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A cast-iron pot like this was to be used in a fireplace. The cook could hang it over the fire or set it over coals raked forward onto the hearth to act as a burner. The 3 feet raised the pot from the hearth and kept the coals from being snuffed out while cooking was taking place. The lid kept ash from getting into the food and kept the heat in so the food would cook more quickly. Fireplace cookware like this pot stopped being used when cook-stoves began to replace fireplaces in the mid-19th century.