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French Ships - Operational Question


mtaylor
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I'm not certain that "all" French ships had ovens but it seems many did.     Bello's site shows both the bread and pastry oven:  http://www.arsenal-modelist.com/index.php?page=accessories∂=20    The ship I'm building appears to have a small oven and I've seen them in Frolich and on some other ANCRE plans.

 

Operationally, it seems the French did some (quite a few things?) different then the English/Americans as the crew slept on the cabin/berth deck and/or on the gundeck.  Hammocks were not apparently common.  Also, whereas the English/Americans for the most part had stoves, the French used a fireplace or fireplaces depending on the size of the ship since they also roasted meat as well as boiled their crew's food. 

 

Now back to the ovens....   these all seem to be on the lowest full deck or even below it.  On one ship (I think I saw in Frolich's book) it was hung from the beams of the lowest deck.    So, there was a fringe benefit in that the whole ship smelled of baking bread when in use which, as far I can tell, was daily. 

 

So my question (holy cow am I wordy :) ) is how did they fire this thing?  I can't see putting wood in it and lighting it off, especially below decks.  Would they have carried hot coals from the fireplaces down to the oven?   Carbon dioxide build up in the hold aside, I can't see flames and smoke being allowed from the oven.  But I also can't see them hauling hot coals down to it either....  but that seems more likely.

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I remember reading years ago a report of Captain John Downes of the US Frigate Potomac, following her return from the first Sumatran Punitive Expedition in 1832, that his ship's stove had been placed on the berth deck as an experiment. The idea was to create a hot air draught that would help circulate air better throughout the lower reaches of the ship. Downes thought the experiment a failure, as it was not worth the obvious difficulties, and asked permission to replace it back on the gun deck.

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I saw something about that, Frolick, but kind of ignored it since it was a stove and not an oven.  The stove as I recall had a smokestack that was too large for it (or maybe it was the other way) and the smoke didn't properly clear.   The French oven don't have stacks, which is what got my curiosity up  There was a French combination stove/oven that did have the stack.  http://www.arsenal-modelist.com/index.php?page=accessories∂=13ℑ=6   and http://www.arsenal-modelist.com/index.php?page=accessories∂=14  and http://www.arsenal-modelist.com/index.php?page=accessories∂=33  

 

I guess I should also include the kitchen/fireplace:  http://www.arsenal-modelist.com/index.php?page=accessories∂=12

 

If anyone is curious.. this one of my reference sites for accessories, etc.: http://www.arsenal-modelist.com/index.php?page=accessories

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Ofencer,

 

I knew they were different and have different purposes but was trying to show others who might not know.     Yes his website is a great one and he a great modeler which is why I'm use him for some references. :)

 

Would you happen to know how the ovens were heated?   I really am curious about this.

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I suppose as all the traditional baker's ovens:
The wood is installed in the home, we set fire to it then when the ember is very red, we push it at the bottom and one cooked the bread on the front by closing the door which is tight and one atends the end of the ember to open him!

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Have read that clay ovens were heated by burning wood inside them until the inside of the oven was hot enough to burn the carbon from the lining. When the carbon disappeared the fire was removed, the oven swept out and baking began. Those ovens could bake 4 or 5 batches before cooling to much and they were used in the SW of the US on dry land, I don't have a clue about how they were heated aboard ship. Maybe charcoal was used to heat with, no smoke that way with lots of heat, flame only while starting the burn and when the oven was hot enough, the charcoal could be removed, quenched and reused. Might need to dig up an old ships baker and ask. Charcoal and coke have been used for a long time for heat, forges and smelters.

jud

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Mark, you want to make things more complicated than what they really are, and you must be careful about O. Bello; in the french forum, he would never be use as a reference.

 

  On a 74 guns ship, there was 3 stoves; bakery, bread and the general one for the kitchen.

For these 3, the fuel is wood.

 

Here is a method, unfortunately in french,  explaining how to use the bakery oven.

post-184-0-76241700-1410098048_thumb.jpg

post-184-0-21298600-1410098060_thumb.jpg

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