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Gurney Stove

Parlour stove featured neo-classical columns

  • Play Duration: 1 minute 19 seconds
  • File Size: 3.08 megabytes
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In this video, John McIntyre, PhD, curator of the Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum in Sharon, Ontario, describes the stove that sits in the parlour of a house that was built by and occupied by the builder of the Sharon Temple itself. You can read the text of his remarks below, or watch him on the player to the left.

So we are here now looking at a very elaborate parlour stove. The house where this is located was built in 1819, but this is certainly quite a bit later.

“I would say, it dates from the 1860s and was built by E. and C. Gurney in Hamilton. It does say, UC for Upper Canada, but I suspect it’s actually Canada West, again in the 1860s, before Confederation. But it’s very elaborate, in keeping with the elaborate decoration of the time. You can see the wallpaper picks up on that elaborate patterning.

“It’s in the neoclassical style with the use of these columns [he points to two columns and a lintel that connect the stove to the stove pipe]. They had very practical purposes as well. The firebox is down here, but then the air would be circulating up through these columns, across here [he runs his hand across the face of the columns and the lintel] creating this large surface that would be giving off heat into the room. So it was very decorative but also probably very efficient.

“They would’ve used coal, or possibly very small pieces of wood, and there is, at least on one side, and adjustable draft here that opens up. So quite an elaborate parlour stove, very decorative and very typical of mid-Victorian period.”

Article Sources

Parlour stove featured neo-classical columns

  • Research from the archives of the HVACR Heritage Centre Canada (DCSB #213).


  • Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, via

Image Credits

Parlour stove featured neo-classical columns

  • Nigel Heseltine, HHCC.