Fireplaces have been keeping humanity warm for as long as we've been living in houses. But some famous fireplaces have gotten more attention than others.
I know, I know. Famous fireplaces are not something you think you're ever going to read about. But there are actually quite a few iconic fireplaces that you may not even realize you recognize or know about! Some are a part of pop culture, while others hold cultural and historical significance.
The smoking room on the Titanic
featured a gorgeous fireplace that has now been immortalized in the movie about the doomed ship. The smoking room was used by men traveling in second class. The fireplace was made of Italian marble and inlaid with mother of pearl. It was also the only fully functional coal burning fireplace on the ship. It's believed that this fireplace provided warmth to men who chose to continue playing cards, even as the ship sank.
The Rumford Fireplace
Named after inventor Count Rumford
, the Rumford fireplace was a new take on the design of traditional fireplaces. The design was the result of his studies on heat and its transmission. His work lead to changes in fireplace design allowing the smoke to be pulled out by the chimney more efficiently while keeping heat loss to a minimum. He achieved this by making the fireplace shallower and wider and adding different angles to guide airflow.
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Photo courtesy of Hooked on Houses[/caption]
Famous fireplaces do seem to pop up in movies, don't they? Another well-recognized fireplace can be found in classic Christmas movie Home Alone
. In the movie, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is seen by the Christmas tree and the large fireplace hung with stockings in the living room. The decorations add a dramatic element to his solitude, and the sheer size of the fireplace does a good job of demonstrating how tiny and very alone Kevin realizes he is.
The White House State Dining Room
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Photo courtesy of White House Museum[/caption]
The fireplace in the White House State Dining Room has seen some important and historic dinners throughout the years! The current fireplace has been standing since 1902. During the Truman reconstruction, the mantle was replaced with a green marble mantel. The original 1902 mantle was restored during the Kennedy renovation. It includes an inscription placed on it by Franklin Roosevelt:
I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."
The Sistine Chapel
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Photo courtesy of Portable Fireplaces[/caption]
One of the most culturally significant fireplaces in existence is the Sistine Chapel fireplace. This fireplace and chimney is used by the conclave of bishops to indicate the selection of a new Pope. While the design itself is not significant in the case of this fireplace, the significance to many people across the world is tangible.
A fireplace can pull a room together and give a family somewhere to gather. It can be used to heat a house or display important news. And without anyone really realizing it, fireplaces can become iconic!
Which famous fireplaces do you find most interesting? Tell us about them in the comments below!
Featured photo courtesy of My Home Decorating Blog.