Count Rumford taught himself the physics necessary to create efficient fireplaces. He was a contemporary of Thomas Jefferson and the fireplaces in Monticello are his design.  The polished concrete hearth is high enough to cook on comfortably.  This fireplace burns wood; a locally available and sustainably harvested resource.  The mass of the rammed earth captures the heat from the flue gasses as it rises through the chimney.  This heat is slowly radiated into the room for hours after the fire has extinguished.

To learn about all things Rumford visit Jim Buckley’s excellent website at