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Interior Accommodation Of Houses

Ground, in the country, being the cheapest item which the farmer can devote to building purposes, his object should be to spread over, rather than to go deeply into it, or climb high in the air above it. We repudiate cellar kitchens, or under-ground rooms for house work, altogether, as being little better than a nuisance—dark, damp, unhealthy, inconvenient, and expensive. The several rooms of a farm dwelling house should be compact in arrangement, and contiguous as may be to the principally-oc
upied apartments. Such arrangement is cheaper, more convenient, and labor-saving; and in addition, more in accordance with a good and correct taste in the outward appearance of the house itself.

The general introduction of cooking stoves, and other stoves and apparatus for warming houses, within the last twenty years, which we acknowledge to be a great acquisition in comfort as well as in convenience and economy, has been carried to an extreme, not only in shutting up and shutting out the time-honored open fireplace and its broad hearthstone, with their hallowed associations, but also in prejudice to the health of those who so indiscriminately use them, regardless of other arrangements which ought to go with them. A farm house should never be built without an ample, open fireplace in its kitchen, and other principally occupied rooms; and in all rooms where stoves are placed, and fires are daily required, the open Franklin should take place of the close or air-tight stove, unless extraordinary ventilation to such rooms be adopted also. The great charm of the farmer's winter evening is the open fireside, with its cheerful blaze and glowing embers; not wastefully expended, but giving out that genial warmth and comfort which, to those who are accustomed to its enjoyment, is a pleasure not made up by any invention whatever; and although the cooking stove or range be required—which, in addition to the fireplace, we would always recommend, to lighten female labor—it can be so arranged as not to interfere with the enjoyment or convenience of the open fire.

In the construction of the chimneys which appear in the plans submitted, the great majority of them—particularly those for northern latitudes—are placed in the interior of the house. They are less liable to 67 communicate fire to the building, and assist greatly in warming the rooms through which they pass. In southern houses they are not so necessary, fires being required for a much less period of the year. Yet even there they may be oftentimes properly so placed. Where holes, for the passage of stovepipes through floors, partitions, or into chimneys, are made, stone, earthen, or iron thimbles should be inserted; and, except in the chimneys, such holes should be at least one to two inches larger than the pipe itself. The main flues of the chimney conducting off the smoke of the different fires, should be built separate, and kept apart by a partition of one brick in thickness, and carried out independently, as in no other way will they rid the house of smoky rooms.

chimney An illustration in point: Fifteen years ago we purchased and removed into a most substantial and well-built stone house, the chimneys of which were constructed with open fireplaces, and the flues carried up separately to the top, where they all met upon the same level surface, as chimneys in past times usually were built, thus. Every fireplace in the house (and some of them had stoves in,) smoked intolerably; so much so, that when the wind was in some quarters the fires had to be put out in every room but the kitchen, which, as good luck would have it, smoked less—although it did smoke there—than the others. After balancing the matter in our own mind some time, whether we should pull down and rebuild the chimneys 68 chimney altogether, or attempt an alteration; as we had given but little thought to the subject of chimney draft, and to try an experiment was the cheapest, we set to work a bricklayer, who, under our direction, simply built over each discharge of the several flues a separate top of fifteen inches high, in this wise: The remedy was perfect. We have had no smoke in the house since, blow the wind as it may, on any and all occasions. The chimneys can't smoke; and the whole expense for four chimneys, with their twelve flues, was not twenty dollars! The remedy was in giving each outlet a distinct current of air all around, and on every side of it.