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Iron on the Hearth
open fire cooking
Iron 2



The Hearth

Along with the vairious cooking utensils and tools, the design of the hearth was also important to its function.  During the mid-18th Century, modifications to hearth design were being adopted in newly constructed houses.  One innovation that made a great impact was fixed within the hearth. It was a iron swinging iron bar or crane built into the mortar of the fireplace.  The introduction of the backswing bar allowed for easier temperature control by freeing the cook from having to regulate fire intensity, and provided greater protection from the dangers of a hot fire.  

Another modification included the bake or beehive oven.  Before the mid-18th Century, most hearths included a bake oven placed inside the fireplace.  By 1750, newly constructed homes had their bake ovens placed to the side of the fireplace.  Thus the cook did not have to reach over the fire to access the bake oven.  Using a bake oven was already dangerous without the added danger of reaching over the fire in the hearth.

Please note:  We are not able to give appraisals of your iron.  We will help serious collectors when we can with information. Enquiries are welcome from fellow collectors and historians, but please, we do not have the will or expertise to evaluate antiques for resale.

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