Iron Firebacks

A fireback is a cast-iron plate that sits at the back of a fireplace to protect the masonry from intense heat.
Author:
Publish date:
(Photo: Jacquelin Conner)

(Photo: Jacquelin Conner)

Decorative firebacks date to colonial times and may have survived for hundreds of years. Renaissance-man J. Del Conner—historian, artist, inventor, and amateur astronomer—was working as a graphic designer when a chimneysweep told him about the iron plates he was finding in old fireplaces. Intrigued, Conner explored fireback designs at nearby museums. He founded Pennsylvania Firebacks in 1979, and a few years later was offering fine cast-iron reproductions including a collection from Winterthur. The process involves a design sketch, a 3-D pattern sculpted in beeswax, a plaster mold, an aluminum casting, and a mold for molten iron poured at a foundry. The company offers historical reproductions and more than 30 of Conner’s own tradition-based designs. Del Conner also invented Saf-T-Boots, a support system to hold the fireback in position relative to the hearth floor and back wall. Pennsylvania Firebacks, (215) 722-1221, fireback.com.

Related Articles

Products of the Week

crown point kitchen

Crown Point Cabinetry

Crown Point Cabinetry offers custom cabinets for period style kitchens, baths, offices, laundry rooms, home bars and more. Styles include Shaker, Arts & Crafts, Early American, Victorian and Transitional.

forbo-flooring-bedroom-wood-look

Forbo Flooring

Leading global player in high-quality, commercial floor coverings and total solution flooring projects that include Linoleum, Vinyl, Luxury Vinyl Tiles, Flocked Flooring Carpet Tiles and Needlefelt.