A lot of articles online are dedicated to different types of fireplaces, but so little are dedicated to the tools that go with it. A fireplace is not complete without its hearth tools such as bellows, pokers, andiron, and screens. These tools and machines help any physical task associated with fireplaces way easier. In this article, you would know the history of the aforementioned tools and how they came about.
Pokers have long been used since the Paleolithic period where the first stone tools were developed and used. It is believed that pokers were invented right after the discovery of fire in the human history almost 800,000 years ago. The likelihood that pokers were made out of wood is very high in this prehistoric era. However, with modern technology, you will see that pokers are now made from rigid rod. It usually has a pointy tip used to move burning logs in the fire, and a handle at the other end for convenience. Nowadays, pokers are now manufactured together with other fireplace tools to make your life more convenient and easier.
Men has discovered that air is vital for combustion. It is important to keep the logs breathing while in an open fire so the fire will not die. It is for this reason that andirons where created. In layman’s term, an andiron is a log holder. It is a horizontal bar, which holds logs in an open and burning fireplace so air can circulate efficiently producing better fires. In earlier times, andirons are plain without any decorative design. However, during the time of Louis XIV of France, andiron reached its artistic state. Moving forward, andirons are now decorative in nature. It does not only hold logs in the fireplace, but it enhances the aesthetic value of the fireplace with its decorative styles and designs.
Bellows are used to produce a jet of air to keep the fire burning in the fireplace. Its flexible sides expand as air is drawn in, and it contracts to expel the air out its nozzle. This tool was heavily used in the medieval Europe and is extensively used by blacksmiths. Bellows were used to increase the temperature for blacksmiths to melt metals and forge new tools and instruments. Today, bellows are also used in houses where fireplaces are available. It makes fire building easier.
There is no account in history telling when humans started the use of fireplace screens. This, however, is the first tool used to shield individuals from excessive heat from the burning logs in the fireplace. In the early times, fireplace screens come as a flat panel with attached feet, or an adjustable shield panels on a tripod. Today, fireplace screens come in different shapes, forms, and designs. You see fireplace screens made of glass, metal, or wire mesh. When fireplaces are not in use, fireplace screens are used to cover the fireplace for decorative purposes.
There is a story behind everything. These tools were used by humans centuries ago. As time goes by, these tools have been made into perfection for your convenience. If you be ready, you add these tools on your fireplace shopping list to make your experience worthwhile.