Corner Fireplace With Mantel - That is before the furnace, baseline heaters and central air. So, having a fire-place was absolutely essential.
But, there were so many issues different in the past. They weren't burning wood that was treated. There were not a billion houses in the world at that time. Everything was cleaner because we hadn't had time to ruin it all yet. Naturally, it's still great for wide open places like in the country in your farm house or in your own ranch. But, in urban and suburban areas where dwelling is limited is not conducive to the wood burning hearth.
But, we don't have to completely trash the entire concept of having a fireplace in the home. You'll find alternatives. A few of these alternatives look just as great as a wood-burning fireplace and throw just as much heat.