This section is from the book "Elements Of The Theory And Practice Of Cookery", by Mary E. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Elements Of The Theory And Practice Of Cookery; A Textbook Of Domestic Science For Use In Schools.
Any cooking apparatus which burns coal is a range. The older term "cooking-stove" is sometimes applied to a small range on legs. A range is set, if it is built into the wall; portable, if it stands out in the room. It should stand upon a brick hearth, or a sheet of zinc, and the wall near it should be of brick or tiling, or else protected by zinc.
A coal range has the following parts: -
2. Grate, which forms the floor of the fire-box.
3. Dampers a. Draft slide b. Check c. Oven d. Pipe to regulate draft.
to direct current of hot air.
4. Ash-pan, to receive ashes, cinders, and clinkers (incombustible waste material and solid products of combustion).
5. Smoke-pipe, to carry off smoke (unburnt carbon) and gaseous products of combustion.
6. One or more ovens, for food.
Some ranges have other parts, - an oven for warming dishes, a reservoir to heat water, or a water-back, through which running water is carried to heat it, more dampers, etc.
When the fire is out take off all the lids and as much of the top of the stove as is removable. Look first at the fire-box.
The fire-box is a rectangular space open at the top, lined on the sides with a fireproof material (fire-bricks), and having a movable grate for a floor.
Underneath the fire-box is the ash-pan. It should be emptied once a day, and the space around it brushed out.
The pipe connects the range with the chimney.
The oven in a stove or a portable range is back of the fire-box. In a set range there are generally two ovens, one on each side of the fire-box. An oven should contain a rack. Between the oven and the top, sides, and bottom of the range there is a space for the passage of air from the fire-box. This space must be cleaned occasionally to keep it from becoming choked with soot and ashes.
The dampers are slides or doors fitted to openings in the range. Below the fire-box is the draft slide. In the smoke-pipe is the pipe damper, provided with a hole to let gases escape when the damper is closed. At the back of each oven is an oven damper, usually moved by a rod extending to the front of the range.
By opening the draft-slide, pipe, and oven dampers, a direct draft is produced, the air passing from below the grate, up through the fuel in the fire-box, and out into the chimney. This arrangement of dampers is used to start the fire, or to increase the heat of a fire already burning. If the draft slide be opened, and the pipe damper closed, when a fire is starting, the smoke will come into the room. Why?
By closing the oven damper, the air heated in the fire-box is made to flow around the oven before entering the chimney. By this means the oven is heated, and the force of the draft at the same time lessened by its having to make its way around corners. Observe carefully the mechanism of the dampers. The range in your home may differ from the one at school.
The check damper is above the fire-box. Opening it sends a stream of cold air across the top of the fire. Its effect is to check the fire by cooling it. Air admitted below the fire-box feeds the fire with oxygen.
There are several causes for poor draft besides fault in the range. The range may be clogged with soot and fine ashes, and need to be taken apart and cleaned. The chimney may not be built right. A tall building near by may cut off the draft.