Keeping the warmth in and keeping the smoke out? When I first Googled the name Virgie Ammons, I came across a few web pages that gave a small caption of what it was exactly she invented. When I say small, I mean small.
She invented a device called a “Damper”, no not diaper, a damper. You know the thing in a fireplace. If you have never heard of it, no worries I only know because I lived in a house that had one, a fireplace that is. Oh and I still had no idea what that was until I read the articles. I remember asking my Mum if she could open the lid thing that lets smoke escape from the fireplace to the outside.
I explained that she had to pull this metal coil down and anchor it on the hinge to keep it opened and then pull it off the hinge and let it spring up thereby closing the lid. Well it’s called a Damper and it does just that.
It is the tool which allows the Damper to be locked closed so as to prevent dust, debris and the chill of winter from entering through the chimney. I don’t know how people lived without a damper.
I suppose it was just a hole, however when the damper is left opened, it becomes extremely cold which defeats the purpose of heating the place up. A few articles state that she may still be alive as of June 21st 2010, if so ,she would be 100 years old. The address in the patent (No. 3,908,633 September 30, 1975) suggests she still lives at the same address, at least according to the phone book.Looking at her patent, is somewhat difficult, as it is old and therefore in the tiniest unimaginable font ever.
It is also very mathematical and reminds me to remember it’s the small stuff we tend to ignore or take for granted. Every little piece of something may be one person’s invention which makes the item work correctly, so that we can use it.