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Fireplace Evolution: A Look Back

The evolution of the fireplace is as mysterious as the history of humanity, but first, we had to discover fire. According to the American Council of Science and Health, early archaeological evidence from around the world reveals that humans figured out how to start fires during the Eemian interglacial period over 100,000 years ago. This was when archaeologists discovered man’s first tools.

Medieval Fireplaces in History, Germantown NYA Look Back at Fireplaces in the Middle Ages

The medieval castles in children’s fairy tales often depicted rooms with a fireplace. In the Middle Ages, fireplaces were first developed with a chimney to remove smoke from the interior space. In those days, families had to huddle close to the fireplace to stay warm, as castles tend to be quite drafty.

The medieval fireplace was upgraded in 1676 when Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a Royal army officer and Duke of Cumberland, invented the grate six years before his death. The grate held the wood logs, allowing warm air to circulate underneath. The improved draft increased safety and heating efficiency and gave way to the modern fireplace design still in use today. Early fireplaces were constructed with stone, but brick eventually became more popular.

The Invention of the Heating Stove

The first heating stove, a metal-lined fireplace, was the Franklin stove invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1742. It was typically installed in the center of a room. Its rear baffles improved airflow with less smoke than an open hearth. In addition, it didn’t require as much wood fuel, and its iron walls radiated heat through the room much more efficiently.

Manufactured Fireplaces Are Introduced

The Franklin stove led to the modern manufactured fireplaces and inserts we know today. Founded in 1927, Heatilator® introduced the first manufactured fireplace that became a standard feature in homes throughout the Hudson Valley area in the 1950s. Known as the “first name in fireplaces,” its reputation for quality, performance, and value continues today.

The Introduction of Gas Fireplaces

Up until the 1980s, most fireplaces were wood-burning appliances. But in 1987, something happened that would forever change the hearth industry. It was when Heat & Glo® invented direct vent gas technology. This invention would give homeowners a safer and more convenient fire-burning experience with significantly less pollution. Heat & Glo is still the most trusted brand in gas-burning heating appliances, from Middletown to Poughkeepsie and throughout the Hudson River Valley region.

Fireplace Insert Installation in Columbia County NYFireplaces In the 21st Century

So, here we are nearly 500 years later in the early 21st Century. Advances in safety, construction, heating, and venting technologies provide homeowners with the widest selection of traditional and manufactured wood, gas, pellet, and electric fireplaces that are safer, more environmentally friendly, and more heating and energy efficient than ever before.

Best Place to Buy A Fireplace in Hudson Valley, NY

Founded in 1976, we are proud to be the Hudson River Valley region’s premier provider of traditional and manufactured fireplaces from America’s top brands, including Heatilator, Heat & Glo, Regency, and more. Call Hudson Valley Chimney at (845) 471-1071 or contact us online to consult a home heating specialist today. Be sure to ask about our convenient financing options.

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