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I found this in the floor of an attic. The house is a little over 100 years old.

I first thought it was for an old toilet but there is no plumbing on this side of the house.

There is no existing mechanical equipment anywhere near this. There is a bedroom directly below.

The house has steam heat.

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I have seen a few of them and recall seeing one with a stove still in place. I suppose if the chimney did not pass through that room they ran the stove pipe through the ceiling and connected to the chimney in the attic.

It was also common practice to pass the coal stove pipe through a ceiling to provide a little heat to the space above.
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Where I see things like that the steam heat or whatever they have for heat typically came later.

Yes. There were thimble like this all over my 1870 house. Most likely coal first. Gas lines were installed long after the house was finished. Boiler and baseboard heat in the 1980s.

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