Following his return to Mount Vernon in 1797, George Washington devoted much of his time to the repair and modernization of his beloved estate. One of his primary concerns was updating the fireplace in the "New Room", which he felt should be done "without delay". In place of the old wood burning fire equipment, Washington installed a coal burning stove grate. Its small basket and angled jambs enabled the coal to burn hotter and more efficiently than wood. It was an ideal addition to the largest room in the house and allowed Washington to offer cutting edge comfort to his many guests.


Iron and steel stove grate; shallow firebox with a dimpled fire back and curved cheeks framing a coal basket; basket is lined with crossbars and enclosed by a wall of three horizontal swelled bars that are topped by three equidistant obelisks and is set upon three spherical feet; basket is flanked by two upright pilasters topped by obelisks; swelled front fretwork apron skirts the basket; the fire surround has a smooth face and is decorated with three circular bosses placed at the upper corners and center top, the whole is edged in an integral beaded molding.


c. 1780-1796




Iron, steel


Overall: 28 in. x 43 1/2 in. (71.12 cm x 110.49 cm)

Credit Line

Transferred to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association through the generosity of John Augustine Washington III, 1860


Cast into the iron above the center boss: "Oldham London".

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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