I don't think I've posted a photo of the heater we found for our log room. While most evenings we have a fire in the fireplace that more than heats the room, we found this little heater at an antique store for a very good price and snapped it up.
As the heater warms up, the clay tiles begin to glow, turning a bright orange-red that looks just amazing with the blue gas flames behind them. We seldom can turn this heater up past low because it throws out an immense amount of heat. I do believe that it could single-handedly heat the entire house. (Larry worried about the heat on the slate floor so he put fire brick under the heater but after using it for a while, I think the bricks are not at all necessary because the floor barely gets warm.)
Clayback heaters are what I remember when I was growing up. We had them in almost every room in the house eventually. Our big old four-square house was originally heated with a coal furnace in the basement; when we moved there in 1956 (or was it 1957?) the furnace was out of use and a giant, ugly heater was in place in the big front entrance hall, and a small, ornate clayback was in the living room. That is all the heat I can remember, and in a huge house with twelve-foot ceilings, no insulation and single-pane windows, you can imagine how cold we were, particularly in the mornings. There were steel grates with louvers in the floors that could be flipped open to allow heat into the upper floor rooms, but I don't remember the grates really being useful for much (except as a listening post when our parents were having adult parties down below and we wanted to listen to their conversations). Here is a picture of one (from the Cool Stuff website) that is similar to what I remember, although ours were painted black and I remember the design being somewhat decorative:
I hope to find another one or two of these heaters, a small one for my office because it still gets cold under my desk where my poor feet just freeze, and one for the log room we plan to build next year. I just hope we can find them as reasonably priced as this little beast.
Do you remember the old clayback heaters? Did you grow up with them too? I'd love to hear your memories of them.