This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"As no one has ventured to reply to "J. L." (p. 275) respecting this subject, perhaps an amateur's experience might be useful. My plant house, a lean-to, fifteen feet by nine feet, was kept warm during two Winters by means of a paraffin lamp, costing 17s. 6d.,burning petroleum at (at that time) 2s. 3d. the gallon - much less now, I believe. It had a flat base or well about as large over as a dinner plate, an upright iron body, and a domed top pierced with holes. The well was easily filled by a side tube, and the wick, having the charred part cut off occasionally, was quickly lighted or extinguished, and in summer the whole affair could be removed. No smell could ever be detected; and what I would like to direct particular attention to is, there was not the slightest sign of blight of any kind during those two Winters, and the plants were pre-ceptibly of a brighter tone and crisper than they otherwise would have been. Two faults were noticeable; firstly, the expense (a Winter's night of twelve or fourteen hours costing 6d. or 8d., as dear, or dearer, than coals); secondly, the power of resisting cold.
Rarely could the warmth inside the house be made to exceed that of the outside 10° or 12°. Suppose a frost occurred outside registering 30°, the inside temperature would be about 40°. If it has been 20° outside, then the inside would have ice over the roof, and the thermometer 32°. I therefore, discarded the lamp and tried quite a different kind of heating, the result being extremely interesting, though not, perhaps, sufficiently so for the generality of your readers".
An article in the January number of your magazine, on the subject of heating by lamps, has led me to send you the following plan of a cheap and efficient stove for heating small structures and protecting hot-beds in cold nights, as well as furnishing extra heat in greenhouses in very cold weather:
First take an ordinary single coal oil stove, which may be procured at any of the hardware stores, then have made to fit the top of it a heater of galvanized or sheet iron, as shown in the above diagram.
A is the outside cylinder of ten-inch diameter and eighteen inches long, with a two and a half inch opening in top, B, for escape of smoke, etc. Upon this opening a pipe may be fastened, passing to the outside or into the chimney. C is an opening in the bottom of about six inches diameter, or large enough to cover the lamp of the stove. D is an inner cylinder eight inches in diameter and fourteen inches long, and so secured that its top and sides are one inch from the outer cylinder, except at the bottom, which would be three inches from the bottom of the outer cylinder. From near the bottom of the inner cylinder leads the cold air pipe E, and from the top the hot air pipe F, each passing-through the outer cylinder and being three inches in diameter. The operation of generating heat is seen at a glance. The hot air and smoke from the lamp passes between the two cylinders, heating both, and we not only have radiation from the outer cylinder, but the heated air tin-own out from the inner one.
If more heat is desired a double stove can be used, and in that case the heater can be made of oval shape with two holes in the bottom. This heater can be used for bed rooms, and the smoke pipe, if carried into the chimney or into another stove pipe, will convey off all smoke and unpleasant odor. It is not intended that the heater shall be made exactly of the size and measurement here given.