A reminder how slowly things change: those coal stoves could have come from a 1917 catalog. There were other types for sale - coal, wood, electric, and oil. That’s right: a big thing that sat in the corner of the room and burned oil. Not heated it up, like some portable radiators do; it burned it. Guys like my dad made a living filling them up.

No one uses coal anymore. The idea of putting coal in a metal box to heat the house is like expecting people to have a party-line phone.