The cast-iron heating stove, which preceded the cook stove, increased in popularity in the nineteenth century. As casting improved, more complicated and ornate stoves were designed. This highly embellished three-tier stove is an example of the improved casting technique. It is also a transitional stove, in that it incorporates elements of both the heating stove and the cooking stove: although this stove is specifically designed to generate heat, it can also warm food in one of several ovens.
After the mid nineteenth century, a stove's heat (unlike that of a fireplace) could be channelled to more than one room and, as a result, could provide heat throughout the house. Even though stoves made homes more comfortable, they were viewed by some as a threat to the family: families did not gather around the stove for warmth and companionship as much as they did around the hearth.