Comments on squirrel tail oven design

Bucks County, PA Oven
7/5/98

Circa 1720 large pub oven in the Abbott Inn. The opening to the oven is in the back of a twelve foot wide, five foot tall cooking fireplace and, as the picture shows, the oven projects from the back of the fireplace to the outside of the stone wall of the pub and is sheltered by a small roof. A fire would be kept in this big oven continuously. The oven flue exits in the back of the oven, runs over the top like a squirrel tail or Mohowk haircut, and vents into the fireplace high in the fireback. There is no oven door for the oven and the oven draws combustion air from the firebox. This style was typical in Colonial America. After about 1760 ovens were built to one side of the cooking fireplace (see 60" Cooking Rumford), rather than in the fireback, probably because so many cooks caught their hair or clothing on fire reaching over the fire to use the oven.

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