Big fireplaces used for cooking, often with an oven in the fireback or next to the fireplace opening, generally predate Rumford. They were common in Colonial America and can be seen at historic places like Williamsburg and Mount Vernon.
Nevertheless people continued to build these big old cooking fireplaces in summer kitchens and sometimes in basements well into the mid 19th century in homes with Rumfords for heat in the main house. Cooking fireplaces were never intended for heat.
These days when we build an early American cooking fireplace it is generally in the "great room", not the summer kitchen, and the man of the house is cooking, not the servants. So we make some compromises - we "Rumfordize" them with a rounded throat to make them a little more efficient.
Superior Clay Bake Ovens
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Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
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