Stew stoves allowed the cook to stand while preparing foods, and had been used for thousands of years. Two original brick stoves can be seen in museums - at Hampton National Historic Site in Maryland, and the Rundlet-May House in New Hampshire.
The photographs are from Hampton NHS. Some stew stoves have a fire box and an ash box, but Hampton's stove has only one lower box. Coal or charcoal was burned in the fire box, or at Hampton on the grate in the stew hole, and the ashes would fall below into the ashbox to be removed.
A recreated four hole stove at the Hermann-Grima House in New Orleans is still used weekly and classes are offered on a regular basis. The new kitchen at Jefferson's Monticello has a long range with eight holes. The Poplar Forest home of Jefferson also contains a new stew stove, with grates copied from an original grate. The Colonial Williamsburg website: "The household inventory for Governor Botetourt listed copper pots, a spit jack, and an eight-day clock. Based upon the inventory, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation added a charcoal-burning stew stove to the Palace kitchen in 1994."
I have found many original brick or stew stoves and boilers or set kettles, so if you have a specific question send an email to me.
LA Hermann-Grima House. New Orleans [potager]
MD Hampton NHS. Baltimore
NH Rundlet-May House. Portsmouth [Rumford Range]
VA Colonial Williamsburg. Governor's Palace Kitchen [stew stove]
VA Monticello. Charlottesville [stew stove, set kettle]
VA Poplar Forest. Lynchburg [stew stove, set kettle]