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Conquering winter : U.S. consumers and the cast-iron stove.

Harris, Howell John (2008) 'Conquering winter : U.S. consumers and the cast-iron stove.', Building research and information., 36 (4). pp. 337-350.


The history of the revolution in heating and cooking technology in the United States in the first half of the 19th century is explored along with the resulting transformation of the American indoor wintertime climate. It is argued, contra William Meyer (2000, 2002), that the reasons for this massive behavioural change are traceable to an underlying demand for greater comfort, and to the complex market forces involved in the development of the technology to satisfy it and an industry to create and sell the resulting appliances, rather than simply to the increase in the price of the prevailing fuel: firewood. An attempt is made to extract 'lessons' from this history - plausible parallels with later transformations in the technology of comfort. L'auteur analyse la rvolution qui a marqu les technologies du chauffage et de la cuisson aux tats-Unis au cours de la premire moiti du XIXe sicle ainsi que les transformations de climat hivernal intrieur amricain. L'auteur prtend, contrairement ce que dit William Meyer (2000, 2002), que les raisons de ce changement de comportement important se trouvent dans la demande sous-jacente pour un plus grand confort et dans les forces commerciales complexes en jeu dans le dveloppement de la technologie pour rpondre cette demande et dans l'industrie pour crer et vendre les appareils ncessaires plutt que de simplement augmenter le prix du combustible dominant: le bois. L'auteur essaye de dgager des leons de cette histoire et de la mettre en parallle avec l'volution ultrieure de la technologie du confort.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Comfort, Cooking, Heating, Indoor environmental quality, Innovation, Stove, Supply chains, Technology diffusion, United States.
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Publisher statement:This is an electronic version of an article published in Harris, Howell John (2008) 'Conquering winter : U.S. consumers and the cast-iron stove.', Building research and information., 36 (4). pp. 337-350. Building research and information is available online at: with the open URL of your article.
Record Created:14 Apr 2010 10:35
Last Modified:07 Jan 2011 15:55

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