This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
Where a continual genial warmth is required a1 little cost in an apartment, the slow combustion stove, such as that made by the Thames Bank Iron Company (Fig. 1394), may be employed. The external air is drawn in by a smoke-pipe channel and impelled through orifices in the stove. The smoke can be made to pass out at any level in the stove that may be found most convenient, but unless there is a high chimney shaft an underground flue connection is not recommended. The fuel, consisting of coke or cinders broken small, is supplied at the top, the ashes or cinders being removed through a sliding door at the base; a special soot-door is provided for clearing the flue before lighting the fire.
Roberts' patent terracotta stoves operate also by slow combustion and are self-acting, but possess the additional advantage of purifying and radiating the heat by the terracotta, which is contained between 2 concentric cylinders of sheet iron united at the base and top, the outer cylinder being perforated to allow of direct radiation of heat from the terracotta. The stove consists of 4 separate parts, namely, the stove body, its top or cover, the fire-box, which can be lifted in and out, and the stand, with drawer and damper. The fire is lighted at the top and burns downwards, the air sustaining it being drawn upwards through the bottom of the fire-box and thence through the fuel. The stove can be placed in any position on an iron or stone base and connected with the nearest chimney flue by an iron pipe provided with soot-door elbows, care being taken to form a complete connection by abandoning any other open fire-grate in the room and screening it off by an iron or zinc plate. They admit no effluvium, as the terracotta gradually and completely absorbs all the caloric in its permeation through the shell before it is communicated to the outer air, which is thus warmed and diffused in a healthy condition over the room.
The top of the stove is movable, so that the fire-box can be removed to be cleaned and recharged without moving the stove body, and a sand groove is inserted at the top where the cover rests, which is filled with fine dry sand to prevent any escape of smoke.