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A stove jack allows you to safely extend a stovepipe through the roof or wall of your tent.

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Modern-day stove jacks appear to be made of silicone fiberglass.

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However, it's my guess that silicone fiberglass is a relatively recent invention.

What kind of material was used to make stove jacks in winter tents before the invention of silicone fiberglass?

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    The ones I recall from my childhood (so maybe not reliable!) were tin (and fairly thin tin at that). These were on very heavy canvas tents, likely treated but I was not taking close notes. They also did not fit tightly around the stovepipe itself, so they leaked in rain and cold air. But, the old canvas tents were not well known to keeping either out reliably... – Jon Custer Oct 31 '18 at 18:24
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    @Jon of course canvas can take much higher temperatures than modern tent materials, so a thin layer of a metal that's a fairly poor thermal conductor would work there. – Chris H Nov 1 '18 at 17:27
  • I have a related question here: Why are stove jacks NOT normally made of metal? – Wilson Nov 21 '18 at 15:52
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I fished around and found a few pictures where I am suspecting no stove jack is even used.

This here is a picture of medical tents in Washington during the civil war and from what I can see there are more than a few tents with what looks like stove pipes coming through the walls. Of course the photos are not very clear but I can't see any indication there is a jack of any kind.

There might be a good reason to not use a stove jack and that's if you used a sleeve instead. Those are made of metal and the insulation is provided by air between the chimney and sleeve, and the sleeve acting as a heat sink/dissipator.

Medical tents (source: Library of Congress)

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I was at the Remington Carriage Museum last night and was noticing the stove jack on an old covered wagon that was heated by a wood stove. It was made out of a large square piece of sheet metal. As has been mentioned here already, canvas is far more heat resistant than nylon, so a metal stove jack was apparently sufficient to prevent your canvas tent or covered wagon from catching fire. I imagine when they started using nylon for tents that they quickly discovered the sheet metal wasn't sufficient anymore and had to use different technology.

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