This section is from the book "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction", by G. Lister Sutcliffe. Also available from Amazon: How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home.
The smoke-nuisance is undoubtedly due in a great measure to the imperfect combustion of fuel in household fires. Indeed, some authorities go so far as to say that houses are greater sinners in this respect than factories and workshops. Attention has already been drawn to certain grates in which the smoke is almost entirely consumed, and something will now be said concerning a process designed to prevent the emission of smoke. It may be assumed that, where open fires are used, it is quite impossible to prevent the production of smoke; the only question, then. is as to whether the emission of the smoke produced can be prevented. Colonel Dulier has succeeded in doing this to a very considerable extent . His apparatus has been in use for some time at the saw-mills belonging to the city of Glasgow, as well as in private houses. The apparatus is very simple. A jet of steam is inserted into the base of the smoke-flue, and the action of the steam upon the smoke facilitates the subsequent treatment, which consists of spraying water upon the smoke. The spray of water is emitted through very small holes in pipes placed inside the smoke-flue, and it has been proved by analyses, made by the City Analyst of Glasgow and by others, that about 94 per cent of the soot, and about half of the sulphurous arid, are in this way washed out of the smoke. This is, of course, a very satisfactory result, especially as the cost entailed in working the apparatus is little more than that of the water required for the purpose, and the action is practically automatic. A considerable part of the residue, obtained by drying the waste brought down by the water, is found to be unconsumed carbon, and this could of course be burnt, if it were found to be worth the trouble.1
1 Nothing has yet been said about kitchen-ranges, and as these are rather appliances for cookiog than for warming, the subject scarcely falls within the scope of this Motion. A few words may, however, be included concerning this important appliance. Kitchen-ranges fall into two broad classes, namely, open and closed. The two great disadvantages of open ranges are: (1) wastefulness of fuel, and (2) the large amount of radiant heat which renders the operation of Cooking a very trying one; ou the other hand, in houses where the kitchen-range is the only source of warmth to which the servants have access, the open fire has the merit of cheerfulness. Closed ranges are now made in an almost endless variety of sixes and patterns. Among the best is the well-known "Eagle" range, which has the great advantage of being complete in itself; ranges which depeud for their .successful working on the care and skill with which the flues are formed by the bricklayer, are not likely to be always successful. A new range possessing some important features has recently been designed ; it is known as the "Fryston", and contains, in addition to the usual ovens, hot plates, pan-holes, etc, top and bottom flues to the ovens, with dampers so arranged that either the top or bottom heat, or both, can be shut off from either oven. This is rendered passible by the introduction of two fires, one abort the other; by an inganious arrangement one-half of the upper fire can be dropped to start the lower fire. The whole of the flues are of cast-iron, and form part of the range, as in the Eagle range already mentioned. One disadvantage of cast-iron flues must not be overlooked, namely, the liability of the iron to be burned through by the heat and smoke. The temperatures which can be obtained in the Fryston kitchener are extremely Ugh; after exhaustive trials at the Exhibition held by the Sanitary Institute at Leeds in 1897, a medal was awarded to this range for its efficiency and economy.
A somewhat novel addition has recently been made to the kitchen-range in the shape of a chamber known as a refuse-destructor, by means of which vegetable garbage can be burned without nuisance and without unduly interfering with the heat of the fire. It is shown iu fig 476a, and is simply a chamber under the fire-grate in which the garbage is placed in order that it can be dried before being burned. In the words of the inventor, "A constant indraught is ensured by means of holes in the door of the destructor, whereby the fumes are carried up through the fire, and thence into the chimney. This, with the close and accurate fitling of the door, prevents the eacape of auy vapour or smell into the kitcheu. . . . All greasy/ or fattyymatter is effectually absorbed by the ash falling through the fire-bars,and when every-thins is reduced to a combustible condition, it is shovelled into the fire." This is undoubtedly a contrivance which merits favour, especially in large houses, where much vegetable refuse in produced. There is now no doubt that cremation is the most Military method of refuse-disposal, and if this apparatus were. in use the contents of the ash-bin would never become objectionable. - Ed
Fig. 476 - View of Petter's patent Refuse destructorr, with . enlarged Section through Destructor and Fire-grate.