Why a Kachelofen stove? We'll let Mark Twain answer
MARK TWAIN on the Kachelofen in "Europe
Take the German stove, for instance - where can you find it outside
of German countries? I am sure I have never seen it where German
was not the language of the region. Yet it is by long odds the best
stove and the most convenient and economical that has yet been invented.
To the uninstructed stranger it promises nothing; but he will soon
find that it is a masterly performer, for all that. It has a little
bit of a door which you couldn't get your head in - a door which
seems foolishly out of proportion to the rest of the edifice; yet
the door is right, for it is not necessary that bulky fuel shall
enter it. Small-sized fuel is used, and marvelously little of that.
The door opens into a tiny cavern which would not hold more fuel
than a baby could fetch in its arms. The process of firing is quick
and simple. At half past seven on a cold morning the servant brings
a small basketful of slender pine sticks - say a modified armful
- and puts half of these in, lights them with a match, and closes
the door. They burn out in ten or twelve minutes. He then puts in
the rest and locks the door, and carries off the key. The work is
done. He will not come again until next morning.
All day long and until past midnight all parts of the room will
be delightfully warm and comfortable, and there will be no headaches
and no sense of closeness or oppression. In an American room, whether
heated by steam, hot water, or open fires, the neighborhood of the
register or the fireplace is warmest - the heat is not equally diffused
throughout the room; but in a German room one is comfortable in
one part of it as in another. Nothing is gained or lost by being
near the stove. Its surface is not hot; you can put your hand on
it anywhere and not get burnt.
Consider these things. One firing is enough for the day; the cost
is next to nothing; the heat produced is the same all day, instead
of too hot and too cold by turns; one may absorb himself in his
business in peace; he does not need to feel any anxieties of solicitudes
about the fire; his whole day is a realized dream of bodily comfort.