flatirons, heat heaters, keep warm a dish of victuals by setting it on the top, &c.
There are some objections commonly made by people that are unacquainted with these fire-places, which it may not be amiss to endeavour to remove, as they arise from prejudices which might otherwise obstruct, in some degree, the general use of this beneficial machine. We frequently hear it said, They are of the nature of Dutch stoves; stoves have an unpleasant smell; stoves are unwholesome; and warm rooms make people tender, and apt to catch cold. As to the first, that they are of the nature of Dutch stoves, the description of those stoves, in the beginning of this paper, compared with that of these machines, shows that there is a most material difference, and that these have vastly the advantage, if it were only in the single article of the admission and circulation of the fresh air. But it must be allowed there may have been some cause to complain of the offensive smell of iron stoves. This smell, however, never proceeded from the iron itself, which, in its nature, whether hot or cold, is one of the sweetest of metals, but from the general uncleanly manner of using those stoves. If they are kept clean, they are as sweet as an ironing-box, which, though ever so hot, never offends the smell of the nicest lady; but it is common to let them be greased, by setting candlesticks on them, or otherwise; to rub greasy hands on them; and, above all, to spit upon them, to try how hot they are, which is an inconsiderate, filthy, unmannerly custom; for the slimy matter of spittle, drying on, burns and fumes when the stove is hot, as well as the grease, and smells most nauseously, which makes such close stove-rooms, where there is no draft to carry off those filthy vapors, almost intolerable to those that are not