An Eternal Flame: The Fireplace Through the Ages

It has been said that a fire is a caveman’s television. Its rainbow-colored, flickering flames have been comforting people by providing visual delight, warmth, and a sense of security for more than 1.8 million years.

Today, after many transformations — from an indoor fire pit in the Middle Ages to a convection-ventilated fireplace invented by Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century — it has remained a staple in our evolving psyche.

Family and Political Symbol

A decor centerpiece of traditional home and hearth values for families across the globe, it has even extended its influence by anchoring critical political events. Some examples are the Fireside Chats by President Franklin Roosevelt in the Oval Office and the Eternal Flame that has overseen President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite since the 1960s.


A romantic getaway at a bed and breakfast or ski lodge resort is not complete without a fireplace. Sipping a cup of hot chocolate by the dancing flare has seduced even the most avid sports enthusiast away from the slopes.


A hospital can include this healing, architectural feature in a lobby or recreational room to encourage patients’ meditation and focus.


For the tech-savvy, accessing an image of burning logs that persists for hours is instantaneous on a computer screen – no log replacement required!


Today’s modernized versions — from a wood-burning stove insert to a glass-enclosed unit placed in the center of a room – continue to soothe and please.


What will the future of the fireplace bring? The answer is centered in energy and design technology. The Aqueon Fireplace is a chimney-free, open-flame fireplace that harnesses hydrogen power from water to fuel its flame. You can install one of these high-technology devices in your home for $50,000.

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