What the Heck IS This Thing #6

The Lovettsville Museum has quite a few farm and household implements from the 19th and early 20th centuries, which have been grouped together as a look-and-touch interactive display and guessing game of “pre-digital era” technology, with answer cards attached.  Many of the objects truly amaze and confound today’s youngsters, who are astounded by the “super-clear cell signal” on our “party line” of two crank telephones. For your contemplation, presented here is one of the mystery objects in our exhibit.

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Can you guess what this object is — and what it does?  

Hint #1:  This object is comprised of five of these panels.
Hint #2:  The answer is at the bottom of this webpage
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ANSWER to the “What the Heck IS This Thing #6?” Game


This is a Pennsylvania-German Style, Five-Plate Jamb Stove, Circa 1762

Text by Michael Zapf
Board Member and Researcher,
Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum

 

Among the earliest artifacts in the Lovettsville Historical Society’s collection are cast iron plates measuring approximately 18 by 30 inches that were found on property near Long Lane, west of Lovettsville in 2003. The plates have low relief decorations of stylized flowers and arches reminiscent of Pennsylania German folk art and are the main elements of what is called a jamb stove or five-plate stove.

Jamb stoves were simply iron boxes held together by threaded rods. They were more effective for heating than an open hearth fireplace and relatively smoke and backdraft free. Early German houses in the region usually had two ground floor rooms.   The hearth and chimney was in the center of the building and not at the ends. The first room was the kitchen-living and work room of the house. The room was dominated by the open hearth where all the cooking was done. The second room was the “good room” or “gute Stub”, a room reserved for special occasions such as weddings, funerals, boarding guests and entertaining. The good room was heated by the jamb stove. One fed the fire in the jamb stove through an opening from the open hearth side.

Our stove has the inscription “ER IST FREUNDIG”, the year 1762 and the word “FURNACE” on the front plate. The two side plates have identical inscriptions, “WERDEN FROM UND HALT”, incorporated into the decorations. The translation of these antique German inscriptions mean “He is happy who becomes pious and steadfast”.

Other than the word “FURNACE,” no foundry marks are evident. It is doubtful that these plates wandered far from their source because of their weight. They may have been forged at the iron foundry located at Furnace Mountain, Virginia opposite Point of Rocks.

Scroll down to see images of how this type of stove looked when fully assembled, and how the stove was connected to the chimney of the dwelling.

Charles Von Urban, Pa. German Jamb Stove (Five Plate), American, active c. 1935, c. 1936, black and white photograph, Index of American Design
Charles Von Urban, Pa. German Jamb Stove (Five Plate), American, active c. 1935, c. 1936, black and white photograph, Index of American Design.  https://www.nga.gov/collection/art-object-page.25057.html
 Stoveplate-Diagram

 

Support Our Mission

Visit our “What the Heck IS This Thing?” mystery objects exhibit and guessing game, on Saturdays between 1:00-4:00 at the Lovettsville Museum, 4 East Pennsylvania Avenue, next to Lovettsville Town Hall.

The Lovettsville Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that relies entirely on volunteer help.  Support our mission to preserve and protect the history of Lovettsville, The German Settlement, and our unique corner of Loudoun County, Virginia.    Purchase a membership or make a tax-deductible* donation today.

Visit us on the web at www.LovettsvilleHistoricalSociety.org.

Subscribe to our free monthly e-Newsletter:  http://lovettsvillehistoricalsociety.us8.list-manage2.com/s…

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* The Lovettsville Historical Society, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions and membership dues are tax deductible under Internal Revenue Code Section 170.