It’s hard to imagine any kitchen without a stove or oven. It’s become such a staple to the modern kitchen that we tend to take such things for granted. The stove, in particular, has a fascinating history and evolution. If you want to learn more about one of the most essential pieces of the modern kitchen, let’s deep dive into the evolution of the stove!
Who invented the stove?
The first truly modern stove is known as the Castrol Stove, designed by François de Cuvilliés, a Walloon-Bavarian architect. The interesting thing is how many different people are credited with the first modern stove, but it was the Castrol Stove that first managed to enclose the fire. The development of this stove paved the way for more advanced designs.
The stove’s key contributors (and evolution)
- The French/GermansThe first recorded stove
The reason why it’s both the French and the Germans is that the first stove was found in Alsace, bordering both France and Germany.
- François de CuvilliésThe Castrol Stove
François de Cuvilliés invented the first modern stove, whose design was used by other trailblazers to develop more advanced devices.
- Benjamin FranklinThe Franklin Stove
Soon after the development of the Castrol Stove, Benjamin Franklin developed the Pennsylvania Fireplace, which featured the design for the stove we know today.
- Frans Wilhelm LindqvistThe first sootless kerosene stove
Taking from the designs of those that came before, Fran Wilhelm Lindqvist developed the first sootless kerosene stove.
- Jordan MottThe first efficient coal stove
Jordan Mott invented the first practical stove that uses coal for cooking.
- James SharpThe gas stove
Eventually, James Sharp would advance the design further and build the first stove that uses gas.
- The Carpenter Electric Heating Manufacturing Co.The first electric stove
As the design for the stove progressed, the Carpenter Electric Heating Manufacturing Co. developed the first electric stove.
When was the stove invented?
The Castrol Stove was first developed in 1735. While there are earlier recorded instances, it wasn’t quite at the level where it can be considered a stove, but it did help pave the way for modern techniques.
A brief history of the stove
The stove is undoubtedly a crucial aspect of the modern kitchen, and an advancement over the open hearth that was used previously before the invention of the stove. As far as advancement goes, the first recorded instance of the stove was in 1490, discovered in Alsace. It was made of brick and tile, and was a crude yet simple and effective device.
Hundreds of years later in 1735, François de Cuvilliés developed the first device to be considered the modern stove known as the Castrol Stove. Als known as the stew stove, it was a masonry construction. The Castrol Stove was built with perforated iron plates and several fire holes, which helped pave the way for further advancements.
The next step comes only a few years later, where Benjamin Franklin invents his so-called Pennsylvania Fireplace. The principles Benjamin used is what we know today for the heating stove. Not only did it use wood on a grate as a means of heating the stove, but it also used sliding doors to help control the overall airflow. You’ll find that after the Castrol Stove, the development of the stove takes on a more rapid pace. James Sharp patents the first gas stove that popped up in the market around 1826.
Jordan Mott developed the coal stove in 1833, and the design continued to improve until the development and introduction of the electric stove in 1891 courtesy of the Carpenter Electric Heating Manufacturing Company. After that, the sootless kerosene stove was built by Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist in 1892.
The stove timeline
- 1490The first recorded stove
The first historical record of the stove was in 1490, in Alsace.
- 1735The Castrol Stove
Developed by François de Cuvilliés, the Castrol Stove was a groundbreaking device in 1735.
- 1740The Pennsylvania Fireplace
Benjamin Franklin developed the principles for the modern heating stove.
- 1826The first commercial gas stove
James Sharp developed the first commercial gas stove in 1826.
- 1833The first efficient coal stove
James Mott developed the practical coal stove in 1833, continuing the overall development of the stove.
- 1891The first electric stove
Courtesy of the Carpenter Electric Heating Manufacturing Company.
- 1892The first sootless kerosene stove
Developed by Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist.
Where was the stove invented?
The first stove — the Castrol Stove — was invented in France by François de Cuvilliés.
The importance of the stove
- An essential part of the modern kitchen
Without a doubt, it’s hard to imagine any kitchen being complete without a stove. A lot of people don’t realize the importance of the stove, and how much of a challenge it would be to prepare any meals without one.
- A hotbed for experimentation
You’ll find that many inventors tried their hand at the overall development of the stove. It can’t be stressed enough how important the stove was, as every improvement changed the way the kitchen works. Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Fireplace is a testament to the stove’s importance.
- Saving hours upon hours of prep time
Funny enough, some chefs used to complain about the introduction of the electric stove as it sacrificed hours of prep time for the sake of a quicker meal. The modern stove is convenient and accessible — precisely what a modern device should be.
- More potential in the horizon
One of the most important parts about the stove is that the development isn’t over. There are newer and better ways to tackle cooking in the kitchen, and the stove will likely experience further improvement as a result.
Stoves by the numbers
- 7.5The amount of smoke in grams allowed by the United States to be let off of stoves every hour.
- 300The average number of degrees in fahrenheit for the modern stove’s medium heat.
- 9Usually the highest heat setting available in modern stoves.
- 500The average number of degrees in fahrenheit for the maximum setting in modern stoves.
- 425The average number of degrees in fahrenheit for the number 7 setting in most modern stoves.
Five facts about the stove
- 18th and 19th century advancements
The fun thing about the stove is how easy it is to remember advancements. For example, metal stoves were all the rage in the 18th century, and electric stoves were developed in the 19th century.
- Roots of the word stove
The word stove has its roots in Dutch or German. It used to mean a heated room, or a steam bath.
- Advantages over the open hearth
Plenty of people underestimate just how much of a role stoves play in the modern home. The primitive equivalent is the open hearth, and the stove not only produces far less smoke and is much less dangerous, but is also accessible and efficient.
- The three common varieties
When you think of the different types of modern stoves, they usually come in three varieties. There’s the induction, gas, and electric stove. All three are useful in their own right.
- The slow rise of the electric stove
Believe it or not, the electric stove was pretty slow to catch on despite its advancements. Towns and cities still needed to have electricity running through — an uncommon sight back in the day.
FAQ about stoves
- What type of stove is considered the most popular?
Without a doubt, the electric stove is the most popular type among the three most common kinds of stove. It’s mainly due to the overall accessibility and ease-of-use associated with electric stoves compared to its counterparts. While other stoves are still useful, most people prefer the electric variant for a variety of reasons.
- What would be the safest stove?
The induction stove would be considered the safest type of stove. It uses electromagnetism to heat and cook the food, without physically heating up the stovetop. If you were to introduce induction cooking to people from the 19th century, it likely would have blown their minds.
- How much does a stove usually weigh?
If you’re considering induction or ceramic cookers, they usually weigh no more than a few pounds. However, most stoves are connected to ovens and called a range, and those usually weigh around a hundred pounds.
- How long do stoves usually last?
As far as the average lifespan for stoves goes, it would be around fifteen years. The interesting thing about stoves is the lifespan can change depending on the type. For example, gas stoves are known to last about five years longer than electric stoves.
- When did stoves become more commonplace?
The introduction of the gas stove was when commercial stoves started to become more common, specifically in the 1880s. Unlike the electric stove — which didn’t catch on quickly — piped gas was common enough in the large towns and cities of Britain that the gas stove became the first commercial success.