History of Chimneys: From Open Fire to Elite Cooking

Have you ever imagined what kitchens looked like when there were no basic amenities that we have today? There were open fires in the centre of the room, made to cook food and keep the house warm. Not only was it dangerous, it also affected people’s health. The smoke-filled homes did not have any outlet and chimneys did not exist for a long time after fire was discovered. To address the issues caused by the lack of these necessary outlets, the Romans made holes in their walls and ceilings and even drew smoke filtering pipes through the walls of their homes that opened outside. These ideas were somehow lost in time with the fall of Roman empire and by 13th century, many well-constructed chimneys were found in Europe.

Although people across the world started adopting chimney like structures, the materials they used were still dangerous. At most places, people started building outlets for smoke using wood and clay and these would often catch fire. By the 17th century people started demanding chimneys made of brick and mortar and this was adopted when president Washington realized their importance.

By this time, people had well-built fireplaces at their homes and the era of open fire at the centre of the house was long gone. However, the brick and mortar chimneys were not efficient enough and the smoke continued to affect people’s health. It was then that Benjamin Franklin invented “Pennsylvanian Fire Place”, which reduced the smoke and produced more heat. This design was further modified by Sir Benjamin Thompson. He made the “Rumford Fire Place” which was a more compact design and allowed the construction of narrow, compact chimneys.

The development of chimneys then saw many peaks and today, the chimneys are not just compact and effective but aesthetic as well. The designs now include chimneys fitted in the ceilings, the hanging ones, the ones that don’t make any noise, and many more. These would have seemed like scientific wonders to the people back in 13th century.

Elica India brings in the best of technologically sound, efficient and elegant kitchen hoods for all types of kitchens and user needs. The world of chimneys has surely come a long way from holes in the roofs to futuristic hoods.