Fisher wood stoves, although no longer manufactured or sold in most stores today, have become quite the collector’s items. Unfortunately, it’s also very difficult to find parts or accessories for these stoves, too, leading to even fewer fully working Fisher wood stoves. However, those who do have working Fisher stoves have a great piece of history.
Fisher wood stoves were designed by Bob Fisher during the mid-1970s. Fisher worked in Oregon, and he eventually licensed his wood stove design to 25 different steel fabricating companies. The Fisher wood stoves became very popular over the years, especially when oil was at a premium. Fisher himself manufactured the stoves up until the 1980s, when the various steel companies began producing them.
It was also in the early 1980s that the Fisher Stove International Organization began enforcing various safety regulations. While the previously released Fisher stoves did not meet those regulations, the redesigned stoves did, and many of the older Fisher wood stoves were replaced by these safer models. Today, most Fisher wood stoves do not meet emission standard, although most do meet all safety requirements. However, these older models produce a lot of pollution, and in some areas, they may even be illegal.
What made Fisher wood stoves so much better than the competition? It was Fisher’s discovery that the wide fireplaces that were so popular were quite wasteful. Heating wood in these fireplaces didn’t heat the room very efficiently. To fix this, he sealed up part of the fireplace and welded the iron in such a way that it left only a small six-inch opening for the chimney. This smaller fireplace was able to heat an entire A-frame home, and the fire could also be controlled more easily. In fact, these new wood stoves could easily be used for cooling.
In the mid-1980s, wood stoves were slowly replaced by clean burning stoves. Seeing his wood stoves becoming obsolete, Bob Fisher returned to the drawing board and created a clean burning stove. Where the wood stoves released upwards of 75 grams of smoke per one kilogram of wood, his new clean stoves released only about six grams per kilogram of burned wood. His clean burning stoves, or EPA stoves, were just as much of a hit as his wood burning stoves. While these stoves were popular, eventually the wood burning stove fell out of favour as central heating became more favourable.