With our central air and affordable space heaters most of us these days don’t often have to worry about how to best keep warm in winter. But, for our ancestors staying warm was down to some strategic planning and resource management that we don’t often get a peek of. Here are 10 ways they kept warm in the 19th century!

10) Stay Where It’s Warm

Families would congregate near ovens, stoves, fireplaces. If it wasn’t a warmed room they might even not spend time in those rooms during the cold months.

Staying warm by the fire in the 19th century. Via/ Flickr

9) Use Portable Heating Devices

They took a foot warmer or portable stove with them to a cold room of the house. This was a luxury that many families could not afford, but for those who could it was a welcome treat on cold winter nights. There were even ceramic versions of hot water bottles, not as convenient as rubber ones, but oh so useful! Soapstones heated in the fire were also used, as were bedwarmers which were made of metal and held hot coals (though the latter were far more expensive).

Box shaped hot coal bed warmer. Via/ Wellcome Collection

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