Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Extreme Wood Stoves: Odd and Innovative Designs from Ancient Greece to Today

Over the centuries, wood stove makers have tried all sorts of designs to transfer heat to a room and to capture the imagination of consumers - or just their own imagination.  Some emphasize design and beauty over function and efficiency.  Others are both practical, efficient and the result of centuries of experimentation.  And some are destined for the dustbins of the history of heat.  For a detailed chronology of wood heating, click here.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we did, and encourage you to send ones that you think should be included.

Visit our other international photo essays on firewood collection and stacking, wood fired hot tubs and
typical wood stoves.

Ancient Greek clay anthrakia. Greeks experimented with designs to heat, cook - and to BBQ.
Troy New York, near Albany, was the stove building capital of the world in the late 1800s, when ornate stoves like this were popular.

An old cast iron stove that is still in use in Vermont. Amen to that.
This Russian masonry heater/bed will keep you warm on the coldest Siberian night. 
Alsatian (French) stove with large exhaust gas heat exchanger. Stove makers have long experimented with expanding heat transfer surfaces.
 The power go out and you have lots of ironing?

 A German masonry stove, designed to burn a load of wood quickly and then slowly release the heat from the masonry mass.   
The world's largest wood stove built in 1893 to commemorate the famous Michigan's stove company, Garland. It was built of wood and burned to the ground in 1991 during a lightening storm.
The world's smallest commercially available wood stove? Aptly named the Sardine, its made in Washington state for boats used during the winter.
 "Bender Bending Rodriguez" by UK's Rob Halftroll

that were used in logging operations. Hornby Island, British Columbia

Cat Tractor themed stove in Oregon

The resourceful and spunky R2D2, faithfully serving a master in somewhere in Eastern Europe.

An Estonian sculptor repurposed old Russian mine shells for something more useful.
The Italian stove maker Castlemonte's new stackable stoves.

Somewhere in Western Europe. (Would you want this in your living room?)
Can the design get any simpler?
Dutch designers eliminated the need to cut your wood with this stove.
A Swiss made "rocket" stove.


  1. Simply wonderful! Thanks for the curating effort here.
    Seems so 'prophetic' that the largest wood stove should be consumed by fire (about the time of "Operation Desert Storm"?). ^..^

  2. Wow, these designs are so innovative and amazing. My husband and I have been wanting to look into getting a pellet stove and it would be really fun to get something unique like these stoves. We are doing some redecorating to our home and the rustic feel seems to be the theme that we are going with. We will have to keep our eyes open for something unique, thanks for sharing!