What is this? From TWiT

What do you think this is? A heater perhaps?

It looks like a very large (2.5 to 3 foot in diameter) “tube” from floor to ceiling that is reflective. You have highlighted what I presume is a reflection on it. Perhaps the tube itself is some sort of building support (I have seen cement versions of that size in high rise codos in Toronto.)

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Might be a modern form of a tiled stove for heating. The hatch suggests something like it.


I think thats the best guess yet!

I thought ceramic tiled stove.

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It’s called pönttöuuni vertical oven made of tiles or concrete found in old houses but rarely used today. You burn wood in it maximum 2 times a day 5-10kg at atime and it gives warmth 15-48 hours. It is about 80% efficient.

Here a video how it is made


Lovely! The Finns simply know GemĂĽtlichkeit. :slight_smile: Also, mighty respect for craftsmen who can build something that you can safely light a fire in, indoors, and reliably neither burn your house down or get monoxide poisoning from.


I live in a house that was built 1900 it used to have those Owens now there is a small reminder of it in my living room.

They are safe but if you over heat them then you are in trouble. No worry for monoxine poisonings.

Great research. I remember seeing ornate ceramic heaters in Catherine’s Palace in St Petersburg (below) and the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Probably the ancestor of the Finnish stove.

Servants stoked them from behind through the wall.


The stoves are very common throughout Europe. I had a friend in Nürmberg who still had one as the only form of heating in her flat, that was around 2008. Large ceramic tiled ones are common in many German homes, with bench style seats along the front and sides, you’d sit at the table, with your back against the stove.

When I visit my brother-in-law, we often sit on the stove-seat.

When we bought our house, it had a huge, iron stove. But we threw it out whilst we were rennovating, before we moved in. The problem was, it swallowed around 50Kg of wood a day! The previous owner managed to get the wood for free / cheap. We would have had to buy it from the local handler, so it just wasn’t economical, so we ripped it out and sold it for scrap.


It is a Russian invention and and first was used in Finland by army buildings in 1800. At that time we where occupied by russia. It circulates the fire gasses first up then down close to the sides and finally out to the pipe.


I do like a nice wood stove. At this time of year ours is lit first thing in the morning, and stays in all day. The next 10 years or so are going to be interesting as we move to more sustainable/cleaner heat. We’re dependent on oil and burning wood at the moment. Switch the whole place to electric I assume :thinking:

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I contacted Patrick about his mystery device and got his reply.