Eric Sloane

Dateline: 15 January 2014

Drawing by Eric Sloane

It takes a thousand men to get a load of fuel oil from the raw material to your furnace and probably as many to deliver a load of coal. It takes only one man, however, to make a pile of cordwood. Unlike a mess of oil or a heap of coal, a stack of wood is a living and gladdening thing to behold. It has long been the symbol of the double benefits of farm life, warming you twice—once when you cut it, another when you burn it. Actually, there is a third warming which is hard to define; and old almanac sys, "City homes are warmed by coal, but country hearths do warm the soul."

—Eric Sloane, 
From the book, American Yesterday (1956)


Rozy Lass said...

Yes, but how long would the forests last if everyone heated with wood? And what would the air quality be? I love a wood stove too, but I think it's rather impractical for the masses.

Play in the dirt said...

Think about all those men that the government can' leach off of; taxing their existence, their efforts, and their products... it's no wonder the EPA is cracking down on burning wood!

I don't believe for a minute that burning seasoned firewood (dried properly) in a good fireplace stove produces more emissions than thousands of men burning gasoline in their truck just driving to work to produce that heating oil... I just wish my house had a chimney.