The drawing rooms and bedrooms of many Victorian houses still contain their original cast iron grates, while a few homes, especially in the countryside, have ranges in the kitchen. The development of these from their obscure origins in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is the subject of this book. By the nineteenth century, attempts to improve the heating effect of grates and to reduce their coal consumption and smokiness had led to a bewildering variety of types. Many of these are described and illustrated here, and their workings explained with the aid of drawings. In addition, kitchen ranges are examined from the cook's point of view in terms of their suitability for roasting, boiling and stewing. In the twentieth century coal ranges and grates gave way to cleaner alternatives, but in the past few years there has been a resurgance of interest in solid fuel cookers with every possible modern facility are now competing with their electric and gas counterparts.