Storeroom Stories: Turning up the Heat!

It’s hard to believe lately, but Charleston, on occasion, still gets a bit chilly just as it has for centuries. In 1726, for example, Charleston endured its first snowfall during what was then the coldest winter ever in its more than half-century existence. Almost 100 years later Gabriel Manigault described “a few days of remarkably cold weather” that froze the water in his washbasin. For those having to travel in such conditions, not only their comfort, but also their very health was in considerable danger.


Thus, as a means of fighting off the winter weather whilst in a carriage, wood and tin carriage warmers such as these were essential tools for the trip – no matter the distance. Lined with a metal interior, coal or smoldering wood was placed inside these metal containers housed within the wooden box exterior. The heat radiated out of the metal. Though typically not big enough to warm an entire carriage interior, they could at least keep a passenger’s feet warm for a little while.