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A new invention called an iron cook stove promises to modernize the American kitchen. But most Mecklenburgers will still use fireplaces to heat their homes and cook, since wood is cheap and plentiful. Kitchen chores are strenuous. There are heavy pots to lift and hang over the fire. Food for winter must be salted, pickled or dried to prevent spoilage. Visitors may bring delicacies such as oranges, chocolates, or spices from Charleston, South Carolina, where goods arrive by ships from foreign countries. But such expensive luxuries are uncommon in Charlotte.