Many different fireplace tools are used when there are fireplaces in the building and maintaining fires in the home, and each of these tools has a different story to tell of how she came to appear on the fireplace hearth. This story with the andiron, bellows, pokers and fireplace screens. Also included with fireplace tools are shovels, tongs, brushes but it is rather difficult to determine how and when these particular tools began to be used.
To start the beginning of our discussion with the definition of a tool. This is a device that provides a mechanical advantage in coping with a physical task. The archeology has determined that man with the help of various tools from the beginning of our existence. A tool can be so easily used as a stick to reach the bag on something and move on.
With that in mind, let us begin our exploration of the history of fireplace tools with the poker. A poker, also known as a stoker, is a short, stiff rod, moving the burning material in a fire. Today, a fireplace is the Poker room are usually made of metal with a point at one end to the burning material and a handle at the other end of the slide. Archeology shows that we have used Poker as a fireplace tool since the Paleolithic period. This period is the prehistoric era, which is known for the development of the first stone tools. It covers the period of time from 2.5 or 2.6 million years ago until about 10,000 BC with the introduction of agriculture. It represents the largest part of the human time on earth (about 99% of human history). Archaeologists think that the fireplace-were invented Poker, directly after the discovery of fire (790.000 years) and the earliest Poker were most likely made of the same material as the fuel for the fire – wood. In the beginning the fireplace poker, or “firestick” was probably a large branch of some type used to help keep the fire going.
Down through the ages this fireplace tool has evolved and, as other tools were used, the fireplace poker has gone in and out of favor. Up to the 17th century in England you might find only a fire fork and andirons for the fireplace but by the 19th century a fireplace poker was always used and the fire fork almost disappeared.
The first successful mass production of Poker as part of an entire fireplace set was designed and manufactured in Cape Girardeau, Missouri by the RL Hendrickson Manufacturing Corporation in 1898. From that time until now the poker is almost always considered a part of the assemble of fireplace tools.
“By fire-irons…the housekeeper and the blacksmith, a fire-shovel, poker and tongs understand. These devices were not all of them were on the old fire places in this country; they, too, were all necessary when wood was burned in a fire…The use of coal, and in the vicinity of the fire-places, let to the adoption of the poker now in universal requisition.” Robert Hunt, A treatise on the progressive improvement and Present state of the manufactures in metal, 1853.
An andiron is a horizontal bar on which logs are laid for burning in an open fireplace. Andirons typically come in pairs. They hold up the firewood so that a draft of air can pass to a correct combustion and less smoke. Andirons stand on short legs and are usually connected with an upright guard.
As man began to study fire and its properties in earnest it was discovered that the circulation of air around the fire led to better fires. Due to this discovery andirons became more and more popular. In the 16th to 18th century they were also used as a rest for a roasting spit or to keep porridge.
Before the 14th century andirons were almost always forged from wrought iron and were very plain. During the time of the Italian Renaissance (14. to 17. Centuries AD) many ordinary objects of the household came to the attention of artists and design and skill were used to product andirons. The andiron reached its artistic development under Louis XIV of France (late 1600s). The guard (the upright portion of the andiron) was elaborately ornamented. Patterns consisted of heraldic symbols, sphinxes, grotesque animals, mythological creatures and much more.
Sometimes andirons were referred to by the creature they portrayed. An example of this is, that still to this day is firedog. Andirons that portrayed dogs were called firedogs. This plays on the double meaning of the word dog (canine and inanimate holder). In some areas firedog began to be used to refer to all of the andiron. In the United States andiron was once only in the North and dog iron, firedog or just dog to identify andirons in the South. The Southern term is still used in that region but andiron is now used everywhere.
“Fire-lighting, however simple, is an operation requiring some skill; a fire is made easy through the establishment of a few ashes on the floor, open order; to put over this a few pieces of paper, and over this again in eight or ten pieces of dry wood; over the wood, a history of the middle pieces of coal to leave the care, the hollow spaces between the air in the middle; and with it, the whole thing back into the fireplace, so, the smoke up the chimney and not into the room. This is done, fire the paper with a match from below, and, if properly laid, it will soon burn up; the stream of flame from the wood and paper soon communicating to the coals and ash in place, provided that there is enough air in the center.” Isabella Beeton, Book of Household Management, 1861.
The bellow is a mechanical device for creating a jet of air. It usually consists of a hinged box with flexible sides extended, which draw air through an inward opening value and contracts to the expulsion of the air through a nozzle.
The bellow was used extensively in Europe in the middle ages (5. to 16. Century). It was used to the speed of the internal combustion organs for a forge and operate later. One of the simplest and most familiar types of bellows is the manual use of fireplaces is. The expandable chamber consists of a leather bag with pleated sides. The bag is fixed to extend between the handles and the contract. The intake and exhaust openings are provided, the air must. with values so, by the first and the second Thus the fireplace bellows-a simple air pump.
When we think of fireplaces we usually think of these simple bellows. But the bellows have a large role in the story. Metal doesn’t melt, it was possible until after the invention of the bellows which made the fore possible. Bellows deliver additional air to fuel and increase the rate of heat required for the smelting. Around 3000 BC hand operated bellows were used for metal smelting (bronze). The first proof of iron smelting is around 930 BC.
Although the early people did not need to get their heating and cooking fires up to the temperatures for the smelting, you have to discover that fireplace bellows made fire building easier. Heat light with a hair follicle produces a hotter flame and logs start much faster. This is especially important when working with wet logs. To create a fireplace were used bellows, early on, to blow a stream of air, the ash from the fireplace for cleaning.
Today fireplace bellows are still a necessary tool on the fireplace hearth. It is also a tool that many people design, how to make on your own. Many bellows are made of beautiful wood and can have very intricate designs to create an elegant object on the display by the fire.
Although there is no exact date for when fireplace screens came, we know that you are first a form of furniture that shielded individuals from any excess heat from a log burning fireplace. Early fireplace screens were generally characterized as flat panels standing on solid feet, or as adjustable shield-shaped panels on a stand table mounted on legs.
Today’s fireplace screens come in many decorative designs and are made of metal, glass or wire mesh and to protect in front of the fireplace, the room of flying embers from the fire. Sometimes, you may not be used to cover the fireplace when not in use, the more decorative.
What-fireplace-tool that you can use to help you create and maintain your fire, know that it has a long history behind each of those fireplace tools and centuries, in the perfection of the tools in your hand. And remember that in modern society fire has divided the provision of the necessary heat and cooking to a symbol of the warmth and love of all who gather, with the fireplace stove.