“As to the present value of old technology in stoves, look for a moment at Finland. Finland is an advanced country, known for fine workmanship and good design. The Finns are international traders. Their products have to be good, especially in regard to heating because their climate is like that of Alaska. Today,  Finland’s government actively encourages the construction of masonry stoves through tax policy. About two-thirds of Finland’s new houses have built-in masonry stoves. Most of the rest have wood-fired masonry baking ovens which can also be used for space heating. This government policy says a good deal about Finland’s confidence in an old technology, even in the space age. It says something as well about the country’s assessment of the energy situation.
Masonry stoves can sharply reduce wood-burning safety problems. The iron stove is frequently so hot that it will burn anyone who touches it. The masonry stove is commonly designed in Europe with benches attached, so that you can sit and lean against the stove. There is a world of difference in safety between a stove you can lean on and one that burns at the touch.” – David Lyle, The Book of Masonry Stoves — Rediscovering an Old Way of Warming