We’ve been sitting around fires for a long, long time. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the earliest discovered fire pit blazed over 1 million years ago. It’s only natural that some improvements have been made since then.
The earliest chimneys – dating from the 1500s, were large enough to accommodate a chimney sweep, in the hopes of staving off chimney fires – a fairly regular occurrence. In fact, it’s easy to date British homes by the size of their chimneys: pre-1850, large chimneys for multiple flues and small sweepers, post-1850 for stovepipes only – no sweeping needed.
Then there is the Rumford fireplace, designed to deflect more warm air into the room – instead of up the chimney. In this design, the back of the fireplace is only one-third of the width of the opening. The two remaining sides, or covings, are at an angle of about 135 degrees – a vast improvement over earlier varieties. The 28 fireplaces in the White House are all of this design. So are 8 installed at Monticello by Thomas Jefferson.
As our ancestors knew, there is more to fires than just warmth. They are cozy and stress-reducing. Nothing creates a relaxing atmosphere more than a crackling fire. With dried logs, a bit of tinder and some kindling, it’s easy to have a blaze in no time.
These jewel-like copper containers will add their own warmth to the fireside. Large enough to hold split wood, they also are the perfect size for kindling. Consider storing dried (not green) pine needles, bark chips (again, dry), twigs, pine cones, dried corn cobs, birch tree bark or – speaking of crackling, potato chips.
Have you heard of Nantucket doughnuts? Start by layering 3 pages of last Sunday’s New York Times. Roll diagonally into a 1” diameter tube. Tie into a series of knots. Great for starting a good blaze. Great for keeping the children and grandchildren entertained. And great to make ahead of time. Keep handy by the fireplace in one of these beautiful containers – ready for the first Fall chill.
A NOTE: We think all three of these pieces will do a great job of enhancing the look of your hearth, but don’t be limited. The exquisite craftsmanship shown in each of these pieces will look wonderful in any room – from kitchen to front hall.
or Kindling Bin with removable insert
Size: 16″ by 13″ by 18″ high