With Art & Industry: 1890-1920

Central Heating

Furnace advertisement Basement furnaces were installed in many Illinois homes during the early 1900s. From a central location, heat was transferred by heated water, steam, or air to individual rooms. Central heating allowed a family the full use of their home during the winter months; as people no longer had to huddle around a stove or fireplace. Except in remote rural areas, most furnaces were fueled by coal, which was much more efficient than wood. The intense use of coal in cities filled the air with noxious yellow smoke.


© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96