Russian Stoves History

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  • Lest we think efficient stoves are something new, consider the following passage from:
    Title: In London And Moscow: Russia and Poland
    The Memoirs Of Jacques Casanova De Seingalt 1725-1798
    (note: this is not copyrighted material)

    I got down in a fine street called the Millione. I found a couple of
    empty rooms, which the People of the house furnished with two beds, four
    chairs, and two small tables, and rented to me very cheaply. Seeing the
    enormous stoves, I concluded they must consume a vast amount of wood, but
    I was mistaken. Russia is the land of stoves as Venice is that of
    cisterns. I have inspected the interior of these stoves in summer-time as
    minutely as if I wished to find out the secret of making them; they are
    twelve feet high by six broad, and are capable of warming a vast room.
    They are only refuelled once in twenty-four hours, for as soon as the
    wood is reduced to the state of charcoal a valve is shut in the upper
    part of the stove.

    It is only in the houses of noblemen that the stoves are refuelled twice
    a day, because servants are strictly forbidden to close the valve, and
    for a very good reason.

    If a gentleman chance to come home and order his servants to warm his
    room before he goes to bed, and if the servant is careless enough to
    close the valve before the wood is reduced to charcoal, then the master
    sleeps his last sleep, being suffocated in three or four hours. When the
    door is opened in the morning he is found dead, and the poor devil of a
    servant is immediately hanged, whatever he may say. This sounds severe,
    and even cruel; but it is a necessary regulation, or else a servant would
    be able to get rid of his master on the smallest provocation.;Russian_Stoves