During the sixteenth century Louis Savot, a Paris physician, undertook a “scientific” study of smoky chimneys. He suggested significant improvements—narrowing the width of the fire place and requiring a smooth flue so that less air entered the chimney around the sides of the fireplace and creating a stronger draft in the flue. Ducts passed under, behind, and above the fire in the hearth. Cool air in the room entered the lower opening of a duct, was warmed, rose, and returned to the room through the duct’s upper opening. In colonial America, because of the abundance of wood fuel supplies, fireplaces remained deep providing plenty of room for a large hanging pot. Since most of the early settlers came from England they followed the British tradition of cooking over a large open hearth.
- Louis Savot, L’Architecture Françoise des Bastimens particuliers [The French Architecture of Private Houses] (1642 ed.) (Paris, France: Sébastien Cramoisy, 1624), Chapter 25 (pages 147–151). Cited in: Tomlinson (1864), pages 82–83.