The first iron fireplace for heating rooms was invented by Dr. Benjamin Franklin
about 1740, and is known as the “Franklin
stove” to this day. It is an open fireplace constructed of iron, and portable, so that it may be used in any room with a chimney.
It was made for the purpose of better warming and for saving fuel.
He refused the offer of a patent for it by the governor of Pennsylvania
, as he held that, as we profit by the inventions of others, so we should freely give what we may for the comfort of our fellow-men.
He gave his models to Robert Grace, one of his early friends in London
, who had an iron-foundry, and he made much money by casting these stoves.
They were in general use in all the rural districts of the country for many years, or until anthracite coal began to take the place of wood as fuel and required a different kind of stove.