Oven, a kind of domestic furnace, used for baking bread, pies, tarts, etc.

Ovens are generally constructed of brick-work in a semi-circular form, with a very low roof, and the bottom of which is laid with stone : in the front is a small aperture and door, by the shutting of which, the heat is confined while the bread is baking. They are usually heated by means of dry faggots, wood, etc. As these ovens, however, are not calculated for small families, on account of the quantity of fuel they consume, others have been contrived, on a more diminutive scale: these are usually formed of cast or hammered iron, and may be heated by the same fire which serves for the cooking of other provisions.

Among the. ovens of this construction, that of Mr. Powers, who obtained for it a patent in 1801, deserves to be noticed. It is formed of iron, so as to be port-able, and may be conveniently conveyed to any distance, at the option of its possessor; but, as fine reader cannot form a distinct idea of this contrivance, without the aid of an engraving, we refer him to the 14th vol. of the Repertory of Arts, Sec. where the patent is described, and illustrated with a plate.

In the year 1800, the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, etc. conferred a bounty of 15 guineas on Mr. S. Holmes, for his invention of an oven, which is heated without flues. The whole consists of a cast-iron oven, from the side of which a solid piece of that metal projects into the fire, where it constantly remains; and, on becoming . red-hot, communicates to the whole oven a degree of heat sufficient for baking bread, while it at the same time assists the fire in roasting meat. In the common iron ovens, the • heat is communicated by means of flues, which waste a considerable part of the fire in its passage, and likewise require much labour to keep them of an uniform heat. The contrivance last alluded to, is intended to supply this and other inconveniences and Mr. Holmes states, that his oven uniformly remains at a baking heat, without any additional expence, or trouble. We understand, however, that such improvement is by no means new; and that a similar method of saving fuel, has for several years been practised in the \Vest of England.