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The Multi Fuel Stove: In the Past and Today

Full range of multi fuel and wood burning stoves

The History of wood burning stoves and fireplaces

Way back in the 16th Century before any substantial numbers of people moved the fire in their home against a side wall to be vented up through a chimney, most fires were central to the living area.

Families would live and sleep around a central fireplace no matter what type of home they lived in. This applied from the smallest and poorest cottage to the largest of castles in the land.

Historians have reported that the earliest fireplace known to man is located on the island of Malta, part of the Ggantija temples that date back as far as 3600 BC. The Ggantija Temples are two prehistoric temples on Gozo, this is the second largest island in Malta. One of them is the oldest stone structure in the world, it predates Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids by hundreds of years. They are round in shape and contain statues of goddesses, the Ggantija temples were built to worship the Great Earth Mother and would have most likely included an oracle. The site was a place of pilgrimage for the early inhabitants of Malta.

Excavations carried out in 1827 suggest that the temples had a dome shaped roof with an open central passage to allow light in and smoke from fires out.

From these early times until quite recently, it made perfect sense for a multi fuel or wood burning stove to be positioned at the heart of the living space, being the focal point of that living space. The fire would give warmth to the dwellers and be ideal for cooking meals over.

Even in present times, many hearths are now the focal point for the efficient, modern wood burning or multi fuel stove.

How the Multi Fuel and Wood Burning Stove Works

In the past as already mentioned, fires were in the centre of the living area and most probably in a fire pit or just surrounded by rocks to contain the embers. As methods of heating and cooking progressed, people began to enclose the fire in some sort of container, this was to become the first stove as we know them today. These stoves were connected to a chimney that generated a draught, pulling fresh air through the burning fuel in a controlled manner. This meant that the temperature of combustion would rise to a point of about 600 deg C where efficient combustion could be achieved.

One of the very earliest examples of a multi fuel or wood burning stove was the fire chamber, where the wood burning fire was enclosed on three sides by stone walls and covered by an iron plate. Eventually in the year 1735 the French architect Francois Cuvillies designed a stone construction with several fire holes that was covered by perforated iron plates, this was known as a stew stove.

As the end of the 18th century approached, the design was improved and multi fuel and wood burning stoves began to gain a reputation for being heat efficient. Benjamin Franklin, the President of the United States of America developed his own cast iron multi fuel and wood burning stoves with much improved heat efficiency in the year 1744.

In modern times, as the worlds population started to become concerned about the environmental issues of deforestation, air pollution and climate change, a new generation of improved and very efficient multi fuel and wood burning stove designs began to appear on the world market, these are the wood burning stoves we use today all over the world.

There are many new methods that are being adopted by multi fuel and wood burning stove manufacturers to achieve this efficiency One such method is known as airwash. This is achieved by drawing air across the stove's doors to create a barrier between the burning fuel and the glass within the door of the stove.

This process effectively preheats the air and the combustion temperature is increased further and it helps to keep the door glass clean.

How a Modern Multi Fuel and Wood Burning Stove Protects the Environment

The advancement in the heat efficiency of these multi fuel and wood burning stoves meant that the user could spend much far less time gathering or buying wood and other multi fuels and at the same time, reduce air pollution and, by using sustainable sources of wood, remove any undue concerns about deforestation.

Multi fuel and wood burning stove that are available today feature airtight construction which uses both steel and aluminium parts as well as cast iron. They also have firebrick linings for improved heat retention, and some even have catalytic converters which are designed to burn waste fumes. All in all, this means that modern wood burning stoves are very efficient indeed and much better for the environment.

Stove: What's in a Name?

It is believed that the word stove is derived from the old English word stofa, meaning any individual and enclosed space such as a small room.

Rene Descartes, who is often labelled as the ,Father of Modern Philosophy,, and probably most famous for the quotation ,I think, therefore I am,, noticed that he got his greatest philosophical inspiration while sitting in his multi fuel and wood burning stove heated room.

So from the earliest fireplace in a cave like temple on the island of Malta, to the most modern multi fuel and wood burning stove today, you can be assured that the stove has stood the test of time. More and more people are either changing back to, or experiencing multi fuel and wood burning stoves for the first time. This is most likely owing to the massive increase in the price of the electricity and gas that we have relied on so much since we began to move away from the multi fuel and wood burning stove.


Other articles on multi fuel stoves and wood burning stoves

Multi fuel and wood burning stoves

Why have a Multi Fuel or Wood Burning Stove

Way back in the 16th Century before any substantial numbers of people moved the fire in their home against a side wall to be vented up through a chimney, most fires were central to the living area.

Read more about why have a multi fuel or wood burning stove...

The Benefits of Multi Fuel and Wood Burning Stoves

Solid fuel, or as they are sometimes referred to, Multifuel stoves are quickly becoming the new trend in a lot of homes. With the prices of gas and electric increasing at an alarming rate it is the new alternative source of heat.

Read more about the benefits of multi fuel and wood burning stoves...

The Multi Fuel Stove and the Environment

Although it is true to say that coal, gas, and electricity have been gradually replacing wood as our main source of heat over the years, it is still a very important source of energy. Obviously the sight and feel of a multi fuel stove burning is far more appealing than a boring old boiler that is hidden away in a cupboard somewhere, but are multi fuel stoves green? Well, with the exception of hydroelectricity and other renewable energy sources, they are much greener, and even the exceptions account for less than 5% of all the electricity produced. Wood is also renewable, trees are being planted on a regular basis. On top of freshly cut trees, there is dead and fallen wood that can be used to fuel a multi fuel stove.

Read more about the multi fuel stove and the environment...

The Multi Fuel Stove is Back in Vogue

Many of us have seen a multi fuel stove at some point in our lives and to be perfectly honest, they were usually in an old dwelling that may have belonged to our great granny. Multi fuel stoves are also a familiar sight in films from yesteryear, nestling in an inglenook opening in a country cottage. The multi fuel stove, or wood burning stove as they were sometimes called, really were the very centre of the home. They gave heat to see the occupants through the very harshest winter, they cooked the food and provided all the hot water the family needed.

Read more about the multi fuel stove is back in vogue...

Chimney safety

Chimney Safety and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Most people tend to associate the issue of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning with gas appliances such as ovens and modern fires. However, a multi fuel stove or an open fire can still pose a serious threat to your health.

Read more about chimney safety and carbon monoxide poisoning...


Why not call Ansell Stoves now for a free quote

If you would like to know more or are interested in a quote we would be happy to help. Phone us on 01923 661 614, email us at info@ansellstoves.co.uk or fill in our enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Ansell Stoves

t. 01923 661 614 | m. 07941 282 325 | m. 07976 318 160 | Email us

t. 01923 661 614
m. 07941 282 325
m. 07976 318 160
Email us

Watford | St Albans | Bushey | Rickmansworth | Bricket Wood | Hemel Hempstead | South Oxhey

Watford | St Albans | Bushey
Rickmansworth | Bricket Wood
Hemel Hempstead | South Oxhey