The Father of the Fireplace Insert – Ben Franklin

Franklin StoveBenjamin Franklin, one of our nation’s Founding Fathers, was concerned because fireplaces during his day and time were very dangerous and frequently caused house fires and fatalities. He also knew that something needed to be done to ease the wood shortage that was also creating challenges at that time, and he took action.

Born on January 17, 1706, Benjamin Franklin was the tenth son of Josiah Franklin, a soap maker, and Abiah Folger, Josiah’s second wife. Josiah was the father of 17 children. From his childhood, Benjamin made significant contributions to society. In 1742, Benjamin designed a freestanding cast-iron fireplace that was inserted into an existing fireplace; and the invention addressed each of his concerns, though the design needed much improvement. Ben’s invention, which saved countless lives, was originally called the Pennsylvania Fireplace but later became known as the Franklin Stove.

As designed, smoke came out from the bottom of the new invention. Because smoke rises, the stove couldn’t work properly. In spite of the major flaw, it was a safer and more efficient method of heating homes than what existed previously. The benefits of the stove were widely recognized, in spite of the flaws, and Franklin was offered a patent so that he could solely produce them. Franklin declined because he wanted his invention to serve others, which he considered better than any financial reward.

Part of Benjamin’s design included a u-shaped duct between the fireplace and the chimney. He referred to it as an “aerial syphon;” its purpose was to extract as much heat as possible from the combustion gases. The earliest known inverted siphon from which Franklin got this inspiration was invented by Franz Kessler in 1618. Both men used a baffle, which forced the fumes to descend behind it prior to exiting through the chimney.

Benjamin’s use of cast iron for the Franklin Stove was inspired by Frenchman Jean Desaguiliers. He read about Desaguliers’ experiments related to using cast iron instead of masonry in a fireplace. Among the benefits he discovered was that the metal provided an enhanced yet comfortable heat.

The Franklin Stove that we are all most familiar with is a culmination of improvements made on Benjamin’s original design. As the stove evolved, even at the hands of other inventors, the name “Franklin Stove” endured; and people across the world still use these stoves today.

Franklin Stove DesignWhile the stoves are currently in use, over the past two centuries many more remarkable advancements have been made so that fireplaces, wood burning stoves, and fireplace inserts are more efficient than ever. In fact, modern efficiency ratings can hardly be compared to the stoves commonly used in households as recently as 40 years ago.

Benjamin Franklin epitomized what it is to be a truly astounding individual; and the invention of the Franklin Stove is just one of his many, many outstanding achievements that changed the world for the better. Of all his astounding accomplishments and inventions, we can’t help but be partial to his invention of the Franklin Stove, used in American homes for over 250 years and counting.

Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
formerly Nayaug Chimney Services, LLC
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110
Phone: 860-233-5770

Chimney Inspections in Hartford, Glastonbury, 06001 Avon, 06002 Bloomfield, 06006 Windsor, 06010 Bristol, 06010 Forestville, 06011 Bristol, 06016 East Windsor, 06019 Canton, 06023 East Berlin, 06025 East Glastonbury, 06029 Ellington, 06030 Farmington, 06032 Farmington, 06033 Glastonbury, 06034 Farmington, 06035 Granby, 06037 Berlin, 06040 Manchester, 06041, 06042, 06043 Bolton, 06043, 06045, 06050 New Britain, 06051, 06051, 06052, 06053, 06066 Rockville, 06067 Rocky Hill, 06070 Simbury, 06071 Somers, 06074 South Windsor, 06078 Suffield, 06080, 06081 Simsbury, 06082 Enfield, 06083, 06084 Tolland, 06085 Farmington, 06088 East Windsor. 06089, 06090 Granby, 06092, 06093, 06095 Windsor, 06096 Windsor Locks, Hartford, 06105 West Hartford, 06106, 06107, 06108 East Hartford, 06109 Wethersfield, 06110 Elmwood, 06110, 06111 Newington, 06117, 06118, 06119, 06127, 06128, 06129, 06131 Newington, 06133 Elmwood, 06133 West Hartford, 06138, 06226 Willimantic, 06232 Andover, 06247 Hampton, 06248 Hebron, 06249 Lebanon, 06447 East Hampton, 06447 Marlborough, 06450 Meriden, 06451,06455 Middlefield, 06457 Middletown, 06459, 06475 Old Saybrook, 06480 Portland and many more CT towns

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *